Pressure Cooker Honey BBQ Boneless Chicken Thighs

By now you all know how madly, deeply I am in love with my 6qrt Electric Pressure Cooker.  Wait you don’t know this? Oh honey we need to talk!  Come grab a seat at my kitchen table, have a cookie (or 3) and let’s chat.  You see I cook every day.  Every. Single. Day. And while cooking and baking (really anything that involves being the kitchen and creating) is my passion.  It allows my creative side to come to light and let my engineering mindset take a breather.  You see when I’m in the kitchen I don’t think. I know that sounds odd (or even cocky which I don’t meant) but for me it just makes sense when I craft a new recipe.

My day job is very structured and streamlined.  It’s very centered around process, governance and standards. It’s either black or it’s white; there are no gray areas.  Well in cooking you run the gamut of colors if you will in that proverbial rainbow.  You get to start with a concept, dabble around; perhaps add a little dash of this or a splash of that.  You get to play or as I say, create. However there are days that yours truly even gets tired of being in the kitchen. I mean I love it and would so totally move my bed into it but my life is ridiculously busy that I truly do burn the candle at both ends and because I’m crazy I made slices in that candle and started to burn in those slices just so I can get more done in 24 hours. Yeah I know, not a wise or healthy thing to do.

Pressure Cooker Honey BBQ Thighs4

So enter in this FANTABULOUS 6qrt Electric Pressure Cooker.  Folks this thing changed my life when it came to cooking.

It took those days where when I got home from work I just didn’t have the energy to stand in the kitchen for 30 minutes making a meal. I was tired, the gym kicked my butt, I needed a shower, I had 400 TKW emails to answer, I had to work on another recipe posting, I had to make sure I spent quality time with you guys on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and oh yeah, feed Mr. Fantabulous. I won’t even go into my also logging into my day job and checking on emails and stuff.

You see if you’re like me you grew up where  the pressure cooker that our Moms and Grandmothers used were deadly.  They’d hiss, they spit, heck they’d even blow their lids off if you let the pressure build up too much or not have enough liquid in it.  That was the only kitchen appliance that I was forbidden to touch.  Heck I wasn’t even allowed in the kitchen when my Mom would use it.

Well about a year or so ago, I was at the All-Clad Factory Sale and they had this particular one for a deep discount (like all stuff there).  See this one is part of their parent company so for me it’s a brand I knew to trust.  Since it was inexpensive AND from a brand that I trust I figured I’d get one.  I brought it home and there it sat.  Why?  I had no clue how to use it or what to make in it.  So like you I went to Google just to read more about it and understand the mechanics of pressure cooking.

Pressure Cooker Honey BBQ Thighs

Pressure cooking is a cooking method that takes a pot and tops it with a special airtight lid and seal.  By sealing a liquid in a pressure cooker traps the vapor that rises from the liquid.  This in turn raises the pressure inside the pressure cooker along with the maximum temperature that the liquid can reach.  In layman’s terms, the increased temperature and pressure significantly speed up the cooking process.  The pressure infuses the hot steam into the food.  By utilizing this method, pressure cooking can cook foods in about one third the ordinary time on average and often over 10 times faster.

With this pressure cooker there are 2 types of release methods – fast/quick and slow/normal. Fast pressure release means that the cook should use the valve, or pressure releasing mechanism particular to their cooker  (such as a button to push, a lever to twist, or a slide to pull), to release pressure once the timer goes off.  For thick recipes (such as a chili or a risotto), right after this release,  the still unopened pressure cooker should be given a few small jolts to release any super-heated seam pockets in the food.   Slow pressure releases pressure using the pressure releasing mechanism. By letting the machine release it for it, it lets the pressure drop slowly from your electric pressure cooker.  During this slow release, the cooking continues, so it is recommended for certain cuts of meats, and some desserts. When pressure is fully released, the float (pressure indicator) will drop and the lid will unlock to open.

