Easiest Ever Crockpot BBQ Chicken (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)

There’s a reason this is called the Easiest Ever Crockpot BBQ Chicken. Just mix 3 ingredients right in the pot and let the slow cooker do the rest! This is serious dinner goals!

Try these other great crockpot chicken recipes: Slow Cooker Taco Meat, Chicken Minestrone and Pineapple Chicken.

Bbq pulled chicken slow cooker style on a bun. on a white plate with bbq sauce, apple cider and a light blue cloth behind it out of focus.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

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When it comes to slow cooker dinners, I prefer the recipes that don’t involve too much work besides mixing a few ingredients in a pot. I mean if I wanted to be browning things and and all sorts of extra tasks, I’d be cooking a meal stovetop, amrite?! 

This easy and delicious slow cooker BBQ chicken recipe is just that. Three simple ingredients that you can mix right in the pot and then cover it and let it go so you can focus on other things. And after you cook the chicken for 4-6 hours on high, I shredded the chicken and it was ready to serve!

It’s the stuff that slow cooking weeknight dreams are made of. And I even include Instant Pot directions, in case you forget to plan ahead (as we sometimes do!). And the results are consistently fall-apart tender shredded BBQ chicken with a light coat of a sweet and tangy sauce that your whole family will love!

A close up overhead image of bbq pulled chicken crock pot style.

Tips for  making BBQ Pulled Chicken:

  • Don’t even think about dirty-ing up another dish. Mix your favorite barbecue sauce and apple cider right in the pot.
  • Make sure to turn the chicken in the sauce to coat before covering and cooking.
  • Can I use other cuts of chicken? Yes! This would be great with boneless skinless chicken thighs as well!
  • Don’t over shred the chicken.
  • Be sure to go slow when adding the sauce that’s left in the pot to the shredded chicken. You want to moisten the chicken slightly, not drench it. You can always add more later.
  •  (I’ve had this happen during testing). But don’t worry, just add a little extra BBQ sauce once the chicken is shredded.
  • This tastes great on a sandwich, over a green salad or on it’s own.

A bun with the top open with shredded bbq chicken and extra barbecue sauce on it.

Does it matter what kind of BBQ sauce I use?

Not at all. I prefer Dinosaur BBQ Sauce, but any sauce that you love will be great.

What if apple cider isn’t available when I make this?

No problem- you can totally substitute the same amount of apple juice for the same delicious results.

Can I cook this on low instead of high?

Yes- the cooking time will switch to around 8 hours.

Can I use frozen chicken breasts?

Yes, just be sure to cook it for more like 6 hours (this is exactly why I give a range).

There wasn’t as much sauce left in the pot after I finished- what do I do?

This means the cover may not have been secured (this happened to me during testing)- but don’t worry! Just shred the chicken and add more BBQ sauce.

A close up of the side of a shredded BBQ chicken sandwich.

Ingredients for making Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

  • Barbecue sauce
  • Apple cider (or juice)
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts

Helpful tools:

  1. Crockpot or  Instant Pot
  2. Whisk
5 from 1 vote
A square image of Bbq pulled chicken slow cooker style on a bun. on a white plate with bbq sauce, apple cider and a light blue cloth behind it out of focus.
Easiest Ever Crockpot BBQ Chicken
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Inactive time
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 5 mins
 

There's a reason this is called the Easiest Ever Crockpot BBQ Chicken. Just mix 3 ingredients right in the pot and let the slow cooker do the rest! This is serious dinner goals!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crockpot bbq chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Jessy Freimann, The Life Jolie
Ingredients
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
Instructions
Slow Cooker:
  1. Pour BBQ sauce and apple cider into the slow cooker and whisk together to combine.

  2. Turn each chicken piece in the sauce to coat and place them in the pot.

  3. Cover and cooking on high for 4-6 hours.

  4. Remove chicken from the pot and shred.

  5. Add some of the sauce left in the pot to the chick and toss to coats. Serve immediately.

Instant Pot:
  1. Pour BBQ sauce and apple cider into the Instant Pot and whisk together to combine.

  2. Turn each chicken piece in the sauce to coat and place them in the pot.

  3. Cover and turn set to "sealing." Set the Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure for 10 minutes.

  4. Once the 10 minutes is up, allow a 10 minute natural release and then do a quick release and remove the cover.

  5. Remove chicken from the pot and shred.

  6. Add some of the sauce left in the pot to the chick and toss to coats. Serve immediately.

Recipe Video

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Toni | Boulder Locavore
    October 18, 2018 at 10:11 pm This looks like a great dinner any night of the week!
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