Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Drumsticks feature an easy Homemade BBQ Sauce that is to die for! Everything cooks together in the crock pot, and at the end of the day, you’re ready to eat. This is our go-to easy family meal when we are craving bbq chicken.
What’s in Crockpot BBQ Drumsticks?
This slow cooker chicken drumsticks recipe is cooked in a delicious homemade barbecue sauce made of ketchup, orange juice, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, honey, and parsley to make the perfect busy weeknight dinner. The entire family will love it!
- Chicken Drumsticks: We used drumsticks for this BBQ recipe. You’re welcome to use chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or chicken wings if you wish!
- Ketchup: A key ingredient for barbecue sauce, ketchup brings that staple sweet and sour taste everyone loves.
- Orange Juice: Citrus is great for adding a little acidity and tang to the sauce.
- Brown Sugar: You can’t have BBQ sauce without brown sugar! We used dark brown sugar for a deeper flavor.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Another great ingredient for adding acidity to the sauce. It balances everything out nicely.
- Olive Oil: Oil gives these BBQ drumsticks extra flavor and delicious a crispy outside.
- Honey: Honey adds some sweetness and helps balance out the tangy, savory flavors.
- Parsley: An herb that pairs beautifully with chicken!
- Garlic Powder: Garlic powder makes everything taste better. Don’t skip it!
- Salt & Pepper: Salt and pepper is what really makes these flavors come alive.
- Water: Water helps ensure the chicken comes out super moist and tender on the inside.
- Cornstarch: Necessary for getting that crispy skin on chicken.
Variations on Ingredients
The great thing about these slow cooker BBQ chicken drumsticks is that you can swap out any of the ingredients and turn it into your own unique creation. If you’d rather not make a sauce, feel free to make a dry BBQ spice rub instead! You can also add some heat by mixing in some siracha or chili paste.
If you want to make this recipe a little faster, you can definitely throw it into your pressure cooker. You’ll just need to see the directions below for a few modifications.
Place the chicken legs on the trivet and Pour the homemade bbq sauce on the legs, spreading with a basting brush.
Lock the lid of the Instant pot and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by a 10-minute natural pressure release. Release the rest of the pressure manually, then when the pin drops, remove the lid.
I personally like this recipe best with chicken drumsticks, but you can still use other types of chicken too. Chicken breasts, tenderloins, or thighs will all work fine for this recipe.
To keep your chicken drumsticks juicy and tender, make sure to keep the heat on low at all times. If you try to speed up the cooking time by raising the temperature, you run the risk of drying out the meat or possibly undercooking the meat.
How to Store and Reheat Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
Store your BBQ drumsticks in a large resealable bag or airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
To reheat, wrap your chicken in aluminum foil and place it in the oven at 350°F until heated through.
How to Freeze Crockpot Chicken Drumsticks
Place drumsticks in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. Your chicken will stay good for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge before reheating.
What to Serve with Juicy Chicken Drumsticks
This chicken drumsticks recipe might be made in a slow cooker, but that doesn’t stop it from being a great option for a easy backyard cookout! To complete the picture, why not add some BBQ staples into the mix?
These drumsticks would taste amazing with Baked Mac and Cheese, The Best BBQ Baked Beans , and Chick-fil-A Cole Slaw. And to add a little sweetness to your gathering, this Cranberry Orange Spiked Sweet Tea and No-Bake Raspberry Cheesecake with Cookie Crust are divine!
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 2.5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 8-10 chicken drumsticks
- In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients except the chicken.3/4 cup ketchup, 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 cup water, 2.5 tablespoons cornstarch
- Place chicken in a large slow cooker set on low heat.8-10 chicken drumsticks
- Pour the ketchup mixture over the chicken, using a spoon to make sure all the chicken is coated.
- Cook for 5-6 hours on low or until chicken is fully cooked.
- After chicken is cooked, you can serve as is or take 2 cups of the bbq sauce/cooking liquid and heat in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until it’s thickened to your liking.
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