Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
Dinner doesn’t get any easier than this Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken! Chicken breasts or thighs cook in BBQ sauce in the slow cooker to make the best pulled chicken, perfect for sandwiches and more.
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This crockpot BBQ chicken is one of my favorite crockpot chicken recipes for a crowd-pleasing family dinner. I make this recipe often when I need a quick make ahead meal. It’s one of the easiest slow cooker recipes and it makes the most delicious BBQ pulled chicken. Prefer an Instant Pot recipe? You’ll love this Instant Pot BBQ Chicken!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Dump and Go Recipe: It takes just minutes to add the ingredients to your slow cooker and then dinner will be ready when you are.
- Make Ahead: This crockpot chicken recipe is perfect for busy nights or entertaining.
- Feed a Crowd: This is one of my favorite recipes to serve at a party, since it’s so easy to make and you can cook enough chicken to feed a crowd.
- Versatile: There are many ways to serve this slow cooker BBQ chicken, including sandwiches, wraps, salads, pizza, nachos and quesadillas.
“Crazy easy” is the perfect description and the results are so yummy! This recipe will become a go-to!Kathleen
BBQ Chicken Recipe Ingredients
- BBQ Sauce: Use your favorite store bought BBQ sauce or try this Homemade BBQ Sauce. The flavor of the BBQ sauce will flavor the BBQ chicken, so choose a sauce you love.
- Honey: For a little more sweetness. You can omit the honey if desired.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: For tanginess.
- Garlic Powder: For savory flavor.
- Chicken: You can use either chicken breasts or chicken thighs in this recipe. Chicken thighs are more forgiving because you can cook them for a longer time in your crock pot without them drying out. The recipe below includes cook times for both chicken thighs and chicken breasts.
How to Make Pulled Chicken in the Crock Pot
Here’s a look at the recipe steps. Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and cook times in the recipe card below.
Add the BBQ sauce, honey, apple cider vinegar and garlic powder in your slow cooker. If you are really pressed for time, you can just use BBQ sauce but I like to add the honey, vinegar and garlic powder for an extra flavor boost.
Stir all of the sauce ingredients together and then nestle the chicken into the sauce. You can cook the BBQ chicken on either the low or high setting of your crock pot. Choose which to use based on your schedule for the day, and how much time you have to allow the chicken to cook.
After the chicken has cooked, you can either shred it right in the slow cooker or remove it to a clean bowl or plate to shred. My favorite way to shred the chicken is to use my stand mixer – it’s so fast and easy! Read how to shred chicken for three easy ways to shred chicken.
Crockpot BBQ Chicken Recipe Tips
- If you decide to make homemade BBQ sauce you can combine the ingredients for the BBQ sauce right in your slow cooker. You don’t need to simmer the BBQ sauce on the stove since the flavors will have plenty of time to blend as the BBQ sauce cooks with the chicken in the slow cooker.
- All slow cookers cook differently, so cooking times are approximations. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. This recipe is very forgiving, since the BBQ sauce helps to prevent the chicken from drying out.
- You can shred, slice or chop your BBQ chicken, depending on your preferences and how you plan to use it.
What to Serve with Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
Serve this BBQ chicken on burger buns with just the chicken and BBQ sauce, or add cheese, pickles, or Coleslaw. On the side try:
- Macaroni Salad
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Air Fryer French Fries
- Red Potato Salad
- Fruit Salad
- Broccoli Salad
- Corn Salad
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Leftover cooked chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the microwave or in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Add a little extra BBQ sauce for moisture when reheating.
More Crockpot Chicken Recipes
- Tuscan Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
- Crockpot Chicken Breast
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
- Crockpot Chicken Tacos
- Crockpot Chicken and Mushrooms
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- 1 cup BBQ sauce, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, or thighs
- Combine BBQ sauce, honey, apple cider vinegar and garlic powder in slow cooker. Stir.
- Nestle the chicken into the sauce.
- Cover and cook on low for 3-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours. (If using boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cook for 5-6 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.)
- Check that chicken has reached an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F. Shred chicken.
- Serve chicken and BBQ sauce on burger buns, in quesadillas, on a salad or pizza, etc.