Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe – The Southern Way

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Instant Pot Southern whole chicken 

How to make a whole chicken in the Instant Pot – the Southern way! 

It’s more than just a traditional chicken recipe – flavorful, tender, and juicy – it’s more of a soul food flavor burst!

The world is full of flavors. From the salty tang of sea salt to the sweet and sticky notes of honey, there seems to be a flavor for every occasion!

But sometimes, you want to prepare something that’s quick and easy and doesn’t require a long list of ingredients or spending more time in the kitchen. 

Instant Pot Southern Chicken Recipe For Beginners

How to make a whole chicken in the Instant Pot – the Southern soul food way!

Are you looking for the perfect Southern Instant Pot recipe to spice up your cooking? More than just a traditional recipe – something with a lot more flavor?

Enter my Southern soul food Instant Pot chicken! 

It’s the right recipe you need if you’re tired of having bland meals day after day. 

The best part about it is that it’s packed with soulful Southern flavors and savory spices. This recipe is always a family favorite!

Ever wondered if you could cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot?

Do you know that the Instant Pot is a fantastic way to cook chicken? 

The best part about cooking chicken in an Instant Pot is juicy and tender chicken meat every time! 

Read on for more of my pro tips for Instant Pot chicken.

What are the benefits of a pressure cooker whole chicken?

You’re probably asking yourself, “What are the benefits of cooking a whole chicken with Instant Pot?”

The benefits of cooking with Instant Pot are quick and easy chicken dinners in minutes without sacrificing nutrition. But instead, enhancing the chicken’s Southern soul food flavors!

How long does it take to cook chicken in the Instant Pot?

It only takes 25 minutes to pressure cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot. 

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Should you salt chicken before cooking?

Should you brine the chicken?

Brining is a cooking process that involves submerging meat in a salt and water solution. Brining is often used as a way to infuse flavor into the chicken.

So many cookbooks rightfully warn you never to salt poultry right before you put it in the oven.

In most cases, salt will draw out the juices and make the uncooked chicken dry and tough.

But, the opposite occurs when you add salt to poultry in boiling water for a brine or when you use a pressure cooker.

So this Southern-style chicken recipe includes a first step of boiling the chicken in salt for more soulful flavoring of the chicken meat to compliment the delicious spices added to the outer skin.

Can you overcook chicken in a pressure cooker?

It’s hard to overcook chicken in a pressure cooker if you use the ‘Poultry’ smart setting or stick to the Instant Pot recipe instructions. 

Why does chicken get rubbery in Instant Pot?

According to Greatist, “Overcooking might play a role in your chicken’s tire-like texture! Leaving chicken in a (pressure cooker), pan, oven, or grill for just a little too long can suck the moisture right out and leave you with a dry, rubbery bird. Without moisture, the protein fibers in the chicken become elastic.”

Is it better to cook chicken slow or fast?

With traditional cooking methods, the slower you cook chicken, the better.

But Instant Pot, in general, is a much healthier way to prepare traditional Southern foods like soul food chicken recipes. 

The shorter cooking times lend to better preservation of vitamins and minerals while intensifying each recipe’s soulful flavors and enhancing the texture and taste.

Instant Pot chicken cooked with on the slow cooker setting is also just as tasty!

How do you make chicken soft and juicy?

Pressure cooking your chicken in the best way to make your chicken soft and juicy! 

This is because pressure cooking locks steam produced by liquid (liquid excreted from the chicken), building pressure and forcing steam back into the meat.

So you cook the most flavorful, tender, and juicy chicken – Yum!

Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe - The Southern Way

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Instant Pot whole chicken recipe – Southern style 

Instant Pot whole chicken recipe ingredients

Ingredients

Southern Style Whole Chicken Seasoning

Instructions

  1. Place the Instant Pot steamer rack/trivet rack on the kitchen counter and put the chicken on top.
  2. Using the trivet rack handles, place the chicken inside the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot. 
  3. Pour the water and salt into the inner pot with the chicken.
  4. Turn on the Instant Pot sauté setting for 30 minutes. You’ll need to add an additional 15 minutes immediately when the first 30 minutes finishes for a total of 45 minutes on sauté. (This is because the max amount of time using the sauté setting is 30 minutes.)
  5. With the Instant Pot lid off, allow the chicken to come to a boil on the sauté setting. (It will take approx 18-20 minutes for the pot with chicken to get to a state of slow boil/slow simmer.)
  6. When the cooking time is finished (after 45 minutes), drain the water by gently sliding the chicken from the inner pot into a colander. (Caution: Do not grab or use the trivet rack’s handles while inside the inner pot of boiling water! Allow the rack to fall on top of the chicken as you slide the chicken out into the colander.)
  7. Place the inner pot trivet rack on the kitchen counter.
  8. Now gently slide the cooked chicken from the colander onto the trivet rack with the chicken’s breast side down. (The rack’s handles will make placing in and removing the whole chicken from the pot A LOT easier!)
  9. Allow the chicken to cool for about 10 minutes so you can rub on the seasoning.
  10. While the chicken is cooling, mix the Famous Dave’s seasoning and the roasted garlic & herb spice in a small bowl to create the Southern spice rub.
  11. Rub on and coat the whole chicken with the seasoning mixture.
  12. Pour the chicken broth into the inner pot.
  13. Using the trivet rack handles, place the chicken inside the pot with the broth.
  14. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 25 minutes.
  15. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes.
  16. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  17. Baste the chicken by using a large spoon to scoop the broth from the inner pot over the top of the chicken.
  18. Use the trivet rack’s handles to easily remove the chicken from the inner pot.
  19. Place the whole chicken on a cutting board to carve, and slide out the trivet rack underneath.
  20. Optionally, reserve the remaining chicken broth in the inner pot to pour over the chicken as your serve it, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley. I also like to pour the broth over rice.
  21. Serve and enjoy!
Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken The Southern Way

Pro tips for making Instant Pot chicken

Read on for my pro tips and frequently asked questions for cooking chicken in an Instant Pot.

  • The cooking time for a whole chicken is 20-25 minutes. If you need to cook your chicken quicker, it’s possible to carve the bird into smaller pieces and then pressure cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • You can also use bone-in or boneless skinless chicken with excellent results.
  • Will the whole chicken fall apart when you remove it from the Instant Pot? Nope! Not if you’re using the Instant Pot trivet rack to easily remove the chicken with its convenient carrying handles.
When you put the chicken on the trivet, do you put it breast side up or down? 
  • Whole chickens in the Instant Pot can be carved before or after placing the chicken in the inner pot. Cutting it before can lessen the pressure cooking time by about 5 minutes.
  • Liquid is key when cooking anything in an Instant Pot – whether you’re using water, chicken stock, broth (or wine!). Start by putting at least ½ a cup of liquid into the pot, and then place your meat on top or on the inner pot trivet rack.
  • When you put the chicken on the trivet, do you put it breast side up or down?  I suggest breast side down for this recipe so that the top of the chicken results in crispier skin.

Will a whole chicken roasted in an Instant Pot have crispy skin?

Surprisingly yes! This Southern-style Instant Pot roast chicken recipe will result in slightly crispy chicken skin. This is due to the dry spice rub as it cooks on top of the chicken.

Instant Pot Chicken Recipe - Can you put raw chicken in an Instant Pot?

Can you put raw chicken in an Instant Pot?

Yep! This Instant Pot chicken recipe is for pressure cooking a whole uncooked chicken. But any type of chicken will work, including frozen, boneless, or bone-in; breasts or thighs.

What if the chicken is not cooked through?

An important question often asked is, “How do you know if the Instant Pot chicken is cooked?”

A digital thermometer will be your best companion if you fear that your chicken is not cooked through. 

At what temperature is chicken done?

Upon pressure release, note down the temperature with the help of a meat thermometer, which should be 165 degrees F. 

What if your chicken is not fully cooked after pressure cooking?

If it’s not fully cooked, pressure cook for two additional minutes for every 5 degrees below 165.

What do you serve with this Instant Pot whole roasted chicken?

What do you serve with this Instant Pot whole roasted chicken?

Chicken is always the perfect choice for dinner, especially when trying to accommodate several guests. 

In this case, a whole chicken is the best choice!

Whole chicken pairs well with almost anything, which is why chicken just might be the most versatile type of meat. Serve with rice or vegetables like carrots and cabbage

Soul food and Southern specialty dishes like cornbread, Southern coleslawSouthern baked mac and cheese, casseroles, and heirloom tomato watermelon salad also pair well with this Southern chicken recipe.

