This is the OG instant pot meat technique. I created this technique for instant pot bone-in chicken and it has blown up. Everyone now has copied this post and for good reasons. Literally the best sticky, fall-off-the-bone instant pot chicken you will ever try! It's tender, moist and full of flavor. It cooks up fast and easy but the last step is what takes this pressure cooker bone-in chicken up another level!
This meal is over the top amazing!! Seriously good. It's one of those simple meals that I come back to time and again for busy weeknights! Pressure cooking chicken means I can easily make one of our family's comfort food classics any day of the week.
If you love this recipe, I think you will also enjoy this smoked turkey breast, another one of my family's favorites. If you find pressure cooking an easy way to prepare meals, try cooking frozen roast beef or bbq ribs.
Why Make Pressure Cooker Bone-in Chicken?
Bone-in bbq chicken is seriously my childrens' favorite meal. Here are some reasons why it is the best.
- Bone-in chicken breast, legs and thighs are very inexpensive!
- Bone-in chicken has so much more flavor.
- It's fast and easy to make.
- Requires only a few ingredients.
It doesn't get any easier than this 3-ingredient recipe for chicken pieces in the pressure cooker!! Here's what you need:
- BBQ sauce: Pick your favorite bottle at the store or make your own to make this recipe.
- Bone-in chicken: Chicken legs, thighs, and breasts work just great! You can even do a mix of chicken parts if everyone in the family likes something?
- Water: Just a bit to help the pressure cooker function properly.
What Kind of Bone-in Chicken Do I Use?
For this recipe, you can use any of your favorite bone-in chicken cuts. I love making it with a combination of bone in chicken breast, chicken thighs, and my kids LOVE chicken legs.
I always grab a packet of legs and thighs, bone-in. You definitely need bone-in chicken to create this recipe and chicken with this sticky bbq flavor and texture.
Bone-in chicken is so inexpensive but undeniably the best kind of chicken meat.
Do I Leave the Chicken Skin On Bone-In Chicken?
I like to leave the skin on to pressure cook chicken because it helps hold the juicy, tender meat together, but sometimes the chicken comes with way too much skin.
Feel free to trim down the skin. If you prefer it trimmed all off that's ok! Just be delicate pulling them out of the pressure cooker.
It will crisp up in the final step of the cooking process making it incredibly tasty!
How to Cook Bone-in Chicken in the Pressure Cooker
It's so easy! You will do this in layers.
- Add 1 cup of water to your instant pot. You can also use chicken broth or stock for a little extra flavor.
- Lay down 3-4 chicken pieces. Top with your favorite BBQ sauce.
- Lay down 3-4 more bone-in chicken thighs, legs or breasts. Add BBQ sauce
- Continue layering this way. I can fit about 10-12 pieces in my 6-qt instant pot.
- Seal and cook on poultry setting, or high pressure for 20 minutes. I always use natural release when cooking my meat to ensure that it will be nice and tender.
How to Get the Sticky Melt in Your Mouth Flavor
The trick to making the bone in chicken breasts, legs, and thighs cooked in a pressure cooker taste amazing is in this next step!
Step 1. Pull the bone-in chicken out of the pressure cooker and place it on a lined cookie sheet.
Step 2. Slather a thick coat of more BBQ sauce.
Step 3. Broil it high in the oven for about 5 minutes.
Hint: The second layer of BBQ sauce and Broil step is a MUST. It creates a beautiful sticky crust with moist, tender pull apart chicken underneath. As long as you don't broil the chicken for too long it will not dry out.
Plate these bad boys and serve immediately while they are still piping hot! Serve pressure cooker chicken with any of these delicious sides.
Like making meat in the instant pot too? Try these recipes!
Expert Tips and FAQs
- Don't skip the final step of finishing the bone-in chicken breast, thigh, and leg pieces in the oven. It's what makes this dish so incredibly delicious!
- Layer the chicken and sauce in the pot. This ensures that all the chicken gets cooked with the bbq sauce infusing it with more flavor.
- Use bone-in chicken. The cut doesn't matter but don't skip bone-in chicken because It has more flavor and cooks up juicier and tastier than boneless.
- Don't skip the one cup of liquid. The instant pot or electric pressure cooker needs it to function.
Yes, just pop any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.
Yes, follow the same steps!
Absolutely! You can place many many pieces of chicken in an instant pot, depending on the cut. Just remember even though you will still cook for 20 minutes it will take longer for your instant pot to come to pressure.
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Pressure Cooker Bone-In Chicken
- 1 bottle favorite BBQ sauce
- bone-in chicken
- 1 cup water
- In your pressure cooker add 1 cup water. Layer 3-4 pieces of bone-in chicken. Brush BBQ sauce over chicken.
- Add another 3-4 pieces of chicken and brush sauce over. Continue layering until your chicken is done or pot is full. I can fit about 10-12 drumsticks and thighs.
- Cook on poultry setting and slow release. (or high for 20 minutes slow release)
- Once chicken is done, remove from instant pot to a foil lined sheet pan.
- Remove skins (if desired). Brush a thick layer BBQ sauce over chicken. Place in pre-heated oven on broil for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.