Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Need a quick and easy dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes?  Make this Instant Pot BBQ Chicken!  Made with flavorful boneless chicken thighs, a few seasonings, and some barbecue sauce, it’s a healthy weekday or weeknight meal that the whole family will enjoy.

  Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

I’m still in love with my Instant Pot.  Like, seriously in love.  I love it so much because it doesn’t seem to matter what ingredients I put in this little pot, everything turns out well.  Unlike this past Sunday at the 2017 Oscars when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong best picture winner, no mistake can be made with my Instant Pot.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken is such an easy recipe, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make it before now.  Flavorful boneless chicken thighs are dry rubbed with a spice mixture, put in the pot with a little BBQ sauce, then just press a button to cook for 20 minutes.  Can’t get any easier than that!

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Since getting this Instant Pot, preparing meals has definitely become easier.   I’m not trying to brag about my skills here, it’s really just all about the pot.

This Instant Pot BBQ Chicken was made one Sunday when we wanted barbecue but there was no way we were going outside in 20F degree weather, through the 10 inches of snow, to try to smoke or grill some meat.  Not. Gonna. Do. It.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

So out came the Instant Pot and in went some boneless chicken thighs, seasonings, and homemade barbecue sauce.  Less than 30 minutes later, dinner was on the table.  The result was flavorful and tender chicken meat, lightly coated in barbecue sauce, and seasoned to perfection.  That was a helluva lot easier than braving the cold and smoking the chicken outside for 4 hours.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Luckily, last Saturday it was 75F degrees here in New Hampshire.  All the snow melted and I was able to get outside and smoke 2 racks of ribs.  Now the weather has turned back to being cold and windy so, until Spring and warmer weather appear, I’ll be nice and cozy inside sitting by the fireplace and making bbq in my trusty Instant Pot!

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken


Grab your pot and make this easy, quick, and healthy Instant Pot BBQ Chicken in less than 30 minutes!  Leftovers make wonderful lunches for the rest of the week too.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A healthy, quick and easy dinner made with flavorful boneless chicken thighs, a few seasonings, and some barbecue sauce.
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 3 pounds boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • spice mix for chicken:
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, ½" thick sliced half rounds
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup favorite homemade bbq sauce or store bought, divided
  1. Place all the trimmed chicken thighs in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together all the spices and use to evenly coat all the thighs. Set aside.
  2. Remove the lid from a 6 quart Instant Pot, push the sauté button and add the olive oil and sliced onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the minced garlic. Sauté together for another minute then turn off Instant Pot. Add the seasoned chicken thighs on top of the onion and garlic mixture, then pour ½ cup of bbq sauce over the chicken.
  3. Cover with the Instant Pot lid; making sure it's locked and the steam value is in the closed position. Select the "poultry" preset button or manual 20 minutes high pressure.
  4. When pot is finished, wait 10 minutes for it to cool down or release pressure manually by taking a hand towel and carefully opening up the steam value on the lid. It is safe to open once all steam has been released.
  5. There will be a decent amount of cooking liquid in the pot, so remove the lid and turn on sauté again. As the chicken mixture is boiling to reduce the liquid, take two forks and shred the chicken thighs. Continue shredding and mixing until all the chicken is pulled apart and liquid has evaporated. Mix in the remaining ½ cup of bbq sauce and heat through for another minute or two. Turn off pot, serve immediately and enjoy!

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken


  1. says

    I didn’t watch the Oscars, but, boy, did I hear about I the next day! Yikes…what a freakin’ mistake. I mean, I guess I can happen, but what the heck?! While people were getting their awards I was vegging out and watching The Mind of a Chef. Figures. I saw dem kick ass ribs on IG and I was seriously swooning over them and wanting to steal a rack right from my screen, but, unfortunately, technology hasn’t gotten there yet. Someone needs to work on that ASAP 😀 Now, this chicken! Girl, you are rocking that Instant Pot, aren’t ya? You know what I was thinking when I was looking at all your pics with heart eyes? You know what I’m gonna say….TACOS!!! I would SO stuff this deliciousness in a taco shell and call it a day. And you know what? I have some of that bbq sauce from your recipe in my fridge 😉 Awesome recipe! XOXO
    Dawn – Girl Heart Food recently posted…Monthly Favourites February 2017My Profile

  2. says

    You know, I think my instant pot was delivered broken. I totally keep meaning to ask you about it in one of our texts, but I just keep forgetting. Blonde brain over here!! Be a doll, and remind me! Lol. This chicken looks fabulous! I’ve been craving some bodacious BBQ and this would totally do the trick… just got to figure out the IP sitch. 😉 cheers, sweets!
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken with Onions and PotatoesMy Profile

  3. says

    I actually can’t remember the last time I watched the Oscars, but I did see that disaster this year on the news. I can’t even imagine. I really need to get one of these Instant Pots! I would have had to brave the freezing weather and snow to get to my grill to bbq some chicken because I don’t have one. It’s pretty cool though, that you got a bit of a break with that warm weather and smoked you up some ribs! I wish I was invited to that dinner!
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks recently posted…Russian Imperial Bourbon Aged Stout Gingersnap CookiesMy Profile

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