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Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Legs


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5 from 57 votes

Try this Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Legs recipe to let your entire family enjoy tender chicken drenched in the savory flavor of your favorite BBQ sauce.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Legs on a wooden board with crockpot and seasoning on the side.

Best for game day gatherings during the fall, this dish is certainly an easy, filling, and delicious meal for a small crowd. Especially when served with party classics like Sweet & Sour Meatballs and Air Fryer Caramel Apple Empanadas.

If you don’t have the necessary equipment or time to make grilled BBQ chicken recipes, this dish will be a lifesaver. So, get the crockpot ready, and let’s get to cooking this BBQ chicken magic!

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How do I ensure I don’t undercook my BBQ chicken legs?

Chicken meat is very easy to undercook since the cooking time varies depending on the cuts and cooking methods you use. However, there’s an easy, surefire way to ensure you only ever serve thoroughly and safely cooked meat to your family.

That’s none other than using a meat thermometer. Regardless of the cut or cooking method you use, chicken meat should reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F for it to be considered fully cooked. 

Using a thermometer is always a reliable indication of whether chicken is cooked. In fact, this method can also be used for beef, pork, and other meats too.

The USDA created this handy safe minimum internal temperature chart so you will never undercook your food again.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Savory, rich, and tender – those are some of the best aspects of these crock pot chicken drumsticks. But there are absolutely more things to love about this recipe!

  • It’s very effortless to make. Just prepare and season the meat, leave them in the slow cooker, and in a couple of hours, you’ll have some of the best chicken legs you’ve ever tasted! 
  • This crock pot recipe is kid-friendly. Even your pickiest eaters will enjoy the irresistibly juicy BBQ drumsticks.
  • These crock pot drumsticks are versatile. You can serve them along with almost any side dish to make a hearty meal.

If you love crock pot recipes and are also expecting vegetarian guests, you may want to check out this Crock Pot Vegetarian Chili recipe for your next meal.

🥘 Ingredients

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Legs ingredients.

Here are the necessary ingredients you need to make BBQ chicken drumsticks.

  • Chicken legs: The skin on the chicken legs and the bone will help keep in the juices even when they’re cooked, making every bite very tender.
  • BBQ sauce: 1 cup of BBQ sauce is all you need to pack this dish with smoky, tangy, and savory flavors. 
  • Rotisserie seasoning: This blend of herbs and spices enriches the flavor profile of the dish with its aromatic characteristics.

See recipe card for quantities.

🔀 Substitutions

Chicken Legs: You can switch out the chicken drumstick with some skinless chicken breasts if you want a leaner alternative.

BBQ Sauce: You can make a homemade BBQ sauce to give a more hands-on feel to these BBQ slow cooker chicken drumsticks.

🌈 Variations / Options / Add-Ins

Ready your taste buds for some irresistible twists to this slow cooker chicken drumsticks recipe.

  • Spicy Twist: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to your sauce to create an easy chicken BBQ spice rub that’ll give heat to these crockpot BBQ chicken legs.
  • Asian Style: Put some Hoisin sauce onto the chicken instead of the traditional BBQ. Remember to sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for the final touches.
  • Smoky Maple Flavor: Add in liquid smoke and maple syrup to experience a smoky-sweet flavor combo. This variation will make your dish taste like it just came right off the grill.

If, instead, you need a last-minute chicken fix for lunch or dinner, you definitely won’t be disappointed by this lemon chicken recipe. In just 45 minutes, your meal will be all set for the entire family.

🥄 Equipment Needed / Helpful Tools

Bring out these tools so you can cook these slow cooker BBQ chicken drumsticks with no delays. 

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: You’ll need precise measurements to ensure consistent flavor and texture when you make these crock pot chicken legs.
  • Tongs: Use this tool to make BBQ chicken legs evenly coated with the BBQ sauce and Rotisserie chicken seasoning mixture.

