Slow Cooker BBQ chicken has to be one of the most delicious dishes I prepare using my slow cooker. My tangy sweet brown sugar barbecue sauce blended with the tender shredded chicken is simply heaven on a plate (or roll) for me.
My easy slow cooker BBQ Chicken recipe is perfect for your next get-together or game day. Or simply because bbq chicken sandwiches are delicious!
This recipe is definitely a keeper, and If you want to know how long I’ve been making this delicious recipe, I use to call it crockpot bbq chicken.
Wouldn’t this make a delicious dinner tonight? Using my slow cooker is my favorite way to make Barbecue Chicken for sandwiches. The homemade bbq sauce is so incredibly flavorful and coats all of the tender shredded chicken, making each bite better than the last.
If you love delicious and Easy to make Barbecue, check out my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.
Ingredients to make Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
Can I use chicken breasts to make BBQ Chicken?
You most definitely can use boneless skinless chicken breasts with this simple recipe. I prefer chicken thighs because the dark meat holds up better when cooked for longer times. But chicken breasts will work if you prefer them over chicken thighs.
How to make Barbecue Sauce
- Add the vegetable oil, chopped garlic, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, black pepper, and salt to a small bowl.
- Mix well to combine.
*I used Sweet Baby Ray to make my homemade sauce but feel free to use your favorite bbq sauce. You can also substitute garlic powder for the chopped garlic if you prefer, and use olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
How to make Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- Pat dry the boneless skinless chicken thighs with paper towels and place them in the slow cooker.
- Pour the barbecue sauce on top of the chicken, covering it completely.
- Turn the slow cooker on the high-temperature setting with a cooking time of 2½ to 3 hours. If you prefer using the low-temperature setting, cook for 5-6 hours. *I prefer using the high-temperature method for chicken.
- When the cooking process is finished, remove the chicken from the slow cooker (replace the lid to keep the barbecue sauce warm until ready to serve).
- Use two forks to pull the chicken apart. Don’t make the shreds too small.
- Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker, making sure to coat all the chicken with the sauce.
- Let the chicken simmer in the slow cooker for 30 minutes before serving.
*It shouldn’t be a problem, but anytime you reheat food, make sure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees F.
To make the ultimate barbecued pulled chicken sandwich, serve my slow cooker bbq chicken on a toasted brioche bun with cole slaw and pickles chips.
This is definitely my kind of sandwich, and if you love delicious messy sandwiches, make sure to check out my Sloppy Joes Recipe.
Yes, you can. BBQ chicken freezes very well in an airtight container or freezer bag. It can stay frozen for up to 3 months.
As long as you add other liquids to the barbecue sauce, it will not burn during the cooking process. If you wanted to use just barbecue sauce, add water, beer, cola or apple juice to the sauce to thin it out, which will prevent it from burning
Chicken thighs, legs, or wings can be cooked on a high-temperature setting, but if you are using chicken breasts is definitely better to cook chicken on the low-temperature setting of your slow cooker. Chicken breasts cooked on high will become tough and dry.
The chicken comes out so tender and juicy, and the homemade BBQ sauce is finger-licking good! Plus, the convenience of using a slow cooker means you can set it and forget it, leaving you more time to relax, lol
This Slow cooker BBQ chicken was absolutely scrumptious and had an unforgettable taste – a total game-changer!
I’m intending to prepare this bbq chicken for a potluck event. My plan is to cook it a day ahead and reheat it on the day of the event. What is the safest method for reheating the dish? Thank you in advance!
Chef Dennis Littley
Heat on the stovetop or in a baking dish covered with foil in a 350-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure its at least 165 degrees before serving. In either case if the sauce thickens you can add a little water or more store bought bbq sauce.
This chicken was really tender and flavorful and perfect for any sandwich or by itself!
Loreto and Nicoletta
What a wonderful pulled chicken and so easy to make! Everyone went back for seconds.
This chicken was so easy to prepare and perfect for my busy nights—nothing like dumping everything in the slow cooker and allowing it to do the work. My family loved the brioche-filled buns, I served them with pickled jalapeños and were so delicious.
It was the perfect dish for my party. A burst of yummy flavors and sauces and the slow cooker cooking make it easy and delicious.
My family loved these bbq chicken sandwhiches so much, they keep asking me to make it again.
So easy and so delicious! It made the best sandwiches, thanks for the recipe Dennis!
I liked that with a bit of prep the night before I was able to literally toss it in the crockpot just before leaving for work. Came home to perfectly cooked chicken to spoon onto our buns for a fast & easy dinner
I love chicken thighs. This was the perfect recipe for sandwiches. Great for feeding a crowd, everyone loved it.
Chef Dennis, I’m a bit confused as you state both that you prefer the high setting for cooking chicken, and in the FAQ section you say you prefer the low temperature method. Please clarify.
Chef Dennis Littley
sorry for the confusion Carol. I fixed the FAQ’s. Chicken breasts need to be cooked at low temp settings, but pretty much any other part of the chicken can be cooked at the high temperature setting.