Pressure Cooker Honey BBQ Thighs1

So I set out to make my first recipe with my fancy new pressure cooker, Pork Ragu. Sure I could have started off with something simple but if I wanted to really test it out, I needed to put it through its paces.  Now prior to starting I needed to research cooking times for various meats as this is important. Once I got that down pat I was ready to go. What I love about this pressure cooker is that this one has a browning function which I’m all about.  Why?  You don’t need to dirty additional pots or pans for it!  BONUS!  Don’t get me wrong, I actually like doing dishes (yeah I know, I’m crazy) but like I said, even yours truly gets tired of being in the kitchen.  Once I brown the pork, I assembled the ingredients and, topped the lid, locked it (which has a double safety lock – super bonus!), set the timer and let it do its thing. Now when I say a recipe takes 10 minutes in the pressure cooker that doesn’t include the build up time to get to pressure.  It’s 10 minutes total time at pressure.  However it only takes a few minutes for it to build up pressure so it’s not a big deal.

When this pork  was done and I had my first bite I knew I hit the jackpot!  It was ridiculously tender and the flavor was so intense that it blew my mind! And as you can see now by my having an entire Pressure Cooking section dedicated to just that on the site, I think you know how much I love this thing.

Pressure Cooker Honey BBQ Thighs2

Now onto these luscious boneless thighs.  I was at the butchers and he had an in-store special.    99 cents a pound with no limit!  Now I normally don’t buy thighs as I’m not a huge fan of dark meat.  Don’t get me wrong, it tastes great but it’s not the healthiest part only due to it having a higher fat content.  However it’s also the most flavorful part. So you guys all know me, I firmly believe in ‘Everything in moderation’ so I can eat these, just not all the time. You see myoglobin is the hemoprotein (an oxygen-carrying protein) responsible for giving dark meat its reddish co lour. The more myoglobin, the darker the meat and the richer the nutrients. Myoglobin provides muscles with the oxygen they need during exercise or movement. And since chickens don’t fly they use their legs and thighs to get around thus building up them muscles and making the meat ‘dark’.

So I bought a few pounds and came home to make lunch.  Since I had a crap ton (official term here folks) of stuff to get done, I didn’t have a lot of time to be putzing around in the kitchen.  Don’t you hate it when real life gets in the way of your passion? Since I had made boneless chicken breasts in the pressure cooker a million (and 7) times before I figured the time would be about same.  I whipped up some bbq sauce then thinned it out for the pressure cooker, tossed it all in and for 10 minutes I was able to sit and relax before I got all those things on my list done.

When they were done, which literally they were almost falling apart they were so tender, I kicked the pressure cooker over to brown to thicken up the sauce and popped these babies under the broiler to crisp up.  And like clock work Mr. Fantabulous came out to the kitchen (or more like his nose pulled him into the room) sniffing away.  When he saw me pull these slightly charred, sticky bbq thighs out of the oven he immediately went and got us sodas, plates and silverware.  Oh how cute!  He thought I was going to share!  LOL  However  I’m a good wife and gave him some along with a small salad. He INHALED these things!  He kept saying how tender and juicy they were.  That the flavors were insane.  When I told him what they were he said “but… but I don’t like dark meat…”  I just smiled and said “looks like you do now honey!”

Pressure Cooker Honey BBQ Boneless Chicken Thighs

Rating 

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Ingredients
  • 2lbs boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups honey bbq sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 3 Tbl brown sugar
  • 3 Tbl honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Pat dry the thighs dry.
  2. Add the thighs into the 6qrt Electric Pressure Cooker .
  3. In a bowl whisk together the sauce, water, paprika, cayenne, brown sugar, honey, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour over thighs.
  5. Lock the lid down and set it to High pressure, 10 minutes.
  6. When the 10 minutes is up do a quick release.
  7. While the quick release is relieving pressure, place the oven to broil with a rack in the middle.
  8. Line a rimmed pan with foil and place a cooling rack on top.
  9. Lightly spray the rack.
  10. Gently remove the thighs from the pressure cooker with tongs and place on the rack.
  11. Set the pressure cooker to browning.
  12. Place the thighs in the oven and broil for 5-7 minutes each side.
  13. While the thighs are in the oven stir the sauce until thickened ~10-15 minutes.
  14. Remove the pan from the oven and slather on some sauce on top of the thighs.
  15. Return to the broiler for 5 minutes.
  16. Flip the thighs over, cover with more sauce and broil for 5 more minutes or until they are nicely charred.
  17. Place the sauce in a container for serving.
  18. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Notes
Hands down one of my best kitchen appliance purchases ever is this 6qrt Electric Pressure Cooker !

