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!
If you like coleslaw on your BBQ chicken sandwich, my coleslaw recipe or apple slaw recipe is the perfect creamy and crunchy topping for your slow cooker barbecue chicken!
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.
I noticed your site makeover right away! I love it, Kristine! Very easy to navigate. Now onto these sandwiches…yum! I love using my slow cooker in the summer because it’s such a great way to make a delicious meal without turning on the oven! And I’m always a fan of bbq anything, so these sandwiches sound perfect. Such a fun summer meal!
Thanks so much, Gayle! The slow cooker is one of my favorite kitchen tools all year long! 😉
I noticed the new site design this morning, Kristine! I think it looks fantastic! These slow cooker chicken sandwiches also look incredible! Definitely adding this one to our dinner menu because I love that coleslaw recipe too. Yum!
Thank you, Danielle! If you try these sandwiches, I hope you like them!
Happy birthday to William, and I love the new layout here! You can never go wrong with slow cooker BBQ chicken, which I just made tonight for dinner! haha These look delicious, and are something everyone in my family would love!
Thanks, Marcie! I guess we are on the same wavelength with the slow cooker bbq chicken!
Love the new site design and these chicken sandwiches look divine!. I love using my crock pot all summer long. 🙂
Thank you, Christin! The slow cooker is a great way to avoid turning on the oven in the summer. 😉
what is your recipe for cole slaw?
Hi Julie, See step 2 of the recipe (I just updated it to make it a little more clear.) Enjoy!
Great looking food! Where are the actual recipes?
Hi Stacie, keep scrolling to the bottom of the post for the recipe. Thank you!
Is is possible to make this recipe in an instant pot but on a slow cook setting?
That will probably work, although I find that the Instant Pot isn’t nearly as good of a slow cooker as a regular slow cooker. If you decide to try it, medium on the Instant Pot slow cook function is similar to low on a regular slow cooker. High on the Instant Pot slow cook function cooks a little lower than high on a regular slow cooker.
Easy and well like in my family. Who could ask for anything more? Thanks for a great recipe!
You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
“Crazy easy” is the perfect description and the results are so yummy! This recipe will become a go-to!
Thank you, Kathleen! It’s definitely a go-to in my house!
They look delish… I can’t wait to try them. what if u don’t have boneless chicken. Can u still use the chicken with bones?
It probably would be messy.
Thank you – you have wonderful recipes.
You can use bone-in chicken. It might take a little longer to cook. After cooking, you can remove the chicken from the bones and shred. Enjoy!