Need a quick and easy dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes? Make this easy Instant Pot BBQ Chicken with flavorful boneless chicken thighs (or breasts), a few seasonings, and barbecue sauce. This is one healthy weekday or weeknight meal the whole family will love!
A deliciously easy Instant Pot BBQ chicken recipe
I’m still so in love with my Instant Pot. Like, seriously in love. I adore it so much because it doesn’t seem to matter what ingredients I put into 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.
This shredded 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.
Voila! Dinner is served!
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.
I made this Instant Pot Shredded BBQ Chicken 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.
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.
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, I’ve come up with two possibilities:
- It’s possible 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.
- 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 quart 7-in-1 and I don’t have to put any additional liquid in it, ever. Seriously, sometimes I just throw 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 1/2 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. Try my homemade BBQ sauce in this recipe and if you need a great side dish that can be made ahead of time, try this easy 7 layer salad.
Let me know if you’ve tried this Instant Pot BBQ Chicken in the comments below & happy instant potting!!
- 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 1/2" thick sliced half rounds
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 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 1/2 cups favorite homemade bbq sauce or store bought (I used 1 cup)
- 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 1/2 cups of bbq sauce over the chicken. (**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!