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Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

This tender Instant Pot BBQ Chicken recipe is just what you need for dinner! You’ll love just how simple and delicious this recipe is!

BBQ CHICKEN MADE IN THE INSTANT POT

This Instant Pot BBQ Chicken is a quick and easy way to get an amazing dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes (and you don’t even have to turn on the oven or stove)! It starts with affordable boneless skinless chicken thighs that get so tender and cooked to perfection in your pressure cooker. With so much flavor, it’s the perfect quick dinner recipe that the entire family will love to eat! The best part? Clean up is a breeze!

A delicious bbq chicken sandwich on a plate.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Can I use my own bbq seasoning?

You bet! If I’m not using my preferred storebought one, Kinder BBQ Blend, I usually opt to make it myself. Here is my recipe:

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Can I add more spice?

Yes! If you like a pop of heat in your spice rub or BBQ sauce, try adding chili pepper flakes or hot sauce.

Can I use a different sauce?

Yes! If you don’t want a regular BBQ sauce, you can use one with more spice, or one that is more sweet or savory depending on the flavor profile you’re going for. Or you can throw in some red pepper flakes.

Can I use different cuts of chicken?

I used chicken thighs, but you can chicken breasts if you want white meat. If using a different cut of chicken, you will need to adjust cooking time. I would cook for the same amount of time but allow it to natural release for 10 minutes instead of 5.

What are some other ways to serve this barbecue chicken?

If you don’t want to make sandwiches with your barbecue chicken, you could serve the shredded chicken over a bed of rice, stuffed in a wrap, or use it as a salad topper.

Why is my chicken tough in Instant Pot?

It really should not turn out tough if it was cooked long enough and was cooked in enough liquid.

How do I shred the chicken?

There are a few ways to shred cooked chicken. You can use a “bear claw” or meat claws to shred it. You can also use two forks to shred the chicken. But, I really like to use an electric mixer, it shreds in seconds that way.

I don’t have an Instant Pot, can I still make this?

Of course, if you have a crock pot, you can easily make it in there and it will come out so tender and delicious! Check out my recipe HERE on how to do that!

How to store leftovers?

Once your bbq chicken has cooled, transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the fridge for up to 4 days. I suggest storing the meat in any extra sauce for best results. Reheat your leftovers by placing them in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish, covered with a microwave-safe lid or plate to trap some moisture in as it heats. Additionally, you can reheat it in a saucepan on the stove over low heat until warmed through again.
Freeze leftovers in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.

An Instant Pot BBQ Chicken sandwich on a plate.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • boneless, skinless chicken thighs – I think this is the most affordable option and there is a lot of flavor in chicken thighs but you can certainly use chicken breasts (as I mention above in the FAQ).
  • BBQ seasoning – you can have a lot of fun switching up the flavors here. You can make your own seasoning (I share mine above in the FAQ section), use store bought or even switch up the seasoning to something like cajun seasoning.
  • chicken stock – if you are trying to lower the sodium, you could use lower sodium chicken stock or broth. This will infuse a bit more flavor into the chicken. You could use water but I really don’t recommend it.
  • BBQ sauce – go with your favorite here. I like Sweet Baby Rays but you could also make a Homemade BBQ Sauce.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, bbq seasoning, chicken stock, and bbq sauce.

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT BBQ CHICKEN

Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and then season them on both sides all over with the BBQ seasoning. Rub the seasoning into the chicken. 

Chicken thighs covered in chicken seasoning in a bowl.

Pour the chicken stock into the Instant Pot and place the chicken thighs on top, making sure they are not touching the sides.

An instant pot with chicken stock.

Drizzle the BBQ sauce over the top of the chicken, avoiding the sides of the Instant Pot (this helps to keep you from getting a burn notice.) 

An Instant Pot with chicken and chicken stock.

Seal the Instant Pot and set it to cook on high pressure for 13 minutes. Note: It can take up to 10 minutes for the pot to come up to pressure. After the Instant Pot has finished cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes and then quick release the rest of the pressure.

Looking down on an Instant Pot full of BBQ chicken.

Using tongs, remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and shred it using two forks. To serve, place a generous amount of shredded chicken on a hamburger bun and top with more BBQ sauce and cole slaw (optional) 

A hamburger bun with shredded Instant Pot BBQ Chicken.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Tongs placing some shredded BBQ chicken on a bun.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Tender, juicy shredded chicken is what you get with this super simple, fast Instant Pot BBQ Chicken.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tablespoons BBQ seasoning
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • hamburger buns, for serving
  • pickles (for topping, optional) optional side

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and then season them on both sides all over with the BBQ seasoning. Rub the seasoning into the chicken.
  • Pour the chicken stock into the Instant Pot and place the chicken thighs on top, making sure they are not touching the sides.
  • Drizzle the BBQ sauce over the top of the chicken, avoiding the sides of the Instant Pot (this helps to keep you from getting a burn notice.)
  • Seal the Instant Pot and set it to cook on high pressure for 13 minutes. Note: It can take up to 10 minutes for the pot to come up to pressure.
  • After the Instant Pot has finished cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes and then quick release the rest of the pressure.
  • Using tongs, remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and shred it using two forks.
  • To serve, place a generous amount of shredded chicken on a hamburger bun and top with more BBQ sauce and cole slaw (optional)

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
  • If you don’t want to use these for sandwiches, try eating with some rice, or served on a wrap or salad. 
  • Use meat claws, two forks, or an electric mixer to shred the meat easily.
  • Store leftovers with extra sauce in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze up to 3 months. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 513mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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6 Comments

  1. Do you know if you can use frozen chicken thighs? How would I adjust the cook time? I have frozen thighs. May just have to wait until they thaw but the recipe sounds so good I don’t want to wait. I’m anxious to try this recipe. Thank you for your detailed instructions! You always share the best recipes!

    1. Hi Janice, I am not showing you as an email subscriber. Could it be under a different email than what you have used to comment here? If you are speaking of ‘push notifications’ then you will have to do that through your phone in your notifications settings or whatever device you might be receiving them on (tablet, desktop, etc.) I unfortunately can’t help with notifications you get through your devices. If you need help learning how to stop notifications through your device, it’s probably easiest just to go to Google and search for the kind of device you have and how to stop notifications. 🙂 There are lots of articles and videos out there that can show you exactly how to do it. But every device does it a little different so you would need to search specifically for yours.