Our Slow Cooker Whole Chicken is one of our most popular recipes, but what about the instant pot? Would that change things? Find out in our BBQ Instant Pot Whole Chicken!
Cade and I have been so busy finishing our basement that it’s been really difficult to fix dinner, and especially to want to take pictures of it and then write out a blog post. This BBQ instant pot whole chicken has been such a lifesaver because it makes 2-3 meals for us from just one day of cooking and a recipe that usually takes hours will now only take you 45 min.
That’s like running to the store for a rotisserie chicken without ever leaving the house! So, if you’ve been loving our crockpot roast chicken, get ready to add another favorite recipe to your box!
Now be warned, an instant pot will not create crispy chicken skin, so if that’s something you like *shudder* you’ll have to pop that bird under a broiler to crisp the skin.
Our Smoky BBQ Rub from Cade’s World’s Best Carolina Pulled Pork is making another appearance in this recipe, and you really should just go ahead and keep some in a jar at all times, just like you do our Homemade Taco Seasoning. We use it all the time and we don’t have to go through the hassle of mixing it all up again.
What Does a Whole Chicken Weigh?
A whole chicken can be two different things, a fryer or a roaster. You may also hear them called, broilers or oven stuffers. The first is a younger chicken and so it’s smaller and only weighs between 2 1/2-5 pounds.
The Roaster is an older bird and can weigh more like 5-7 pounds.
How Big of Whole Chicken for Instant Pot
You’ll want to select the size and weight depending on the size of instant pot you have. Because we have the Instant Pot 7 in 1 6 Qt we use around a 4 lb bird.
Where to Check the Temperature on a Whole Chicken
We’ve seen too many cooks plunge a thermometer into the breast of a chicken to not talk about where to check the temperature on a whole chicken.
Check the temperature of a whole chicken by placing a thermometer into the most meaty section of the leg. The leg should register 165 degrees, though thigh meat can handle being a little more overcooked, in fact it gets more tender when it’s 160 versus 155.
The breast should be at 160 degrees if you do check it there.
Can a Whole Chicken be Defrosted in the Microwave?
You just stop right there.
NO. Please, please don’t defrost any meat at all in a microwave no matter what the settings say that they can do. The meat will start to defrost in some places while the others are frozen solid which means that as it continues to spin in the microwave it will now begin to cook as well, and that’s just asking for food poisoning.
I have had food poisoning twice. It’s no bueno. I literally wanted to curl up and die.
Cade has a stomach of steel and nothing phases him so he has no empathy.
How Long to Defrost a Whole Chicken
Alright, we know what not to do, but how do you defrost a whole chicken?
You stick that sucker in the fridge for like 2 days. And I’m serious.
Well, there’s more to it than that. Those fryer chickens, the ones that are smaller, those can actually defrost in as little as 24 hours.
A bigger roaster chicken can take up to 3 days. That’s when planning ahead is a must. Remember, no one wants to be in the fetal position on a nasty bathroom floor with food poisoning.
How to Defrost a Whole Chicken
You can defrost frozen chicken in cool water in a dish as long as it’s moved to the fridge within two hours.
Because I don’t want to set a reminder I usually put it on a plate in the fridge a couple days ahead of time. It’s really just the easiest way.
Can a Whole Chicken be Cooked in a Pressure Cooker?
Ok, let’s get down to this. Can a whole chicken be cooked in a pressure cooker or instant pot? Obviously yes, but you need to follow a few simple steps.
First, remember to well season the bird both under and over the skin as a pressure cooker is cooking things fast, but it’s not changing the flavor so make sure you season well.
Second, brown the skin a little now before cooking it, not for texture but for color otherwise the bird looks pale.
How to Make a BBQ Instant Pot Whole Chicken
Start your chicken by rubbing it all over, and under the skin with the BBQ Dry Rub.
Drizzle some oil in your instant pot.
Turn it on to the saute function and allow it to heat up.
Place the whole chicken, breast side down in the instant pot. If it is too big to lay down flat you’ll have to brown the skin on the stove top in a large skillet.
Cook for a few minutes until golden and turn over, browning the other side.
You can leave the chicken in the pot, or we like to use the Trivet so it isn’t sitting in the liquid.
Pour in the liquids and close the lid.
Set the instant pot to manual high pressure and cook for 30 minutes.
Allow the pot to do a release for 10 minutes and then remove the lid and enjoy your bbq instant pot whole chicken!
And if you want an awesome resource for making all the basics in the Instant Pot, check out our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet!
BBQ Instant Pot Whole Chicken
BBQ Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Prepare the bbq rub and massage it both under and over the skin.
- Drizzle some oil in your instant pot.
- Turn it on to the saute function and allow it to heat up.
- Place the whole chicken, breast side down in the instant pot. If it is too big to lay down flat you'll have to brown the skin on the stove top in a large skillet.
- Cook for a few minutes until golden and turn over, browning the other side.
- You can leave the chicken in the pot, or we like to use the Trivet so it isn't sitting in the liquid.
- Pour in the liquids and close the lid.
- Set the instant pot to manual high pressure and cook for 30 minutes.
- Allow the pot to do a slow release for 5-10 minutes and then remove the lid and enjoy!
The BEST recipe for Easy Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff, everything you need to know about making beef stroganoff in a slow cooker or instant pot.