Looking for an Instant Pot whole frozen chicken recipe? You reached the right place. This Instant Pot pressure cooker recipe for a whole frozen chicken will help save you mealtime stress.
I grocery shop once a month so that means I freeze most of my meat. There is nothing wrong with freezing meat, it can even help prevent food waste. However, it does mean you need to remember to thaw the meat in time for meals. I’m often pretty bad about this.
Even if I do remember to thaw the meat so often you think you have thawed it long enough only to find it hasn’t really thawed all fully. I swear no matter how long I thaw the turkey on Thanksgiving, it’s still frozen that morning. Is this just me? Why do turkeys not want to thaw?
A life-changing moment happened for me when I got my Instant Pot, an electric pressure cooker, and I was looking for pressure cooker recipes. I learned you could cook frozen meat in it in very little time. I first tried this with chicken breasts and even though they were totally frozen they were done in around 15 minutes. And they were wonderful!
I’ve heard people talk about cooking frozen chicken in a slow cooker but this is not considered safe. It can increase your risk of food poisoning and that’s something I try to avoid. But because pressure cookers cook the food so fast it is considered safe.
After trying the frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot, I saw people talking about cooking whole frozen chickens in the Instant Pots and figured I needed to try that. I hate finding the room to thaw something that big in my fridge and like I said I always forget anyway.
I love cooking whole chickens because we can get a nice dinner out of it and then the rest of the meat can be used in other dishes for even more meals. And the bones can also be used to make delicious broth for even more meals. It’s a great option for frugal meals and reduces food waste.
Just add a simple side dish and you have an easy and healthy meal that is ready in no time. We all need more of those and less fast food!
How to Cook a Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot
If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet (or your chicken is too big to fit in the Instant Pot) and have a frozen whole chicken to cook check out How to Cook a Frozen Chicken in the oven.
- 3-5 lbs whole chicken, frozen
- 1 cup chicken broth or water
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Cut onion into large chunks.
- Salt and pepper the chicken, add rosemary or other herbs if desired.
- Add some onion and garlic to the cavity.
- Add broth or water to pressure cooker.
- Place chicken on trivet breast side up.
- Add the rest of your onion.
- Secure the lid on your Instant Pot. Select Manual, high pressure, and set for 30-50 minutes depending on the size of your chicken. Mine was about 4 pounds so I did 45 minutes and it would have been okay with slightly less time.
- Leave chicken in the pot and allow to naturally release the pressure.
- Check the temperature and cook for 5 more minutes if not done.
- Serve and enjoy! Don't forget to save the bones to make broth.
This is best for chickens that don't contain the neck and giblets. If bought fresh remove these pieces before freezing. Sometimes you can get them out while it's frozen but not always.
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What You Need to Cook a Frozen Whole Chicken
Free Instant Pot Cheat Sheet
Want to start using your Instant Pot more and not have to look up a recipe every time? This free cheat sheet can help you find the cooking time for a lot of your favorite foods. Just stick it on your fridge so it’s always ready to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What do I do if the cavity is frozen so I can’t stuff it with onion and garlic?
You can just put them in the pot with the chicken. If there is no plastic inside, just chicken parts it is okay to cook it with these in it. It can take a bit longer if it is filled with ice.
- What size Instant Pot do you need?
I have a 6 quart Instant Pot and it has worked fine for the whole chickens I’ve made that were about 4 lbs. Much larger and you may want to go with an 8 quart. Someone in the comments with an 8 quart said she made a 6 lb chicken in her’s with no problem.
- How long do I cook a larger chicken for?
It’s about 10 minutes per pound. If there is a lot of ice in the cavity it may take longer.
- My chicken isn’t done after the suggested time, what do I do?
Depending on how close it is add 5-10 minutes and cook again. Check the internal temperature and if it’s not done add more. Sometimes there is ice build-up inside of the chicken and it can make it take longer.
- How do you get the insides out of the frozen chicken?
If mine contains anything in the cavity I remove it before freezing. If you didn’t do this step I have been able to use cold water to thaw the inside a bit to get everything removed.
- How do you do a natural release?
It’s a simple process that is great to learn for many recipes. Click here for the full instructions.
- My Instant Pot doesn’t have a “manual” button, what do I do?
There is a “pressure cook” button on some models, this is the same thing.
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