Whole Pressure Cooker 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 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

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  1. I am a pressure cooker fiend! I am so excited to try out this recipe with my favorite piece of kitchen equipment. Thanks!

  2. What a fast way to cook a chicken! We’re not much for beer at our house, but I’m wondering if chicken broth or water work work, too. I can’t wait to give it a try.

    1. try a high quality chicken stock. add a bit of apple cider with a touch of apple cider vinegar

  3. Yoga and Zumba® with Gaileee, E-RYT `n` Licensed Zumba® Instructor

    Yum! I reposted this on my facebook page!


  4. This I have to try. I love my pressure cooker and use it often. Last night I made a carrot ginger soup that came out great! All my pressure cooker stuff comes out well if I say so myself. It always make me look good.

    Love reading your recipes and I will let you know how the chicken comes out.

  5. cheapbeets, would love to hear how it worked out for you!

    Nicole, try following this whole chicken recipe using the ingredients from the Ligurian Lemon Chicken it uses wine, but you can replace the liquid with stock, or 1/2 water and 1/2 lemon juice! Also, if the chicken will not “sit” in your pressure cooker… you can use your trivet as a stand, if it is shaped like this, standing it vertically with the two points of the base touching the bottom of the pressure cooker and the “pointy” end up into the chicken!

    Vera, Don’t let our secret out! Since the pressure cooker cooks at a constant internal temperature (unlike the inside of an oven or an uncovered pot) the results are *always* predictable and any dish will come out exactly the same again, and again! Shhhhh!



  6. Nicole, I forgot to add, that if you use the trivet as a stand, then you can pull out the chicken with it, too! I use the handle of my ladle because it is hooked – insert it in the neck cavity, hook onto the pointy end of trivet that is now horizontal and pull everything out of the pressure cooker (carefully)!



  7. Gaileee, I didn’t see the link, but thank you for the thought!


  8. Fissler makes 8 and 10 Liter pressure cookers, in addition to the 6 liter Fissler Blue Point shown in your pictures. The larger sizes might be a perfect fit for a whole chicken on the larger size.

  9. Welcome, Charles! Yes, the 10L would be the perfect size for browning and steam roasting in the same pan!



  10. The recipe sounds heavenly. I can almost smell that chicken cooking! It’s one I’ll want to try in the new pressure cooker I have just ordered.

    What I especially appreciate about your recipes is that you mention any problems you had along the way and share your “lessons learned” – helps us avoid potential problems.


  11. Hi Foodie! Please come back and let us know how your chicken turned out – that is the great thing about having the recipes online- we get to read about everyone’s experience, too!



  12. This is a brilliant and creative recipe, but .. I had a vision of me going chicken shopping with a can of beer to find one fitting and I can’t stop laughing!!
    I’m sure it is delicious though.

  13. lacaffettierarosa, now you’ve got me laughing!!!

    Your vision is much funnier than my actually considering lugging the pressure cooker to the super-market – which I would have if I had to test a fourth chicken.

    Just be stealthy when pulling out the measuring tape out in the meat department to size-up your chicken! ; )



  14. Pressure cookers release cooking pressures in the kitchen and I was never wrong with my new Fissler pressure pan set. But honestly, I’ve never tried an entire chicken inside my cooker, this sounds very fun. This I have to try too. Wonderful idea!


  15. I just started using my pressure cooker that I got for a wedding gift. I’m kickin myself for letting it sit in my basement for so long because I was intimidated.

    These recipes look amazing and user friendly. I can’t wait to try this chicken dish!

  16. Cooksandlay, let me know how it goes if you try it!

    Sarah, welcome to pressure cooking! Leave a comment on the recipes you try to let me know how it turned out for you!



  17. in the cooking instructions, once the cooker gets to pressure I am to “lower the heat and count 20-25 minutes at high.” I have an electric cooker. I don’t understand this. please help, I loooove this chicken. I have been cooking and eating this since we used to call it “beer butt chicken.”

  18. You don’t need to regulate the heat of your electric pressure cooker. Just choose “High” or “Meat” setting and put in the cooking time – the electric pressure cooker will do the rest and automatically start its timer when the cooker reaches pressure.



  19. Hi Laura, I love your site and just tried this recipe tonight. I have a 6L pressure cooker and bought a 3.5 lb chicken which I managed to brown in the pressure cooker. But, I got confused and thought the neck part had to go on the beer can because your first picture shows the chicken presented like that on a plate (so dumb of me!). I couldn’t make the neck part fit on the beer can, even though I slit the chicken to make it wide, so in the end I put it the other way around. Unfortunately, although I did 20 minutes at high pressure, the chicken had fallen apart when I opened the cooker. Still, it was DELICIOUS!

    Thanks so much for your wonderful site. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes. If you write a cookbook, I’ll be lining up to buy it! Also, I’m very tempted t to buy the wide pressure pan kind of pressure cooker now, though I’ll have to save up for it! Do you think it’s worth it, or should I just get along with my single 6L?

  20. Wow! this looks great!

  21. This recipe was so great! I even kept it going by straining the drippings and adding veggies right back in when the chicken was done. After that I pulled the veggies out and made a gravy with what was left. Then finally with a quick rinse out quickly made some quinoa. What a meal with so little effort and one pot! Thanks for so many great ideas, I’ve already retired my old stand by pot for boiled eggs!

  22. Anonymous,

    You’ll be the best judge whether ONE pressure cooker is enough. However, I have noticed that as some of my readers use their pressure cookers more.. the really NEED another one! In that case, make it a pressure pan!

    Magpie, Thanks!

    Shawn, sounds delicious!! Next time you make the veggies, cut them small, and do Quinoa Bain Marie in an uncovered heat-proof dish on a trivet while the veggies and cook everything at the same time.



  23. In making this recipe, I got a 16oz can of beer. Too big to fit into my pressure cooker. I suggest getting two mini cans that are about 2″ tall. Use one for the chicken and the other for the braise. Hopefully the smaller can will support the chicken!

  24. I just made this tonight and it was fantastic! The chicken on the beer can was too tall for my pressure cooler, but I just tipped it so it fit and it worked great. I have been a bit scared of using my pressure cooker. This site is great! I think I will be using my pressure cooker a lot more from now on.

    1. Mildred, how exciting to hear. What are you pressure cooking, now?



  25. My husband calls this chicken on a stick/or chicken on the can as I have a pointy stainless steel insert for the chicken to sit upon. FYI I ordered one of those silicone trivets from Amazon that were mentioned a few weeks ago and it works beautifully. This one is lime green and has long rounded handles so it is easy to pull anything out of the pressure cooker easily. It really hugs the sides of my magna fesa.

    1. Mary that is hysterical! What a great idea to use one of those chicken-stake-infuser things designed for the BBQ in the chicken.

      Thanks for the feedback on the silicone steamer basket. So glad you’re enjoying it!



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