These slow cooker chicken drumsticks are coated in a spice rub and barbecue sauce, then cooked to tender perfection in the crock pot. A super easy 3 ingredient dinner option that takes just minutes to assemble.

I’m all about my slow cooker these days. I’m constantly making slow cooker chicken thighs, crockpot BBQ chicken, slow cooker teriyaki chicken and slow cooker beef stroganoff. This chicken drumstick recipe is so simple, yet so very satisfying and it’s kid friendly too!

Slow cooker chicken drumsticks coated in BBQ sauce inside a crock pot.

In my opinion, chicken drumsticks are an underutilized cut of meat. They’re inexpensive, widely available, flavorful and super kid friendly. It doesn’t get any easier than these slow cooker chicken drumsticks – 3 ingredients in a crock pot and you’re ready to go!

Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks Ingredients

To make this recipe, you will need chicken drumsticks, BBQ rub and your favorite BBQ sauce.

How Do You Make Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks?

Start by coating your chicken in BBQ rub. Place the drumsticks in a slow cooker and add BBQ sauce. Gently toss everything together, then cover the slow cooker and let the chicken cook. When the chicken is tender, remove it from the pot and transfer to a baking sheet. Broil the chicken in the oven for a few minutes until it’s starting to get crispy and brown, then serve and enjoy.

Chicken drumsticks in a slow cooker coated in BBQ spice rub.

Tips For The Perfect Dish

Quick Tip

Leave the skin on your drumsticks, the skin helps to keep the meat from drying out.

A crock pot of chicken drumsticks coated in BBQ sauce.

Recipe FAQs

Can you put frozen drumsticks in a crock pot?

Yes, you can use frozen chicken drumsticks in this recipe. Just be aware that the spice rub won’t stick as well to frozen meat! If you’re using frozen chicken, you’ll want to cook it on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

How long does it take to cook chicken drumsticks in a slow cooker?

You’ll want to cook your chicken drumsticks on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours. You’ll know when the chicken is done because it will be so tender that it will practically fall off the bone!

FOLLOW ME

Slow cooker chicken drumsticks on a sheet pan, ready for the broiler.

Slow Cooker Chicken Drumstick Variations

This is a simple recipe with a simple ingredient list. However, you can add other flavorings into the mix to make this recipe your own!

  • Spicy: Stir 1 chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce into the barbecue sauce before you pour it into the slow cooker.
  • Garlic Lovers: Add 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic to the crock pot.
  • Sweet and Tangy: Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey to the barbecue sauce before you pour it into the slow cooker.
  • Add-Ins: Feel free to stir in some other flavorings such as soy sauce, onion powder or even ketchup.
Slow cooker chicken drumsticks served with mashed potatoes and corn.

Once you try these drumsticks, you’ll find yourself making them all the time! It’s so easy to keep the ingredients on hand for when you need to assemble dinner in a hurry. There’s only 5 minutes of prep time and the crock pot does the rest of the work!

More Slow Cooker Recipes

Love This Recipe?

Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

5 from 52 votes

Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks

AuthorSara Welch
Slow cooker chicken drumsticks coated in BBQ sauce inside a crock pot.
These slow cooker chicken drumsticks are coated in a spice rub and barbecue sauce, then cooked to tender perfection in the crock pot. A super easy 3 ingredient dinner option that takes just minutes to assemble.
Time
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 5 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 3 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ spice rub
  • 2 1/2 cups BBQ sauce divided use
  • cooking spray

Instructions 

  • Coat the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray.
  • Rub the BBQ spice all over the drumsticks, then place the drumsticks in the slow cooker in layers.
  • Pour 2 cups of BBQ sauce into the slow cooker. Gently toss to coat.
  • Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • Preheat the broiler.
  • Remove the chicken drumsticks from the slow cooker and place them in a single layer on a sheet pan coated with cooking spray.
  • Brush the remaining 1/2 cup sauce over the drumsticks. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until edges are starting to brown and crisp, then serve.

Notes

  1. Leave the skin on your drumsticks, the skin helps to keep the meat from drying out.
  2. Watch your chicken carefully under the broiler! You want to crisp up the edges a bit, but you don’t want your drumsticks to burn.

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 647mg | Potassium: 449mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Comments

  1. Just finished taking them out of the slow cooker. What do I do with the liquid left? Just toss it? Or is there something you can reuse the drippings for?

  2. So a small portion of my drumsticks were still frozen (but barely). I just took them out , on low for 6. Hours. Will that be ok?? I do not have a meat thermometer.

  3. I need to make 12 servings for a party. Can the drumsticks be layered on top of each other? Could I mix in chicken thighs?

  4. These look amazing and I can’t wait to try them?
    Have you ever combined drumsticks and chicken breasts at the same time? My wife is not a drumstick fan but Iv really want to try this.

    1. I haven’t tried it but it should work just fine! The only thing to keep in mind is that chicken breasts cook quicker than chicken drumsticks, so your chicken breasts may fall apart a bit if you cook everything together!

  5. 5 stars
    I have them in my crockpot now !! So excited !! What are reheating suggestions in case I have leftovers ??

    1. You can microwave them or put them in the oven in a covered dish at 325 degrees F until warmed through!

    1. That should work fine, you may want to reduce the amount of chicken to about 2.5 pounds to make sure it’ll all fit.

  6. 5 stars
    I saw a lot of 5 stars because this recipe “looked” delicious (which it does) . I’m giving this recipe 5 stars because it tastes delicious! This recipe was a winner with my 2 and 4 year old who typically don’t like chicken legs. I loved the bbq spice rub also. It was so easy to make and I like knowing exactly what’s in my seasoning. Thank you so much for posting!

  7. 5 stars
    Exactly what I needed, a quick and easy chicken recipe! These were delicious and devoured in minutes. 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    These look AMAZING! I can almost smell and taste them through the screen! And I love that this is an inexpensive and easy recipe – it would be great for upcoming parties!

  9. 5 stars
    I don’t make drumsticks OR use my slow cooker enough and I know my husband would LOVE these, so I need to add them to my meal plan ASAP!

  10. 5 stars
    These chicken drumsticks look mouthwateringly delicious! I am definitely going to have to try these in the slow cooker.

  11. 5 stars
    Yes, what a fantastic recipe that the whole family will love!! Chicken drumsticks are so high in protein and delicious and your photos make them look extremely tasty!! I look forward to giving these a go!! Thanks for sharing.