Completely Keto Barbecue Chicken

In the vibrant heart of Memphis, known for its soulful music and rich culinary heritage, there lived a pitmaster named Joe. Joe had a passion for barbecue, a craft passed down through generations, but he also had a personal commitment to the keto lifestyle. Determined to merge these two worlds, Joe embarked on a mission to create a barbecue chicken dish that would honor the deep flavors of traditional Memphis BBQ while adhering to keto guidelines.

After countless experiments and tastings, Joe finally perfected his Completely Keto Barbecue Chicken. The secret lay in his homemade Memphis BBQ sauce, a concoction that captured the essence of the city’s barbecue legacy without the sugar. Using sugar-free tomato sauce as a base, Joe added a hint of natural smokiness with sugar-free liquid smoke and balanced the tanginess with apple cider vinegar. A splash of bourbon gave it an unmistakable depth, while Lakanto sweetened the deal without adding carbs. The sauce was further enriched with coconut oil, yellow mustard, and a blend of spices and herbs, creating a symphony of flavors that danced on the palate.

Joe lovingly coated skinless, boneless chicken thighs in this special sauce, slow-cooking them to perfection. The result was a keto-friendly barbecue chicken that could stand proudly alongside any classic Memphis BBQ dish. Word of Joe’s creation spread quickly, drawing crowds from far and wide. His Completely Keto Barbecue Chicken wasn’t just a meal; it was a testament to the possibility of tradition evolving to meet modern dietary needs, proving that with creativity and respect for the roots, one could enjoy the best of both worlds.

Harlan Kilstein’s Completely Keto Instant Barbecue Chicken

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 503 kcal


Assembling the BBQ Sauce - (Harlan’s Secret Memphis BBQ Sauce)

  • 2 cups Sugar Free Tomato sauce I use Roselli’s Marinara
  • 2 DROPS Sugar Free Liquid Smoke I use Lazy Kettle
  • 2/3 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tblsp Bourbon
  • 2/3 cup Lakanto Xylitol, or Swerve
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard Prefer Nathan’s Famous Deli Mustard
  • 1 Onion medium, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fresh oregano
  • 1 leaf fresh basil minced
  • 1 tsp sugar free hot sauce
  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken thighs skinless and boneless


  1. Turn your Instant Pot on Saute
  2. All ingredients except for the chicken
  3. Simmer the ingredients for 5 minutes then turn off.
  4. Place the chicken on top of the sauce
  5. Spoon the sauce on top of the chicken.
  6. Using your Instant pot on MANUAL, close the pot and seal it.
  7. Cook on low pressure for 15 minutes.
  8. Let the pressure release.
  9. Using a wooden slotted spoon take the chicken out and place it on a platter.
  10. Turn the Instant Pot Back to Simmer and let it simmer for 5 more minutes.
  11. Sprinkle with white sesame seeds
  12. Serve with sauce for dipping.
  13. (Save extra sauce)

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