Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken


This Instant Pot BBQ chicken is perfect for Superbowl game days or your next kids’ game lunch. You can make everything from, burgers barbecue chicken, chicken sandwiches, tacos, and nachos to loaded fries or baked potato full of pull-apart chicken with bbq shredded chicken.

Also, pulled pork burgers are another great option.

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Presssure Cooker

The possibilities are pretty much up to your imagination.

It’s a cheap and easy recipe that takes about 30 minutes to make. If you stick to the chicken recipe and skinless chicken breast each serving will have around 19 grams of protein with just 2.7 grams of carbs and 167 calories.

Plus I have added some substitution notes for using chicken breast instead of chicken thighs in case you need to make your batch even lower in calories. But enough talk, let’s get into it!

making bbq chicken
Making bbq Chicken Tacos

How to Make BBQ Instant Pot Pulled Chicken

You’ll find a recipe for instant pot chicken step by step below so you can see what your Instant Pot BBQ chicken should look like. I’ve added ingredient substitution ideas also. This instant pot bbq chicken is easy – but you can also use drumsticks, chicken wings, or even leftover chicken.

First Coat boneless skinless chicken breast in olive oil and a bbq chicken seasoning blend.

The recipe calls for chicken breast, but you can use skinless chicken thighs. Chicken thighs do have a small amount of extra fat in which helps makes them slightly tastier. If you have frozen chicken breasts it is best to let them thaw first.

For the bbq seasoning blend – I will cover it here – also you later you will add some bbq sauce (you could also use homemade bbq sauce if you have the time)

cooking chicken with bbq sauce

Turn On The Cook the Instant Pot’s sauté function

Make sure your Instant Pot is hot before adding the bbq chicken. You want a quick sear on both sides to create the Maillard reaction for extra taste in this instant pot bbq chicken recipe. If you are short of time you can get away with just throwing everything in and pressure cooking and the instant pot bbq chicken will still taste great but the few minutes extra of searing will add more taste.

electric pressure cooker bbq chicken

Now Put In Cooking chicken with bbq sauce on high pressure for 5 minutes.

Chicken and barbecue sauce are a great match, Now choose your favorite bbq sauce. I like Primal Kitchen Unsweeted Classic BBQ Sauce. Just enjoy choosing any easy bbq sauce chicken will work.

Make sure you mix the chicken with the sauce bbq and get some on the bottom to deglaze the pot before sealing so you do not get the “burn” warning.

pulled chicken pressure cooker
Pulled BBQ Chicken in Instant Pot Bowl

Shred the cooked chicken

Take out the chicken and put in a separate bowl and shred with a couple of forks.

With any pulled chicken bbq recipe reducing the remaining barbecue sauce will give you a more intense flavor – turn the sauté function on the Instant Pot to reduce the sauce after you take out the chicken and it can reduce while you shred the chicken in a separate bowl. It really is great having an electric pressure cooker they are so versatile and really easy to make pressure cooker bbq chicken.

Broil your pulled bbq chicken.

To get extra taste and make it slightly crispy you can simply transfer your bbq pulled chicken to a baking sheet and broil in the oven. If you have an air fryer then you can also use this function. But broiling is quick and easy – just set your oven to broil and watch after 3 minutes to make sure they do not burn.

And that’s it – you have made an easy one of the best shredded bbq chicken recipes.

Serving Your Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken

Now if you’d like to get creative with your pulled BBQ chicken here is where you start – a hamburger bun comes to mind – and that is really easy with a bit of coleslaw and maybe extra barbeque sauce – even a sprinkle of onion powder.

However, you end up serving your Instant Pot pulled BBQ chicken you will enjoy it – shredded bbq chicken made easy with this instant pot recipe.

Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken

Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken bbq

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Course: chicken recipes, Instant Pot Recipes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy bbq pulled chicken, pressure cooker bbq chicken, pulled bbq chicken, thighs shredded barbecue chicken
Servings: 4 -6
Calories: 419kcal
Author: Rose


  • 2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs or Breast
  • 2 Tbsp 32g Vegetable or Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Dry Mustard Powder
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder - only if you like it hot
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce of Your Choice


  • Dry Ingredients: Take your dry ingredients and mix in a bowl. Then cover the chicken in the oil before adding the bbq seasoning blend. Stir to well so that the skinless chicken thighs are coated well.
  • Cooking: Set the electric pressure cooker's sauté function to high. When hot shows, add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes on one side before flipping and cooking an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  • BBQ Sauce: Add your bbq sauce and again mix the chicken around to cover and get some sauce onthe bottom of the pot so that it can clean any burnt portions off before cooking. Pressure cook in the Instant Pot for 5 minutes on high pressure with a quick release pressure.
  • Shred: Transfer the cooked chicken to a bowl ready to shred before going back in the sauce.
  • Reduce: While you are shredding the chicken set the instant pot to saute again and reduce the bbq sauce a little for extra flavor.
  • Broil: This is Optional.  Broil in your oven for a short time to make crispy - put the chicken on parchment paper on a tray - watch it after 3 minutes to make sure it does not burn.


If you use a thicker cut of chicken like breast increase the cooking time by 2 minutes


Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 1163mg | Potassium: 713mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 792IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 3mg
how to make pulled bbq chicken
How to make pulled bbq chicken