Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Drumsticks: A few simple ingredients and very little work will give you the most tender, juicy, and flavorful chicken drumstick you have ever had.
Are your kids messy eaters?
Mine sure are. Not like need a napkin kind of messy, like they need to take a shower after eating kind of messy.
I mean there is food on the floor, food in their hair, food in their ears…sometimes I think there is food that even makes it to another room in the house. And no they are NOT toddlers, they are 11 and 7. In fact they were NOT messy eaters as toddlers, go figure. They can make a mess with a cheese stick……it is disgusting!
But speaking of messy foods, there are foods that are meant to be messy, like Drumsticks. I am talking about the barbecue drumsticks, although DIY Ice Cream Drumsticks rank as pretty messy as well!
Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Drumsticks
These crockpot BBQ drumsticks are coated in a sweet, sticky sauce that is bound to require a few wet napkins.
But oh is it worth the mess. They are tender, smoky, juicy, and just want all backyard barbecues should be made of–that and BLT Potato Salad, Old Fashioned Baked Beans, Broccoli Salad, and Pasta Salad.
The best part is that these Slow Cooker BBQ Drumsticks are EASY!!
Chicken drumsticks start off in the slow cooker where a dry rub infuses the meat and cooks the chicken through.
The chicken legs can be eaten just like that for a fabulous meal, or they can be coated in homemade barbecue sauce (or your favorite store bought sauce) and then grilled or broiled to achieve crispy skin. And that is the way my family prefers to eat them!
Barbeque drumsticks have become a quick go-to meal that we all love–my husband and son especially.
The funniest thing is that while this is one meal designed to be messy, I think the kids make less of a mess with the barbeque drumstick than they do do with a PB&J–go figure.
*I like skinless meat, while my husband prefers the skin left on the meat. I do half and half. Do what you prefer.
Tips on Crock Pot Chicken Drumstick Recipe
- If you don’t want to make your own BBQ sauce, use your favorite sauce. Be sure to still use the dry rub.
- If you don’t like chicken skin, peel off the skin before cooking.
- You can use chicken thighs for this recipe as well and the time remains the same.
- You can crisp the chicken drumsticks up on the grill or the broiler.
Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Drumsticks
Chicken drumsticks get cooked in a homemade barbecue spice blend for an easy family meal
- 12 chicken drumsticks skin on or off--I do half and half
- For the Rub:
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- For the BBQ Sauce:
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon chili powder optional
Combine all the ingredients for the rub together and rub on chicken legs.
Place in slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.
Once chicken is cooked in slow cooker, preheat grill or broiler to medium high.
Brush chicken with barbeque sauce and grill until crispy, about 3-5 minutes per side.
To Make BBQ Sauce:
Bring apple juice, tomato sauce, salt, vinegar, honey, and chili powder to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
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This recipe is featured on Meal Plan Monday