Beer Can Chicken – pressure cooked WHOLE!

Whole Pressure Cooked Chicken Recipe
Make this amazing pressure cooker chicken with just a quick sear in the pan, and a sit on the can (of beer). After minutes at high pressure you can have a whole, beautiful, tender, flavorful chicken on the table in about half an hour!

The beer is does not only a braise, but the beer can goes in the pan serving as a stand to keep the chicken upright and steaming the chicken from the inside.  Pressure cooking a chicken in this position keeps all of the dark meat in direct contact with the bottom of the pressure cooker, and the delicate wings and  breast safe from being overcooked.

When developing this recipe for your I ran into a couple of problems:

  • My first chicken was too tall for my pressure cooker – I was able to remove some height by cutting off the tail (pointy end of the rump) with poultry shears and chucking that into the pan to add flavor to the braise.
  • My second chicken fit in the pressure cooker, but since it was smaller, I had a hard time inserting the beer can completely into the cavity of the chicken – this was remedied by using my poultry shears and trimming the can to be a bit shorter (careful of the sharp bits!) so it could still serve as a stand.

Well.. the picture above is the third chicken.  Just right!   What I learned: cooking a whole chicken is a tight fit in a 6LT pressure cooker – be prepared to measure and improvise!   For a smaller pressure cooker, you can use chicken pieces, laying the dark meat at the bottom of the pan, and resting the breast and wings on top of them.

I browned and seared my chicken in a separate pan, but if your pressure cooker is large enough, I recommend you do this step in the pressure cooker  and then de-glaze the pressure cooker with beer and proceed with the recipe as stated.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger none 20-25 min. High(2) Normal

4.5 from 4 reviews
Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken Recipe
Recipe type: pressure cooker recipe
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
For fall-apart tender chicken, use the natural opening method. It won't hold together for presentation as in the photo, but you will be able to pull it apart with a fork. Instead of lifting the chicken out of the cooker - since it may fall apart right then and there - slide the chicken out of the cooker onto a serving dish and proceed with the rest of the recipe as directed.
  • 1 3-4lb. Chicken (measure your pressure cooker prior to buying)
  • 1 small can, Beer
For the braise:
  • 1 Lemon, squeezed and zested.
  • 2 Bay Laurel Leaves
  • ⅓ of the can of Beer
For the seasoning:
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Sage, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Juice from one lemon
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Rinse and dry the chicken inside and out and pat dry. If there are giblets, or the neck, you can use them to flavor the braise, so rinse them off too, and set them aside.
  2. Prepare the seasoning by mixing the herbs, olive oil, lemon salt and pepper. Tuck the tips of the wings behind the neck opening of the chicken and brush on the seasoning.
  3. In a separate pan (or your pressure cooker) brown the seasoned chicken well on all sides- about 10 minutes. This is the only step that will add color to the bird, so don't be shy with the browning!
  4. Prepare (or de-glaze) the pressure cooker by pouring ⅓ of the beer out of the can and putting half of the lemon zest and one bay leaf into the can, then the other bay leaf and the rest of the lemon zest in the pan, with the can in the middle of the pan.
  5. Lower the chicken into the pressure cooker, sitting it over the can of beer. Before closing the pressure cooker, pour on any of the remaining seasoning, and liquid from the sauté pan over the chicken.
  6. If you have any giblets or other parts of the chicken, put those at the bottom of the pan in the braising liquid.
  7. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  8. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 25 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 20 minutes pressure cooking time.
  9. When the cooking time is up, open the pressure cooker using the Normal method - release the pressure by pushing, twisting or opening a valve.
  10. Carefully remove the chicken pulling from the neck cavity, and not the wings - it will be so tender the wings may come right off in your hands. Place the chicken on the serving platter to rest tented with aluminum foil.
  11. Turn the heat up to high and reduce the contents of the pressure cooker without the lid for about 5 minutes.
  12. Strain, if you had giblets in there, and pour over the chicken.
  13. Sprinkle with some fresh rosemary before serving.

chicken recipe in fissler pressure cooker
Pressure Cooker Beer Can Chicken