crispy slow cooker barbecue chicken thighs on a plate with a fork taking a bite

Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs

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These slow cooker bbq chicken thighs simmering away in your crock pot will leave you drooling in anticipation. But you will fall even more into barbecue heaven at the first taste of these juicy chicken thighs. The flavorful chicken will remain juicy and fork tender, while the skin turns a lightly crispy, sauce-covered delight.

bbq chicken on white plate with broccoli and fork

Everyone loves barbecuing out in the Summertime, but with this slow cooker recipe, you will not need to wait for warm weather to enjoy some mouth-watering BBQ. Simply put the bbq spiced chicken thighs into your slow cooker, along with your favorite bbq sauce and let it slow cook while you go about your day. No babysitting this recipe!  For more tasty bbq recipes, try our Ultimate Moist Tender Smoked Traeger Ribs or Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs.

What You Will Love About This Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Recipe

  • So easy to make
  • Budget friendly – simple ingredients
  • Perfect recipe for a slow cooker meal for the family or make in a larger quantity for a potluck or game night meal.
  • Stores, freezes and reheats well.
  • Versatile if you want to change things up

Equipment Recommended

Ingredients for Making Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs

  • Chicken Thighs – I used bone-in chicken thighs with the skin on because I think the bone and skin adds a bit more flavor and the crispy skin is to-die-for. You could also use boneless chicken thighs and without the skin if you like. You could even use leg quarters of drumsticks or boneless skinless chicken breasts if you are a white meat fan. This slow cooker chicken is just so versatile.
  • Barbecue Sauce – This also is a very versatile choice. I use and love Sweet Baby Rays Sweet and Spicy Sauce. Use whatever favorite brand you love or if you have your own homemade bbq sauce recipe, use that.
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Ground Mustard Powder
  • For the Dry Seasoning Rub, we use garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, sea salt,cayenne pepper, coriander and dried thyme. Substitute your own favorite rub if you have one.
slow cooker bbq chicken thighs ingredients

Substitutions and Additions

  • Substitute pork chops for the chicken for the perfect bbq pork chops.
  • Try a different type of bbq sauce such as honey mustard or garlic parmesan.

How to Make This Crockpot Recipe for BBQ Chicken

  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the seasoning rub. Thoroughly coat each chicken piece with the rub, making sure to get it covered well. If you can get some of the seasoning under the skin, even better!
  • Lightly spray the bottom of the slow cooker with a non stick spray or use a liner.
  • Place chicken pieces into the crockpot.
  • Mix the Worcestershire sauce and ground mustard into the bbq sauce and pour sauce over the chicken, turning chicken to assure good coverage of the sauce.
  • Cook on low for about 5 hours or on high for about 3 hours until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees when checked with a meat thermometer. By that time, all the bbq flavors will have infused into the chicken and created bbq nirvana.
  • Preheat your oven broiler and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. I also like to spray the foil lightly with a non stick baking spray to help avoid the chicken sticking to the foil.
  • Remove chicken from the slow cooker and place in a single layer on the baking sheet. Brush some extra bbq sauce on the chicken.
  • Broil until the tops of the chicken starts to sizzle and develops a slight char in some areas.
  • Enjoy while the barbecue chicken thighs are still hot.
mixing dry rub for chicken
Mix ingredients for dry rub
dry rub on chicken
Coat chicken with rub
add spices to bbq sauce
add spices to bbq sauce
chicken and sauce in slow cooker
chicken and sauce in slow cooker
broiling bbq chicken thighs
Broil chicken until crispy

What to Serve With Your Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs to Turn it Into a Delicious Meal

slow cooker bbq chicken thighs on white plate with mashed potatoes and broccoli

Store, Freeze and Reheat Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. To freeze the bbq chicken, store in an airtight container either individually or in a single layer. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave or in the oven. To re-crisp, place under the broiler or in an air fryer.

What temperature should chicken be when it is done?

Internal temperature of chicken should be 165 degrees when it is done.

Will BBQ sauce burn in a slow cooker?

Yes, if it is cooked too long or at too high temperature, it can burn.

Is it safe to cook chicken in a slow cooker

Yes, but always follow safe practices and cook to 165 degrees internally.

Recipe For Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs

slow cooker bbq chicken thighs on white plate with red and white napkin

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs

Fork tender, juicy chicken thighs, slow cooked in a savory sweet sauce and lightly crisped under the broiler.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq, chicken thighs,
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 pieces
Calories: 177kcal



Dry Seasoning Rub

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder

Chicken and BBQ Sauce

  • 8 pieces chicken thighs (about 4 pounds)
  • cups barbecue sauce reserve ½ cup for brushing)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard powder


  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the seasoning rub.


Use a non stick cooking spray in the crockpot and on the baking sheet to help with cleanup.
All slow cookers are different so cooking times may vary.  Use your thermometer to assure the chicken is at 165 degrees and cook longer if necessary. 


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1514mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 563IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg

If you try this bbq chicken recipe, please come back and let us know how you liked it.

bbq chicken thighs on white plate with fork

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