How to BBQ with Your Instant Pot Like a Grill Master - Instapot Life (2022)

How to BBQ with Your Instant Pot Like a Grill Master - Instapot Life (1)

By Sarah Jackson / May 6, 2019 May 6, 2019

The Instant Pot has quickly become one of America’s favorite kitchen appliances. It can do it all as a pressure cooker, steamer, slow cooker, rice cooker and more. But one of the best and sometimes underlooked use cases for the Instant Pot is cooking mouthwatering BBQ.

What Type of BBQ Dishes Can I Cook in the Instant Pot?

You can essentially cook any BBQ dish that you would prepare on a grill or in a slow cooker in the Instant Pot. One of the best benefits of the Instant Pot is how quickly it cooks dishes. A pork shoulder made in the slow cooker could take 6 to 8 hours to cook. In the Instant Pot, it takes an hour and 30 minutes with the steam-pressure setting. Instant Pot BBQ is always a hit and any picnic or cookout.

One thing to remember is that there are sometimes still additional steps to do before or after cooking a meal in the Instant Pot. For instance, for the best pulled pork you’ll need to put the rub on the meat and brown it on all sides instead of sticking it directly in the multicooker. Many people mistakenly think that every part of every meal can be cooked all at once in the Instant Pot, but not all dishes are like that.

You can prepare poultry, pork, and beef including ribs. You can also think of the Instant Pot as your summer prep cook because you can prep all of your meats and sides before they go on the grill. Your imagination is the only thing that limits you in what you can BBQ and prep.

(Video) Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

How to Pressure Cook BBQ in Your Instant Pot

Whether your prepping food for the grill or making Instant Pot BBQ, the primary cooking function that you’ll use is pressure-steam. Pressure cooking means that quinoa finishes in 60 seconds, rice cooks in 4 minutes, and soup is ready in just 10 minutes. There are 3 stages of pressure cooking:

  1. Pressurization and Heating: First, the cooker heats the cooking liquid and turns it into steam pressure. After the Instant Pot builds up pressure, the float valve rises on its own, and the multicooker pressurizes.
  2. Cooking: The Instant Pot beeps once within 5 minutes of the pressurization and starts the cooking time countdown.
  3. Depressurization and Warming: Like traditional pressure cookers, the Instant Pot needs to depressurize and release steam after its finished cooking.

Pro Cooking Tip:Whether you preselect warm or not, the Instant Pot naturally cools over time to release the pressure. It cools faster if Keep Warm is off.

Using Your Instant Pot to Prepare Sides for the Grill

There are many traditional BBQ sides that people love to prepare on their grill, and the multicooker makes it easy. You can use your Instant Pot to braise, boil, or steam.

Corn on the cob is an excellent side for any grilled meal. You don’t need to bring a pot of water to boil to make tender corn on the cob. Using the pressure-steam function, simply add 1 cup of water to the cooker and place you husked and halved corn, standing up in the trivet and put it in the Instant Pot. Standing them up on end ensures even cooking. Cook them for 10 minutes, and they’re ready to burnish on your grill.

Grilled potatoes are another common side for summer meals, but they often need to be pre-cooked before you finish them on the grill. Use your Instant Pot to steam whole baby potatoes or quartered potatoes and then finish cooking them on the grill. Just place them in the Instant Pot for approximately 8 minutes on the quick release, high-pressure setting.

Using your multicooker for sides may take an extra step, but it reduces the total amount of cooking time which is great for busy families who still want great grilled food. Cook potatoes, grains, or lentils for delicious summer salads too. Cooking any vegetable in the Instant Pot first and then finishing it on the grill allows you to have that great grilled taste in a lot less time.

Using Your Instant Pot to Prepare Meats for the Grill

Just like vegetables, use the Instant Pot to start cooking meats and then finish them off on the grill. Knowing some of the basics of cooking meat in a multicooker can help.

