Make Caramelized Instant Pot BBQ Chicken (Pressure Cooker BBQ Chicken) in 3 Super Easy steps with a few pantry staples. Juicy & tender BBQ Chicken bursting with sticky-smoky-sweet flavors. Delicious family recipe for busy nights!
With summer just around the corner, we’re starting to crave for all-things barbeque, the smoky scent of summer; and the summer picnics, camping under the stars, warm beach parties with delicious ice-cream…yess!!
Have a little taste of summer with this deliciously juicy & beautifully caramelized BBQ Chicken…
3 Super Easy Steps to Make Instant Pot BBQ Chicken:
- Pressure Cook Chicken in Instant Pot
- Mop on the BBQ Sauce
- Caramelize BBQ Chicken
Ta da! That’s it! You can do this. 🙂
Easy enough for busy nights yet delicious enough for party or potluck!
Why Make BBQ Chicken in Instant Pot?We pressure cook the chicken in Instant Pot to keep them super tender & juicy.
Then, we apply the spiced up BBQ sauce and caramelize it in the oven at the highest temperature for the shortest duration to avoid drying out the chicken.
This easy cooking method results in super tender & juicy chicken coated with finger-licking caramelized sticky sweet-smoky flavors. So good!! 🙂
Step-by-Step Guide: Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
Super easy to prepare as the only essential ingredients you need are the Chicken + BBQ Sauce! 🙂
Add Water & Steamer Basket
Add 1 cup (250ml) cold water and (optional) 3 drops of liquid smoke in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
Then, place a Stainless Steel Steamer Basket in there as well (as shown in above photo).
Pressure Cook Chicken
Generously season both sides of the chicken with salt and black pepper.
Then, layer 6 – 8 (2.5 – 3 lbs) chicken thighs or drumsticks on the Stainless Steel Steamer Basket (as shown in below photo).
Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 8 minutes, then 10 minutes Natural Release.
If the Floating Valve doesn’t drop after 10 minutes, turn the Venting Knob to the Venting Position to release the remaining pressure.
Spice Up BBQ Sauce
If you are using store-bought BBQ sauce, add more depth of flavor with some garlic powder, onion powder, and white vinegar.
*Pro Tip: For reference, we added 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, and 1/2 tbsp white vinegar to 1/3 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. Please taste & adjust accordingly.
Apply BBQ Sauce to Chicken
Pat dry the chicken thighs and place them on an oven tray. Generously coat both sides of the chicken with BBQ sauce.
Caramelize Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
We tested caramelizing the BBQ Chicken with the broiler in the oven vs. Instant Pot’s Saute Mode. Both methods work, but broiling in the oven works and taste better.
Place the chicken thighs under the broiler for 4 – 8 minutes until the BBQ chicken is browned & caramelized (not burned).
*Pro Tip: If you use Instant Pot’s Saute Mode, be sure to constantly flip the BBQ Chicken to avoid burning the chicken.
Enjoy your Instant Pot BBQ Chicken!~ 🙂
Tools for Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
Time for cooking BBQ Chicken in Instant Pot!
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- 6 - 8 (1230g or 2.5 - 3lbs) chicken thighs or drumsticks
- Your favorite BBQ sauce
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 cup (250ml) cold water
- 3 drops liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ tablespoon white vinegar
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- Add Water & Steamer Basket: Add 1 cup (250ml) cold water and (optional) 3 drops of liquid smoke in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Then, place a steamer basket in the pot.
- Pressure Cook Chicken: Generously season both sides of chicken with salt and black pepper, then layer chicken on stainless steel steamer basket. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 8 minutes, then 10 minutes Natural Release.
- Spice Up BBQ Sauce: If you are using store-bought BBQ sauce, add more depth of flavor with some garlic powder, onion powder, and white vinegar. For reference: we added ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, and ½ tbsp white vinegar to ⅓ cup Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. Please taste & adjust accordingly.
- Apply BBQ Sauce to Chicken: Pat dry chicken and place them on an oven tray. Generously coat both sides of chicken with BBQ sauce.
- Caramelize Instant Pot BBQ Chicken: Place BBQ Chicken under the broiler for 4 - 8 minutes until the BBQ chicken is browned & caramelized.
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Get Recipe: Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
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