This easy Crockpot BBQ Chicken recipe is delicious and easy to make! With less than ten ingredients, you’ll have tender shredded chicken in a sweet and tangy sauce that’s perfect for pulled chicken sandwiches and tacos or to enjoy with your favorite side dishes.
Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken
The crock pot is an excellent way to turn plain chicken breast into something special! With just a few simple ingredients, you can turn chicken breast into shredded BBQ chicken that’s tender, juicy, and packed with BBQ flavor.
All you need are a few simple ingredients like chicken, BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, and a few spices to make it happen!
For many reasons, making BBQ chicken in a slow cooker is the best way to cook it. The flavors have time to meld together, and the chicken will become extra tender and juicy. Plus, it’s totally hands-off – simply add all of your ingredients to the slow cooker and let it work its magic!
Crockpot BBQ chicken is also super versatile and can be used in so many different dishes! You can enjoy it on sandwiches, tacos, salads, and more. It’s also great for meal prepping – make a big batch of shredded BBQ chicken and use it in meals throughout the week!
Why You'll Love This Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- BBQ chicken has the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess, making it an irresistible addition to any meal!
- It’s incredibly easy to make – just dump all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and let it do the work for you!
- The shredded BBQ chicken is so versatile – use it to make sandwiches, tacos, salads, and more!
- You can easily adjust the flavor to fit your own taste preferences, like spices or a splash of hot sauce, for an extra kick!
- The slow cooker makes the chicken incredibly tender and juicy, and the flavors have time to meld together for a truly delicious dish.
Crockpot BBQ Chicken Ingredients
- Chicken Breast - This high protein meat is perfect for the slow cooker because it breaks down and shreds easily when slow-cooked, soaking up the sauces and flavors well.
- Barbeque Sauce - Use your favorite type of BBQ sauce to add a sweet and tangy flavor to the chicken. I used Sweet Baby Rays
- Apple Cider Vinegar - gives the chicken a tangy and acidic twist that helps balance out all the flavors.
- Minced Garlic - Adds bold garlic flavor to the chicken that pairs well with the variations of flavor profiles.
- Seasonings - A mix of onion powder, black pepper, and paprika work together to help enhance the flavor of the chicken.
- Brown Sugar - Adds a deep sweetness to the chicken that balances the tangy and spicy flavors well.
How To Make Crockpot BBQ Chicken
Prepare the chicken breasts: Trim any excess fat off of the chicken breasts, then pat them dry with a paper towel. Add the prepared chicken breasts to the bottom of a six-quart crock pot.
Assemble the sauce: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, and brown sugar. Whisk until well combined and pour over the chicken.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top of the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or LOW for 4-6 hours.
Shred and serve: Remove the chicken breasts from the crock pot and place them on a cutting board. Shred with two forks, then add it back to the crock pot. Mix into the sauce, then serve on buns or over rice. Enjoy!
Tips For The Best Crockpot BBQ Chicken
- Chicken breast is fully cooked once the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Add more cooking time if needed, depending on the size and thickness of your chicken breast.
- Use a crock pot liner to line your slow cooker before adding the ingredients for easy cleanup.
- Chicken can easily be shredded in a few different ways. You can use two forks, a stand mixer, or an electric hand mixer to get the shredded consistency you’re looking for.
- If your chicken is getting too dry after shredding, add more BBQ sauce or broth to the slow cooker and mix until combined before serving.
- Instead of chicken breast, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs for a richer flavor.
- Add a tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce to the slow cooker for an extra kick.
- Add more brown sugar to the sauce for an even sweeter BBQ shredded chicken.
- Add ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika to the sauce if you're looking for a smokier, shredded BBQ chicken.
- Use different types of BBQ sauce, including mustard-based, white BBQ sauce, and more.
- Add pepper and onions for extra flavor, nutrients, and texture.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once the chicken is cooled, place it into airtight containers and store it in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Freezing: Place shredded BBQ chicken into an airtight freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Reheating: The best way to reheat shredded chicken is to add it to a saucepan over low heat, occasionally stirring until the chicken is heated through. You may need to add more BBQ sauce to rehydrate. You can also reheat shredded BBQ chicken in the microwave, covered with a damp paper towel for 90-second intervals, stirring between intervals.
Yes, you can put raw chicken in the crock pot. Generally, it will fully cook in 2-3 hours on high heat or 4-6 hours on low heat.
No, leaving cooked shredded BBQ chicken in the slow cooker for more than 2-4 hours is not safe, as it will begin to dry out. Store cooled leftovers in the fridge and reheat as necessary.
Yes, but it may take longer to cook and release more liquid than thawed chicken. To thicken the sauce, reduce the liquid in the slow cooker and add a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with one tablespoon of water) before serving.
The chicken may become tough if overcooked or if using lean chicken breasts. To avoid this, cook for a shorter time, consider using chicken thighs for more moisture, and add liquid like chicken broth or sauce.
If your crockpot chicken isn't shredding, it may be undercooked or not tender enough. Ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F and allow it to cook until fork-tender. Using chicken broth during cooking can help maintain moisture for easier shredding.
More Crock Pot Chicken Recipes
- Crock Pot French Onion Chicken
- Crock Pot Ranch Chicken
- Crock Pot Tuscan Chicken
- Crock Pot Mississippi Chicken
- Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles
- Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
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Crockpot BBQ Chicken
- Place chicken breasts in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined and pour over the chicken.
- Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours.
- Shred the chicken in the slow cooker with two forks. Then mix into the sauce.
- Serve on buns or over rice, and enjoy!
*Nutrition information is an estimate. It may vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact ingredient numbers, I recommend calculating them with your preferred nutrition calculator.