Traditional ribs are the perfect grilled meat to prep in your Instant Pot. For cookouts, prepare a few batches of ribs in advance and then sauce them and finish the meat on the barbecue grill.

Your secret season weapon should be smoked salt. Every cook should have it in their pantry because it works like liquid smoke but doesn’t take as much effort.

(Video) Fall Off The Bone Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs | Secret BBQ Sauce Recipe

Steps for Preparing Instant Pot Ribs

  1. Properly prepare the ribs for cooking. Pork ribs have a membrane that lines the bone side. No matter how long you cook it, you can’t tenderize it. You must peel it away before seasoning the meat. Do this by placing the ribs, bone-side facing up and then slide a butter knife beneath the membrane layers between two of the bones until you can grip it. Use a paper towel for a better grip and gently pull the membrane off like you would the label on a jar.
  2. Prepare your rub. There are many rubs that you can use, but a dry rub is the best for ribs because the Instant Pot steams them, washing any wet seasoning away. The dry rub stays on the meat in the pressure cooker. Here is where you can use the smoked salt.
  3. Steam the ribs in a circle. Don’t cut and stack the ribs for cooking. The ribs won’t cook evenly. Roll them up and stand them up on the trivet in the multicooker. It may look odd, but your pork will cook evenly.
  4. Cool the ribs by laying them flat- Set the ribs to cook for 20 minutes and pressurize in 15 minutes. That’s a total cook time of 35 minutes and then do the quick pressure release. Remove them from the Instant Pot and lay them flat before you put sauce on them.
  5. Know when your ribs have finished cooking. When the ribs, have finished they should bend gently and not break when you lift them. The pork should just pull away from the bones.

BBQ Recipes for the Instant Pot

Here are some tasty BBQ recipes to try in your Instant Pot:

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Legs

How to BBQ with Your Instant Pot Like a Grill Master - Instapot Life (2)

(Video) Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

These chicken legs are tender and mouthwatering. The Instant Pot breaks down the meat perfectly making it succulent and juicy.

After prepping the chicken legs for cooking, combine the following ingredients to create a rub and rub it all over the chicken. The rub includes:

  • Dry mustard
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder

Next, place the chicken on the trivet inside of your multicooker. Then, brush your favorite BBQ sauce on the drumsticks.

Seal the lid of the Instant Pot and set it on high pressure for approximately 10 minutes with an additional 10-minute natural release. Once the pin drops, take the cover off, and your chicken is ready. You can perform an extra step which is definitely worth it.

Pro Cooking Tip- Place the cooked chicken on a baking sheet lined with foil. Brush the chicken with more of the BBQ sauce and place it under the broiler for about 10 minutes or until the sauce begins to bubble.

Source: Jennifer Banz

Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork

How to BBQ with Your Instant Pot Like a Grill Master - Instapot Life (3)

(Video) How to Use an Instant Pot - Instant Pot 101 - Beginner? Start HERE!

This tender, juicy pork cooks in an hour and 30 minutes taking much less time than the 6 to 8 hours it would cook in your crock pot slow cooker. It’s a terrific one-pot meal for picnics and dinners in the summer. You're left with juicy pork after you set the Instant Pot and turn your attention to the next task on your list.

Pork shoulder is the best meat for this dish. The first step is to rub a spice rub all over the pork shoulder and let it sit for around 30 minutes so the spices can work their magic. This recipe calls for a spice rub that includes:

  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder

Next, you’re ready to cook. Stick several cloves of garlic into the meat and sauté it in a pan until you’ve browned every side. Then, add chicken broth or water and a cup of BBQ sauce to the Instant Pot. Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to cook for 60 minutes. After the hour, shred the pork and stir it in the cooking juices. This recipe is great on sandwiches or eaten on its own for fewer carbs.

