When the weekend rolls around our slow cooker bbq chicken is always a favorite to make. With just a few ingredients and some patience, it’s crazy to see how delicious and easy it is to make this tender chicken. The flavors are fantastic, sauce is juicy and flavorful. Delicious crock pot barbecue chicken leftovers are even better for lunch or dinner the next day.

spoon full of slow cooker bbq chicken

Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Recipe

This is truly a no fuss meal because even the ingredients are no-fuss. Grab your favorite bottle of barbecue sauce along with a few other ingredients and voila! Just walk away for a few hours and you can come back to a bit pot of crock pot bbq chicken. Shred it to the thickness you want and you’re ready to feed a crowd or your hungry family.

slow cooker bbq chicken sandwich with slaw on top

Video: Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Chicken breast or Chicken thighs?

This is always the question: Which cut of chicken to use? And it’s a great question. Our answer is always to use the cut of chicken you’re like most. Just make sure that the chicken is skinless and boneless.

  • Chicken breast: if you’re using boneless skinless chicken breast, make sure it’s not the huge breast with rib meat attached. Just one piece of this is gigantic, thick and will take longer to cook. We suggest separating the rib meat tenderloin from the breast, then cutting the thick breast in half. This will help if you’re wanting the crock pot to cook the bbq chicken on high within about 4 hours.
  • Brown meat chicken thighs: this is still our favorite cut because it’s more flavorful. But with all the sauce, even the breast meat will be moist when saturated with the sauce. When we make our crock pot mexican chicken, we prefer using chicken thighs.

Best BBQ sauce for crock pot chicken

Use any of of your favorite sauces. Some BBQ sauces are thicker than others. If your sauce is nice and thick, you may not need to make the cornstarch slurry to thicken the final sauce in the slow cooker. If your sauce is thinner, you might need to increase the amount of cornstarch to thicken the final sauce in the slow cooker to your preference. Here’s a few of our kitchen’s favorite & most popular BBQ sauces:

Sugar Free Chicken for Low Carb Keto Diet

If you’re conscious about your sugar intake, then bbq sauce generally has a good amount of sugar. But we’ve tested and tasted several brands of sugar free barbecue sauces and they’re fantastic! Here’s a few of our favorites:

spoon full of slow cooker bbq chicken

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

This timing will give a chicken with a slight firmer texture and bite. If you want a super tender, fall apart shredded chicken, add about an hour more to either cook time.
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  • 2 pounds (907 g) chicken (boneless, skinless thighs or breasts), about 7-8 thighs or 3-4 breasts
  • 1 cup (240 ml) BBQ sauce
  • 1 small onion , minced (or 1 teaspoon onion powder)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) oil
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) smoked paprika

Cornstarch slurry to thicken sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) cold water



  • In slow cooker, combine chicken, BBQ sauce, onion, oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
    slow cooker bbq chicken ingredients in pot
  • Stir to combine the sauce well and incorporate around the chicken.
    stirring pot
  • Push the chicken down into the sauce so the chicken is covered in as much sauce as possible.
    chicken pushed down in sauce
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for about 4-5 hours or about 6-7 hours on LOW.
    covering lid
  • Shred the chicken to your desired thickness and texture.
    shredding chicken
  • To thicken the sauce: in small bowl stir cornstarch and cold water until all lumps are removed. Pour into the pot and stir until combined with the chicken and sauce. If needed, cover the pot and slow cook for another 5 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.
    thickening sauce
  • Return the chicken to the sauce and stir to coat the chicken with the sauce.
    finished chicken
  • Serve in a sandwich, on pasta or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!
    sandwich with chicken


YouTube video

Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 282kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 97mg, Sodium: 704mg, Potassium: 726mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 237IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1mg
crockpot bbq chicken that's cooked and sauced

Ways to serve crock pot bbq chicken

With so many ways to serve the chicken, you might want to make it every Sunday to last the whole week.

  • Chicken sandwiches! We love buying burger buns and serving chicken sandwiches. It’s a great alternative to burgers for anyone who prefers eating chicken. Add some slaw, lettuce or tomato and you have a fantastic way of serving bbq shredded chicken.
  • Sliders: buy some of the sweet and tender hawaiian slider rolls. This is the perfect way to make a big batch of sliders. Just fill the slider rolls with chicken and if you want cheese, add some on top. Bake all the sliders in the oven at 350F for about 5-10 minutes until the buns are warm and cheese is melted. party time!
  • Pasta is a great base for this saucey crock pot barbecue chicken.
  • For you culinary history buffs, here’s a great article on the origins of bbq sauce