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Dutch oven full of pulled chicken breast in bbq sauce with a side of slaw and beans.

Dutch Oven BBQ Pulled Chicken (Shredded Chicken Breast)

  • Author: Tara Smithson
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2.5 pounds of chicken 1x


This Dutch Oven BBQ Pulled Chicken cooks down in bbq sauce for the most delicious tender chicken breast to use for bbq plates, bbq sandwiches, flatbread pizza and more! This shredded chicken breast only takes one hour to make!


  • 4 medium to thick chicken breasts, (about 2.5 lbs), trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced medium
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup of regular to thick bbq sauce, like Stubbs Original bbq sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce


  1. Whisk together the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Pat dry the chicken breast and sprinkle with the seasoning mix.
  3. Place a dutch oven on the stovetop over medium heat and pour in olive oil. Cook the chicken breast in two batches, for 2 minutes on each side. You want them golden on just the outsides, not at all cooked in the center.
  4. Remove chicken breasts to a plate. Reduce heat to medium low, and add in onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté the onions for just two minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon and scrape up some of the browned bits from the chicken. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 60 seconds.
  5. Add the chicken breast back in the dutch oven over the onions and garlic. Pour in bbq sauce, vinegar, chicken stock and hot sauce. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, still on medium low heat.
  6. Flip the chicken over onto the other side. Cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Check to make sure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees. It's ok if it's over 165, mine was closer to 180. If the internal temperature is under, continue to cook until it reaches 165 degrees.
  7. Once the chicken breast reaches 165 degrees or higher, transfer just the chicken breast onto a cutting board and use two forks to shred the chicken, until you get the desired consistency. Leave the sauce in the dutch oven over low heat.
  8. Transfer the pulled chicken back into the dutch oven sauce. This can cook for another 30 minutes on low heat or you can serve it immediately. Enjoy!


  • When cooking the onions and garlic, reduce the heat down to medium low. You just want to cook the onions until a bit translucent, not at all brown, and they will continue to soften in the sauce.
  • When sautéing the chicken breast in step 3, we are basically just adding a bit of a golden edge and adhering our seasoning to the outside. Do NOT cook more than 2 to 3 minutes in this step or you will get a crust on the outside of the breasts that will be tougher in texture when shredding.
  • Checking the internal temperature of the chicken is always necessary when cooking. Make sure it reaches 165 degrees. Most likely, it will be higher than that, but it's important to check. It's impossible for me to tell you an exact time because we're not going to have the exact same flame on our cooktops. I have an instant read thermometer linked below, that has absolutely changed my cooking game. I never overcook chicken anymore because of this inexpensive tool.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: dutch oven
  • Cuisine: southern

Keywords: pulled chicken dutch oven, shredded chicken dutch oven, pulled bbq chicken