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Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs

This semi-homemade Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs makes the most flavorful fall-off-the-bone tender chicken thighs ever!! Start with your favorite BBQ sauce and level it up with some extra seasoning. This is the perfect busy week night set-it-and-forget budget friendly chicken recipe.

We love easy chicken dinners like this Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Ritz Cracker Chicken and my Chicken Tater Tot Casserole. Try them next!


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Crockpot Chicken Thighs Recipe

This recipe for easy slow cooker BBQ chicken thighs with bone-in is great for busy families to enjoy a delicious chicken dinner. With just 5 minutes of prep without the need to brown your chicken and then sit back to let the crock pot do all the cooking!

If you are like are us you’ll love the way the chicken falls off the bone after slow cooking. Your taste buds will love how it is a perfectly seasoned BBQ sauce for that tangy flavor that pairs so well with chicken recipes.

Crockpot bbq chicken thighs on a white plate with vegetables.

It always feels when using my slow cooker that I have so much time to make my side dishes and then sit back and relax before dinner, it is so nice. We love serving chicken thighs with my amazing oven roasted red potatoes or the perfect air fryer French fries!!

You can also try my other easy dinner recipes like my air fryer chicken thighs, oven baked chicken thighs, the best air fryer fried chicken and air fryer chicken tenders.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Easy crockpot chicken thighs recipe for busy nights
  • Only 5 minutes of prep time
  • Slow cooker tenderizes chicken until it falls of the bone
  • Perfect seasoned BBQ sauce flavor
  • Best budget friendly easy chicken dinner

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Thighs Ingredients

  • 4 Bone-in Chicken Thighs – (about 2 pounds) (875 g) bone in chicken thighs provide more flavor as they slow cook
  • BBQ Sauce – 1 cup (302 g) adds a sweet tangy flavor that pairs so well with chicken, use your favorite one
  • Brown Sugar – 1/4 cup packed (42.5 g) adds some sweetness
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – 2 tbsp (29.58 ml) adds sweetness and acidity
  • Liquid Smoke – 1/2 tsp (2.46 ml) adds a smoky depth of flavor
  • Red Pepper Flakes – 1/4 tp 1/2 tsp (0.5 to 1 g) for a spicy flavor depending on your tastes
  • Chipotle Powder – 1 tsp (2 g) adds a smoky heat flavor profile
  • Garlic Powder – 1 tsp (2 g) adds a convenient garlic flavor instead of using fresh garlic
  • Onion Powder – 1 tsp (2 g) adds an even distribution of onion seasoning for more flavor
  • Dried Parsley – 1 tbsp (1.6 g) garnish that adds a mild subtle earthy flavor
  • Olive Oil – 2 tbsp Oil (29.58 ml) adds flavor and helps to bind the seasoning
  • Salt – 1 tsp (2 g) adds seasoning
  • Pepper – 1/2 tsp (1 g) adds seasoning

Substitutions

You can use less dry seasoning ingredients if your prefer, but we recommend to use them all as they really add so much seasoning and flavor to the BBQ sauce chicken thighs. This is like a short-cut homemade BBQ sauce but using your favorite BBQ Sauce.

If you are not a fan of spicy BBQ sauce, I recommend only using ¼ tsp of the red pepper flakes. If you enjoy a little heat, use ½ tsp.

Can I use boneless chicken thighs in slow cooker?

Yes you can, use boneless chicken thighs in this recipe, you may have to adjust cooking the time.

Step by step instructions for how to make crockpot chicken thighs recipe

STEP ONE – In a small bowl, add the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle powder, and parsley. Using a small whisk or fork, stir to combine. Set aside.

STEP TWO – Pat dry your chicken thighs and place them in a bowl.

STEP THREE – Drizzle the olive oil over top then toss to coat so the oil is well incorporated.

STEP FOUR – In the bowl of your slow cooker, add the BBQ sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and liquid smoke.

STEP FIVE – Using a whisk, mix the ingredients together so they’re well combined. NEXT, Add the seasoned chicken thighs to the slow cooker bowl.

STEP SIX – Using a large spoon, spoon the sauce mixture over the chicken thighs so they’re covered with the sauce.

STEP SEVEN – Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 4 hours or until the chicken thighs are fully cooked and the internal temperature of the chicken thighs hits at least 165 degrees F (or 74 degrees C). You can set the slow cooker to low and cook the chicken thighs for 8-10 hours or until the internal temperature hits at least 165 degrees F (or 74 degrees C).

