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Square side shot of crockpot bbq chicken sandwich.
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5 from 2 votes

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

This easy meal is ready with about 5 minutes of prep! Crockpot BBQ pulled chicken is zesty and flavorful, perfect for pulled chicken sandwiches, nachos, tacos, and countless other easy-prep meals.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword bbq chicken recipe, crock pot chicken recipe, crockpot bbq chicken, pulled BBQ chicken in crock pot, slow cooker barbecue chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
0 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 382kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional, for serving: coleslaw, sandwich buns, pickles


  • In a large slow cooker, whisk together the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, smoked paprika, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder.
    Pouring bbq sauce into a slow cooker
  • Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and spoon some of the sauce over top.
    Adding boneless skinless chicken breast to a slow cooker
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours. Shred the chicken with two forks. Stir the meat back into the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
    Overhead shot of a bowl of crock pot bbq chicken.



  • Use your favorite homemade BBQ sauce in this recipe rather than the store-bought version.
  • Add extra flavor, like a Hawaiian twist with crushed pineapple and juice, or a spicier version with chipotle and peppers.
  • Serving a larger group? Double all of the ingredients. (Keep in mind the capacity of your slow cooker.)
  • Make it spicy by adding some cayenne pepper to the spices. 
  • Use either boneless chicken breasts or boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. We find that the dark meat thighs stay a bit juicier during the slow cooking process, but they are both great.
  • Pick a thick store-bought barbecue sauce, which won't get too watered down and thin in the Crock Pot. We like Sweet Baby Ray's brand for this dish.
  • Be careful not to overcook your chicken. I find that the chicken breast or thighs have the best texture when cooked in my slow cooker on HIGH for about 2-3 hours (at the most -- sometimes they're done in just 90 minutes). That keeps them moist and juicy, and prevents them from drying out. The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.


Serving: 1/6 of the chicken | Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1086mg | Potassium: 824mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 665IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg