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Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

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Crock Pot BBQ Chicken is an easy pulled chicken recipe made right in your slow cooker. There are only six ingredients in this quick and flavorful recipe which makes it perfect for a simple dinner or your next potluck.

shredded bbq chicken on a spoon

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Some people like pulled pork, but I’m all about this pulled chicken made in the slow cooker. I make it whenever we have get-togethers because it takes 5 minutes to prep, then it cooks itself in the slow cooker. No work at all.

Piled on a bun and topped with homemade coleslaw or pickles, it makes the perfect meal!

There is something so mouth-watering about BBQ chicken no matter what kind of BBQ sauce you are using, though I like to make my own spicy BBQ sauce.

The smell of the tartness from the vinegar and sweetness from the brown sugar lets you know good things are brewing!

This recipe is so easy it’s just a matter of waiting. Pouring all the ingredients over the chicken breasts means you can serve it as a whole piece of chicken but if you are looking for a pulled BBQ chicken crockpot recipe this works too!

overhead shot of chicken breasts in bbq sauce

Whether you are serving it as a piece of chicken with a side of rice and salad for dinner or as a pulled chicken sandwich for lunch, this will be your new go-to BBQ chicken slow cooker recipe. It’s fast, easy and so good.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Chicken – boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • BBQ Sauce – use your favorite jarred or try one of my homemade like spicy BBQ sauce or KFC Honey BBQ Sauce
  • Vinegar – I use apple cider vinegar.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – for a little kick, can be omitted.
  • Brown Sugar – to balance the heat.
  • Garlic – Either minced garlic or garlic powder.

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Slow Cooker – You don’t need the Crock Pot brand. I’ve had this Set It & Forget It model for years and it’s great because after the designated time, it switches itself over to WARM by itself.
  • Mixing Bowls – You just need a small bowl to mix the BBQ sauce mixture, but I like these with grippy bottoms.
  • Meat Claws – To shred the chicken.
ingredients laid out to make bbq chicken

How to make BBQ Chicken in the Crockpot

STEP ONE: Place chicken breasts in crockpot and arrange them so they are not overlapping.

STEP TWO: Mix BBQ sauce with all other ingredients and pour over chicken in the crockpot and cook on low until done.

That’s it!

overhead shot of chicken breasts & bbq sauce in a slow cooker

If you want pulled chicken, take your chicken pieces out of the crockpot and put in a bowl. Using two forks or meat claws, gently pull chicken apart until it is all shredded. Place shredded chicken back into crockpot with the sauce, stir together and enjoy.

overhead shot of pulled chicken in slow cooker

Can I put frozen chicken in the crockpot?

No, you shouldn’t put frozen chicken in the slow cooker. Due to the “slow to warm” aspect of the crockpot, the concern is that the chicken doesn’t reach its peak temperature fast enough to kill bacteria.

HOWEVER, with that being said, there are plenty of people that don’t agree and have lived to tell about it (like every time I mention this on Facebook and it starts a fight). The key is that your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees for it to be safe to eat. So, as long as you’re not undercooking the chicken and are remembering to cook a little longer if you’re cooking from frozen, you will probably be fine, but I don’t do it. Know better, do better!

How long should you cook a chicken in the crockpot?

You generally slow cook boneless chicken from 3-6 hours. Low for 4-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours. If you decide to use another cut of chicken, perhaps something with a bone on it, you’re going to want to compensate for that as chicken with bones takes longer to cook.

What do you eat with BBQ pulled chicken?

Even just thinking about the possibilities makes my mouth water! If you’re serving pulled chicken in a sandwich, the key is to use a nice hearty bun to be able to stand up to all the sauce!

Serve it with potato salad, a baked potato, macaroni and cheese, or even loaded zucchini skins! And then brownies for dessert, of course.

platter of bbq chicken sandwiches topped with cole slaw

Can you overcook chicken in a crockpot?

Yes! You can definitely overcook chicken in a crockpot to a point where it is dry and not juicy which in turn makes it very difficult to eat or to pull apart. It’s best to follow the recipe’s instructions and if you decide to use fewer pieces of chicken than the recipe calls for you will want to check on your chicken sooner rather than later.

overhead shot of pulled bbq chicken in slow cooker

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shredded bbq chicken on a spoon

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
Crock Pot BBQ Chicken is an easy pulled chicken recipe made right in your slow cooker. There are only six ingredients in this quick and flavorful recipe which makes it perfect for a simple dinner or your next potluck.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 175 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cloves minced garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Lay the chicken into the bottom of the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the BBQ sauce with all other ingredients and pour over chicken in the crock pot.
  • Cover and cook for 4-6 hours on LOW or 2-3 hours on HIGH.
  • Once done, shred for pulled chicken or leave whole and serve with sides.

Notes

Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 175kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 14gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 828mgPotassium: 277mgFiber: 1gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 261IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.

Originally published October 27, 2011

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  1. corabeth says

    That looks super yummy!!

    New Follower from Finding New Friends Weekend Blog Hop. Hoping you will follow back! =0)
    My Crazy Life

  2. Courtney says

    That looks so yummy!!

    Hello! I’m following from the Finding New Friends Weekend Blog Hop – Week 30! I hope you had a fun and safe Halloween! I’m following through Google Friend Connect, Facebook, Twitter, etc. if applicable!
    It would be great if you followed me back!

    Much Love,
    Courtney
    http://www.peaceloverecipes.com

  3. Judy A Patterson says

    Can I use boneless, skinless thighs for the chicken rather than breasts? I prefer thighs.

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