Looking for more Pressure Cooker recipes?

Pressure Cooker Wings with Bourbon Honey BBQ Sauce

Pressure Cooker Wings with Bourbon Honey Sauce

Pressure Cooker St. Louis Ribs with Whiskey BBQ Sauce

Pressure Cooker Guinness BBQ Sauce Ribs5

Pressure Cooker Perfectly Poached Chicken Breasts

Perfect Pressure Cooked Chicken Breasts

Fantabulous Pressure Cooker Pork Ragu

Pork Ragu2

42 Responses to “Pressure Cooker Honey BBQ Boneless Chicken Thighs”

  • Betty says:

    Tried these tonight and they were wonderful! The meat was so tender and the sauce was delicious. I was concerned that the sauce would be too sweet, since you start with a honey BBQ sauce and then add honey and brown sugar to it but it was NOT. We loved it. Thank you for the recipe.

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Honestly it all depends with how sweet the honey bbq sauce is that you start with. Since I use my own sauce recipe I know it’s not uberly sweet. I’m so happy that you loved this as much as I did! Thank you 🙂

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Cleeo2 says:

    These were fabulous! And I don’t even like chicken thighs!
    I have an old-fashioned round pressure cooker. I fit about 6-7 thighs in bottom. I was being cautious as this was a new recipe and also, I wasn’t sure if they would come out good if I stacked them on top of each other. Has anyone done so and still had good results?
    When done, I added fresh sauce and grilled them. They were perfect. I may try other chicken pieces this way as I prefer white meat. There is nothing like a pressure cooker. Thank you for posting this recipe.

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Cleeo 🙂

      Thank you so much! I stack mine, there’s nothing wrong with that. All you need to make sure is you don’t go higher than your recommended line in the pressure cooker. I’m so happy you loved these!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Jodi says:

    I just got my Instant Pot 2 days ago. This was the second recipe I tried and my family loved it! They each said they could have eaten a plate full. I have an 8 quart Instant Pot. How many lbs of thighs could I use and how would I adjust the recipe for the sauce and cooking time? (I did have the bottom couple of thighs stick on a bit.) But it was so delicious!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Jodi

      Yeah that’s awesome! I’m so happy they loved them! Oh you got the big daddy of the Instant Pot! You could increase to 3 pounds to maybe 3 1/2 pounds (honestly it’ll depend on how big the thighs are). As for increase in sauce I would another half amount of each. So for example if it calls for 2 cups of bbq sauce, go with 3 cups. However you just have to make sure you don’t submerge the thighs fully as you’re not poaching them. You could keep the same amount of sauce in the pot when you cook then when you’re broiling the chicken, add the other 1/2 batch of sauce to the pot liquid.

      I’m not sure how the thighs could have stuck to the pan as they are in liquid. Odd…

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Janice Fiori says:

    Good looking recipe! Any idea what time I should set if the chicken thighs are frozen?
    Thank you!

  • Kathy says:

    Though it’s freezing and snowing here, through this dish we were transported back for a few minutes or so to the lazy, hazy days of summer. This one is a keeper. Thank you!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Oh first bundle up and stay warm Kathy. Where’s home?

      Secondly, thank you so very much! Yeah I love this recipe – especially now more than ever with it being cold and snowy in Pittsburgh.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

      • Kathy says:

        Home is Montreal where this morning it’s a brutal -9F with wind chill -17! On a positive note? We are expecting freezing rain by the weekend. I am looking forward to trying out some of your other recipes this weekend. Stay warm yourself – looks like there is a storm heading your way.

