Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs is a simple dump and go recipe that creates super delicious and tender chicken thighs. With only 4 ingredients and virtually no prep time, this crockpot recipe is great on busy days.
Whether you're looking for a simple set it and forget it crockpot recipe, just love barbecue chicken or have a grill that's out of service, this slow cooker bbq chicken thighs recipe will be sure to satisfy your needs.
This recipe is made with only 4 ingredients that you likely already have on hand. When bone-in chicken thighs are cooked low and slow in tangy barbecue sauce, they turn out tender and juicy, easily shreddable and mouth-watering delicious. It's similar to these country style pork ribs, another dump and go recipe!
You'll Love This Recipe Because
- It's incredibly easy to make.
- It uses only a few pantry staple ingredients.
- BBQ chicken thighs in your crockpot is a dump and go, set it and forget it recipe.
This slow cooker bbq chicken thighs recipes uses only a few simple ingredients. You need:
- Chicken thighs: I use bone-in and skin on for the most tender outcome, but you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs or just skinless chicken thighs.
- Barbecue sauce: Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce is my favorite, but any brand of barbecue sauce works.
- Onion: sweet onion, yellow onion or red onion are all fine.
- Garlic powder: this gives it a little kick, but you can skip adding garlic powder if you'd like.
- Salt and black pepper
- Cilantro & green onion for serving, if desired.
You can modify this recipe by adding a sprinkle of brown sugar to the top of the chicken. Or make barbecue pulled chicken by shredding it once it's cooked and adding to other recipes. You can also make this recipe a one pot meal by adding chopped broccoli to the crockpot during the last hour of cooking.
STEP 1: Sprinkle the diced onion on the bottom of the slow cooker. Arrange chicken thighs in one layer on top of the onions. Season chicken with garlic powder, salt and black pepper as desired. Pour in the barbecue sauce, brushing it on top of the chicken thighs.
STEP 2: Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours, until a digital thermometer reads an internal temperature of 165℉ in the thickest part of the chicken.
STEP 3: Remove cooked chicken thighs from the slow cooker and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with torn cilantro and sliced green onion to serve.
What To Serve With BBQ Chicken
Barbecue chicken thighs are versatile and pair well with many different side dishes including:
- Instant Pot Broccoli
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Air Fryer Green Beans
- Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- Air Fryer Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
- Air Fryer Frozen Sweet Potato Fries
- Baked Mini Potatoes
- Pasta with Butter and Parmesan
Other Ways To Serve BBQ Chicken
If you want to use your barbecue chicken in other ways, simply shred the meat from the thigh bones to make pulled chicken and use it to make:
- barbecue chicken pizza or flatbread
- barbecue nachos
- rice bowls
- a grain bowl with farro or barley
- pulled barbecue chicken sandwiches
- To lock in extra flavor and juices, sear the thighs in a frying pan for a few minutes on each side prior to slow cooking them.
- When the thighs are finished slow cooking, put them under the broiler for a couple minutes to char the tops a bit.
According to the USDA, you should not use frozen chicken in your crockpot due to food safety concerns.
Yes, you can slow cook your bbq chicken thighs in the oven rather than the crockpot. Place the chicken thighs on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush with the sauce and cook at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yes, you can use your pressure cooker instead of the crockpot. To do this, arrange the chicken thighs in the bottom of the slow cooker after pouring in ½ cup of water. Baste with the barbecue sauce, then pressure cook on high pressure for 8 minutes per pound of chicken. Release the pressure naturally, then serve as desired.
How To Store Leftovers
Crockpot bbq chicken thighs keep in the fridge for up to 1 week in a covered airtight container. They can be frozen in a freezer safe bag for up to 6 months for optimal quality.
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs
- Sprinkle ½ cup onion on the bottom of the slow cooker. Arrange 8 chicken thighs in one layer on top of the onions. Season chicken with 1 tablespoon garlic powder and salt and black pepper as desired. Pour in 2 cups barbecue sauce, brushing it on top of the chicken thighs.
- Cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 3 hours, until a digital thermometer reads an internal temperature of 165℉.
- Remove chicken thighs from the slow cooker and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with torn cilantro and sliced green onion.