Are you in the mood for some juicy, saucy, tender chicken? Well, look no further than my Crockpot BBQ Chicken recipe! This dish is perfect for busy weeknights or lazy Sundays when you just want to relax and let your trusty slow cooker do all the work.
When I first created this recipe, I was inspired by the flavors of my favorite summer BBQs. I wanted that same delicious taste without having to fire up the grill or spend much time in the kitchen. By using my crockpot, I was able to infuse the chicken with those classic BBQ flavors while keeping it tender and juicy.
The key to this recipe is coating the chicken in BBQ seasoning before cooking it in BBQ sauce. This adds a layer of flavors that takes Crockpot barbecue chicken to the next level.
One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can use white or dark meat. And cook it until just cooked through and serve whole pieces, or cook a little longer if you want to make pulled chicken in the slow cooker.
Don't be afraid to play around with the type of BBQ sauce you use - sweet, spicy, or tangy, it's all up to you!
If you're a fan of meal prep, pulled chicken in the crock pot is great to make in bulk. Simply shred the chicken once it's done cooking and have it ready to go for lunches or dinners throughout the week.
Looking for more delicious chicken recipes? Check out my other favorites, like my super-popular Blackstone chicken or my quick and easy Instant Pot whole chicken. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!
- Chicken: You can use either boneless skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs for slow cooker BBQ chicken.
- BBQ Seasoning: I recommend using my homemade BBQ seasoning, but you can use your favorite prepared BBQ seasoning if you prefer. If you don’t want do use either, you could us a blend of garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Salt: Since the BBQ seasoning will likely already have some salt in, we don't need to add much.
- Barbecue Sauce: Use your favorite brand.
- Brown Sugar: Either light or dark brown sugar works here.
- Worcestershire Sauce: This adds an extra depth of flavor, but you can omit it if you don't have it on hand.
Step by Step
For the full recipe with measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
- If you want to use bone in chicken pieces, cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. You can place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes if you like to caramelize the sauce.
- To make this recipe low carb, use a brown sugar substitute and keto BBQ sauce.
- For slow cooker barbecue chicken sandwiches, make sure you toast the buns first so that they don’t get soggy.
- If you want to serve the chicken whole, reduce the cooking time by an hour or two. Just make sure that you use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the chicken has reached 165° F before serving.
How Do You Keep BBQ Sauce from Burning in a Slow Cooker?
I don't generally have an issue with BBQ sauce burning, but some slow cookers run hotter than others.
If yours runs hot, make sure you use the low heat setting.
Also, stir the sauce around the edges, and if it starts to look dry you can add a little extra liquid (such as chicken broth or apple juice) to prevent the sauce from burning.
Can you Overcook BBQ Chicken in a Slow Cooker?
Yes, it is possible to overcook this dish if you cook it on too high of a heat for too long. To avoid this, make sure you use the appropriate cook time and temperature for your slow cooker. An instant-read thermometer can be helpful here to ensure that the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165° F before serving.
What is the Best Way to Shred Chicken?
The best way to shred chicken is in a stand mixer.
How Do You Store BBQ Chicken?
Once cooked, the leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Alternatively, you can freeze the chicken for up to three months.
When ready to use, remove from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat until warmed through.
When it comes to serving up Crockpot BBQ chicken breast, the possibilities are endless!
You can also consider serving the chicken whole with some classic BBQ side dishes. This could include corn on the cob, cast iron cornbread, baked beans, Instant Pot potato salad, veggie mac and cheese, sweet potato salad, or grilled zucchini.
BBQ pulled chicken in the crock pot is a great topping for a loaded baked potato, nachos, or a hearty pasta salad. You can also mix it with some rice and black beans for a quick and easy taco bowl.
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- Slow Cooker - Use a Crockpot, Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker, or Instant Pot Dutch Oven
- Instant Read Thermometer
More Slow Cooker Recipes to Try
- Easy slow cooker shredded chicken is perfect for meal prep.
- Crockpot chili is easy to make and always satisfies.
- For an easy side, you will love Crockpot scalloped potatoes.
- Slow cooker polenta is my favorite base for veggie bowls, and works equally well for serving with slow cooker short ribs.
Easy Prep Crockpot BBQ Chicken
- Season both sides of the chicken with BBQ seasoning and salt. Place in your slow cooker.
- Combine the BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours. Reduce the time by an hour if you are serving whole slow cooker bbq chicken breast, just make sure the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165° F before serving.
- Serve whole, or use forks or a stand mixer to shred the chicken.