Wow! A pressure cooker whole chicken is surprisingly easy and cooks so fast! It only took 27 minutes!

I like to buy little fryer chickens because they can be a very inexpensive way to feed our family. This 4.5 lb chicken fed us for two meals and my youngest daughter LOVES to eat the drumstick caveman style 😀

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Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken


  • 1 whole fryer chicken
  • 2-3 Tbsp salt
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, smashed or cut in half
  • 1 half of a lemon
  • 1 quarter of an onion
  • sprigs of fresh oregano
  • sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup broth


The day before remove the chicken from the package and remove the neck and giblets (if they are in the cavity of the chicken). Pat dry with paper towels and season the chicken with the salt. Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and refrigerate until tomorrow. This is a dry brine for it. (If you didn’t read ahead and didn’t do this, it will be okay, just salt the chicken before you cook it).

Remove the chicken an hour before you are going to cook it so it can get to room temperature.

Unwrap the chicken and stuff the cavity with the garlic, lemon, onion, and 1-2 sprigs of fresh oregano and thyme.

Turn on the saute setting and heat the pressure cooker up. My pressure cooker (I use an Instant Pot) has a saute feature so I do this in the Instant Pot. If your’s doesn’t just do this in a skillet on the stove top. Add your oil and place the chicken breast side down and brown for several minutes. I turned mine around and browned the sides and bottom also.

Add the broth (or water) to the instant pot.

Lock the lid in place and make sure the valve is set to sealing, not venting. Set your pressure cooker to high pressure and cook your chicken for 6 minutes per pound. My chicken was 4.5 lbs. so I cooked it for 27 minutes.

When the time is up I let mine depressurize naturally but I don’t think that is crucial if you are anxiously waiting for it to be done. It is important to let your chicken rest, however. So after the pressure has been released take your chicken out of the pressure cooker and onto a cutting board or platter and cover with tin foil, tented, for at least 5 – 10 minutes.

Carve, serve & enjoy!


I like mine nice and simple but you could add any seasonings you like really.

The skin doesn’t really crisp up the way a rotisserie chicken does. I don’t typically eat the skin so it isn’t a big deal to me. If you like a nice crispy skin you can take the chicken out of the pressure cooker, put it on a baking sheet, put it in the oven and broil it for a few minutes until you get the color on the skin you like.

Next time I think I’m going to try and brown mine in my cast-iron skillet. That might make the skin a little crispier and it might be easier to maneuver as you turn it around, browning all of the sides. It was a little tight in the Instant Pot.


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