Source: Diethood

Instant Pot BBQ Like a Pro

Use the Instant Pot to help prepare meats and sides for the grill, and you’ll impress your friends with your cooking prowess. You can even forget the grill and prepare scrumptious Instant Pot BBQ in your multicooker using the pressure-steam setting. Either way, it's just a few more examples of how the Instant Pot makes your life easier by helping you put quick, delicious meals on the table. The Instant Pot is both a time and sanity saver.

Here are some tips for pressure cooking in your Instant Pot.

  • Several factors affect how long it takes your multicooker to depressurize and pressurize. Therefore, the heating cycle may vary from 5 to 40 minutes and sometimes longer.
  • Foods that are frozen or cool increase the time that it takes for your Instant Pot to pressurize and this means that it may take a few additional minutes to cook.
  • Pressure cooking liquids should be water-based such as stock, juice, or broth.
  • Recipes for the Instant Pot may use the Pressure Cook Program or manual settings.
  • Make sure that the quick release button or steam release valve/handle are in the “Sealing” position or the Instant Pot won’t seal.
  • Some foods may spatter, foam, froth or clog the steam release valve or handle such as cranberries, applesauce, noodles, oatmeal, split peas, pearl barley, and more. Use extreme caution when venting and cooking these foods. Don’t fill the multicooker over the “1/2” line.
  • Pro Cooking Tip- When cooking foods that expand such as rice or beans don’t fill the Instant Pot over the “1/2” line.
  • After the cooking cycle, leave the lid on for another 5 to 10 minutes before releasing the pressure when cooking rice.
  • Pro Cooking Tip- All programs except for Rice automatically default to high pressure.
  • Never fill the inner pot more than the “PC Max-2/3” line marked on the inside of the cooker.
  • For the best cooking results, use the venting method recommended on the recipe once your dish finishes cooking.
  • If pressure cooking dry pasta, use noodles that have a minimum of 8 minutes cooking time and then reduce that time by half (10 minutes becomes 5). Follow the recipe for the amount of liquid and submerge the pasta if you can, Don’t stir it though. Dry pasta with a cooking time of fewer than 8 minutes doesn’t pressure cook as well.
  • Pro Cooking Tip- Always keep 2 authentic Instant Pot sealing rings at home. Use one for savory and one for sweet dishes.
  • Pro Cooking Tip- Use the Instant Pot steam rack to keep foods up out of the liquid to ensure even heat distribution. Keeping foods above the cooking liquid also prevents nutrients from escaping into the liquid as well as keeps the bottom of the inner pot from burning.
(Video) Flambe Garlic Bourbon Ribs Smoked Grilled Instapot How-To BBQ Champion Harry Soo


Can you grill using the Instant Pot? ›


The Instant Pot can be used to pre-cook many of these, which will speed up the grilling time and can be useful if you're making a lot of food or the grill needs to be used by many guests.

How do you grill meat in an Instant Pot? ›

Season your meat as you normally would. Heat a little oil using the Sauté function and sear the meat. Add 1 1/2 cups of liquid (water, stock, etc.). Cook for 20 minutes (per pound of meat) at high pressure for large chunks and 15 minutes (per pound of meat) for small chunks.

How do I use my Instant Pot as a smoker? ›

Place a steamer basket in the pressure cooker, along with the food to be steamed. Heat it up, and when the smoke starts coming out, lock on the lid. Reheat it periodically to keep the smoke going. Ten to twenty minutes later, you've got yourself a delicious smoky snack, without even having to have build a real fire.

Can you grill in multi cooker? ›

A multicooker (also written "multi cooker") is an electric kitchen appliance for automated cooking using a timer. A typical multicooker is able to boil, simmer, bake, fry, deep fry, grill roast, stew, steam and brown food.

Can you put a metal bowl in a pressure cooker? ›

Oven-tempered glass and metal bowls or pans can be used in a pressure cooker.

Can you pressure cook steak before grilling? ›

I would recommend pressure cooking first, then searing afterward. Remove all surface moisture and sear your steak on Saute [More] until you have a nicely browned and caramelized crust.