Variations

You can add potatoes or rice to the crockpot with chicken thighs making sure you have enough liquid.

Make teriyaki chicken thighs in the crockpot by using soy sauce, honey, ginger and garlic to make a teriyaki sauce.

Make a delicious honey garlic chicken thighs recipe in the slow cooker by using my honey garlic marinade in my honey garlic pork chops recipe.

What to serve with crockpot chicken thighs?

Piece of slow cooker chicken thigh on a spatula.

Top tips for making the best crock pot chicken thighs recipe

  • Do not lift the lid of the crockpot too often as it will allow the heat to escape causing a longer cook time
  • If you have the time slow cooking on low for 8 hours is best but if you do not have that much time cook on high for 4 hours
  • You can brown the chicken in a skillet on the stove to sear in flavor but it is not needed
  • Adjust the amount of heat you like by adding more or less red pepper flakes
  • As aways with chicken it is best to use an oven thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (or 74°C) for safe eating

How to reheat chicken thighs?

To reheat using the microwave, place the chicken in a microwave-safe container and reheat for 30 second intervals until heated through.

To reheat the chicken in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F, place the chicken in an oven-safe container, and reheat for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.

Four pieces of BBQ crockpot chicken thighs on a white plate.

Do you have to brown the chicken first?

No! The slow cooker will cook the chicken fully without having to brown the chicken first.

Can chicken overcook in the slow cooker?

Yes, it can! Leaving the chicken in the slow cooker for too long or without any sauce can dry out and overcook the chicken. If you follow these recipe instructions you will have perfectly cooked fall-off-the-bone tender chicken!

How to store leftover chicken thighs?

To store any leftovers, place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can store the sauce with the chicken or separately.

Can you freeze crockpot chicken thighs?

Yes you can! Using a freezer-safe container freeze cooled chicken thighs for 2 to 3 months.

Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

You may also enjoy these chicken recipes

Crispy Fried Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich

BBQ Baked Chicken Tenders

Doritos Chicken Tenders

Crockpot White Chicken Chili

Easy King Ranch Casserole

Million Dollar Chicken Casserole

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Firecracker Chicken Wraps

French Onion Chicken Skillet

Print
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Slow cooker bbq chicken thighs on a white plate.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs


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  • Author: Sandra Flegg
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Description

This semi-homemade Crockpot Chicken Thighs Recipe makes the most flavorful fall-off-the-bone tender chicken thighs ever!! Start with your favorite BBQ sauce and level it up with some extra seasoning. This is the perfect busy week night set-it-and-forget budget friendly chicken recipe.


Ingredients

1 tsp Salt (2 g)

1/2 tsp Pepper (1 g)

1/41/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (0.51 g)

1 tsp Garlic Powder (2 g)

1 tsp Onion Powder (2 g)

1 tsp Chipotle Powder (2 g)

1 tbsp Dried Parsley (1.6 g)

2 tbsp Oil (29.58 ml)

4 bone-in Chicken Thighs (about 2 pounds) (875 g)

1 cup BBQ Sauce (302 g)

1/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed (42.5 g)

2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (29.58 ml)

1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke (2.46 ml)


Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, add the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle powder, and parsley. Using a small whisk or fork, stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. Pat dry your chicken thighs and place them in a bowl.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over top then toss to coat so the oil is well incorporated. NEXT, Sprinkle the spice mixture over the chicken. Using your hand or spatula, stir so each chicken thigh is well coated with the spice mixture. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your slow cooker, add the BBQ sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and liquid smoke.
  5. Using a whisk, mix the ingredients together so they’re well combined. NEXT, Add the seasoned chicken thighs to the slow cooker bowl.
  6. Using a large spoon, spoon the sauce mixture over the chicken thighs so they’re covered with the sauce.
  7. Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 4 hours or until the chicken thighs are fully cooked and the internal temperature of the chicken thighs hits at least 165 degrees F (or 74 degrees C). You can set the slow cooker to low and cook the chicken thighs for 8-10 hours or until the internal temperature hits at least 165 degrees F (or 74 degrees C).

Notes

How to store leftover chicken thighs? To store any leftovers, place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can store the sauce with the chicken or separately.

Can you freeze crockpot chicken thighs? Yes you can! Using a freezer-safe container freeze cooled chicken thighs for 2 to 3 months.

Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook on High 4 hours: Cook on Low 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 5 minutes on High
  • Category: Chicken Dinner
  • Method: Crockpot
  • Cuisine: American

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