Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken is fast, flavorful, and made with just four ingredients. Saucy and tender fall-apart chicken is perfect for sandwiches, wraps, salads, and more!
Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken
Pressure cooking chicken recipes are a favorite of mine.
And this shredded chicken is no exception. Besides preparing it using my favorite way, it’s an easy recipe that’s ready in just 30 minutes. By using your favorite barbecue sauce and boneless chicken breasts (or thighs), this dish makes the best bbq chicken sandwiches.
If sandwiches aren’t your thing, this bbq shredded chicken works well in wraps, tacos, as a bbq chicken salad, stirred into pasta (like this version), or even an addition to your breakfast omelet or eggs.
Tender, saucy, sweet, and savory…what more could you ask for?
The cook time is fast and the preparation is even faster. In fact, the longest part is waiting for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
If you’re looking for a slow cooker version, check out this slow cooker barbecue pulled chicken.
Busy weeknights don’t stand a chance with this easy meal. Serve with your favorite bbq sauce, load up those bbq plates and dig in. This chicken is perfect for meal prep and also makes tasty leftovers, too. If you have picky kids (or husbands!), this is a great addition to your meal plan.
Game days, parties, and dinnertime just got a whole lot tastier!
Ingredients in Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken:
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs
- BBQ rub
- Chicken broth
- BBQ sauce
- Hamburger buns for sandwiches (if desired)
How to Make Easy Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Recipe:
Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and then rub them all over with the BBQ rub.
Place the chicken stock in the bottom of your instant pot and place the chicken thighs on top, avoiding the sides. Drizzle the BBQ sauce over the top of the chicken, avoiding the sides of the pot.
Place the valve in the sealing position and set the pot to cook for 13 minutes using the pressure cook option. **The IP will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure and then will cook for 13 minutes**
After the instant pot has finished cooking, allow a natural release for 5 minutes and then quick release the rest of the air. Shred the chicken and serve warm on hamburger buns, if desired.
Can I use BBQ Sauce Instead of Water in Instant Pot?
Unfortunately, no. The bbq sauce alone would not be enough, as there isn’t enough liquid, and you will receive a burn notice. In this simple, a combination of barbecue sauce and chicken broth makes up the required amount of liquid.
Why is My Chicken Tough in the Instant Pot?
If your chicken ends up rubbery or tough, it is most likely because it didn’t pressurize or cook long enough.
How to Store Leftover BBQ Chicken:
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Can I Freeze Shredded Chicken?
Yes! Store cooled chicken in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing. Freeze for up to three months.
To defrost: transfer chicken to the refrigerator and allow to defrost overnight, then reheat as desired.
Can I Use Frozen Chicken?
You can! If possible, place frozen chicken in a single layer on the bottom of the pot. Cook on high pressure for 15-18 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. I like to use this meat thermometer to check for doneness.
Tips for Making the Best Pressure Cooker BBQ Chicken:
- Choose a good cut of chicken: I like to use chicken thighs, but boneless chicken breasts or a combination of both may be uses.
- BBQ sauce: I always use my favorite kind (Sweet Baby Ray’s), but a sugar-free bbq sauce, another store-bough bbq sauce, or your own bbq sauce would be just as delicious. Pro tip: want a touch of sweetness? Use a sweeter bbq sauce or a touch of brown sugar sprinkled over the top of the chicken breasts.
- Spice level: If you like more heat, you can add some chili flakes or hot sauce to the bbq rub or sauce. If you prefer milder flavors, reduce the amount of bbq rub used. I also like to add a touch of garlic powder, onion powder, or even chili powder for extra flavor.
- Chicken broth: broth adds more flavor to this recipe, but if you’re out of broth, water (or even beef broth) can be used in its place.
- Shredding chicken: the easiest way to shred chicken is to use an electric hand mixer. You can also use a fork and knife.
- Sandwiches: If you’re looking to make the best chicken sandwich, brioche buns are my favorite. Pretzel buns or any type of bakery buns comes in at a close second.
Looking for More Instant Pot Recipes? I’ve Got You Covered!
- Instant Pot Pizza Stuffed Peppers
- Instant Pot Steak Fajitas
- Instant Pot Stroganoff
- Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice
- Instant Pot Sloppy Joes
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- 1 (2 pound) package boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons bbq rub, (I used Kinder brand BBQ Blend, but any kind will work)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup bbq sauce, (any kind)
- Hamburger buns for serving, (if desired)
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and then rub them all over with the BBQ rub.
- Place the chicken stock in the bottom of your instant pot and place the chicken thighs on top, avoiding the sides. Drizzle the BBQ sauce over the top of the chicken, avoiding the sides of the pot.
- Seal the instant pot and set it to cook for 13 minutes using the pressure cook option. **The IP will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure and then will cook for 13 minutes**
- After the instant pot has finished cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes and then quick release the rest of the air. Shred the chicken and serve warm on hamburger buns, if desired.
- The chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
- BBQ Chicken can be frozen for up to three months. To freeze, place the chicken in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing.
- To defrost, transfer the chicken to the refrigerator and allow it to defrost overnight, then reheat as desired.
- See my tips and tricks for making this Instant Pot BBQ Chicken above the recipe box.