Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken (Easy Crockpot Recipe)
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken is a quick and easy meal that is family-friendly! Slow cooking this crockpot pulled chicken in barbecue sauce makes it so tender and flavorful.
I frequently receive requests for more slow cooker recipes, and I certainly understand why. I love using my slow cooker, because it makes cooking dinner so easy. You can get many delicious slow cooker recipes started early in the afternoon and come home to a delicious dinner, our favorites include Slow Cooker Taco Pasta, Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, Crockpot Whole Chicken and Slow Cooker Ribs.
This recipe for crockpot BBQ chicken is one of my favorite crockpot chicken recipes. It could not be easier! I make this recipe often when I need a quick make ahead dinner that all of my kids will happily eat. If you don’t have time for the slow cooker, I also have a similar Instant Pot BBQ Chicken.
We usually enjoy this barbecue chicken in sandwiches. Try it on a homemade brioche bun for the BEST ever BBQ chicken sandwich! This BBQ pulled chicken is also delicious in a wrap or on a BBQ chicken salad.
This crockpot BBQ chicken recipe is so good with my homemade BBQ sauce. The homemade BBQ sauce only takes a few minutes to make and you probably have all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now. You can make the BBQ sauce a few days ahead and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it in this pulled chicken recipe. Or, you can use your favorite store bought BBQ sauce and that will be delicious, too!
How to Make this Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Recipe
This crockpot BBQ chicken is a dump and go slow cooker meal. To start, you’ll put 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 your chicken into the sauce. You can cook your 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 your chicken has cooked, you can either shred it right in your slow cooker or remove it to a clean bowl or plate to shred. Read how to shred chicken for three easy ways to quickly shred chicken.
Chicken Breasts vs. Chicken Thighs
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. See the recipe below for the cook times for chicken thighs and chicken breasts.
If you’re looking for a great slow cooker chicken thighs recipe, this is one of my favorites!
What to Serve with Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
You can serve your BBQ pulled chicken on burger buns with just the chicken and BBQ sauce, or add cheese, pickles, or coleslaw. On the side try:
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Air Fryer French Fries
- Tabouli Salad
- Red Potato Salad
- Fruit Salad
- Broccoli Salad
- Corn Salad
Cooking Tips for CrockPot BBQ Chicken
- If you have time, make my homemade BBQ sauce recipe to use in this crockpot recipe. You can mix up 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. Store bought BBQ sauce also works well in this recipe.
- All slow cookers cook differently, so cooking times are approximations. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Try not to overcook the chicken or it can dry out, although the BBQ sauce helps to prevent dry chicken and makes this recipe very forgiving!
- You can shred, slice or chop your BBQ chicken, depending on your preferences and how you plan to use it.
- Use leftover BBQ chicken in sandwiches, salads, wraps, pizzas, or quesadillas.
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 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 wraps, etc.
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