Rub the chicken thighs with the seasoned salt, and place on an even layer on the bottom of a 6-8 quart slow cooker. Be sure to place your chicken thighs in a single layer on the bottom of your slow cooker. It is best to cover the majority of the bottom of the slow cooker for maximum heat distribution, but is not completely necessary.
Mix the ingredients of the homemade barbecue sauce together in a small bowl and pour over the chicken thighs.
Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, or until the chicken thighs have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Remove cooked thighs from slow cooker and place on broiler pan or baking sheet and spoon over sauce from slow cooker over chicken thighs. Broil 2-3 inches under high heat for 2-4 minutes. Watch the chicken thighs closely, so they do not burn.
For Slow Cooker Skinless Chicken Thighs: the timing remains the same for cooking in the slow cooker. You can even still brown the chicken thighs in the broiler if desired.
For Slow Cooker Boneless Chicken Thighs: decrease the time on slow cooking by 1 hour and check the internal temperature of the chicken thighs. It needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safely cooked. If not cooked through, check every 10 minutes until 165 degrees is reached. (This is true for both skin-on and skinless boneless chicken thighs)
To Freeze BBQ Chicken Thighs for Slow Cooking: Prepare homemade barbecue sauce as directed, adding 1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt. Place 3-4 pounds chicken thighs in gallon size freezer bag and then pour over the BBQ sauce. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost chicken thighs with barbecue sauce overnight in the fridge, then proceed with directions as written.
I love my homemade BBQ sauce recipe for these Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs, but feel free to use your favorite store-bought sauce. Just be sure to add 1/2 cup additional liquid to the barbecue sauce (either water, apple juice, chicken stock, or beer.)
How long should you cook chicken thighs in the crock-pot? All crockpots cook at different times and temperatures. My slow cooker only took 3 hours on high to cook the chicken thighs, however, it may take closer to 4 hours to cook chicken thighs in your slow cooker. Once your chicken thighs reach, 165 degrees Fahrenheit, they are cooked to a safe temperature.
If you plan to broil your chicken thighs after slow-cooking (and I highly recommend this for crispy chicken skin), you still need to cook your chicken thighs in the crock-pot until they reach 165 degrees, as they will not be broiled long enough to raise the internal temperature of the chicken.
You can also use this recipe for chicken drumsticks, chicken breasts, or even pork chops.