Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken

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4.74 from 329 votes
Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken is a tender, sumptuous, chicken dish slathered in barbeque 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.
 
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 16 minutes
Total: 21 minutes
Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken on a white plate.

Instant Pot Barbecue 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.

Instant Pot barbecue chicken on a white plate with a striped napkin

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 one of the best barbeque chicken recipes ever! To tell the truth, it is so quick and easy you will never want to make it any other way.

If you are a fan of the Instant Pot and want more great recipe ideas, check here.


MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

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What We Love About This Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Recipe

This deliciously easy Instant Pot BBQ Chicken recipe uses chicken thighs 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.
Side view of a plate of Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken.

Ingredient Notes for Instant Pot Barbeque Chicken

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – Of course, you can use chicken breast too, if you prefer.
  • 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.
  • Water: Chicken broth works great too for this instant pot bbq chicken recipe.

Equipment Needed for Instant Pot Barbeque Chicken

How to Cook Chicken Breast in Instant Pot

These are the basic steps for making Instant Pot boneless chicken breast recipes. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

STEP 1: SEASON AND COOK

First, season both sides of the chicken with House Seasoning Blend. Next, place chicken in Instant Pot.Second, pour the water and 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce into the Instant Pot. 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 seal lid and 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 barbecue sauce, then sauté for 2-3 minutes until sauce is sticky.

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

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE LOW CARB OR KETO?

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.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHICKEN?

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.

DOES BARBEQUE SAUCE COUNT AS LIQUID FOR YOUR INSTANT POT?

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.

CAN THE INSTANT POT DRY OUT YOUR CHICKEN?

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.

Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken from the top.

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 Barbeque Chicken Thighs Instant Pot

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Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken on a white plate.
4.74 from 329 votes

Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 16 minutes
Total: 21 minutes
Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken is a tender, sumptuous, chicken dish slathered in barbeque 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.
 
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons House Seasoning Blend
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  • Season both sides of the chicken with House Seasoning Blend.
  • Place chicken in 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.

Video

Expert Tips

  • 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.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 2030mg | Potassium: 585mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 194IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq, chicken, instant pot

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55 thoughts on “Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken”

  1. 4 stars
    Very easy to make and it turned out delicious! Very moist with lots of flavor, didn’t really need to add a lot of BBQ sauce.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    It was great, however, my chicken thighs shrink quite a bit. I had a pound and a half of chicken and when it was cooked it was a little less than a pound.

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Made this last night (steamer rack in), used chicken broth instead of water and accidentally ran natural vent for about 10 to 15 minutes before quick venting. When I stirred in the reserved barbecue sauce – the chicken shredded beautifully! Since I was serving brioche buns and cole slaw with it, my guests spontaneously made pulled chicken sandwiches. Everyone commented on how delicious the chicken was and asked for this recipe.

    Reply
  4. I think you should edit the recipe to mention that you need to add the steamer tray to the pot. I read that someone else also missed this step until watching the video. I hope this turns out okay.

    Reply
    • I agree. The recipe looked great but I was unaware I needed to use the steamer rack until after stumbling into the video. I don’t typically watch the accompanying video, so I would have completely missed that detail.

      Reply

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