Made with only a few ingredients and minimal effort, Crockpot BBQ Chicken Thighs is a simple family meal that is full of incredible flavor.
Crockpot BBQ Chicken Thighs is one of the easiest, tastiest slow cooker recipes!
Just like my recipe for Crockpot Chicken Legs, this simple recipe has become a staple at my house, and I am willing to be you will fall in love with this easy chicken thigh recipe as well.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Economical. Chicken thighs are extremely affordable and easy to find.
- Flavorful. Not only is dark meat known to be more flavorful and juicy than white meat, but the dry rub and barbecue sauce that coat these chicken thighs also make them absolutely irresistible.
- Easy. This is a set-it-and-forget-it kind of meal! Which is the best kind of recipe to rely on for busy days. You simply mix everything together in the slow cooker and let the chicken cook while you do whatever else it is you need to do.
- Allergy-Friendly. Crockpot BBQ Chicken Thighs are dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and gluten-free.
Notes on Ingredients
- Chicken Thighs: I recommend using bone-in chicken thighs, for the richest flavor and for the cooking time to be accurate. Either skin-on or skinless chicken thighs work for this recipe.
- Homemade Dry Rub: The key to the unforgettably good flavor in this simple recipe is the seasonings used to flavor the chicken thighs. This sweet and savory spice rub is made with brown sugar, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. No smoked paprika? Use regular paprika.
- Onion: Use a sliced white or yellow onion to set the chicken thighs on in the slow cooker. As the chicken cooks, the fat will render off the chicken and the onion helps to elevate the chicken thighs so they don't sit in the rendered fat and become soggy.
- BBQ Sauce: Use your favorite store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce.
How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
Step One: Season the Chicken Thighs. To give the chicken thighs an incredible sweet and savory flavor, use your hands to massage the dry rub into the chicken thighs so that they are liberally coated with the spice blend.
Step Two: Layer Chicken & Onions in Crockpot. In order for the fat to render properly and the chicken to cook evenly, it is best to lay the seasoned chicken thighs on top of sliced onion.
Step Three: Slow Cook. Cook the chicken thighs on low or high until the chicken reaches 162 to 165 degrees F.
Step Four: Broil. While it is completely optional, I do love finishing crockpot chicken thighs by brushing them with BBQ sauce and broiling them. Broiling the chicken will help the sauce get sticky and gooey, and the skin get a bit crispy.
Step Five: Serve. These BBQ Chicken Thighs make a finger-licking good meal that even the pickiest of eaters enjoy. Serve them with a side of oven fries or air fryer fries for the ultimate kid-friendly dinner.
How Long Do Chicken Thighs Take to Cook?
Slow cookers, just like ovens, can vary in temperature. A traditional crockpot with a ceramic base takes about 2 hours on high to cook chicken thighs to 165 degrees F. All-Clad models typically cook a bit faster, so I would recommend checking the internal temperature after cooking for 1-½ hours.
The best way to ensure your chicken is fully cooked, but not overcooked is to use a digital thermometer. Once the center of the chicken thighs reaches between 162 to 165 degrees F they are perfectly cooked.
More Delicious BBQ Chicken Recipes
- BBQ Chicken Salad
- Crockpot BBQ Chicken Legs
- Grilled BBQ Chicken Breasts
- Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- BBQ Chicken Burger
Need more inspiration for planning meals that your family will love? Sign up for my FREE Meal Plans and each week you will get a meal plan with a shopping list.
If you enjoyed this recipe for BBQ Crockpot Chicken Thighs, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Crockpot BBQ Chicken Thighs
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2-3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (either with or without skin) about 8 chicken thighs
- 1-½ cups BBQ sauce
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder together.
- Trim off excess skin or grizzle if needed and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the chicken thighs, on both sides.
- Place the onion slices in the slow cooker in an even layer. Lay the seasoned chicken thighs on top of the onion slices.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours or until the chicken thighs reach 162-165℉.
- After the chicken has cooked, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place it on a sheet pan lined with foil. Brush the top of the chicken with BBQ sauce. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until crispy. Remove the chicken from the broiler, flip, brush the other side with BBQ sauce, and return to the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until crispy.
- Serve with additional BBQ sauce.