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This Instant Pot BBQ chicken recipe makes perfectly shredded chicken without having to turn on your grill. This recipe takes only 30 minutes from start to finish!

two Instant Pot pulled chicken sandwiches beside a bottle of barbecue sauce

I got the idea for this Instant Pot pulled chicken recipe after I made pulled pork in the Instant Pot a few weeks ago. To date, it has to be one of my favorite recipes on my blog ever. I keep thinking about it, and I know I’ll have to make it again soon even though I’m usually up to my eyeballs in blog leftovers!

Making pulled chicken in the Instant Pot is a bit faster than the pulled pork, and it’s even easier. It only cooks for 10 minutes, and the total time is only 30 minutes!

You may also like my Crockpot BBQ Chicken.

shredded barbecue chicken inside an Instant Pot pressure cooker

How to make Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Mix together the chicken broth and spices then add them to the Instant Pot along with the chicken breasts. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. I like to let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then release the rest of the pressure manually (this yields more tender results). Shred the chicken with 2 forks, toss with your favorite BBQ sauce, and serve as desired.

This easy Instant Pot chicken recipe is perfect for summer cookouts. I love eating BBQ year-round, but there’s something special about being able to eat it outdoors, alongside other summer favorites.

More Instant Pot chicken recipes to try:

glass mixing bowl with shredded BBQ chicken and two forks

What to serve with Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

It makes delicious pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches with fresh buns and my creamy coleslaw.

You could also serve it as part of a BBQ, picnic, or potluck with side dishes such as pasta salads (try my Mediterranean orzo salad or my balsamic caprese pasta salad), my Instant Pot corn on the cob, or this corn and black bean salad.

close-up of pulled BBQ chicken sandwich on a bun

Will you try this electric pressure cooker pulled chicken recipe?

Let me know if you have any questions or comments below.

It's so easy to make shredded BBQ chicken in the Instant Pot, and it only takes 30 minutes in total. You will love this simple electric pressure cooker pulled chicken recipe. The sandwiches are amazing!
4.50 from 4 votes

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

This Instant Pot BBQ chicken recipe makes perfectly shredded chicken without having to turn on your grill. This recipe is only 30 minutes start to finish!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Inactive time: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 sandwiches


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional but tasty)
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce or to taste

 For serving (optional):


  • Whisk together the chicken broth, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke in a bowl until combined.
  • Add the chicken breasts to your Instant Pot. Pour the chicken broth mixture over top.
  • Close the Instant Pot's lid, set the valve to "sealing", and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for it to get up to pressure.
  • Once the countdown has finished, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick pressure release for the remaining pressure.
  • Add the chicken to a large bowl and shred it with 2 forks. If you wish, add in a couple of spoonfuls of the liquid left in the Instant Pot. Add your BBQ sauce and toss until coated.
  • I like to serve the pulled chicken in buns. 


  • The number of sandwiches this makes depends how much you stuff them, but I could have easily made 8 sandwiches from the 4 chicken breasts. 
  • I use this 6-quart Instant Pot.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 204kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 636mg, Potassium: 545mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 535IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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4.50 from 4 votes

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  1. Trish says:

    hi, I’m making this right now. Wondering: did you you fresh or frozen chicken breasts? If mine are frozen is everything done just the same? Thanks!

    1. Natasha says:

      I used thawed but frozen should be fine. I’d add another couple of minutes. 😊

  2. Irvin Wilson says:

    Tried this today. Didn’t come out “fall apart tender “ but had good flavor. Didn’t use the poultry setting so maybe they was the difference.

    1. Natasha says:

      Glad you liked the flavor! The poultry button is simply a pre-programmed amount of time.

  3. Jean West says:

    My husband requested that i bring this to our familt christmas. I use my electric handmixer to shred the chicken, i have a stainless steel inner pot for my pressure cooker.
    I cant count the times i have made this since i first found this recipe.

    1. Natasha says:

      Aww I am so happy that it’s a favorite, Jean! 🙂

  4. Beth says:

    Does the BBQ sauce go into the pot as well – or just used later on top of the cooked chicken?

    1. Natasha says:

      It goes on after it’s cooked. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  5. Amanda says:

    5 stars
    My family loved this recipe. Its so easy to make and really delicious.
    Thank you for making this website so easy to navigate and great recipes to follow.

    1. Natasha says:

      Yay! I am so glad you liked the recipe, and it’s great to hear that the site’s easy to navigate… that’s definitely one of my goals!

  6. Erich says:

    4 stars
    I’m doing this with thighs instead which I think are yummier – also adding a little more liquid smoke for smokiness… Great example of IP cooking with fast delicious results – I’ve spent hours smoking chicken to make pulled bbq.. and don’t think anyone would notice the difference.

    1. Natasha says:

      Yes, pressure cooking is such a great invention!! Can’t go wrong with chicken thighs and more liquid smoke! 🙂

  7. Olivia says:

    4 stars
    This came out very watery in the instant pot. It also doesn’t shred as easily as I would have liked. Next time I’ll add 1/2 cups of water and cook it for 15 minutes. I didn’t end up adding BBQ sauce since the juice was already super flavorful. Overall still very yummy.

    1. Natasha says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Olivia! I am glad that you enjoyed the recipe.

  8. Jay says:

    5 stars
    Looking to double the recipe. The chicken breasts are on the large size, as well. Would you recommend doubling all ingredients EXCEPT for the broth? I’m also thinking because of the large size of the breasts, I should increase the cooking time to 15 min. Thanks.

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Jay! Yes, I agree with doubling everything except the broth. I think 15 minutes may be a bit too long, and you’ll end up with rubbery chicken. Generally you don’t need to increase cooking time when you double a recipe like this. It’ll take longer to come to pressure, and while this is happening, it’s cooking. I used fairly large chicken breasts in this recipe. You could add on an extra minute or two to cooking time if you’re really worried, and/or make sure you use a meat thermometer. Hope this helps!

  9. Tonya says:

    What if I was going to triple the amount of chicken breasts? I realize otlhat the amount of BBQ sauce would triple, but I wonder about the amount of chicken stock while they are in the pressure cooker. Is the goal to have them completely covered in liquid in the instapot? Or would I use 3 cups. Of chicken stock? Thanks!

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Tonya! I don’t think they would need to be completely submerged. You could add a bit more liquid, but I think as long as there’s at least a cup in there and you don’t go over the safety line, it should be fine. I don’t think you need 3 cups of stock, but yeah, I’d definitely use more BBQ sauce.