You can even make Southern chicken salad from leftovers of this recipe!

Instant Pot Southern Style Chicken

More Instant Pot chicken FAQs

What’s the best way to cook chicken in an Instant Pot? 

I’m here to answer all your Instant Pot chicken questions! 

I’ll also share my pressure cooker tips and tricks on cooking the perfect meal with yummy Southern charm soul food seasoning!

If there is a preset button for poultry, why does this recipe not use it?

Very simple! The poultry setting for this recipe is not enough time. 

It’s preset at 15 minutes on most Instant Pot models. 

This Southern whole chicken recipe requires 25 minutes to pressure cook.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe

Can you cook a whole chicken that’s frozen in the Instant Pot?

Yes, but these recipe instructions will change slightly for cooking a whole chicken that’s not thawed.

Can you cook the bag of giblets in the Instant Pot along with the chicken?

Yes. But before pressure cooking, it’s essential to remove the paper or plastic holding the giblets stuffed inside the chicken.

Any plastic clamps around the chicken legs should also be removed. 

How long does it take to cook a frozen whole chicken in the Instant Pot?

Increase the recipe’s pressure cooking time by 8-12 minutes for a whole chicken that’s frozen.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken Southern Spice Rub

What if you don’t like the homemade rotisserie seasoning? What else can you use?

A rotisserie chicken is a true culinary delight! 

The moist, tender meat and crispy skin are the perfect combinations of flavors and textures. However, everyone has their own flavor preference. So you can replace more complex seasonings with tablespoons of simple salt and pepper if you don’t like the more complex spice combinations.

How do you make homemade gravy from the chicken broth?

Considering you have come this far, why don’t you make gravy that will be a perfect sauce for your Instant Pot chicken too!

  1. When you’re done cooking your whole chicken, remove the chicken with the trivet rack handles.
  2. Press the ‘Sauté’ button and wait for the chicken broth in the inner pot to reach a high simmer.
  3. To thicken the broth, combine two tablespoons of water with one tablespoon of flour and let it simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Serve with your chicken breasts with a mesmerizing homemade gravy tasty experience!

How to freeze leftovers from a cooked whole chicken?

Got leftover chicken and don’t know what to do with it? 

This is when it’s time to break out the freezer bag and some good old-fashioned Tupperware! This is how you can freeze cooked chicken – from chicken thighs to breasts, chicken quarters, chicken drumsticks, or legs. 

  • Place a couple pieces of paper towel in a freezer bag or airtight container. If you’re freezing more than one piece of chicken, place them all close together on the paper towels for easier thawing.
  • Cover the top of each breast with another piece of paper towel or plastic wrap, followed by foil.
  • Freeze.
Place the whole chicken on a cutting board to carve, and slide out the trivet rack underneath.

Can you use the leftover bones and meat to put back in the Instant Pot for homemade bone broth?

Yes, this is another excellent idea for Instant Pot whole chicken leftovers. The leftover seasoned chicken, bones, and broth, plus a couple of tablespoons of water, will make a savory homemade chicken broth that can be used in other recipes like Jamaican cabbage and Southern-style green beans.

Does soaking chicken in milk tenderize it?

The answer is yes, and no. Soaking chicken in buttermilk does indeed make the meat more tender, but it also makes it moist. This means that when you cook poultry soaked in buttermilk, it will have a different texture than if you had not soaked it before cooking.

However, soaking meat in any liquid for an extended time can cause the protein to break down and become tough and chewy. 

Why soak chicken in buttermilk?

If you want to make your chicken more tender, try marinating it with an acidic ingredient like buttermilk or yogurt instead.

Check out this recipe for Instant Pot buttermilk chicken.

No matter the occasion, everyone will enjoy this mouthwatering Southern-style Instant Pot chicken recipe. 

It’s always a winner-winner chicken dinner!

Did you enjoy this Instant Pot Southern-style whole chicken recipe?

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. 

