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bbq chicken on sandwich with slaw
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5 from 4 votes

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Juicy and fall apart tender, this Instant Pot BBQ chicken is simple enough for a weeknight, and can be prepped ahead to save time! Serve it on a bun with slaw and plenty of tangy barbecue sauce.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
time to pressurize15 mins
Total Time33 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 192kcal


  • 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs see note 1
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce see note 2
  • ¼ cup maple syrup see note 3
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder


  • Combine- In the stainless steel insert of your Instant Pot, stir together the barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and chili powder. Stir until smooth, then add the chicken thighs, turning to coat in the sauce.
    chicken and sauce for bbq chicken in the instant pot
  • Cook- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, set the steam release handle to the 'sealing' position, then pressure cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
    When the cooking cycle has completed, perform a quick pressure release: carefully transition the steam release handle to the 'venting position', taking care to ensure your hands, face, and kitchen cupboards are clear from the steam.
    cooked bbq chicken in instant pot
  • Shred- Using tongs, transfer the cooked chicken to a clean bowl. Use an electric hand mixer or two forks to shred the chicken. Return the chicken to the sauce and coat it in the cooking liquid.
    shredded chicken in bowl with forks
  • Serve- Serve it up on a bun with slaw. See below for other serving suggestions!
    bbq chicken on sandwich with slaw



1- swap for an equal weight of boneless skinless chicken breasts and decrease the cook time to 8 minutes high pressure with quick pressure release.
2- I've tested this with Stubb's, Sweet Baby Ray's and Newman's Own sauces; use your favorite!
3-maple syrup may be swapped for an equal volume of honey or brown sugar.
Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freeze in meal prep containers or sturdy freezer bags for up to 3 months.
Heat in a frying pan, using tongs to stir it up, heating it through evenly. 


Serving: 0.5cup shredded chicken (note 4) | Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 333mg | Potassium: 509mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 371IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg