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.
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs
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!
Once you start making crockpot meals with chicken thighs you realize how convenient it is to just throw in your ingredients, set your time let and let it tenderize and fuse your flavors together.
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.
I appreciate how you can use a cheaper cut of chicken like chicken thighs in crockpot and make it taste as good as chicken breasts with so much flavor that everyone loves.
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.
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 - ¼ cup packed (42.5 g) adds some sweetness
- Apple Cider Vinegar - 2 tablespoon (29.58 ml) adds sweetness and acidity
- Liquid Smoke - ½ teaspoon (2.46 ml) adds a smoky depth of flavor
- Red Pepper Flakes - ¼ tp ½ teaspoon (0.5 to 1 g) for a spicy flavor depending on your tastes
- Chipotle Powder - 1 teaspoon (2 g) adds a smoky heat flavor profile
- Garlic Powder - 1 teaspoon (2 g) adds a convenient garlic flavor instead of using fresh garlic
- Onion Powder - 1 teaspoon (2 g) adds an even distribution of onion seasoning for more flavor
- Dried Parsley - 1 tablespoon (1.6 g) garnish that adds a mild subtle earthy flavor
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoon Oil (29.58 ml) adds flavor and helps to bind the seasoning
- Salt - 1 teaspoon (2 g) adds seasoning
- Pepper - ½ teaspoon (1 g) adds seasoning
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 teaspoon 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).
There are many recipes for crockpot chicken thighs, these are our favourite ones.
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?
- Roasted Red Potatoes
- Garlic Parmesan French Fries
- Easy Authentic Greek Potatoes
- Classic Campbells Green Bean Casserole
- Broccoli and Rice Cheese Casserole
- Best Ever Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
- Cheesy Boursin Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Crispy Air Fryer Frozen Tater Tots
- Ruth Chris Sweet Potato Casserole
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.
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. I recommend following the directions of this recipe. You’ll 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.