Fast and Easy Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken 

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Making pulled chicken in a slow cooker can take about 4-6 hours. When I want delicious, moist pulled chicken and don’t have time to wait, I make this pulled chicken in my Dutch oven. 

I love using the crock pot, but on days when I need to get dinner on the table quickly, my Dutch oven saves the day. In just over an hour, you can be serving this easy pulled chicken. 

I’ll show you how to add in barbecue sauce to complete the recipe. However, you can use any sauce or spice with this versatile dish. 

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Dutch oven bbq pulled chicken

Ingredients

You don’t need many ingredients for this Dutch oven chicken recipe. In fact, this recipe uses just five main ingredients. 

Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need for this dish:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2.5-3 pounds chicken breasts (3 breasts)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1-2 cups bbq sauce
  • Optional: chicken broth or chicken stock 
ingredients for dutch oven shredded chicken

You’ll also need a 3-4.5 quart Dutch oven or braiser and an oven to make this recipe. 

You can substitute other chicken parts like boneless skinless chicken thighs, you’ll just need to watch the cooking time to obtain the correct cook time and temperature. 

How to Make Pulled Chicken in a Dutch Oven

This is one of my favorite Dutch oven recipes. Cooking the chicken in medium-low heat helps it become tender and delicious. You can use the pulled chicken in so many different ways once it’s done. I love to make this in batches to meal prep and freeze for later. 

Here’s how to make this Dutch oven shredded chicken:

Step One

Preheat your oven to 325?.

Step Two

Drizzle the olive oil into the bottom of the pan and place chicken breasts in the pan. Don’t overcrowd the chicken and make sure that each breast is placed flatly in the pan. 

Step Three

Coat the chicken breasts with the garlic powder and place the chopped onion into the pan. 

chicken breasts in a dutch oven

Step Four

Place the lid on your Dutch oven or braiser and put it into your preheated oven on the middle rack. You’ll cook the chicken for about an hour. Turn the chicken about 30 minutes in to prevent it from drying out. 

cooked chicken in dutch oven for shredding

Step Five

Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and when cool enough, shred the chicken using two forks for a meat shredder. You can shred the chicken inside the pan or take it out and shred it on a cutting board and place it back inside the pan when done. 

Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken

Step Six

Mix the shredded chicken thoroughly with the juices. At this point, you can add in the optional barbecue sauce, chicken stock, or any seasonings you’d like. 

bbq pulled chicken in the dutch oven

How to Serve Pulled Chicken Made in the Dutch Oven

This base recipe can be used to make a number of different dishes. Instead of adding barbecue sauce at the end, you can add other sauces and spices to make your favorite shredded chicken meals. 

One of my favorite ways to enjoy this dish is by making Mexican shredded chicken by adding spices, hot sauce, or hot salsa and using it in Mexican dishes. 

With just a little bit of effort and creativity, you can use this recipe in many different ways!

Here are a few ways you can serve this pulled chicken:

  • Chicken tacos
  • Pulled chicken sandwiches with homemade bbq sauce
  • Chicken enchiladas
  • Salads
  • Taco bowls
  • Soups
  • Shredded chicken lettuce wraps

How to Store Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken

Leftover pulled chicken can be stored in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to four months. It should be stored in an airtight container or freezer bag to maintain freshness. 

You can use this recipe to meal prep since it’s so easy to make and keep on hand. It’s a lot cheaper and healthier than the pre-shredded chicken you can get at the grocery store. 

Fast and Easy Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken

This easy pulled chicken is made in the Dutch oven for tender, delicious meat. You can use this shredded chicken in so many recipes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken, Healthy recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 2.5 pounds of chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2.5-3 pounds chicken breasts (3 breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cups bbq sauce optional
  • Chicken broth or chicken stock  optional

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 325?.
  • Drizzle the olive oil into the bottom of the pan and place chicken breasts in the pan. Don’t overcrowd the chicken and make sure that each breast is placed flatly in the pan.
  • Coat the chicken breasts with the garlic powder and place the chopped onion into the pan.
  • Place the lid on your Dutch oven or braiser and put it into your preheated oven on the middle rack. You’ll cook the chicken for about an hour. Turn the chicken about 30 minutes in to prevent it from drying out.
  • Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and when cool enough, shred the chicken using two forks for a meat shredder. You can shred the chicken inside the pan or take it out and shred it on a cutting board and place it back inside the pan when done.
  • Mix the shredded chicken thoroughly with the juices. At this point, you can add in the optional barbecue sauce, chicken stock, or any seasonings you’d like.

Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken FAQ

Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding Dutch oven shredded chicken. 

Is pulled chicken the same as shredded chicken?

Pulled chicken and shredded chicken are the same thing. Pulled chicken means that the meat is pulled apart just like shredded chicken. 

Should chicken be cooked before shredding?

Yes, you should cook chicken before shredding it. Raw chicken will not shred like properly cooked chicken. The cooking process helps break the meat down and makes it easily shreddable. 

How do you keep pulled chicken from drying out?

You keep pulled chicken from drying out by cooking it covered, like in a Dutch oven and by storing it properly once it has been cooked. You can also add olive oil and extra chicken broth and sauces to keep the meat moist. 

What is the best way to shred cooked chicken?

The easiest way to shred cooked chicken is by using two forks to pull the meat into shredded pieces. You can also buy specialty meat claws or a shredding machine to help you pull the chicken apart.  

How long should you let chicken sit before shredding?

Cooked chicken should sit for about 5-10 minutes before you shred it. This will let the temperature come down and the juices settle before you dig in. 

Can you overcook pulled chicken?

Yes, you can overcook pulled chicken. If cooked too long, the chicken can become dry or disintegrate depending on how much liquid you are using. Either way, it’s not good to overcook chicken you want to pull apart. 

At what temperature is pulled chicken cooked?

No matter how you cook chicken, the internal temperature should be at least 165?. Use a meat thermometer to test the middle of the thickest portion of meat to ensure it is completely cooked before consuming. 

fast and easy Dutch oven pulled chicken

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