The College Housewife » Recipes » Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Believe me when I tell you this was THE JUICIEST bbq chicken I’ve ever had. This instant pot bbq chicken recipe cooks 3 lbs of juicy, saucy, bbq chicken in just under 20 minutes. A perfect recipe for busy weeknights or lazy summer evenings. 

Platter of bbq chicken breasts, thighs and drumsticks with a side bowl of bbq sauce.

Say hello to the juiciest bbq chicken you will ever make at home! 

Made in the Instant Pot: This bbq chicken recipe is made in the instant pot which means a super short cooking time and ultra juicy chicken (even from frozen!). 

This chicken is bursting with flavor: Before it’s cooked in the instant pot, the chicken pieces are rubbed with a flavorful simple dry rub made with smoked paprika, brown sugar, and more!

After the chicken is finished cooking in the instant pot, mop on a thick layer of your favorite bbq sauce for that deep, rich flavor on every bite. 

Easy Dinner: Have a tasty chicken dinner ready for the whole fam or for your Saturday bbq crew quickly and easily. Use a mixture of bone-in thighs, drumsticks, and breasts for variety. 

Goes great with summer favorites like coleslaw, pasta salad, grilled veggies, or even fruit salad

Bbq sauce, garlic powder, smoked paprika, brown sugar, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and bone in chicken.

 

Ingredients for Instant Pot BBQ Chicken: 

  • water 
  • liquid smoke (optional)
  • 2.5-3 lbs bone-in chicken (thighs, drumsticks, breasts, etc)
  • brown sugar 
  • smoked paprika 
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • salt
  • black pepper 
  • cayenne pepper, optional
  • BBQ sauce 

What kind of chicken should I use? 

For instant pot bbq chicken, thighs, drumsticks, and bone-in breasts work great!

Any kind of chicken piece that is skin-on, bone-in, will be super juicy and flavorful! Bone-in chicken is always a bit juicier and the skin will crisp up nicely when it’s broiled after with bbq sauce.

Step by step process on how to make instant pot bbq chicken.

How to make BBQ Chicken in the Instant Pot: 

  1. Fill your instant pot with a cup of water and a few drops of liquid smoke if you have some (this will give everything a more ‘bbq’ essence!).
  2. Rub your chicken down with the dry rub ingredients on both sides. 
  3. Place your chicken into the instant pot in a single layer, close the lid. 
  4. Set the pressure vent to sealing.
  5. Press pressure cook on High for 12 minutes.
  6. The screen will read ‘ON’.
  7. The instant pot will take about 8-10 minutes to come to pressure and then the 12 minute cook time (about 20 minutes total).
  8. After the chicken is finished cooking the instant pot will alert you and the screen will say OFF. 
  9. Wait a couple of minutes and then slowly release the pressure valve to the venting position.
  10. Place cooked chicken on a sheet pan, slather with bbq sauce and then broil or grill chicken for 4-5 minutes to get the chicken a bit crispy on top. 

Bbq chicken breast sliced into pieces.

Why should you make BBQ Chicken in the Instant Pot?

Juiciest. Chicken. Ever.

I’m not exaggerating! Dry chicken is just not in your future anymore. Cooking the chicken in the instant pot makes everything so succulent and juicy. I mean can you see it shining in the picture above?! If you’re not big into grilling or need dinner quick, you can have a delicious bbq meal right from you instant pot FAST. 

Can I make this bbq chicken recipe with frozen chicken?

Yes, you can use frozen chicken!

Be sure the chicken pieces are separated and not in one big frozen blob. You’ll also want to tack on an additional 3-5 minutes to the 12 minute cooking time (15-18 mins total) on account that they’re frozen. 

Platter of bbq chicken breasts, thighs and drumsticks with a side bowl of bbq sauce.

Side Dishes to Serve with Instant Pot BBQ Chicken:

If you make this Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Recipe be sure to give it a 5-Star Review and tag me on Pinterest and Instagram!

I seriously love seeing what you guys are making and sharing your creations with the College Housewife community.

Print
Platter of bbq chicken breasts, thighs and drumsticks with a side bowl of bbq sauce.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Scale

Ingredients

1 cup water

34 drops liquid smoke

3 lbs bone in chicken (thighs, drumsticks, breasts, etc)

2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

¼ tsp cayenne pepper, optional

1/21 cup your fav BBQ sauce


Instructions

  1. Add water, liquid smoke to the bottom of the instant pot.
  2. In a small bowl mix together dry rub ingredients: brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Rub the dry mixture on both sides of chicken pieces.
  3. Place your chicken into the instant pot in a single layer, close the lid. 
  4. Set the pressure vent to sealing.
  5. Press pressure cook on High for 12 minutes.
  6. The screen will read ‘ON’.
  7. The instant pot will take about 8-10 minutes to come to pressure and then the 12 minute cook time (about 20 minutes total).
  8. After the chicken is finished cooking the instant pot will alert you and the screen will say OFF. 
  9. Wait a couple of minutes and then slowly release the pressure valve to the venting position.
  10. Place cooked chicken on a sheet pan, slather with bbq sauce and then broil or grill chicken for 4-5 minutes to get the chicken a bit crispy on top. 

Notes

Frozen Chicken: If you’re using chicken that is frozen, be sure to separate the pieces before cooking and cook for an additional 3 minutes (15 minutes total). 

Keywords: pressure cooker, bbq, easy

SAVE THIS RECIPE PIN FOR DINNER!

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