Instant Pot Frozen Chicken is rotisserie whole chicken cooked without thawing. Pressure cooking frozen chicken in Instant Pot requires only 5 minutes of prep and it comes out super juicy!
If you have fresh chicken, check out this Instant Pot whole chicken recipe. Got chicken breasts? You can make frozen chicken breasts in Instant Pot, air fryer frozen chicken breast or fresh Instant Pot chicken breast.
Table of Contents
- Why Cook Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot?
- Ingredients for Instant Pot Frozen Chicken
- How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot
- How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken in an Instant Pot?
- Tips for Best Results
- What To Do With Chicken Broth at the Bottom?
- What Do I Serve Instant Pot Frozen Chicken with?
- How to Store
- More Instant Pot Frozen Recipes
- More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes to Try
- How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot Recipe
So, can you cook frozen chicken in Instant Pot? Absolutely! Out of all Instant Pot recipes on my website, pressure cooking frozen chicken in Instant Pot is the most popular one in our house!
Instant Pot frozen chicken is my husband’s Alex favorite Instant Pot recipe to make because it is so darn easy! It is “embarrassing” how easy it is, actually!
Why Cook Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot?
- It’s easy: Instant Pot frozen chicken takes 5 minutes of prep. Not to mention it’s made with all staple ingredients.
- Much healthier than rotisserie: I don’t know about you but where I live organic rotisserie chicken is hard to come by or costs a lot. Also by using simple spices you skip on MSG and loads of sodium.
- It’s so darn convenient: My freezer is always stocked with 2-4 organic whole chickens from Costco. Rotisserie chicken guaranteed any time you feel like one. Imagine putting whole frozen chicken in Instant Pot and having tasty chicken in an hour-ish.
- It’s delish: Even chicken breast comes out juicy, tender and flavorful, and you can crisp up the skin, yes!
Because chicken is affordable and relatively healthy meat, we cook it a lot.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Frozen Chicken
Pressure cooking frozen chicken requires basic and simple ingredients, but you will be amazed at the mouthwatering taste and aromas of this chicken!
- Chicken: Frozen whole chicken, about 3 – 6 pounds or more, depending on the size of pressure cooker you have.
- Oil: Any mild tasting oil like olive oil, avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
- Smoked paprika: Gives lots of flavor and “roasted” look.
- Garlic powder: Dried powder will stick to frozen chicken better than fresh grated garlic.
- Dried oregano: Any dried herb like basil, crushed rosemary, or Italian seasoning blend can be substituted.
- Salt and pepper: To bring out flavors in all ingredients.
How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot
Here is how to cook frozen chicken in Instant Pot in step-by-step with photos. Full recipe card is located below.
Once your chicken is prepped, just let the magic of the Instant Pot do the rest!
Rinse chicken: Place whole chicken in a sink, rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Keep the twine on the legs to prevent chicken from falling apart. It will be hard to remove anyways.
You need to rinse chicken, so oil and spices stick to it.
Rub chicken with oil: Place chicken on a plate or right inside the Instant Pot and rub evenly with oil. Your fingers will get cold quickly, washing with warm soapy water immediately helps.
Sprinkle chicken with spices: Place bird chicken breast side down and sprinkle with spices in the following order – salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika and oregano. It helps more ground spices stick first.
Transfer chicken onto a plate.
Add frozen chicken to Instant Pot: Add trivet and 1 cup cold water to your Instant Pot. Place frozen chicken in Instant Pot breasts side up, close the lid and set valve to Sealing position.
Cook: Cook Instant Pot frozen chicken on High pressure as per cooking times chart below. It largely depends on the size of your chicken.
Let pressure release naturally: Super important step is to allow the pressure to come down on its own until the pin drops because chicken keeps cooking with residual heat. Learn more about Natural Pressure Release.
How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken in an Instant Pot?
Time for pressure cooking frozen chicken in Instant Pot varies based on the size of your chicken AND Instant Pot.
Why? Because larger size Instant Pot has larger volume (area) for more pressure to build up. Thus, it takes longer to bring pressure down. Therefore, 8 quart pressure cooker keeps cooking chicken while bringing down pressure for 40 minutes vs. 6 quart pressure cooker that takes only 15 minutes.
For 6 quart Instant Pot:
- 3 pounds whole chicken – 50 minutes.
- 4 pounds whole chicken – 60 minutes.
- 5 pounds whole chicken – 70 minutes.
For 8 quart Instant Pot:
- 4 pounds whole chicken – 40 minutes.
- 5 pounds whole chicken – 50 minutes.
- 6 pounds whole chicken – 60 minutes.
For 3 quart Instant Pot: Honest disclosure is that I do not have this Instant Pot size. However, in comments below I gave reader Miranda a suggestion to cook the whole bird for 17 minutes per pound with Natural Release and she said it came out perfect!
For 10 quart Instant Pot: I never used one but logically since its capacity is even bigger than 8 quart, I would reduce cook time by 10 mins less for each size of chicken that is listed for 8 quart. Just like the difference between 6 and 8 quart.
Tips for Best Results
Here are my top tips for the best Instant Pot frozen chicken recipe results!
- If your chicken has giblets: You can cook frozen chicken with giblets inside and remove them after cooking. Most giblets are in a paper bag (I haven’t seen them in plastic bag for a while). If you buy fresh whole chicken, you can remove giblets before freezing. If you find out after cooking giblets were in the plastic, it is best to discard the chicken. That’s why, I recommend to use familiar to you brand of chicken for this recipe.
- Leave Keep Warm on before cooking: By default, every Instant Pot has Keep Warm function on at all times unless you press Cancel before selecting cook time. It is indicated by L0:00 display. What it means is that, for example in the photo above, my chicken has finished cooking 56 minutes ago. It is super helpful info since we do not sit and watch pressure cooker cooking and Natural release is a must with frozen chicken in Instant Pot!
- Don’t do quick Release: Please do not vent pressure by turning valve to Venting and come back and tell me your chicken was raw. Your Instant Pot needs to bring pressure down on its own during which time meat keeps cooking with residual heat. Do not follow the Quick Release, turning Sealing valve to Venting position if pressure pin is still up.
- To get crispy skin: Carefully transfer cooked chicken in Instant Pot onto baking sheet and broil for a few minutes to crisp up the skin. If you have an air fryer lid, just pop it on top – even easier!!!
Yes. You can pressure cook frozen chicken in Instant Pot without thawing. Unlike when you cook whole chicken in slow cooker for hours, pressure cooking happens fast without harmful bacteria getting a chance to grow like with slow cooking method.
No but without the trivet the skin on the chicken will be a bit soft. But you can cook frozen chicken in Instant Pot without a rack.
Yes. Fresh whole chicken requires twice less cook time than frozen. If your chicken is thawed, then use this Instant Pot whole chicken recipe.
The most reliable way to check if your chicken in Instant Pot is ready is to insert an instant read thermometer into its thickest part. If it registers 165 F, your chicken is ready. You can’t use the color of the meat to reliably know the doneness of chicken. Sometimes chicken does look pink, especially chicken thighs, and even possibly with red blood vessels.
What To Do With Chicken Broth at the Bottom?
After pressure cooking frozen chicken, you will end up with delicious juices at the bottom of the pot. It’s golden liquid! Make any soup recipe with it or try it in borscht recipe! Refrigerate chicken broth until ready to cook. You can also save the bones and make more Instant Pot chicken broth with it, possibly combining with raw chicken, leftover cooking liquid and more water.
This is basically how I cook Instant Pot chicken noodle soup. Keep flavorful broth at the bottom of the pot, throw back in the bones and leftover chicken meat, then add desired amount of water. Pressure cook on High for 1-2 hours. Add frozen vegetables and pasta, close the lid and let soup cook with residual heat another 5-10 minutes. Season to taste.
What Do I Serve Instant Pot Frozen Chicken with?
To serve Instant Pot frozen chicken, treat it like rotisseries chicken. Here are a few ideas:
- Mashed potatoes: Serve however you would serve a rotisserie chicken with healthy mashed potatoes or cauliflower mashed potatoes.
- Salad: This time I served chicken with southwest quinoa salad. Instant Pot potato salad would be great too!
- Bread: We also like to buy a whole grain baguette for a side and serve with Ukrainian cucumber and tomato salad. Quick, healthy and easy.
How to Store
To store Instant Pot frozen chicken leftovers, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
To freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
More Instant Pot Frozen Recipes
More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes to Try
- Instant Pot chicken and potatoes
- Instant Pot butter chicken
- Instant Pot white chicken chili
- Instant Pot chicken alfredo
- Instant Pot chicken tacos
Looking for more dinner ideas? Check out my most popular collection of 45 healthy Instant Pot recipes.
How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot
- Rinse frozen whole chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Drizzle with a bit of oil and using your hands rub it all over chicken. This step will ensure proper “sticking” of spices to frozen chicken.
- Place frozen chicken in Instant Pot breasts side down. Sprinkle half of each spice evenly on one side of chicken in the following order: salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika and oregano.
- Carefully flip the chicken (we don’t want to disturb the spices) and season the other half with remaining spices (might seem like a lot but trust me). Holding onto the sides transfer chicken onto a large plate.
- To the Instant Pot, add water and trivet (steam rack with handles is more convenient if you have one). Place whole chicken inside IP breasts side up, close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High Pressure or Manual (this IP cooks only on High):
For 6 quart Instant Pot:
- 3 lbs whole chicken – 50 minutes.
- 4 lbs whole chicken – 60 minutes.
- 5 lbs whole chicken – 70 minutes.
For 8 quart Instant Pot:
- 4 lbs whole chicken – 40 minutes.
- 5 lbs whole chicken – 50 minutes.
- 6 lbs whole chicken – 60 minutes.
- Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
- After your chicken is ready, Instant Pot will beep, display will say OFF and now it needs to bring pressure down on its own before you can open it, which will be indicated by a dropped down float valve. It is called Natural Release. 8 quart will take about 40 minutes and 6 quart – 15-20 minutes. Do not do Quick Release (turning sealing valve to Venting position). Wait for a pin to drop down on its own.
- Open the lid and you will have the juiciest and most flavorful chicken ever. Serve however you like, shred for meal rep, freeze for later, save bones for bone broth. Oh, and that flavorful broth at the bottom makes amazing soup the next day (don’t throw away!). So many options, it’s crazy!
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.
- If your chicken has giblets: If giblets are in paper bag you can with them inside and remove after cooking. Or remove giblets before freezing.
- Fresh whole chicken: It requires twice less cook time than frozen. Use this Instant Pot whole chicken recipe.
- 3 quart IP: Cook the whole bird for 17 minutes/lb with Natural Release.
- 10 quart IP: Reduce cook time by 10 mins less for each size of chicken that is listed for 8 quart.