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Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Thighs

Instant Pot bbq chicken thighs come out tender and delicious in less than 15 minutes! Crisp in the oven with barbecue sauce or enjoy as is. Use boneless or bone in chicken thighs in Instant Pot like we did for a cheap meal with tons of flavor.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Thighs

Pressure cooker bbq chicken thighs get so moist and fork tender in no time. If you are having a busy day and need a quick one pot meal ready for dinner this is one that will be a hit with your family for sure. Use any sauce you love and try our easy Instant Pot recipe this week. (affiliate links present)

Ninja Foodi BBQ Chicken Thighs

If you are new to how to pressure cook you are in for a real treat. What would normally take hours will now be the same greatness under 30 minutes. If you have a Crockpot Express, Mealthy or want to make this as a Ninja Foodi recipe those will work just as well. Use the lid that is not attached for the last machine listed.

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This one in particular is one of our many quick chicken thigh recipes on our site. It is best if you use fresh or thawed but I will discuss what to do if yours are still frozen and you don’t have time to defrost them ahead of time. Use your favorite bottled sauce, not honey style as that may burn, broth and just a bit of oil.

If you are new to pressure cooking we have a lot of easy one pot meal recipes for you here. To begin with let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot
Ninja Foodi BBQ Chicken Thighs

Pressure Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs

Now we have made slow cooker bbq chicken thighs time and time again but I don’t always have it together enough to prep in the morning. If I do I will say that low and slow is my preference so I have nothing to do when I get home but this is a very close second to that one. All you need is;

  • 4 chicken thighs bone-in is best for this one with skin on especially if you’re going to crisp it under broiler when done. Boneless skinless is fine too if that is what you have though.
  • Olive oil for browning skin just a bit on saute function first
    • can sprinkle with salt, black pepper, smoked paprika and garlic powder too if you want extra seasonings
  • Chicken broth or water is needed to get the pot to come to pressure
  • About 10 oz of homemade or bottled barbecue sauce

Now you should remember that every time you saute meat in this multi cooker you need to add a bit of liquid and scrape off the stuck on bits. If you don’t you risk the burn notice appearing on the screen and the machine will stop cooking all together. Using a wood spatula is best to get this done so you don’t scrape the inside.

I have the non stick pot recommended and linked above so that is more important with that. If you are just using the metal version scratching isn’t really a thing but still is better to be safe than sorry.

Pressure Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs

Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken Thighs

Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside if you are going to want to crisp the skin when done. Alternatively you can use the reheat chicken in air fryer instructions if you don’t want to use your oven but still want the outside crunch.

  • Add oil to instant pot and set pot to saute. Blot skins with paper towels to dry, season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil and carefully add chicken thighs, cooking for about 3-5 minutes on both sides to get the skins on the outside crispy. Remove and set aside.
  • Add broth, use wood spatula to scrape stuck on bits off the bottom.
  • Place thighs back in with bones facing the bottom. Place the lid on the instant pot. Seal shut and close the pressure release valve.
  • Using the poultry or high pressure function, heat the thighs for 12 minutes cooking time. When cycle is complete, let pressure naturally release for 5 minutes before quickly releasing the remaining pressure.
  • Carefully open the instant pot and remove the chicken thighs.
  • Internal temperature should be 165+ at this point.

Place them onto the prepared baking sheet if using the oven. Add a dollop of bbq sauce to each thigh and spread evenly with a pastry brush. Place the thighs into the oven and turn on the broiler. Broil for 5 minutes or until barbecue sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Same instructions go for small chicken breasts if you’d rather have white meat.

Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken Thighs

Instant Pot BBQ Frozen Chicken Thighs

If you needed to cook frozen chicken thighs in Instant Pot this way you could. No need to saute at the beginning since that won’t work with them being rock hard. Instead follow this timing in the link and then move on to the broil and saucing step listed here to get the same result!!

Why is chicken tough after cooking in Instant Pot?

It shouldn’t be. If you cannot pull the meat apart with two forks after allowing for a bit of a natural release it wasn’t cooked long enough. Poultry pieces need at least 12 minutes to get tender, a whole bird takes closer to 1 hour to fall apart. Always let the steam release slowly and naturally too to keep it juicy.

Do you put barbecue sauce on chicken before or after cooking?

It depends on how you are cooking them. In the oven I like to brush some on with the foil on, then when removed add some more so it can caramelize on the top. BBQ chicken thighs in Instant Pot uses sauce at the end before crisping the skin under the broiler.

How to apply barbecue sauce to chicken?

A pastry brush is handy to have if you just want to add some flavor but not add a ton of sauce to your meat. Pour sauce into a bowl and then dip your brush in. Coat the outside of the skin and then cook as you like. It will bake on well this way and caramelize creating an even sweeter bolder flavor.

BBQ Chicken Thighs Instant Pot

The third way you can make these is to follow our air fryer bbq chicken thighs recipe too. From a Crockpot to using an IP here and how to make this in an air fryer basket I think I have covered it all, oven is coming soon though. 😉 We even go over leftover bbq chicken recipes here so there isn’t any waste. Now jump to recipe and try this one first!

BBQ Chicken Thighs Instant Pot

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Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Thighs
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5 from 6 votes

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Thighs

Instant Pot bbq chicken thighs come out tender and delicious in less than 15 minutes! Crisp in the oven with barbecue sauce or enjoy as is.
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Keyword barbecue sauce, bbq, chicken thighs, crockpot express, instant pot, ninja foodi, pressure cooker
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 311kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. Add oil to instant pot and set pot to saute. Blot skins with paper towels to dry, season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil and carefully add chicken thighs, cooking for about 3-5 minutes on both sides to get the skins on the outside crispy. Remove and set aside.
  • Add broth, use wood spatula to scrape stuck on bits off the bottom. Place thighs back in with bones facing the bottom. Place the lid on the instant pot. Seal shut and close the pressure release valve.
  • Using the poultry or high pressure function, heat the thighs for 12 minutes. When cooking cycle is complete, let pressure naturally release for 5 minutes before quickly releasing the remaining pressure.
  • Carefully open the instant pot and remove the chicken thighs. Place them onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Add a dollop of barbecue sauce to each thigh and spread evenly with a pastry brush. Place the thighs into the oven and turn on the broiler. Broil for 5 minutes or until barbecue sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Video

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Thighs
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 311 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 111mg37%
Sodium 196mg9%
Potassium 237mg7%
Carbohydrates 0.4g0%
Sugar 0.1g0%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 89IU2%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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Neha

Friday 26th of January 2024

I am an absolute fan of recipes that come together quickly and these chicken thighs look no different. Pinning it right away!

Vicky

Friday 26th of January 2024

This Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Thighs recipe looks amazing! I'm definitely going to try this with bone-in chicken thighs for that extra juiciness.

Nathan

Friday 26th of January 2024

Not only is this recipe delicious, it was also quick and easy to make! Perfect when I want something savory and filling on a weeknight but don't much feel like cooking. Thanks for sharing!

Ned

Friday 26th of January 2024

Delicious and easy to make with the instant pot! Thank you for a great weeknight meal!

Andrea

Friday 26th of January 2024

Quick, easy and budget friendly, these fantastic chicken thighs are a perfect meal for my family.

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