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A whole chicken sprinkled with Cajun Spice Rub, on a plate, with more spice rub and some parsley in the background

Instant Pot Whole Chicken with Cajun Spice Rub

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1 whole chicken 1x


Instant Pot Whole Chicken with Cajun Spice Rub. Pressure cooking a whole chicken, with a spice rub to give it some kick. Bam!


  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken, giblets removed from the cavity
  • 1 cup water

Cajun Spice Rub (or 1 ½ tablespoons store-bought Cajun Seasoning)

  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cup granulated onion
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Mix the spices and season the chicken: Mix the Cajun Spice Rub spices in a small bowl until completely combined. Set 1 teaspoon of the rub aside for later, and sprinkle the remaining rub evenly over the chicken, inside and out. (My recipe for a big batch of this seasoning is here: Cajun Spice Rub)
  2. Chicken in the pot: Pour a cup of water into an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, then add the pressure cooker rack. Set the chicken on the rack, breast and legs up, backbone down.
  3. Pressure cook the chicken for 24 minutes with a 10 minute Natural Release: Lock the lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 24 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, or for 20 minutes in a stovetop PC. (Use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot). Let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. Check the temperature of the chicken with an instant read thermometer - it needs to be be at least 160°F in the thickest part of the breast, and will probably be closer to 175°F. (If the chicken is not 160°F in the thickest part of the breast meat, lock the lid again and pressure cook at high pressure for 1 minute.)
  4. Carve and serve: Carefully lift the chicken out of the pot and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it rest for up to 5 minutes to cool down, then carve the chicken. (I cut it into 8 pieces - I cut the legs away from the bird, then cut them into drumsticks and thighs, then I cut the wings away from the bird, and finally I remove the breast meat from the carcass). Sprinkle the chicken with the 1 teaspoon of rub we set aside, serve, and enjoy!


Different sized birds: 6 minutes at high pressure per pound of chicken is a good rule of thumb. My 18 minutes/3 pound birds and 30 minutes/5 pound birds turned out well.

Optional step: Broil the chicken to brown the skin. The chicken skin will be pale straight out of the pressure cooker. If you want some browning on the skin, transfer the chicken to an oven safe frypan or a roasting pan, and slide it under your oven’s broiler. Broil until it is golden brown in spots, about 5 minutes, depending on the strength of your broiler.

Broth: The liquid in the bottom of the pot is a light chicken broth. A trick is drizzling some of the broth over the chicken pieces, right before adding the last sprinkling of rub. 


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot Whole Chicken with Cajun Spice Rub, Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken with Cajun Spice Rub