This simple and delicious Instant Pot shredded BBQ chicken takes 30 minutes to make and is incredibly versatile when it comes to serving. What’s best is that you can make this even if you don’t own an Instant Pot; the stove top or oven work just fine. Keep this recipe in your back pocket for busy week nights when you want to spend minimal time prepping dinner.
What Type of Chicken is Best for Shredding?
Boneless skinless chicken thighs work well. Chicken breasts are another option. However, if the chicken breasts are very large, I suggest cutting them in half before placing into the Instant Pot.
Boneless skinless chicken thighs are a staple on my Weekly Food Shopping List!
How Do I Shred the Chicken?
There are a few different ways to shred chicken. This recipe keeps the chicken very juicy so using two forks is my go-to.
- Two forks – Simply hold one fork in each hand. Use one fork to hold down a piece of chicken and the other to pull small pieces away.
- Handheld electric mixer – Place all cooked chicken into a large bowl and set your mixer on low to medium speed. Gently push the beaters into the chicken and move them around the bowl until the chicken is shredded.
- Standing mixer – Place all cooked chicken into the bowl of your standing mixer and snap in the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on low speed and let it shred for a few minutes.
How Do I Make Shredded BBQ Chicken Without an Instant Pot?
Don’t have an Instant Pot? You can still make this easy recipe!
- Stove Top – Mix the seasonings in a large bowl. Then, add the chicken and evenly coat both sides. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs and cook for 4 minutes. Next, flip the chicken thighs and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes. The internal temperature should read 165 degrees. *The one tablespoon of olive oil will add about 1.75g of fat to each serving.
- Oven – First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine the seasonings in a small bowl. Sprinkle the blend over both sides of the chicken thighs and place them on the sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees. The time can vary based on the size of the chicken thighs.
If you’re interested in purchasing an Instant Pot, I own this Instant Pot.
This Instant Read Meat Thermometer works well and gives fast and accurate readings.
How to Serve the Shredded BBQ Chicken:
Honestly, the options are endless! My favorite way to serve this is by making BBQ chicken sliders.
- Sliders: Using King’s Hawaiian Rolls, add BBQ chicken, Pepper Jack cheese, diced red onions, and BBQ sauce.
- Salad: Add BBQ chicken to a bowl of romaine lettuce and top with diced red onions, cheese, and ranch dressing.
- Pizza: Spread BBQ sauce over pizza dough and top with BBQ chicken, diced red onions, and Pepper Jack cheese.
- Burritos: Add BBQ chicken to 8-10″ tortillas with rice, beans, Pepper Jack cheese, and a drizzle of BBQ sauce.
- Nachos: Top chips with BBQ chicken, cheese of choice, jalapeños, and BBQ sauce.
How to Make BBQ Shredded Chicken:
First, pour one cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot and place the raw chicken evenly on top of the metal rack in the Instant Pot.
Next, in a small bowl mix together paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt, chili powder, and black pepper.
Then, sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the raw chicken.
Once the chicken is covered, close the Instant Pot and set the valve to the ‘Sealing’ position. Press the ‘Manual’ button and set the timer to 12 minutes.
When the timer is up, do a ‘Quick Release’ by moving the knob from ‘Sealing’ to ‘Venting’. Make sure you stand away from the Instant Pot as it’s releasing the steam.
After the steam is released, open the Instant Pot and transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Carefully turn off the Instant Pot, remove the metal rack and pour out the leftover water from inside. Once the chicken is shredded, add the chicken back into the Instant Pot.
Finally, pour the barbecue sauce over the shredded chicken and stir to combine.
Instant Pot Shredded BBQ Chicken
- 2 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce
- Place metal rack in bottom of Instant Pot and pour in one cup of water.
- Mix all spices together in a small bowl.
- Place raw chicken on the metal rack in the Instant Pot.
- Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly onto the chicken.
- Close the Instant Pot and set the valve to the 'Sealing' position. Press 'Manual' and set timer to 12 minutes.
- Release the pressure through quick release when the time is up.
- Turn off the Instant Pot. Remove the chicken carefully and place onto a cutting board to shred with two forks or into a bowl to shred with a handheld or standing mixer.
- Dump out the leftover water from the Instant Pot into the sink and remove the metal rack. Add the shredded chicken back into the pot.
- Pour barbecue sauce over the chicken and stir to combine.
How do you see yourself eating this Shredded BBQ Chicken?