Instant Pot BBQ Chicken! Sweet, fall-apart tender and perfect for sandwiches, salads, BBQ plates and more!
This Instant Pot BBQ Chicken is an easy recipe you can make for a weeknight meal. You can use in so many ways!
I like serving it on buns for chicken sandwiches or for a delicious meal over rice. It is also one of my favorite recipe for meal prep!
It’s also delicious in a BBQ chicken salad with romaine, black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado and ranch dressing. This chicken is versatile, easy and delicious!
However you serve it, this easy instant pot barbecue chicken is one of my favorite recipes for busy weeknights!
Ingredients You’ll Need
This recipe uses a combination of boneless chicken breasts and boneless thighs. I like the texture when
Onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, brown sugar and grated onion give this chicken delicious flavor.
The flavor of this BBQ chicken really depends on what kind of BBQ sauce you use. Use your favorite bbq sauce for this instant pot bbq chicken recipe!
How to Make Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
This instant pot pulled chicken can be made in 4 easy steps.
- Place the ingredients in the instant pot in this order: chicken broth (or water), chicken, onion powder, garlic, powder, paprika, salt, BBQ sauce, grated onion, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. (Do NOT stir. You want the water to stay on the bottom of the pot so the instant pot comes to pressure.)
- Place the lid on the instant pot making sure the valve is in the sealing position. Press manual (high pressure) and set the cook time to 15 minutes.
- Let the pressure natural release for 10 minutes. Then quick release the venting position to remove the remaining pressure.
- Remove the cooked chicken and shred it. Reduce the liquid by pressing the “saute” button and simmering the sauce until thickened if necessary. Add the shredded meat back into the sauce.
Note: This recipe has been updated since the video was published. In recent years I’ve recommended add a cup of water or chicken broth, not stirring, removing the chicken and reducing the liquid, then adding the chicken back in. This ensures the instant pot doesn’t give you the dreaded burn notice!
I like using a combination of chicken breasts and chicken thighs for the meat. The meat turns out so much more moist this way than compared to using all chicken breasts.
I used to make BBQ chicken in the slow cooker all the time, but now I prefer it in the instant pot. It is so easy to throw everything in and walk away. Plus it takes just a fraction of the time.
For an allergy-friendly meal, enjoy this on toasted gluten-free buns with a side of my favorite Dairy-Free Coleslaw!
Expert Tips and Tricks
Use Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce: Not all brands are gluten-free so check the label! I use Lea and Perrins which is gluten-free.
Choose a Good BBQ Sauce: The flavor of this chicken is highly dependent on what kind of BBQ sauce you use. I love the flavor of Sweet Baby Ray’s – but lately I’ve been using Stubbs Sweet Sticky BBQ sauce (such a good price on Amazon!) because it doesn’t contain high-fructose corn syrup. Use your favorite barbecue sauce!
Chicken Breasts + Thighs = Yum: I like using a combination of chicken breast and thighs in this recipe. The chicken thighs keep the dish moist and delicious!
More Instant Pot Recipes
I hope you like this recipe as much as we do! If you try it be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- 1 cup chicken stock or water
- 2 lbs chicken thighs
- 1 lb chicken breast
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups BBQ sauce
- ½ cup grated onion, plus juice
- 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Place the ingredients in the instant pot in this order: chicken stock (or water), chicken, onion powder, garlic, powder, paprika, salt, BBQ sauce, grated onion, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Do NOT stir. You want the water to stay on the bottom of the pot so the instant pot comes to pressure.
- Place the lid on the instant pot making sure the valve is in the sealing position. Press manual (high pressure) and set to 15 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Then quick release the venting position to release the remaining pressure and open the pot.
- Remove the chicken and shred it. If necessary, reduce the liquid by pressing the "saute" button and simmering the sauce, stirring often, until thickened. Add the chicken back to the sauce before serving.
- Add more BBQ sauce if desired. Shred and enjoy on sandwiches, salads, BBQ plates and more!