Skip to Content

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in Ninja Foodi

Learn how to cook a whole chicken in the 3-1 Ninja Foodi. Thankfully you will also learn what NOT to do when you use this Ninja Foodi chicken recipe.

Two years ago my best friend said something to me that was life-changing.

“You can cook a whole chicken in 25 minutes.”- Best friend
“What?! How?”- Me
“Instant Pot.”-Best Friend

This was news to me. Especially because I was working with an oven that always took twice as long to cook.
So thankful I put that thing to the curb this summer!

When I received my Ninja Foodi for Christmas I couldn’t wait to try this out. After looking at the basket I was hesitant.

I thought I had it going for me putting our own homegrown chickens in it. When you raise your own meat birds they can be in the 4-6 lb. range.
Well, it was a little tough to fit our bird in and I made a little mistake.

In the end, it was delicious and I recommend trying a whole chicken in an instant pot or Ninja Foodi. The meat was falling off the leg nice and tender.

The Ninja Foodi is the best because after you pressure cook it you put the Air Crisper on and get crispy skin.
If only that worked for us with this first time almost fail!

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in Ninja Foodi

I used the recipe from the Ninja Foodi Booklet. It is as follows.

Recipe for Cooking a Whole Chicken Seasoned in Pressure Cooker


  • 1 Whole uncooked chicken 4/12 – 5 lbs.
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbls. + 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
How to Cook a Whole Chicken in Ninja Foodi

Directions for Cooking Whole Chicken

Step 1:

The first thing I did was rinse the chicken. I mixed up the lemon juice, water, honey and salt. This mixture goes in the bottom of your pot.

Add in the whole peppercorns, thyme ( I used dried thyme a couple pinches), and garlic. I didn’t have fresh garlic so I used ground.

I tied up the legs of the chicken and here is where things got tricky.

My lid wasn’t fully closing with the legs in the air. So I tucked them under the handle and the lid went down.

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in Ninja Foodi

Step 2:

Once you have the pressure cooker lid on you put it to seal, high pressure and time is set for 15 minutes.

It always takes about six minutes for the cooker to reach pressure.

After the time is up you put the valve to vent and let all the air out.

MISTAKE I MADE: I didn’t test the chicken at this point and I should have. Get a thermometer and make sure your chicken is cooked all the way. The chicken should have pressured cooked for only five more minutes. Instead, we cut it open at the end to see the legs were still quite bloody. Microwaving your bird ruins that delicious crispy skin you were drooling over.

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in Ninja Foodi

Step 3:

Next you brush chicken with whatever oil you have. Season it heavily with salt and pepper.

Close the crisping lid and select Air Crisp. Temperature goes to 400° and timer is set to 15 minutes.

So far the total cook time has been about 30 minutes. Not bad right?

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in Ninja Foodi

Step 4:

When the timer is up remove the chicken from the basket and let it rest for 10 minutes. This is a crucial step to NOT overlook. Seriously it needs to rest.

Slice and enjoy!

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in Ninja Foodi

Final Tips:

Be sure to check the chicken’s temp after pressure cooking. You can always add five more minutes or more at this point before air frying.

We used our own chickens and I was surprised it was snug in the basket. Overall the taste was great and everyone in the family loved it. If you haven’t started raising your own chickens, start here. It always blows my mind every time how different they taste than store bought chicken.

You will see the air crisper mark on the top of our chicken. Not a big deal but I don’t know if this image will be Pinterst worthy! This is real life friends.

P.S. You need to follow me on Pinterest! We are having a ton of fun over there with projects gardening animals and saving money!

If it the skin isn’t as crispy after the 15 minutes add five more minutes.

The total time for this bird is 37 minutes.

Worth it or would you rather cook a chicken in your oven?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Jaqi Sheppard

Monday 31st of January 2022

I love my foodie. Yesterday I cooked a whole chicken, following your recipe. It came out perfectly, even down to the crispy skin. My 19yr grandson, who can be fussy, ate everything and went back for more. And leftovers will become carrot and chicken soup. Perfect.


Tuesday 1st of February 2022

Awesome glad to hear!


Saturday 23rd of October 2021

Hi there! Thank you for these directions. Once I read your post, I realized I still have my Foodi booklet. It says to pressure cook on high for 22 minutes (4.5-5 lb chicken) instead of 15 minutes. I wonder if that’s why some people found theirs didn’t cook thoroughly. Anyway, I’m finally trying this out and I appreciate your tips!

Deborah wallis

Sunday 14th of June 2020

I have tried this recipe 4 times and can never get the pressure cooker to pressurize with all the ingredients in the pan It just burns so end up washing the pan out and just putting water in then it pressurizes. What am I doing wrong. I am following the recipe to the Letter.


Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Do you mean the bottom of your pan burns? I would add extra water before you put your ingredients in.

Chris Heels

Thursday 11th of June 2020

Hi Tasia, so you use a cup of cold water etc, when you pressure cook the chicken. When you finally are ready for the crispness of the skin, do you leave the water in the pan when you put the basket in the pan, I’m a little confused, thank you.


Thursday 11th of June 2020

Hey Chris. I put the chicken in the air fryer basket right away. So when it's pressure cooking it's already in the air frying basket. Any water that is left I leave in there. Hope that helps.

John Rhodes

Wednesday 4th of March 2020

What am I doing wrong? My chicken is never cooked through, and I follow the steps. What temp should it be at the of pressure cooking? Its beginning to get frustrating. I air crisped it for 20 min and still it wasnt cooked


Thursday 19th of March 2020

Are you doing it frozen? I've found it's best to do a whole chicken non frozen in the foodi. Turns out better. But try cooking it for 10 minutes longer than what you normally have. Also I found it to work by turning the chicken upside down in it too to cook better when frozen.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.