        • TKWAdmin says:

          OMG wow! I’ve not been up that north – furthest was Toronto. I’ve always wanted to visit. We actually got freezing rain last night and now it’s to be 50F today. Lovely!

          Best Kitchen Wishes and stay safe!

  • Pitts says:

    This is so simple, what a nice recipe !
    2 questions :
    1. It seems to me that you’re very close from an all homemade BBQ sauce, have you thought of starting from scratch instead of store-bought ?
    2. What are the benefits of thinning the sauce with water if it’s to reduce it afterwards ? Would you think it may cause a problem in the pressure cooker to only use BBQ sauce ?

    Thanks !

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hey 🙂 Thank you so much! I really appreciate it! So okay yes, I do make my own bbq sauce for this and all of my recipes. I just honestly forgot to hyperlink it above. I use this one – http://www.thekitchenwhisperer.net/2013/10/27/sticky-honey-bbq-sauce/

      When you pressure cook you want to use a thinner liquid as it needs to create steam. A thicker sauce could potentially clog up valves or not produce enough steam to properly cook the meat.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Judy says:

    Hi there, I just made these & my hubby said it was the best thing we’ve made in the pressure cooker! I hate to toss the bbq sauce. Do you any of you save it??

    Thanks so much!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Judy!

      Thank you so much! Don’t toss the sauce; save it – freeze it or make more thighs! You can use the bbq sauce on burgers, pulled pork and more chicken!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Cathy Fudala says:

    just got a pressure cooker and tried these honey

    BBQ thighs, wow it was like they were slow cooked on the grill. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  • Rebecca says:

    Can I use this recipe with just chicken legs? I have a giant package and I’m trying to find a pressure cooker recipe for it. Thanks

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      I’m actually going to be testing this out today with drumsticks (bone-in). It’ll work but I need to see how long it’ll take in the pressure cooker. I’m thinking it should be between 10-14 minutes. I’ll let you know, k?

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

      • Rebecca Seevers says:

        Thanks! I can’t wait to hear how it went!

      • Tiphanie W. says:

        Hi TKW,

        I was wondering if you tried our the bone-in drumsticks, and how they turned out? I would like to make this recipe, but mine are bone-in chicken thighs. What would be the correct time for those, do you think?

        Thank you!

        • TKWAdmin says:

          OMG Tiphanie it was a HUGE success!!! I cooked about 3.5 pounds of bone-in drumsticks and it took 12 minutes, quick release. Same recipe as above, just altered the time. I broiled them for about 7 minutes and perfectly crispy.

          Best Kitchen Wishes!

          • Tiphanie W. says:

            I made them tonight, and they were really good! The sauce never really reduced to a thickened consistency, but it still had a good flavor. Thank you for the recipe!

            • TKWAdmin says:

              I’m so happy you loved them! Hmmm… if your sauce didn’t thicken it more than likely needed a bit more time to cook. If you wanted, you could put it in a pan over the stove and let it cook down that way. Just like any bbq sauce it needs to cook down to reduce and thicken. Next time, trust me on this. It’s so worth it as the sauce is awesome!

              Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Sarah says:

    Hi. This looks great, but my pressure cooker is only 4 1/2 quarts. Do you think that will be a problem? Thank you.

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Sarah!

      Hmmm I would think no only because it’s 1.5 quarts smaller than my smallest one. What I would do is cut the recipe in half ensuring that you’re below your max fill line on the pressure cooker. Plus since the recipe doesn’t take very long you can always make a 2nd batch while the first one is in the oven!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Kim says:

    I am a new owner of an Instant Pot. A lot of things I have read says to use natural pressure release for meats or the meat will be tough. Your recipe calls for a quick release. I am wondering about when to and not to use the quick release for meats. I made a recipe for short ribs last night that called for quick release and the ribs were tough. I reset the IP for 10 minutes and did a natural pressure release and they were better and I was able to save them. I don’t want to make that mistake again. Please advise on your recipe and in general on this issue. Thanks!

