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Instant Pot meals are all the rage right now. Even if you have already jumped in on the trend, this Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe by December Featured Chef Mary Shrader is a must try! If you are someone who doesn’t already own an Instant Pot, this recipe will make you want to join in on the Instant Pot fun. 


I’ve been hesitant to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot because I had read on many a food blog that the taste could be bland and the skin quite soggy. That sounded very unappealing to me, especially since I love my oven-roasted chicken.

But I decided with the popularity of these new pressure cookers that there had to be a better way to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot.

And I was right! There is a better way to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot. I called the manufacturer’s customer service line and learned that there are certain techniques for creating a tasty, “fall off the bone” chicken, with skin that isn’t limp.

There are a number of tips and tricks to getting the perfectly cooked chicken in the Instant Pot. I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step. And I want to share the most important piece of information that I learned. The secret to the most delicious chicken is…start with a dry rub. And not any dry rub. A barbecue rub or chili barbecue rub!

Whole Chicken, Instant Pot Recipe, Mary Shrader, Dry rub

Recipe and Image by Mary Shrader | Mary’s Nest

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in an Instant Pot

Recipe by: Mary Shrader, Mary’s Nest

USWM Shopping List: Whole Chicken



For the Chicken

  • 4 1/4 pound Whole chicken
  • 1 Onion, skin on and cut into eighths
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups Water 1 1/2 cups for the 6-quart Instant Pot or 2 cups for the 8-quart Instant Pot.

Dry Rub

  • 2 teaspoons Fine ground sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Red ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Green ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper


  • Mix all the dry rub ingredients together then rub the mixture in the cavity of the chicken and all over the exterior of the chicken.
  • Place the onions in the cavity of the chicken.
  • Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and remove the rack. Next, pour the water into the stainless steel liner.
  • Place the chicken on the rack. Lower the rack into the Instant Pot stainless steel liner using the handles of the rack.
  • Properly seal the Instant Pot and set the vent to “sealing”.
  • Set the Instant Pot to “high” pressure and set the time for 34 minutes. (Or 8 minutes per pound of chicken.)
  • Once the chicken is finished cooking, allow the Instant Pot to come down from pressure naturally, or release the pressure moving the vent from “sealing” to “venting”. BE CAREFUL! If you release the pressure in this way, steam will surge out of the vent. I prefer to allow the pressure to come down naturally.
  • Once the pressure has been released, open the Instant Pot, and remove the lid. Lift the chicken out of the stainless steel liner using the handles of the rack. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and enjoy!

Recipe Video Tutorial


A special thank you to Mary for this delicious recipe. Visit the Discover Blog for more recipes.




Mary Shrader, December Featured Chef, About Me

Mary Shrader

Mary Shrader is a former New York City Girl now living the simple life with her husband in Texas. She has been making delicious, traditional foods for over 20 years.

So whether your kitchen is in a city apartment, a house in the suburbs, or on a farm in the country…join Mary on this Traditional Foods journey to create Nutrient Rich Meals that nourish family, friends – and yourself! Visit Mary’s Nest for more amazing recipes and kitchen tips.