This recipe for Crockpot BBQ Chicken Legs is one of the easiest, yet most flavorful ways to prepare chicken drumsticks.
This crockpot recipe for BBQ Drumsticks only requires a few basic ingredients and minimal prep work, yet creates flavorful, juicy barbecue chicken legs. Pair with Bacon Ranch Potato Salad or Baked Fries for a delicious, easy meal.
Crockpot BBQ chicken legs are coated in a sweet, sticky sauce that is bound to require a few wet napkins.
But, oh is it worth the mess!
These chicken drumsticks are tender, smoky, juicy, and absolutely delicious. And because this recipe is made in the slow cooker, it is the perfect way to enjoy the taste of barbecue all year long--even on rainy days.
What You Need For This Recipe
- Chicken Legs: This recipe will also work with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
- Spice Rub: This simple dry rub is made with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic, and onion powder. You could also use homemade seasoned salt for a quick version of an easy rub for chicken.
- BBQ Sauce: Finish the chicken legs with Homemade BBQ Sauce or your favorite store-bought sauce for additional flavor.
How to Make Chicken Legs in the Crockpot
- Mix together the spices together in a small bowl to combine and then generously rub over the chicken legs to coat.
- Place the seasoned chicken legs into a slow cooker--no need to add liquid. The dry rub infuses the meat as the chicken cooks.
- Cook the chicken legs for 2-3 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low, or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is reached.
- Remove cooked chicken drumsticks from the slow cooker and place them onto a broiler pan or baking sheet.
- Brush with barbecue sauce and broil on high for 2 minutes.
- Remove the chicken legs from the broiler, flip them over, and brush the other side with BBQ Sauce. Return to the broiler for an additional 2 minutes, watching the chicken legs closely, so they do not burn.
- Serve with Plenty of Napkins
Store leftover chicken legs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. Reheat by broiling under a broiler for 2-3 minutes per side.
If you don't like chicken skin, peel off the skin and discard it. Rub with the spice blend and cook as directed. I still like to broil or grill the chicken legs for a few minutes on each side to give a golden exterior to the chicken legs.
Absolutely! Feel free to replace the dry rub with 2 tablespoons of Homemade Ranch Seasoning, Jerk Seasoning, Homemade Seasoned Salt, or Homemade Taco Seasoning.
More Crockpot Chicken Recipes
- Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken and Rice
- Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker Chicken Wings from Spend with Pennies
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
If you enjoyed this recipe for Crockpot Chicken Legs, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Crockpot Chicken Legs
- 12 chicken drumsticks skin on or off
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
For the Rub
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar optional
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper together.
- Pat the chicken legs dry with a paper towel and liberally rub the chicken legs with the spice rub, coating to cover.
- Place the chicken legs into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.
- Once the chicken legs have cooked, remove them from the slow cooker and place them onto a sheet pan or broiler pan.
- Brush the chicken legs with barbeque sauce and broil until crispy, about 3-5 minutes per side.
- Serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side.
How many thighs should we use?
I would suggest 8-10 thighs. Enjoy@
This is so perfect and and very flavorful! Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely make this again! Well done!
I am so happy to hear you enjoyed! Thanks for sharing Allyssa!
Wonderfully tender and so full of incredible flavor! And this was so easy! I could easily do this anyday! Kids love it and want it again soon!
When the kids love it--you know it is a keeper! Thanks for sharing!
I love a good crockpot recipe, and this recipe did not disappoint! Everyone loved them!
Thanks for sharing Andrea!
Awesome recipe. Very simple and easy to make. My question is can tomato sauce or glass jar tomato sauce because I think it makes a difference?
I am so glad you enjoyed!! Yes, I am referring to canned tomato sauce..jarred tomato sauce is often flavored with Italian spices and sugar.
These look delicious! I'm wanting to get rid of my crock pot and just keep the instant pot for doing slow cooking. I read your other post on the differences between regular show cookers and the IP. How would you convert this recipe? Add liquid? What time and temp? Thanks!
Hi Carmen! I need to create this recipe FOR the instant pot. But in the meantime, I would try it on high slow cooker function as recipe is written (pressure won't build so you don't need excess liquid) and cook for 2.5 hours on high. Let me know how they turn out. Using the Instant Pot as as a slow cooker is not my favorite function.
That's so sad! I originally got the IP because I wanted a rice cooker without a non-stick coating. Then I got really excited thinking that I could get rid of other bulky equipment. I'll try it, though and report back!
Sorry Carmen! I just want to be 100% honest with you! I love my Instant Pot and use it so much more than my slow cooker (so I have a lot of recipes that have been converted for Instant Pot that were originally for the slow cooker--check out my recipes here: https://amindfullmom.com/easy-healthy-instant-pot-recipes/).
No worries! I appreciate the honesty 😉 I made the chicken twice this week, once on high for 2 1/2 hours and once on low for 4 1/2 (the second time I did 16 legs, so increased the time a little). Both times the chicken came out great. My one complaint is that the legs didn't cook very evenly, the ones on the top are cooked through to a safe temp, but not as tender as the bottom ones, which might have been a tad overcooked. I think this was because I had to layer the legs because the IP is taller and skinnier than my crock pot is. Next time I'll try cooking only one layer and see how that works. Thanks for the great recipe!
I am so glad you enjoyed the chicken legs. And yes, layering and using as a slow cooker may cause the issues of under and over cooked meat. Thank you for letting us know your results 🙂
I made this dish tonight for dinner and it was a success!! No left overs at all:)
Thank you for this delicious and easy recipe.
Thanks for sharing Lana! I am so glad your family enjoyed this! It is such an easy meal!