Enjoy delicious BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken with almost no effort. Set it before you head to work and come home to the aroma of BBQ chicken just waiting to be served. Throw some veggies in the microwave and toss a salad and you have a full dinner for your family in 10 minutes!
I am a serious fan of the slow cooker! In fact, with the weather heating up soon, I will be dragging out my slow cooker even more. Grilling is great, but sometimes the weather will not cooperate. On those kind of days, I don’t want to heat up the oven, so I’ll let the slow cooker do all the work. It is just too easy to throw everything into the pot and walk away for a few hours! And with this super easy recipe, the result is an entree of juicy, tender chicken legs that are easy on the wallet, super tasty, go with any side dish. Can you beat that?
Reasons to love Best BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken:
- Simple to make; virtually no work involved
- Easy clean up
- Economical – chicken is one of the cheaper sources of protein
- delicious with most any side dish
Let’s get started:
I know that we all have our favorite BBQ sauce and the thought of changing that flavor is pretty scary. But please trust me here. The slow cooking process just seems to wring all of the flavor out of bottled BBQ sauce. To help with that, I like to add more bold flavor to the barbecue sauce at the beginning. Enhancing your barbecue sauce with brown sugar, garlic powder, minced onion, poultry flavoring and Worcestershire sauce at the start will make a world of difference in the final flavor, I left the sauce mild, but feel free to add cayenne or red pepper flakes if you like. A few shakes of hot sauce can’t hurt either.
Tips for making the Best BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken:
- Do not overcook the chicken. It will start falling off the bones. Start watching the pot about 30 minutes before the chicken should be done.
- This dish can also be made in your Instant Pot using the Slow Cooker function. Add the chicken and sauce as instructed to the Instant Pot. Cover and cook on More/ High for 3-4 hours or choose Normal/Low for 6-8 hours. Make sure the steam release handle is turned to Venting. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check for done at 165 degrees.
- Start with quality meat – use organic chicken if possible
- When it comes to using spices, keep the shelf fresh by storing spices in a cool, dark place, away from direct heat or sunlight. In tightly closed containers whole spices will stay fresh for about 4 years, ground spices for about 2 to 3 years and dried herbs for 1 to 3 years.
- Start with a quality Barbecue Sauce. I always say this, but the best results start with quality ingredients, so use the best you can afford.
Mix the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside for now. Wait, before you go, take a taste and know the flavor I am talking about! At the end, the remaining sauce will be reduced and used for dipping, so we will want every bit of flavor we can get.
The star of the show! Oops, I know…there are only nine chicken legs. Sorry, I wasn’t wearing my glasses at the store and I thought the package had 10 legs in it. I am afraid to find out what else I bought on that shopping trip. I prefer to use skin-on legs when slow cooking because the skin keeps the meat from falling right off the bone. And I cannot lie, I love the skin. Love it.
After the sauce has been mixed, throw about a 1/4 cup of it in the bottom of the slow cooker to coat. Spread it around with whatever you stirred it up with, in my case a fork. The less clean up, the better.
Add 1/2 of the chicken to the slow cooker and spread with another 1/4 cup of sauce, again using whatever you stirred it with. No need to get out the fancy brushes and basters for this job.
Put the remaining chicken legs in the slow cooker and spread with the remaining sauce. Cover, set to high for 3 – 4 hours or low for 6-8. Walk away, fast! Or slow. Or hang around and daydream and wait for the mouth-watering aromas to start coming from the slow cooker.
When done, the chicken legs will be pulling away from the bone. If you use a meat thermometer, the chicken is fully done when it reads 165 degrees. Now, stop for a moment and just gaze at this deliciousness before you take it out of the pot. This chicken is beauty pageant ready!
Looking for more easy slow cooker recipes? Check out my collection here:
Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef with Broccoli – healthy and better than takeout
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan with Penne Pasta – family pasta meal loaded with cheese
Slow Cooker Southern Style Ribs – you are in for a baby back treat
Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken – sticky sweet and spicy without standing in line
Slow Cooker Easy Spaghetti – meaty family meal all in one pot
Slow Cooker Herb Chicken Noodle – an American classic to satisfy your pasta craving
Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken – serve Italian bistro flavor for dinner
Slow Cooker Garlic Honey Chicken – easy, sweet and savory main dish
Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken – serve over rice for a taste treat
Essential Tools and Ingredients for making Best BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken:
- Slow Cooker – I use it all the time, almost every day. I love that I can just add the recipe ingredients, set it and walk away. Sometimes I use a liner for the pot to make it the easiest clean-up ever!
Enjoy delicious BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken with almost no effort. Set it before you head to work and come home to the aroma of BBQ chicken just waiting to be served.
- 3 pounds skin-on chicken legs – about 10 legs
- 1–1/2 cups barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning or Old Bay
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Into a small bowl add the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, minced onion, poultry seasoning and worcestershire sauce. Stir to mix completely.
- Pour a few tablespoons of the barbecue sauce mixture into the bottom of the slow-cooker pot, spreading with a spoon to coat the bottom of the pot
- Sprinkle the chicken legs with salt and pepper
- Add half of the chicken legs to the slow-cooker and cover with half of the sauce mixture. Repeat with the other half of the chicken and sauce.
- Cover and set the slow cooker to low. Cook for 7-8 hours.
- Remove the chicken to a serving platter and turn the slow-cooker to High. Stir the remaining sauce in the pot until it begins to slightly thicken. Pour over the chicken for serving.
I prefer to use light brown sugar for this recipe, but if you have dark brown sugar, that will work.
The sauce for this recipe is mild. If you prefer it spicy, add a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes to the barbecue sauce mix.
This recipe works well with both skin on or skinless chicken legs.
Keywords: chicken,slow cooker,barbecue,sauce,dinner
Post updated March 2018