Pressure cooker pulled chicken is one of those recipes I just happened to try one day and, since then, it has become a family favourite. The Instant Pot is an ideal way to cook the chicken thighs so that they are moist, tender and very saucy.
Each time I use my electric pressure cooker I become more in love with this method of cooking. The pressure cooker allows you to cook food in a fraction of the time that it way another method like the slow cooker or braising.
Lately, I have been taking recipes and converting them to be cooked in the electric pressure cooker. This pulled BBQ chicken is something I have made in the slow cooker for years. The meat is so so delicious! Using the pressure cooker is easy and making this pulled chicken can be done in less than 30 minutes from fridge to pressure cooker to table.
I cooked the chicken thighs with a can of pop. The pop with the sugar and spices gives the meat a sweet spicy flavour. Any kind of pop will work just fine. I tend to use cola or root beer most frequently, but I have also used orange soda and it gave the meat a nice taste as well.
My package of chicken thighs were in the freezer and I placed them in the fridge the night before to thaw. When it came time to cook, the thighs were still fairly frozen. The top part was thawed but the bottom portions were frozen solid.
The great thing about the pressure cooker, is that you can cook the meat frozen. While this does not work with a slow cooker because it takes to long for the meat to fully cook, it work beautifully in a pressure cooker.
For these chicken thighs, I added an extra 5 minutes to the pressure cook time and it was more than enough!
Along with the chicken, I added some diced onions and a green pepper. You could add jalapeño peppers if you want some heat. You could also throw in some quartered mushrooms if you like!
In a bowl, whisk together the pop, sugar and spices. Pour the mixture all over the chicken.
Set the pressure cooker to cook on high pressure for 15 minutes (since my chicken thighs were still frozen, I added an extra 5 minutes to the 15.
Once the pressure cooking is finished, you can manually release the pressure by switching the valve to vent. With oven mitts, lift the inner pot out of the pressure cooker. Using a strainer, drain out the majority of the broth. It is ok if some of the broth is still in the pot. I probably kept about 1/2 cup of the broth in the pot. It might have been more than that since the meat was quite moist and had soaked up some of the broth.
Place the pot back into the pressure cooker and shred up the chicken meat with tongs or a fork. It should shred very easily.
Stir in a bottle of your favourite BBQ sauce. The chicken is tender, moist, sweet and ridiculously amazing. We all could not get over how delicious it was.
While it is great on a bun, we found ourselves dumping a pile of the meat straight on our plate and eating it just like that.
In case you make this ahead, you can set the pressure cooker to keep warm and it will keep the pulled chicken warm for a while in case you don’t want to eat for an hour or so.
Pulled Chicken Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Recipe
- 12 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
- 2 onions, peeled and diced
- 1 green pepper, cored and diced
- 1 can pop (root beer, cola, ginger ale, etc.)
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 bottle BBQ sauce
- 8 buns
- Place chicken thighs, diced onion and green pepper into the pressure cooker pot.
- In a bowl, whisk together the pop, sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and black pepper until sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture all over the chicken thighs in the pot.
- Close the pressure cooker lid and make sure that the vent valve is set to closed/sealed.
- Set the pressure cooker to cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Once the pressure cooker has finished cooking and beeped, manually release the pressure by turning the valve to vent. Once the air pressure is released, remove the lid.
- With oven mitts, lift the pot out of the pressure cooker. Using a strainer, drain the majority of the broth. It is ok if somewhere from 1/2 -1 cup of broth stays in the pot with the chicken. Place the pot back into the pressure cooker.
- Using tongs or a fork, stir the chicken around, shredding it up into strands. The chicken should be fully cooked and will shred very easily.
- Squeeze bottle of your favourite BBQ sauce into the pot and stir the chicken so that the sauce coats all the meat.
- Serve on buns with extra BBQ sauce, if desired.