This Crockpot BBQ Chicken is a quick, easy, and flavorful way to make pulled chicken. Perfect for any party, potluck, or picnic! Succulent chicken covered in an addictive BBQ sauce, then shredded. This slow cooker BBQ chicken is great for burgers, burritos tacos, on rice, and more.
Why we love this Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Recipe
This is one of my favorite (and most popular) recipes for a reason. Well, several reasons actually! Here are a few:
- Easy: Toss everything into the slow cooker and let it do all the work for you. A true set it and forget it recipe!
- BBQ sauce: The BBQ sauce in this shredded chicken recipe is all dressed up with apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and seasonings to really send it over the top.
- Versatile: There are so many ways to enjoy this BBQ chicken! I love it best when it’s piled high on a bun with some onions and pickles.
Variations on Crockpot Barbecue Chicken
There are so many ways to change up this slow cooker BBQ chicken to suit your needs. I like to add fresh onions and garlic to the pot when I have extra time. Try some of these other variations!
- Spicy Chipotle: Mixing in chipotle peppers in adobo sauce along with BBQ sauce, sliced jalapeños, and a touch of honey.
- Hawaiian: Add crushed pineapple (with juice), soy sauce, and a touch of ginger. You can also add some red bell pepper and onion slices for extra flavor.
- Mustard BBQ: Use a mustard-based BBQ sauce, a bit of honey or brown sugar, and some spices like paprika and cayenne pepper.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover Crockpot BBQ chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave in 30-second increments until warmed through.
How to Freeze
Freeze slow cooker BBQ chicken whole or divided into individual portions in airtight containers or Ziplock bags for up to 4 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
This crockpot BBQ chicken is so versatile! You can serve it as a sandwich on a sesame seed bun topped with coleslaw and pickles (pictured), or with a side of mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, or rice. It makes a great filling for tacos or quesadillas as well, and it’s so tasty on top of salad or pizza!
Top Reader Review
“This was deeeeelicious!! My husband and I loved it! Probably the best I’ve had and ever made! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!!” – Elise
Crockpot BBQ Chicken
Make this Crockpot BBQ Chicken for a fast, simple, and delicious method of preparing shredded chicken. It’s an ideal option for gatherings, potlucks, or picnics!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
: 3 hours 5 minutes
In a bowl, whisk the BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, onion powder, and garlic powder together.
1½ cups BBQ sauce, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker.
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts, covering them fully.
Cook the chicken on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours.
Shred the chicken directly in the slow cooker or remove to shred and return to the sauce.
Give the chicken a good stir to coat it in the sauce.
- Know your slow cooker. When cooking 4 chicken breasts like this recipe calls for, I love using my 2.5 quart crockpot — it’s the perfect size and heats up quickly. If you’re doing more chicken than that, you’ll likely want to use a 4-6 quart crockpot. Note that if your crockpot is very full, it will take longer to heat and cook.
- Don’t overcook. I know it can be tempting to leave the chicken in for a long time as you would think it would end up more tender, but that’s not always the case. You really want to be sure you hit the sweet spot between “just enough” and “dry and unappetizing”.
- Keep the seasoning simple. You don’t want to end up with a week’s worth of single-purpose chicken (unless you do, I guess!), so by keeping the seasoning on this slow cooker shredded chicken basic, you can use it in a multitude of ways. It doesn’t scream “Mexican!” or “Italian!” or “curry!”.
- BBQ pulled chicken is great as a sandwich with a homemade slaw and pickles! You can also eat pulled chicken in a meal prep bowl, in a wrap, or as a taco.
Storage: Store crockpot BBQ chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Crockpot BBQ Chicken
Amount Per Serving (0.5 pound)
Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0.03g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Vitamin A 308IU6%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
How to make (Keyword) Step by Step
Make the BBQ Sauce: Mix together 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
Cook the chicken: Add 2 lbs of chicken breasts to a Crockpot. Pour the BBQ sauce all over the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours.
Shred the chicken: Once the chicken is fully cooked, shred it with two forks and toss with the sauce.