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Instant Pot Whole Chicken - The Southern Way
Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe – The Southern Way

Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe – The Southern Way

How to make a whole chicken in the Instant Pot – the Southern way! 
It's more than just a traditional chicken recipe – flavorful, tender & juicy – it's more of a soul food flavor burst!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Pressure Release Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Servings: 8
Calories: 294kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
  • Instant Pot steamer rack/trivet rack

Ingredients

  • 5 pound chicken 4-5 ½ pound whole chicken, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 ½ quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons seasoning salt Famous Dave’s Country Roast Chicken Seasoning (Contains soulful flavors such as paprika, mustard seed, garlic powder, onion powder, bell pepper, and lemon zest all in one!)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt  Weber Seasoning, Roasted Garlic & Herb
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup parsley Optional – chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Instructions

  • Place the Instant Pot steamer rack/trivet rack on the kitchen counter and put the chicken on top.
  • Using the trivet rack handles, place the chicken inside the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot.
  • Pour the water and salt into the inner pot with the chicken.
  • Turn on the Instant Pot sauté setting for 30 minutes. You'll need to add an additional 15 minutes immediately when the first 30 minutes finishes for a total of 45 minutes on sauté. (This is because the max amount of time using the sauté setting is 30 minutes.)
  • With the Instant Pot lid off, allow the chicken to come to a boil on the sauté setting. (It will take approx 18-20 minutes for the pot with chicken to get to a state of slow boil/slow simmer.)
    With the Instant Pot lid off, allow the chicken to come to a boil on the sauté setting.
  • When the cooking time is finished (after 45 minutes), drain the water by gently sliding the chicken from the inner pot into a colander. (Caution: Do not grab or use the trivet rack's handles while inside the inner pot of boiling water! Allow the rack to fall on top of the chicken as you slide the chicken out into the colander.)
    When the cooking time is finished, drain the water by gently sliding the chicken from the inner pot into a colander.
  • Place the inner pot trivet rack on the kitchen counter.
  • Now gently slide the cooked chicken from the colander onto the trivet rack with the chicken’s breast side down. (The rack’s handles will make placing in and removing the whole chicken from the pot A LOT easier!)
  • Allow the chicken to cool for about 10 minutes so you can rub on the seasoning.
  • While the chicken is cooling, mix the Famous Dave’s seasoning and the roasted garlic & herb spice in a small bowl to create the Southern spice rub.
  • Rub on and coat the whole chicken with the seasoning mixture.
    Rub on and coat the whole chicken with the seasoning mixture.
  • Pour the chicken broth into the inner pot.
    Pour the chicken broth into the inner pot.
  • Using the trivet rack handles, place the chicken inside the pot with the broth.
    Using the trivet rack handles, place the chicken inside the pot with the broth.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 25 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Baste the chicken by using a large spoon to scoop the broth from the inner pot over the top of the chicken.
  • Use the trivet rack’s handles to easily remove the chicken from the inner pot.
  • Place the whole chicken on a cutting board to carve, and slide out the trivet rack underneath.
    Place the whole chicken on a cutting board to carve, and slide out the trivet rack underneath.
  • Optionally, reserve the remaining chicken broth in the inner pot to pour over the chicken as your serve it, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley. I also like to pour the broth over rice.
  • Serve and enjoy!
    Instant Pot whole chicken recipe - Serve and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Pro tips for making Instant Pot chicken
Read on for my pro tips and frequently asked questions for cooking chicken in an Instant Pot.
  • The cooking time for a whole chicken is 20-25 minutes. If you need to cook your chicken quicker, it’s possible to carve the bird into smaller pieces and then pressure cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • You can also use bone-in or boneless skinless chicken with excellent results.
  • Will the whole chicken fall apart when you remove it from the Instant Pot? 
Nope! Not if you’re using the Instant Pot trivet rack to easily remove the chicken with its convenient carrying handles.
  • Whole chickens in the Instant Pot can be carved before or after placing the chicken in the inner pot. Cutting it before can lessen the pressure cooking time by about 5 minutes.
  • Liquid is key when cooking anything in an Instant Pot – whether you’re using water, chicken stock, broth (or wine!). Start by putting at least ½ a cup of liquid into the pot, and then place your meat on top or on the inner pot trivet rack.
  • When you put the chicken on the trivet, do you put it breast side up or down? 
I suggest breast side down for this recipe so that the top of the chicken results in crispier skin.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken - The Southern Way Recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 4525mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 349IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Awesome chicken recipe for special occasions!