Instant Pot BBQ Chicken is a tender, sumptuous, chicken dish slathered in barbecue sauce prepared in a short time. Perfect for those busy weeknight meals when time is of the essence but you don’t want to sacrifice on taste. This is our go-to favorite Instant Pot chicken recipe.
This Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken is a crowd pleasing, simple, and oh so flavorful meal! I am totally game for chicken straight off the grill but actually, this pressure cooker barbeque chicken breast is an easy recipe that’s always a hit.
To tell the truth, it is so quick and easy you will never want to make it any other way. You can use boneless skinless chicken breast, chicken thighs or even chicken legs.
One of my favorite ways to serve this is pulled chicken sandwiches. If you are a fan of the Instant Pot and want more great recipe ideas, check here.
MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE
What We Love About This Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Recipe
This deliciously easy Instant Pot BBQ Chicken recipe uses chicken coated in a house blend seasoning and cooked in an Instant Pot in a savory barbecue sauce.
- Easy Ingredients: Three simple ingredients and you are ready to go.
- Family Friendly: Fun to eat and so tasty, who could resist.
- Adaptable: Can make with so many different BBQ sauces, such as sweet and smoky, hot and spicy, or vinegary and tangy.
- Makes Great Leftovers: Perfect for lunches or future dinners.
Ingredient Notes to Make BBQ Chicken in the Pressure Cooker
- Boneless Skinless Chicken – You can use chicken breast or thighs. I’ve even use frozen chicken breasts for this recipe.
- House Seasoning Blend: This adds so much more flavor than salt and black pepper. It has garlic powder, onion powder and other delicious spices for this instant pot bbq chicken.
- Barbecue Sauce: Make your own favorite or purchase whatever kind you like. We love Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce.
- Water: Chicken broth works great too for this instant pot bbq chicken recipe.
Equipment Needed for Instant Pot Barbeque Chicken
How to Make Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
These are the basic steps to make tender Instant Pot BBQ Chicken. It’s super easy to make and takes about 21 minutes. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
STEP 1: SEASON AND COOK
First, season both sides of the chicken (either boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts) with House Seasoning Blend.
Next, add the chicken to the Instant Pot. Then, pour the water and 1/2 cup of your favorite bbq sauce into the bottom of the pot.
Affix the Instant Pot lid and cook on manual setting/high pressure for 13 minutes. Next natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
STEP 2: SAUCE AND SAUTE
After pressure has been released, remove the chicken from Instant Pot and drain any liquid. Finally, set Instant Pot to the Sauté setting.
Next, add cooked chicken and stir in remaining 1/2 cup of bbq sauce, then sauté for 2-3 minutes until sauce is sticky. You can add more BBQ sauce if you prefer.
Prep and Storage Tips for BBQ Chicken Instant Pot
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE AHEAD OF TIME
You can make this chicken ahead of time and use it for meal prep, simply store in the fridge in an airtight container.
HOW TO STORE THIS PRESSURE COOKER BBQ CHICKEN RECIPE
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap or aluminum foil for the freezer.
HOW TO REHEAT THIS BBQ CHICKEN THIGHS INSTANT POT RECIPE
Reheat skinless chicken breasts in a pan on the stove top over medium high heat or in the microwave until warmed through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Truly, this is an easy dinner for those following a low carb diet. Really all you have to do is use a sugar free, keto friendly sauce such as this one from Sweet Baby Rays. It has a great smoky flavor.
I use chicken thighs for this recipe. You can use any type of chicken though. Chicken breast, boneless chicken thighs, fresh or frozen work great. It is the special combination of the house seasoning along with your favorite barbeque sauce that makes this recipe a winner.
Just remember to adjust your cook times accordingly for the type of chicken that you are using. You can find more information about cook times here.
Due to the high sugar content in the sauce it will burn. Therefore, the chicken is cooked in water first and then the BBQ sauce is added.
Truly, it does not. The Instant Pot or pressure cooker uses a moist heat to cook and therefore makes the protein, such as skinless chicken breast tender.
Expert Tips for Making This Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken Recipe
- Shred It: A shredded chicken is good for so many things, so use forks and shred chicken and return to the sauce. Use for nachos, tacos or freeze for future meals.
- Make your Own Sauce: Use your favorite bottle sauce or make your own Homemade Barbecue Sauce. Sprinkle with a little paprika or use a little liquid smoke if you like.
- Vegetables: Try adding some vegetables and pressure cook to up your flavor, for example, red bell peppers or green red peppers.
- Alternate cooking method tip: Slow cook the chicken on high in the slow cooker for 4 to 5 hours.
What to Serve with This Recipe
This recipe makes the best BBQ Chicken Salad or you can shred the chicken and have pulled chicken sandwiches or Instant Pot chicken tacos but it’s great on it’s own, too. You can serve it alongside these favorites:
- Parmesan Cauliflower Rice
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Bacon Mac and Cheese
- Loaded Baked Potato Salad
- Instant Pot Baked Beans
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons House Seasoning Blend
- 1 cup barbecue sauce, divided
- ½ cup water
- Season both sides of the chicken with House Seasoning Blend.
- Place chicken on the steamer rack in the Instant Pot.
- Pour the water and 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce into the Instant Pot.
- Cook on manual setting/high pressure for 13 minutes.
- Allow to naturally release for 5 minutes then quick release the remaining pressure.
- Remove chicken from Instant Pot and drain any liquid.
- Set Instant Pot to saute setting.
- Add cooked chicken and remaining 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce.
- Saute for 2-3 minutes until sauce is sticky.
- Shred It: A shredded chicken is good for so many things, so use forks and shred chicken and return to the sauce.
- Make your Own Sauce: Use your favorite bottle sauce or make your own Homemade Barbecue Sauce.
- Vegetables: Try adding some vegetables to the Instant Pot to up your flavor, for example, red bell peppers or green red peppers.
- Alternate cooking method tip: Slow Cook the chicken on high in the slow cooker for 4 to 5 hours.