These Crockpot BBQ Chicken Legs are the perfect meal for any day of the week. Tender, juicy chicken drumsticks slow-cooked in your favorite BBQ sauce for a simple-to-follow recipe that yields delicious results every time!
Chicken drumsticks are a popular cut of meat, and we totally understand why! They’re inexpensive, flavorful, and a great source of protein. They also take on any flavor you cook them with, including tangy and sweet BBQ sauce.
While there are many ways to cook chicken legs, slow-cooking chicken legs in the crock pot ensures that each drumstick is cooked to perfection!
This easy recipe for slow cooker BBQ chicken drumsticks is an easy way to get delicious slow-cooked chicken into your weekly meal rotation, and it couldn't be easier.
Season the chicken legs with a simple dry rub. Then, slow cook with your favorite BBQ sauce for the perfect slow cooker chicken meal to serve with nearly any side dish!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Chicken drumsticks are inexpensive and can be cooked in bulk, making this the perfect budget-friendly meal.
- Slow cooking helps keep the meat on the chicken legs moist and flavorful without drying it out.
- You can use your favorite BBQ sauce for this recipe and even switch up the flavors to suit your tastes.
- BBQ chicken drumsticks go great with any side dish, including mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a salad!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken Drumsticks - This inexpensive cut of chicken cooks well in the crock pot and soaks up all the flavors of the dry rub and BBQ sauce.
- Brown Sugar - Adds a hint of sweetness to the base of the chicken that compliments the BBQ sauce.
- Chili Powder - Adds a bit of spice and chili flavor to the chicken.
- Ground Cumin -Gives the chicken a touch of smoky flavor.
- Salt & black pepper - Brings out the natural flavor of the chicken and enhances the flavor of the BBQ sauce.
- Onion Powder - Adds a touch of onion flavor to the chicken.
- BBQ Sauce - Used to slow cook the chicken and adds a tangy, sweet, and smoky flavor.
How To Make BBQ Chicken Drumsticks In The Crock Pot
Make the dry rub: Add brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and onion powder to a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.
Season the chicken legs: Rub spice mixture on chicken legs, then layer in a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour 2 cups of bbq over the chicken and toss to coat.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top of the crock pot and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours.
Crisp up the skin: Preheat the broiler. Carefully remove the chicken legs from the slow cooker and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper—brush the remaining bbq sauce on the chicken. Broil for 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens and the skin crisps. Enjoy!
- The safe internal temperature of chicken legs is 165°F. Use a meat thermometer to test the temperature before serving.
- When removing the chicken drumsticks from the crock pot, be sure to handle them carefully as they will be very tender.
- Because there is sugar on the chicken and in the sauce, the broiler will caramelize the sauce and give it a nice crispy texture. Do not leave them under the broiler for too long, as they will burn quickly!
- When placing the chicken in the slow cooker, you can stack them on each other, but make sure to leave enough space between them so the sauce can circulate and evenly coat all of the drumsticks.
- For an extra smoky flavor, add a few drops of liquid smoke to the BBQ sauce before slow cooking the chicken legs.
- If you're looking for a spicy kick, mix in ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper with the dry rub ingredients.
- Instead of BBQ sauce, try using teriyaki or honey garlic sauce for a different flavor profile.
- This recipe can also be made with wings or chicken thighs; just adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Choose a BBQ sauce that has no added sugar or artificial ingredients for a healthier version of this dish.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once cooled, BBQ chicken legs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freezing: Let chicken legs cool completely, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Reheating: The best way to reheat chicken drumsticks is by using the oven or air fryer. Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. To reheat in the air fryer, cook at 375°F for 5-7 minutes, flipping the chicken once.
It typically takes 3-4 hours on HIGH or 5-6 hours on LOW in a slow cooker to cook chicken legs.
No, you do not need to flip the drumsticks while slow cooking. The slow cooker will help keep them moist and evenly cooked.
Yes, you can use chicken breasts. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly. Chicken breasts will take less time to cook than legs.
Enjoy these delicious slow cooker side dishes that pair well with tender, juicy BBQ chicken legs made in the slow cooker!
- Crock Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Crock Pot Creamed Corn
- Creamy Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
- Best Crock Pot Baked Beans with Bacon
- Slow Cooker Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes
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Crockpot BBQ Chicken Legs
- Add brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and onion powder to a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.
- Rub spice mixture on chicken legs, then layer in a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour 2 cups of bbq over the chicken and toss to coat.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
- Preheat broiler. Place chicken legs on a baking sheet with parchment paper—brush the remaining bbq sauce on the chicken.
- Broil for 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens and the skin crisps.
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.