Instant Pot BBQ chicken is an all-time dinner favorite. Quick and easy to make in the pressure cooker BBQ pulled chicken is fantastic served on a bun with coleslaw or simply on top of rice.
Use low sugar, honey-sweetened, sugar-free, or homemade BBQ sauce in this recipe to make it paleo, keto, clean eating, etc. according to your dietary needs and requirements.
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How to make Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
This is a truly easy pulled BBQ chicken recipe. Start with skinless, boneless chicken.
Chicken breast or thigh meat or a combination of both work well for this. Season the meat with your favorite dry rub.
I am using my rib dry rub from this recipe. Be sure to use a sugar-free rub, if you are making a keto or low carb pulled chicken.
Add water and finely chopped onion to the pressure cooker. Then place the seasoned chicken inside the pressure cooker and top with BBQ sauce.
DO NOT STIR!
Keep as much of the BBQ sauce on top of the chicken to keep it from burning to the bottom of the pot and cause the BURN error message. During the pressure cooking process the ingredients will start combining anyway.
Pressure cook the barbeque chicken on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. The timer will start counting down after about 7-10 minutes of pressurizing time.
Then let the pressure release naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes before turning the pressure valve to release any remaining pressure (QR).
Can I use frozen Chicken breasts?
While I haven't tried it in this particular recipe, frozen chicken breasts can indeed be used in Instant Pot shredded chicken recipes. And you don't even need to change anything in the recipe.
The cook time remains at 10 minutes. The only thing that changes is the pressurizing time.
With frozen chicken breasts the Instant Pot will take longer to build pressure before the timer starts counting down. About 12-15 minutes instead of 7-10 of fresh/thawed chicken.
Can this recipe be doubled/multiplied?
Yes, this pulled chicken recipe can easily be doubled or tripled even. I would just make sure to arrange the chicken in a single layer side-by-side instead of layering it too densely on top of each other.
How to shred chicken
The easiest way to shred the cooked chicken is with an electric hand mixer. Simply run the mixer inside the pressure cooker on low speed.
Be sure to move it across the bigger chicken pieces are few times and it will break down all of the chicken in as little as 30 seconds. At the same time all of the delicious BBQ sauce and cooking liquid will get incorporated.
Alternatively, you can also shred the chicken manually with 2 forks. It will just take a little longer and more arm muscle.
Which BBQ sauce should I use?
Any of your favorite BBQ sauces should work well for this shredded chicken recipe. Personally, I try to look for low-sugar or at least no high fructose corn syrup in store-bought BBQ sauces.
For a paleo and keto version try this unsweetened BBQ sauce from Primal Kitchen (use code LEELA for 10% OFF your order).
iFoodReal has a yummy homemade BBQ sauce recipe.
What goes with BBQ pulled chicken?
At our house we either turn this recipe into BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches or simply serve it on top of rice with a salad or veggies on the side.
For the BBQ chicken sandwiches I spread some mayo on both sides of a quality bun, then add the pulled chicken on the bottom half, top it with some coleslaw and then the top bun half.
Can you Freeze BBQ Shredded Chicken?
The cooked BBQ shredded chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. It's therefore quite suitable and delicious as a meal prep recipe.
You can also freeze leftover BBQ chicken in a freezer-safe container for several months. Be sure to thaw it in the fridge when ready to use.
Items I used to make this easy pulled bbq chicken
Pressure cooker: Instant Pot DUO 7-in-1- Check it out on AMAZON
Using a hand mixer makes shredding chicken so easy and a matter of less than 30 seconds.
More delicious Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken
- 1 pound boneless chicken breast or thigh meat (about 2 breasts)
- 2 teaspoons dry rub seasoning I use my rib rub recipe
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ onion finely chopped
- ⅔ cup BBQ sauce
- Season the chicken with the dry rub from both sides.
- To the inner pot of the pressure cooker add the water and finely chopped onion.
- Place the seasoned chicken inside the pressure cooker and pour the BBQ sauce over the meat. DON'T stir.
- Close the pressure cooker lid and turn the pressure valve to sealing position. Set to cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- The pressure cooker will take about 7-10 minutes to pressurize before the timer starts counting down. Once the cook time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before turning the pressure valve to venting to release any remaining pressure.
- Once all pressure is released (pin drops), open the lid and shred the chicken incorporating all the liquid. Use a hand mixer to shred everything in just 30 seconds, or do it manually with 2 forks.
- Make BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches with coleslaw, or simply serve the shredded chicken on top of steamed rice or alongside any other side dish of your choice.