Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

When you want the flavor and tenderness of chicken cooked all day but you don't have much time to prepare, give this recipe a try. The convenience of a multicooker, the trending kitchen convenience product everyone is asking for, allows you to have tasty, finger-licking-good BBQ chicken in front of your family in under an hour. This surprising yet welcome choice for a delicious weeknight meal has all the taste of classic BBQ, without firing up the outdoor grill. The sweet homemade BBQ sauce uses ketchup, Coca-Cola, spices, and other ingredients, creates a nice glaze when spooned over the chicken and broiled. Add some chips, potato salad, baked beans, or your favorite BBQ side to complete the meal. Since you already have the soft drink on hand, go ahead and whip up this decadent chocolate cake for dessert. If you happen to have leftover chicken, shred or dice it and make a BBQ chicken salad or reheat it, add more sauce, and make sloppy BBQ sandwiches.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Kay E. Clarke; Food Stylist: Margaret Monroe Dickey
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 2 pieces chicken)


  • 2/3 cup ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 cup cola soft drink (such as Coca-Cola), divided

  • 2 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 (3- to 4-lb.) whole chicken, cut into pieces (2 each breasts, wings, thighs, and drumsticks)

  • Cooking spray

  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Stir together ketchup, chipotles, paprika, cumin, 1/2 cup of the cola, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a small saucepan over medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar, and remove from heat.

  2. Stir together garlic powder, black pepper, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a small bowl. Pat chicken pieces dry, and season evenly with spice mixture. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, coat with cooking spray, and set aside.

  3. Place water and remaining 1/2 cup cola soft drink in a programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Add chicken. Pour 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce over chicken, but do not stir.

  4. Preheat oven to broil with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. (It will take 10 to 15 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.) When cooking has stopped, carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). (This will take 3 to 4 minutes.) Remove lid from cooker. Carefully remove chicken pieces, and place in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Discard cooking liquid.

  5. Spoon remaining barbecue sauce evenly over chicken. Broil in preheated oven until sauce is lightly browned and skin is slightly crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately.

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