🔪 How to Make Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Legs

This BBQ chicken drumsticks recipe requires a long cook time. But once you taste the drumsticks coated with bbq sauce on top, you’ll realize that the wait is, no doubt, worth it.

Step 1: Prepare the chicken legs

Place the drumsticks in an even layer in the slow cooker.

Chicken legs layered in slow cooker.

Step 2: Add the seasoning

Sprinkle the rotisserie seasoning on the chicken legs inside the crockpot. Use your hands or tongs as needed to ensure that each leg is fully coated with the seasoning mixture. 

Rotisserie seasoning is added to the chicken legs inside the slow cooker.

Step 3: Pour in the sauce

Pour the BBQ sauce onto the chicken legs. Again, make sure to coat them evenly for a consistent flavor throughout.

Chicken legs coated with bbq sauce inside the slow cooker.

Step 4: Add water

Add half a cup of water to the slow cooker.

Step 5: Cook the chicken drumsticks

Cook your chicken legs on the low setting for 5-6 hours or cook on high for 2-3 hours. Both methods will make the dish just as good.

BBQ chicken legs in a crock pot.

Step 6: Serve

Your chicken is ready to be served!

A slow cooker with BBQ chicken legs next to more chicken legs on a cutting board.

👩‍🍳 Pro Tips

  • To make sure every piece is evenly coated, season the chicken legs with the BBQ seasoning before adding each one to the crockpot.
  • Prep ahead and marinate your chicken with rotisserie seasoning a day before you cook this dish to enjoy a richer flavor with each bite.

❓ Recipe FAQs

Is it okay to place frozen chicken legs in a slow cooker?

No, it’s not recommended to place frozen chicken legs directly in a slow cooker. Cooking frozen chicken legs this way can lead to uneven cooking, affecting both the flavor and the safety of your dish.

How to reheat this recipe?

To reheat your Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Legs, start by your preheating your oven around 350°F (175°C). Then, arrange your leftover chicken legs on a baking sheet, cover them with aluminum foil, and bake for 20-25 mins.

What happens if you cook your chicken legs in a slow cooker for more than 6 hours?

Cooking your chicken legs in a slow cooker for more than 6 hours can lead to overcooking, causing the chicken meat to fall off the bone. It’s advisable to follow the recommended cooking times for this recipe to maintain the best texture.

🙏 Pairing

These are my favorite dishes to serve with Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Legs:

Ready to get cooking? Print off the recipe card below or toggle on Cook Mode to keep your screen from going dark while you follow along on your phone or tablet.

📋 Recipe

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Legs on a wooden cutting board.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Legs

Corinne Schmitt
Elevate your barbecue game with these melt-in-your-mouth Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Legs, a no-fuss recipe designed to satisfy your cravings.
5 from 57 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12 chicken legs
Calories 186 kcal

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 3-4 pounds chicken legs
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce of choice
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Rotisserie seasoning or BBQ seasoning of choice
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions
 

  • Arrange the chicken legs evenly in your crockpot.
  • Sprinkle the rotisserie seasoning over the chicken. You may use tongs or your hands to rotate each piece to coat it completely.
  • In the slow cooker, pour the BBQ sauce evenly on top of the chicken legs. Again, use your hands or tongs to completely coat each one.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of water in the crockpot.
  • Cook the chicken in the crockpot on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.

Notes

  • To make sure every piece is evenly coated, season the chicken legs with the BBQ seasoning before adding each one to the crockpot.
  • Prep ahead and marinate your chicken with rotisserie seasoning a day before you cook this dish to enjoy a richer flavor with each bite.

Nutrition

Calories: 186kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 11gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 301mgPotassium: 218mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 155IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

🛑 Food safety

  • Thaw your meat thoroughly before cooking. Never put frozen chicken inside your slow cooker.
  • Make sure to wash your hands before and after handling raw chicken to ensure you don’t spread bacteria in your cooking area.

See more guidelines at USDA.gov.

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