Do you put water in pressure cooker with meat? ›

How to Cook Meat in the Pressure Cooker - YouTube

Can you brown meat in a multi cooker? ›

Yes, you can brown meat quite well in the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker. This chuck roast was browned in Instant Pot using the “Sauté More Function”.

Can you grill different meats at the same time? ›

Meat and poultry can be placed together on the grill for cooking. It's important to use a food thermometer to be sure all of the food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria. All poultry should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

Can you grill and cook at the same time? ›

Yes, it's possible! You prepare your grill with a high direct heat one side and low indirect heat the other, put your prime rib on the indirect side, close the lid and let it cook to desired doneness (don't forget thermometer!).

What should you not put in a pressure cooker? ›

6 Things You Should Never Cook in an Instant Pot
  1. Creamy Sauces. If there's one food group you should avoid in the Instant Pot, it's dairy. ...
  2. Fried Chicken. The best fried chicken is crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside and perfectly golden brown. ...
  3. Cookies. ...
  4. Burgers. ...
  5. Pie. ...
  6. Steak.

Can glass jars go in pressure cooker? ›

Only use glass that can withstand high temperatures. Tempered glass can withstand temperatures of up to 470 degrees Fahrenheit. Pressure cookers have a maximum temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, don't worry.

Can I use a glass bowl in a pressure cooker? ›

Many Instant Pot owners use canning jars to pressure cook successfully. They are glass, so they can break but they are created to withstand the pressure during canning.

Does meat get more tender the longer you pressure cook it? ›

I sure do to. A while back I asked myself, "Does pressure cooking tenderize meat"? and this is what I found out. The pressure will in fact make your meat super tender, almost as if you slow cooked it for the better part of a day.

Do you butter your steak before grilling? ›

"There is no real need for butter when cooking a steak because it already has plenty of fat and flavor in the meat itself," he says. (That is, of course, assuming you have a solid starting product.)

Should meat be browned before pressure cooking? ›

So, to recap, you don't need to pre-brown vegetables or meats. You just place it all in the pressure cooker and if you don't like the look when it's cooked , you can do a bit of browning afterward.

What happens if you dont add water to pressure cooker? ›

It is important to never run a pressure cooker without water. It cannot cook your food properly without water, and the pressure will build to such an extent that the lid, pressure valve, plugs, and hot food could be thrown all over the kitchen.

What happens if you open a pressure cooker without releasing the pressure? ›

This is due to pressure that has built up inside the appliance and hasn't had time to be released. When you open a pressure cooker too soon, unreleased pressure can cause the appliance to explode, causing severe burns and other serious injuries.

What happens if you don't add liquid to a pressure cooker? ›

It's necessary for steam to build up, ultimately creating a high-pressure environment used for faster cooking. Without sufficient liquid, pressure won't build — and you'll likely get the dreaded “burn” error.

Do you put vegetables in the slow cooker at the same time as the meat? ›

Add root vegetables to your slow cooker dish at the beginning of your cooking time. If cooking a large joint cut of meat like a lamb shoulder

lamb shoulder
Lamb shoulder is usually larger and has more connective tissue, so it needs to be cooked for longer than the leg before it becomes tender. Lamb leg is smaller and has less fat and connective tissue, so it cooks faster but it can be drier if it's overcooked or not cooked in enough liquid. › tips › the-best-cuts-of-lamb-for-...
, put your vegetables in the bottom of the pot and place the meat on top. For tender and evenly cooked vegetables, aim to cut them around the same size.

Do you cover meat with liquid in pressure cooker? ›

While you may cover meat almost completely for a conventional braise, use just enough liquid for the cooker to reach pressure – during pressure cooking the meat will release it's own juice and braise in that flavorful liquid, instead.

Can you cook raw beef and vegetables together? ›

Is it safe to cook raw meat and vegetables together in the same pan at the same time? Yes, this is a safe method of cooking, as long as everything in the pan is fully cooked before eating.

