Instant Pot BBQ Chicken is tender shredded chicken meat seasoned to perfection and lightly coated in homemade barbecue sauce. It's a quick and easy dinner that's on the table in less than 30 minutes!
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
A deliciously easy Instant Pot BBQ chicken recipe
This shredded BBQ chicken makes a healthy weekday or weekend meal the whole family will love!
You'll wonder why you didn't make it before now.
Quick weeknight family dinner in less than 30 minutes
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 because it makes cooking pretty much effortless.
Here's how to make this BBQ sauce chicken recipe:
- Add a little oil in the bottom of the Instant Pot and sauté some onion slices and fresh garlic.
- Rub boneless chicken thighs with the homemade spice mixture and place on top of the onion and garlic mixture.
- Pour homemade BBQ sauce on top of the chicken thighs, seal the lid, and select the "poultry" preset button or manual high pressure for 20 minutes.
- Once the pressure has been released, remove the lid and shred the chicken.
- SO EASY!!
The result is flavorful and tender shredded chicken meat that's lightly coated in barbecue sauce and seasoned to perfection.
AND in less than 30 minutes, dinner will be on the table!
Burn message on Instant Pot
This BBQ chicken recipe is one of the most popular ones on the blog, but a few people have told me about receiving a burn notice while cooking the chicken.
After researching and trying to figure out why some people get the burn and most of the people don't.
Here's a few possibilities:
- A thicker, sugary based BBQ sauce could burn in the pan. If you are using a super thick sauce, try adding up to 1 cup of water or stock to your pot to thin the sauce out so it doesn't burn.
- The BBQ sauce shouldn't be placed in the the Instant Pot first. The sauce can burn on the bottom, so put the meat in first, then top with the sauce.
- Some Instant Pots just simply seem to take more liquid than others, no matter what you are cooking. If yours is like that, then add up to 1 cup of water or stock (total) to the recipe.
- I use an Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 and NEVER have to put any additional liquid in when I'm cooking chicken. Seriously, sometimes I just throw the meat in it with some seasoning, seal it up, and press a button. Check out my video on this recipe and you can see how much liquid my chicken released during cooking. And that was with no water or stock and only ½ cup of BBQ sauce!
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.
Let me know if you've tried this Instant Pot BBQ Chicken in the comments below & hope you enjoy it!
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- 3 pounds boneless and skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (can sub out boneless chicken breasts)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into ½" thick sliced half rounds
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
Spice Mixture for Chicken:
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ cups favorite bbq sauce (I used 1 cup)
optional: extra bbq sauce for serving
- 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.
- Remove the lid from a 6 quart Instant Pot, push the sauté button and add the olive oil and sliced onion. Sauté for about 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 1 ½ cups of bbq sauce over the chicken. **All Instant Pots are NOT created equal. If using a thicker BBQ sauce or if your IP uses more liquid in recipes, add up to 1 cup of water or stock at this time.
- 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 high pressure for 20 minutes. (Use 15 minutes manual high pressure for boneless chicken breast.)
- 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.
- If there is cooking liquid left in in the pot, remove the lid and turn on the sauté button on. As the liquid is evaporating, take two forks and shred the chicken thighs. Continue shredding and mixing until all the chicken is pulled apart and the liquid has evaporated.
- Can mix in extra bbq sauce, if desired, and heat through for another minute or two. Turn off the pot, serve immediately and enjoy!
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- Store leftovers in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Can freeze leftovers for up to 2 months.