  • Lindsey says:

    This is the first ever recipe that I have left a review…..wow just wow.
    These were so full of flavour and enjoyed very quickly by myself and my partner.
    I liked the flavours so much that I was wondering if you could use this recipe in the exact same way but for pork spare ribs ?
    Thanks again for such a lovely and yummy recipe that will be made time and time again ????

    • TKWAdmin says:

      OMGosh Lindsey thank you so so SO much! That honestly warms my heart and brings a tear to my eye. I truly appreciate it.

      Oh yeah I’ve used this recipe with boneless pork spare ribs. They are seriously amazing. For those, however you want to tweak the recipe just slightly. Pat the ribs dry then dredge in some seasoned flour (I just use salt and pepper) and sear then in a bit of EVOO on all sides just to get a nice crust. Next, add the rest of the ingredients above and cook for 20 minutes. Do a natural release. Then just like the thighs, place the ribs on a rack and broil to get that caramel crust on them like you did for the thighs.

      Let me know what you think of the ribs.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Gino Spinolli says:

    I never leave feedback, not because I don’t want to but because I forget. However this, this recipe lady you deserve my feedback. I’ve made this recipe about half a dozen times and it’s fantastic. My family, who never were thigh fans (I was the only one), raves about this recipe. Now to keep the family happy I do throw in some breasts with the thighs so everyone is happy.

    Some don’t want them broiled – they like the sauce all saucy where others love it broiled to give it that bbq char.

    This is my first ever recipe comment and words cannot thank you enough for such an amazing recipe. To be honest, I’ve made about 15 or so of your recipes and absolutely love each and every one of them!

    Grazie!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Wow Gino thank you so very much! I’m honored and humbled. That really means so much to me. Your family sounds like Mr. Fantabulous – he was never a thigh fan until I made these. Now he’ll ask me to make them.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • James says:

    We made these last night and wow are they awesome! Straight out of the pressure cooker they are so tender! I questioned the whole broiling them but when you put the bbq sauce of them and broil for a few it makes it taste just like you grilled them on the grill. Awesome! love these!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Thank you so much James! Yeah that’s exactly why I put them under the broiler. Since I don’t have a bbq (long story) I use my broiler to give it that true “bbq’d effect”.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Richard Fertal says:

    What in the world is the pressure cooker browning doing in the middle of the recipe?

    • James says:

      You brown/broil them to give the bbq sauce that ‘grilled’ sticky effect. You don’t have to do it but these are “BBQ’d” thighs. We love this recipe!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Richard,

      There is no ‘browning’ part in the recipe. You put the cooked chicken under the broiler to give it that ‘bbq’ effect and taste. If you’ve pressure cooked, the food that comes out is soft, tender and in this case, coated in the sauce. You don’t have to broil it. You can eat it as that. Think of it as cooked chicken with a sauce on top. By broiling it you then caramelize the sauce that is cooked on the meat similarly to grilling it on a bbq. I’m curious though why the one star. Did you make it and not like it?

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

    • Lindsey says:

      Hi Richard,
      I wondered the same thing as you because step 11 says to set the pressure cooker to browning. I think I may be able to explain this step for you. Step 11 is to cook the sauce that’s left in the pressure cooker once you have taken out the chicken thighs. The way I did it was like this…..once the chicken thighs had been taken out of the sauce I then set the pressure cooker to browning if your using an electric one (my pressure cooker calls it saute, so I pressed that button) leave the lid off and the sauce will cook and thicken slightly and look glossy as if you have it back on the normal stove on low-medium heat.
      The sauce is easier to slather/brush on top of the chicken thighs your now about to pop under the grill/broiler. Took about 10 mins for my sauce to reach the glossy stage by using the saute (browning function) on my electric pressure cooker and I kept an eye on it stiring it regularly.
      I hope this works for you as this recipe is truly one of the best and I’m sorry it’s such a long post but I hope I have explained it correctly for you and you get to try them again sometime ????

      • TKWAdmin says:

        Thank you so very much Lindsey! I really appreciate your feedback! That’s how I do it too!

        Best Kitchen Wishes!

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