Should I cook chicken or burgers on the grill first? ›

You can start cooking on a charcoal BBQ after about 30 minutes, or 15 minutes on a propane grill which heats up faster. You'll then need to put foods on the BBQ in order of cooking time, from chicken first, then pork, corn cobs, hamburgers, sausages, steaks, seafood, vegetables and bread.

In what order should you grill meats? ›

Using the tip of a sharp knife, first make shallow (about 1/8 inch deep) cuts across the grain one way, then the other way (perpendicular to first set of cuts). Repeat on the other side. Season the steak, then grill it on medium-high for a minute or two less per side.

Do you grill meat fat side up or down? ›

Summary. Always smoke brisket with the fat side facing down. Fat-side down helps keep the seasoning on the brisket and makes it look better. Cooking brisket fat side up does not add moisture to the meat.

What are 3 rules for using the grill? ›

What You Need to Know
  • Separate it from other food.
  • Refrigerate it before grilling.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling it.
  • Make sure its juices do not touch other food, utensils, and surfaces.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure it is cooked to a safe temperature.
17 Mar 2022

Is it better to grill with the lid on or off? ›

Leaving the grill lid up will slow the cooking process by reducing the temperature around the meat. For thicker cuts, you want to close the lid to keep the temperature high and even.

Do you heat grill with lid open or closed? ›

With the lid open, you get precise control over the heat hitting one surface of your food; with the lid closed, you still have the heat acting on the bottom of the food, but it also picks up heat from the air surrounding it, which can lead to mixed results.

Can you grill in the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker? ›

Every Ninja® Foodi product allows you to do more. Which means you can bake in your cookware, keep knives sharp for over 10 years, pressure cook and air fry in one pot, or grill and griddle in the same appliance.

Can a pressure cooker be used as a fryer? ›

No, the only method of frying you will be able to do with an Instant Pot or any other electric pressure cooker is pan frying or sautéing with very little oil. Electric pressure cookers are simply not made for pressure frying of deep frying.

Can you put aluminum foil in the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker? ›

Yes, you can put foil in the Max Health Grill and the nine-in-one Ninja Foodi appliances via the same method as one would use aluminum foil on an outdoor grill. Also, using aluminum foil with the pressure and slow cooking options is possible and helpful for getting the foods to remain intact during the cooking process.

How do I grill a steak in my Ninja Foodi? ›

How to Cook a Steak in the Ninja Foodi Grill
  1. Form the butter into a log with clean hands and wrap it with parchment paper. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. ...
  2. Select Grill High and allow your Ninja Indoor Grill to preheat. ...
  3. Cook for 5 minutes and then flip. ...
  4. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes and then serve.
25 Jun 2021

Can you air fry a steak in the Ninja Foodi grill? ›

Preheat your Ninja Foodi to 400°F for 5 minutes on the air fry setting. While that is preheating, remove your steak from the packaging and rub down all sides of each steak with Montreal seasoning. Place steaks in the air frying basket and cook for 6 minutes.

What fryer does KFC use? ›

KFC swears by high-temperature, industrial-strength pressure fryers for their extra-crispy skin.

What happens if you put oil in a pressure cooker? ›

You can safely pan fry with small amounts of oil in the Instant Pot. You can also stir fry. But do not attempt deep frying. You cannot use an Instant Pot in the pressure cooking setting with large amounts of oil.

Which is healthier pressure cooker or air fryer? ›

Healthier food: With the reduction in oil, air fryers make healthier, more nutritious meals. Crispy, crunchy food: The technology utilised by these appliances allows you to create crispy foods, without deep-frying. Easy to clean: Instead of scrubbing pots and struggling with stovetops, clean your air fryer with ease.


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5. BBQ Moose Ribs Roast Instapot Instant Pot How-to Cook Grand Champion Harry Soo
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