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Mouthwatering Instant Pot BBQ Chicken plated with a bowl of bbq sauce on the side

Mouthwatering Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Recipe

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant Pot
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 435kcal
Author: Marilyn
When you are craving BBQ Chicken and it is too hot to turn on the oven or fire up a grill, this Instant Pot BBQ Chicken is the ideal answer for a mouthwatering summer dinner.
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  • 1 cup water
  • 3 drops liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs

BBQ Sauce

  • cup ketchup 
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons  apple cider vinegar


  • Add water and liquid smoke to the inner pot. Place steamer rack in the pot. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine chili powder, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Using paper towels, pat chicken dry. Season chicken with the BBQ Rub. Arrange seasoned chicken on steamer rack in the pot.
  • Close and lock the lid. Cook on High for 8 minutes. When the cooking time is done let the pot stand, covered, 10 minutes. Then turn the steam release handle and remove the lid. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh should register 165°F. If more cooking time is needed, close and lock the lid and cook on High for 2 minutes and then quickly release the pressure. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Discard all but ¼ cup liquid from the pot. Stir in ketchup, molasses, onions, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard. Select Sauté and cook, stirring, 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce is reduced by about one-third. Press Cancel. Stir in vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Return chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot. Turn chicken to coat with sauce.
  • Transfer chicken to serving platter. Serve with additional sauce on the side.


Steps and Tips for Perfect Results
  1. Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel before seasoning.
  2. Arrange chicken pieces on the steamer rack.
  3. After the initial cooking time is done, let the pot stand 10 minutes and then release the pressure. This step lets the chicken retain more of its juices instead of forcing them out through depressurization.
  4. The chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F and the juices run clear when the pieces are pierced with a fork.
  5. Reserve ⅓ cup of the cooking liquid to combine with the bbq sauce ingredients. This will add depth of flavor and a smoky twist to the sauce.
  6. Reduce the sauce to thicken and caramelize it. By doing so, you’ll have much better results with the bbq sauce nicely coating the chicken.
Pressure cooked chicken thighs can be refrigerated up to 4 days


Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 2379mg | Potassium: 803mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 1504IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3mg