Instant Pot Smoky Barbecue Chicken
Zesty, flavorful chicken made easy in the Instant Pot! Delicious sandwiches, rolled into tortillas, or served alongside mac and cheese. For even easier prep, use one of our L&B Barbecue Sauces instead of making your own.
Preparation time: 1 hour
For the chicken:
2 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the barbecue sauce:
½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons molasses
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced or grated on a Microplane
¾ teaspoon sweet or hot smoked paprika
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder
Hot sauce, to taste (optional)
- Season the chicken thighs with the salt and let them sit while you prepare the sauce.
- For the barbecue sauce, set the pressure cooker on the sauté function. Add the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire, chipotle chile, vinegar and garlic. Stir in the paprika, black pepper and dry mustard; simmer until the mixture is darkened and thick (it should turn into a paste), 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken. Cover and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
- Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a large bowl, leaving the sauce in the pressure cooker. Set the cooker on the sauté function and simmer the sauce until it has thickened to taste (remembering that it will continue to thicken as it cools), 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the chicken. Toss the chicken with some of the barbecue sauce and season with hot sauce to taste. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.
Tip: If you’d like to use a slow cooker instead, cook the sauce slightly less – it should bubble for a minute but not turn into a paste. Stir in the chicken, making sure it is well coated in the sauce. Then cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 4 to 5 hours.