Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Everyone always asks for easy Instant Pot chicken recipes. Let me introduce you to not only one of the easiest recipes, but also the best tasting. This Instant Pot BBQ chicken is right up there among the best Instant Pot chicken recipes out there. Quick, easy, full of flavor and totally versatile. Let me show you how to make it today.

instant pot bbq chicken recipe

Once you have mastered a basic chicken recipe in the Instant Pot you can start expanding your recipe repertoire. I feel like once you feel comfortable with the Instant Pot chicken breast recipe you become empowered and want to try more chicken recipes.

BBQ chicken is an easy recipe that is just a baby step above the basic Instant Pot chicken. It’s another Instant Pot confidence builder that will leave you wanting to try more easy Instant Pot dinner recipes.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

The difference between this recipe and the basic chicken recipe is that you shred this one after it’s done cooking and add BBQ sauce. Yup, that’s it. Not much more to it than cooking the chicken but enough that you get a whole new dinner.

This recipe also makes a great base for tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches or even stuffed potatoes. That’s my new favorite way to eat chicken – stuffed in a baked potato!

Instant Pot Bbq Chicken

BBQ Chicken Ingredients

To make this easy Instant Pot chicken dinner you will need:

  • chicken
  • stock or broth
  • spices
  • onion
  • brown sugar
  • worcestershire
  • liquid smoke
  • BBQ sauce
Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken how to make it at home

Chicken – Any type of boneless, skinless chicken works in this recipe. I’ve made it with chicken breasts and chicken thighs and it comes out the same.

Can I put frozen chicken in the instant pot?

You can! You can use frozen chicken in the Instant Pot you just need to allow extra time for cooking. See this post on cooking chicken in the Instant Pot for more details.

Chick stock or broth – Either work in this recipe. If you don’t have any on hand you can use water or even bouillon if you have it.

Spices – The spices are pretty basic and you probably have most of them in your cabinet already. For this recipe you will need onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt.

Worcestershire sauce – This sauce adds a depth of flavor and is perfect is this BBQ chicken recipe. If you don’t have any on hand it can be found in the grocery store around the ketchup and other condiments.

Liquid smoke – Liquid smoke adds a smokiness to this chicken. It’s not essential to the recipe but it does add to the flavor.

BBQ Sauce – Pick your favorite BBQ sauce or use what you have at home. You will need about 2 cups for this recipe.

Will BBQ sauce burn in instant pot?

It can if you put it on the bottom on the Instant Pot. You will want to add it to the top of the ingredients you are cooking. In this recipe, you add it in after the chicken is done cooking.

Instant Pot Bbq Chicken how to

How to make Instant Pot BBQ chicken

Once you have gathered all your ingredients you will also need:

Step 1 – Pour the chicken stock into the Instant Pot liner. Add the chicken and then put the onions over the chicken. Mix together your spices and sprinkle over the chicken and onions.

Instant Pot Bbq Chicken the best recipe

Step 2 – Set the pressure cooker to sealing and high-pressure cook for 10 minutes. (It will take about 7-10 minutes to come to pressure.) Allow the Instant to come to natural pressure for 10 minutes after it’s done cooking. Then do a quick release of any remaining pressure.

Step 3 – Remove the chicken and place into a bowl and shred with 2 forks. Stir in the BBQ sauce.

How to make Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken

Best sides for BBQ chicken

While you can eat this chicken on it’s own, it’s best with a side dish or as part of a meal. Some things you can try are:

Storing leftovers and freezing

Any leftovers are going to need to go in an airtight container. You can use a tupperware or a ziplock baggy. Place the leftover Instant Pot BBQ chicken in the fridge. It will be safe to eat for up 5 days.

This chicken makes is great for meal prep and also freezes well. To freeze, allow to cool completely. Place the cooled, shredded chicken in a ziplock baggy. Remove all the air from the bag and lie flat in the freezer. This BBQ chicken will be good for 6 months in the freezer.

Instant Pot Bbq Chicken how to

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

How to make flavorful BBQ chicken in the Instant Pot.


  • 4 to 5 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 cups prepared barbecue sauce of your choice


    1. Pour chicken stock into the liner of your electric pressure cooker. Layer the chicken on top and sprinkle with onions.
    2. Mix the dry seasonings and brown sugar together. Sprinkle over the chicken and onions.
    3. Place the cover on the Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing. Program the pressure cooker to cook on “manual” or “pressure cook” for 12 minutes.
    4. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before completely releasing the pressure with a quick release.
    5. When the chicken cooking cycle is complete, remove the chicken from the juices and shred with two forks. Stir in barbecue sauce.
    6. Enjoy!


Pressure cook for 20 minutes if using frozen chicken.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 669Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 461mgSodium: 975mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 92g

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How to make bbq chicken in the instant pot
Kelley Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Hey y'all! I'm Kelley!

I am a Texan living in the woods of mid-Michigan with my husband, 4 kids and a whole farm of animals. I heard amazing things about the Instant Pot and knew that I had to give it a try. Many of these recipes are family favorites, and I want your family to enjoy them as well!