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This recipe for Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken yields deliciously tender shredded barbecue chicken with minimal effort! You can use it to make pulled chicken sandwiches, tacos, and salads.

pulled chicken

During those weeks when I’m lacking dinner inspiration, more than once, pulled BBQ chicken has come to the rescue!

I love how easy it is to make a big batch of this and eat it in different meals during the week.

Or you could make this and bring it to a summer party, picnic, or potluck. Corn on the cob, potato salad, sliced tomatoes, fresh watermelon, coleslaw, grilled hot dogs and hamburgers are all perfect too, but this will be the star of the show. Everyone loves BBQ chicken!

And not to worry if you have leftovers because this freezes very well!

instant pot pulled chicken

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Minimal ingredients, maximum flavor. Choose a good BBQ sauce (or make your own) because that’s the predominant flavor you’ll taste!
  • It doesn’t get any easier. The Instant Pot makes quick work out of this recipe, but you can also easily make it in a slow cooker with delicious results.
  • Serve it up however you like. You can make this pulled BBQ chicken into tacos, burritos, rice bowls, sandwiches, grilled cheese, or eat it as-is with a bunch of sides!
instant pot pulled bbq chicken with description

The Best Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Recipe

Once you make pulled BBQ chicken in the Instant Pot, it will become your go-to method!

Not only is it very easy to make shredded or pulled chicken in the Instant Pot, but it requires minimal ingredients.

The chicken cooks in a fraction of the time compared to other cooking methods, without sacrificing any of the flavor!

Ingredients in Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken with Barbecue Sauce

raw chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken breasts
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Chicken stock
  • BBQ sauce

Step-by-Step Guide for How to Make Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken

how to make bbq chicken in the instant pot
  1. Drizzle the oil in the bottom of an Instant Pot. Add the chicken breasts, chicken stock, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Pour the BBQ sauce on top.
  3. Turn the pot on Manual, High Pressure for 10 minutes and then do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
  4. Shred the chicken with 2 forks or use a handheld electric mixer. To thicken the sauce, turn the pot on Sauté and cook the chicken and sauce together until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
pulled bbq chicken recipe instant pot

How to Store BBQ Pulled Chicken

Once it’s cooked, let the pulled BBQ chicken cool to room temperature, and then store it covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Or you can store it in an freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

pulled bbq chicken

How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

You can also easily make pulled BBQ chicken in a crockpot. Cooking in a slow cooker also has its perks!

The great thing about using a slow cooker to make pulled chicken is that you can turn it on in the morning before you head to work, and then come home to a hot dinner waiting for you.

How to Make BBQ Chicken in a Crockpot or Other Slow Cooker:

  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker. (See recipe below for specific ingredients and amounts. However, omit the chicken stock from the recipe below if you’re making this in a slow cooker.)
  2. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  3. Shred the chicken with 2 forks or with a handheld electric mixer.
instant pot bbq pulled chicken graphic

Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken FAQs

Does BBQ Sauce Count as Liquid in an Instant Pot?

No, BBQ sauce doesn’t work as liquid in an Instant Pot. This is why this recipe calls for 1/2 cup of chicken stock in addition to BBQ sauce.

How Do You Make Pulled Chicken Less Watery?

The more finely you shred the chicken, the more liquid it will absorb and the less watery the final result will be. Additionally, you can turn on the “Sauté” function on the Instant Pot to evaporate off some of the liquid if necessary.

easy instant pot bbq chicken

What Should I Serve with Pulled BBQ Chicken?

Any dish that you’d take to a potluck would be perfect! Here are a few delicious ideas:

shredded bbq chicken

What to Make with Leftover BBQ Chicken

  • Tacos
  • BBQ chicken salads, like this Keto BBQ Chicken Salad Bowls (use a low carb BBQ sauce if you want to keep the carbs down)
  • Rice bowls, similar to this Turkey Taco Rice Salad Bowl
  • BBQ shredded chicken sandwiches or grilled cheese (use low carb rolls or paleo bread)
  • Casserole; just spoon some BBQ pulled chicken into a gratin dish, top it with shredded cheddar, caramelized onions, and sauteed mushrooms or bell peppers, and broil it until the cheese is melted
  • Pasta dinner; toss the pulled chicken with some pasta and add any veggies you like, such as corn, scallion, etc.
  • And of course you can serve Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken with all the fixings, like corn on the cob, potato salad, cornbread, coleslaw, baked beans, collard greens, etc.
instant pot shredded bbq chicken

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Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Other Time10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
This recipe for Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken yields deliciously tender shredded barbecue chicken with minimal effort! You can use it to make pulled chicken sandwiches, tacos, and salads.

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Equipment

Ingredients
 

Optional Garnishes:

Instructions
 

  • Drizzle the oil in the bottom of an Instant Pot. Add the chicken, stock, salt, black pepper, and BBQ sauce to the pot. Turn the pot on Manual, High Pressure for 10 minutes and then do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
  • Shred the chicken with 2 forks or use a handheld electric mixer.
  • To thicken the sauce, turn the pot on Sauté and cook the chicken and sauce together until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Top with any garnishes you like and serve.

Notes

  • Nutrition Information: Information was calculated with regular (not sugar-free) BBQ sauce, and without any of the optional garnishes.
  • BBQ Sauce: You can use your favorite homemade BBQ sauce or store-bought BBQ sauce for this recipe.
  • Freezer-Friendly: This recipe freezes very well; reheat it in a microwave or on the stovetop.

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 821mg | Potassium: 547mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.8mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ Chicken Instant Pot, Instant Pot BBQ Chicken, Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken, Instant Pot Pulled Chicken, Pulled BBQ Chicken, Shredded BBQ Chicken

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easy instant pot pulled bbq chicken pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on April 8, 2020. It was updated with more information on February 22, 2022.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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