Go Back
Pressure cooked chicken on a plate with a slice of cornbread and a salad dressed with ranch dressing.

Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken

Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken is quick and easy way to enjoy the flavor of BBQ all year round. Serve on toasted hamburger buns or with a side of cornbread or French fries. 

Servings 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, mined or put through a garlic press
  • 3-4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Select the saute setting on your pressure cooker. Heat the oil until it shimmers but does not smoke. Add the onions and cook until soft, about three minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.

  2. Turn the saute function off. Add the chicken. Pour the barbecue sauce and water over the chicken. Stir to coat the chicken with the sauce.

  3. Lock the lid into place. Set the pressure valve to the "sealing" position. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.

  4. When the cooking time completes, quickly release the pressure by turning the pressure valve to "venting." Open the lid away from your face and remove the chicken from the pot with a pair of tongs. Place the chicken on a plate and allow to rest for five minutes.

  5. While the chicken rests, turn the pressure cooker to the saute function. Set the saute function to low. (On an Instant Pot, hit "saute" then press "adjust" until the light over "less" is lit.) Cook the sauce until it thickens, about three minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the sauce from burning. Remove the pot from the pressure cooker and place on a trivet.

  6. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Pour half the remaining barbecue over the shredded chicken. Adjust the amount of sauce as desired.

Recipe Notes

Barbecue sauce tends to be thick and can sometimes cause a pressure cooker not to reach the correct pressure. To solve this problem, add one tablespoon of water to the sauce before using. If your sauce seems especially thick, add two tablespoons of water. The sauce is thickened at the end of cooking. So don't worry about adding to much water.