Get dinner on the table quick with this fun and easy-to-make Instant Pot BBQ Chicken recipe. Perfect for busy weeknights or feeding a crowd!
Are you ready to kick up your home-cooked meal game with an amazing new Instant Pot BBQ Chicken recipe?
You don’t need a smoker or expensive ingredients for this one – just throw the ingredients into your Instant Pot and let it do all the work.
After only minutes of cooking, you’ll have a juicy, flavorful dish that will make all your friends and family smile.
Keep reading to learn more about our delicious Instant Pot barbecue chicken recipe that is sure to become a regular in any home cook’s repertoire!
Why You Will LOVE This BBQ Chicken
- Perfect for meal prepping.
- Quick way to get that slow cooked flavour.
- Made with simple ingredients.
- Adaptable to suit your tastes.
- The whole family will love it!
- Using the instant pot keeps the chicken tender and juicy.
How to Serve Shredded BBQ Chicken
This Instant Pot chicken is so versatile that it can be served many different ways. Try some of these ideas to make the most out of your shredded BBQ chicken breast:
- Make mini sliders by layering it on mini brioche buns with coleslaw.
- Use it as a pizza topping. You can layer cheese and other toppings on top for an extra-tasty pie.
- Put it in tacos or burritos with other Mexican-style ingredients like rice, beans, and salsa.
- Add it to quesadillas with a variety of fillings like cheese, peppers, and onions.
- Create a bbq chicken salad with lettuce, tomatoes, corn and some shredded chicken on top.
- Serve it over nachos for a unique twist on the classic snack.
- With a side of mashed potatoes and corn on the cob, it makes for a hearty and filling entree.
- Use it as a topping on a baked potato or add it to macaroni and cheese for some extra protein.
What is the Best way to Shred Chicken?
The most efficient method to shred chicken is by using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Once your chicken is cooked thoroughly, simply place it in a large mixing bowl while it’s still warm. Using the low setting on your mixer, begin to shred the chicken. Be sure to pause intermittently and scrape any stuck chicken off of the beaters. The entire process typically takes less than a minute. This method is not only quick, but it also yields perfectly shredded chicken that can be used in a variety of dishes.
If you prefer larger chunks of chicken, or have access to either a hand or stand mixer, you can still shred your chicken using two forks or by using claw shredders. Begin by placing the cooked chicken on a cutting board or plate. Using two forks, pull the chicken in opposite directions to shred it.
If you have claw shredders, place the cooked chicken between them and, while holding the chicken firmly in place, pull them in opposite directions to shred the chicken.
I prefer to use claw shredders personally. I find using a stand mixer can make the shreds too small for my own preferences.
Variations on Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken
I love this recipe as-is but it’s nice to change things up from time to time too. Try some of these variations!
Add tropical flair – Stir in some crushed pineapple and a dash of soya sauce.
Make it spicy – Add a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce along with a small diced jalapeno for a spicy kick.
Don’t shred – Skip the shredding and instead cut the chicken into pieces the right size for your buns prior to cooking.
Crock pot BBQ chicken – Combine the sauce ingredients in the slow cooker, omitting the broth only. Stir together, then place in the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is tender and has reached an internal temperature of 165 F.
Develop more flavour – If you have some time on your hands you can develop more flavour by adjusting the recipe slightly. Instead of mixing in the additional seasonings to the sauce, use them as a dry rub for the chicken. Use the saute function and a tablespoon of oil to cook the chicken about 2-3 minutes per sides to get a quick sear. Then add the remaining ingredients, give it a good stir, and proceed with the recipe as written.
Tips for Making the BEST Shredded Chicken
- Avoid shredding the chicken too finely as this can cause it to dry out more.
- Don’t skip the broth, although you can substitute with water. Without it you will get the dreaded burn notice on your instant pot. BBQ sauce is too thick and sugary on it’s own for a pressure cooker.
- Be sure that the internal temperature of the cooked chicken is at least 165 degrees. If not, you can add another 3-5 minutes to the cooking time.
How to Store Leftover BBQ Chicken
Leftover BBQ chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow the chicken to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with foil or plastic wrap.
If you won’t be eating your leftover chicken within 4 days, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. To ensure the chicken stays fresh and flavorful, wrap it in plastic or foil and store in a resealable freezer bag before freezing.
When you are ready to enjoy your BBQ chicken again, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a skillet over low heat until warmed through.
About the Equipment Needed
Instant Pot – I have the instant pot ultra, when I was shopping around I felt it was the best value. Any pressure cook will work.
You will also need a cutting board, a large bowl, and meat shredder claws. You can also use two forks to shred the chicken if you like.
About the Ingredients for Barbecue Chicken
Broth – If you use regular chicken broth you will want to adjust the amount of salt added to the sauce.
BBQ sauce – I used Sweet Baby Ray’s original barbecue sauce. Feel free to use your favourite sauce, although you may need to adjust the proportions of the additional ingredients.
Vinegar – Helps to balance out the sweetness of the sauce, and adds tang.
Seasoning – A mix of garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper helps to boost the smoky flavour.
Onion – White onion is best here but you can use yellow onion too.
Brown sugar – Use light brown sugar for best results, dark brown sugar will make the sauce too sweet.
Worcestershire sauce – Give the sauce a little umami.
Chicken – For shredding you will want to use boneless skinless chicken. I used breasts this time but thighs work well as they are a little juicier and offer more flavour. You could also use a combination of breasts and skinless chicken thighs. You can also use frozen chicken breasts safely!
Looking for More Instant Pot Recipes?
Check out more of my favourite instant pot meals!
This is the best Instant Pot beef stew recipe that you’ll ever make. It’s quick and easy, and the end result is a hearty and delicious meal.
Looking for a delicious, easy and quick dinner idea? Try this Instant Pot Salisbury Steak recipe. It’s sure to be a family favourite!
Looking for an easy corned beef brisket recipe? This delicious and simple Instant Pot corned beef brisket is perfect for any occasion.
How to Make Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
Yields: 8 Servings | Prep time: 10 Minutes | Cook time: 40 Minutes
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 medium onion, grated
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
Brioche buns and coleslaw, if desired, for serving
Whisk together the broth, bbq sauce, vinegar, spices, salt and pepper, onion, brown sugar, and worcestershire sauce in the instant pot untill well combined. (Image 1)
Place the chicken in the sauce, be sure to completely submerge them. (Image 2)
Close the Instant Pot lid, the steam release valve should be in the sealing position. Set the cook time to 15 minutes at high pressure.
When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure by carefully setting the steam release valve to the venting position.
Remove the chicken to a cutting board or large bowl and set it aside to rest. (Image 3)
Meanwhile, simmer the sauce on saute until it thickens, about 15 minutes once it reaches full heat.
Shred the chicken (Image 4) and return it to the instant pot once the sauce has thickened. Stir to completely combine the chicken with the sauce.
Serve the pulled bbq chicken on a bun with coleslaw and extra BBQ sauce, if desired.
Notes: The Instant Pot takes about 15 minutes to reach pressure before the cook time begins.
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 medium onion, grated
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- Brioche buns and coleslaw, if desired, for serving
- Whisk together the broth, bbq sauce, vinegar, spices, salt and pepper, onion, brown sugar, and worcestershire sauce in the instant pot untill well combined.
- Place the chicken in the sauce, be sure to completely submerge them.
- Close the Instant Pot lid, the steam release valve should be in the sealing position. Set the cook time to 15 minutes at high pressure.
- When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure by carefully setting the steam release valve to the venting position.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board or large bowl and set it aside to rest.
- Meanwhile, simmer the sauce on saute until it thickens, about 15 minutes once it reaches full heat.
- Shred the chicken and return it to the instant pot once the sauce has thickened. Stir to completely combine the chicken with the sauce.
- Serve the pulled bbq chicken on a bun with coleslaw and extra BBQ sauce, if desired.
The Instant Pot takes about 15 minutes to reach pressure before the cook time begins.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 394Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 894mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 41g
This information is provided as a courtesy and for entertainment purposes only. This information comes from online calculators. Although frugalmomeh.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!