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!
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!
Table of Contents
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.
Tips For The Perfect Dish
- I like to use my homemade BBQ rub in this recipe, but your favorite store bought spice rub will also work fine.
- I also have an amazing recipe for homemade BBQ sauce! Don’t have time to make your own? Use your favorite store bought sauce instead.
- Watch your chicken carefully under the oven broiler! You want to crisp up the edges a bit, but you don’t want your drumsticks to burn.
- You can also make this recipe with whole chicken legs, boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts for a shredded BBQ chicken alternative.
- Serve your finished dish with a variety of sides. I like to offer a potato dish such as baked french fries, cauliflower mashed potatoes, roasted red potatoes or Instant Pot mashed potatoes. Homemade Rice-A-Roni is also a great choice. I also do a colorful veggie like broccoli casserole, roasted cherry tomatoes, collard greens, parmesan roasted broccoli, garlic mushrooms or candied carrots.
Leave the skin on your drumsticks, the skin helps to keep the meat from drying out.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks
- 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.
- Leave the skin on your drumsticks, the skin helps to keep the meat from drying out.
- 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.