Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken
Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken is juicy, pulled chicken smothered in tangy barbecue sauce. This meal requires almost zero prep and only 2 ingredients!
This slow cooker bbq pulled chicken is almost too good to be true. I used the word “easy” in the title, when it should say ridiculously easy. We’re entitled to ridiculously easy meals once in a while, right?
The kind of meal that barely requires lifting a finger or even thinking, for that matter. I think we owe it to ourselves, because we’re busy people!
That’s my pitch….are you with me? 🙂
I love using my slow cooker, but for whatever reason I’m not organized enough to utilize it enough. Most of the time it requires prepping ingredients, chopping, etc. and getting it going good and early in the morning to make sure the meal is ready in time for dinner.
This can be very challenging for someone that isn’t always good about following a meal plan and being organized when it comes to dinner. I consider this Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken my ace in the hole.
Two ingredients — only 2! — are required for this BBQ pulled chicken.
- BBQ sauce
I told you it was ridiculously easy.
If you want to make your own barbecue sauce, obviously it will take more ingredients than two. BUT, if you have a favorite go-to like I do for those times that you’re too lazy to make your own, then this is perfect. I love making my own barbecue sauce, but this time I left it to the professionals, which in this case was Stubb’s Smoky Mesquite. 🙂
How to make Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken
For this particular recipe, I purchased chicken breasts on the bone and removed the skin. It’s always cheaper to buy chicken this way, and the bones add more flavor. When the chicken is done, it barely requires any effort to get the bones out of the way before shredding, so it’s totally worth it.
The only prep you have for this meal is removing the skin from the chicken and seasoning it with salt and pepper. I added some water to my barbecue sauce to thin it out some to keep it from evaporating too much. I reserved just enough sauce for serving, as well, because sometimes you can’t get enough of a good thing.
I prefer cooking this on low, because if you cook it on high (1) you run the risk of the sauce burning against the sides of the slow cooker, and (2) the chicken cooks very quickly and can easily become mushy from overcooking. We want beautiful shreds of chicken, not mushy chicken.
I cooked this version on high the first time, and it required supervision on my part. I noticed the sauce was sticking to the sides a bit and starting to burn, so I added 1/2 a cup of water, which helped provide more liquid to coat the chicken and keep it juicy.
Low heat, on the other hand, doesn’t require supervision. Low and slow is definitely the way to go unless you’re going to be around to babysit. 🙂
On low, the chicken will take around 6 – 8 hours to cook, and on high 2 1/2 – 3 hrs.
This bbq pulled chicken is terrific in sandwiches with slaw, over polenta, or stuffed in a sweet potato — you can make this as elaborate or un-elaborate as you like! All I know is it was a hit with everyone in my house, and the leftovers were welcome the next day.
This ridiculously easy meal is a dream come true. 🙂
More Slow Cooker meals!
Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken
- 4 bone-in chicken breasts skin removed (or use boneless, skinless breasts)*
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce divided (or use your favorite store bought brand)
- 1/2 cup water
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker.
- Combine 1 cup of the barbecue sauce with the water and stir until combined. Pour into the slow cooker and toss the chicken in the sauce to coat. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, or until it shreds easily with a fork.*
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred, discarding the bones, and place in a large bowl. Add the sauce from the slow cooker and toss to combine. Serve with the remaining 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, if desired. Enjoy!
- *I used bone in chicken breasts as it's more cost effective, and the bones add flavor.
- If you're looking for homemade BBQ sauce recipes, try my Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce!
- *I recommend cooking the chicken the first time when you're able to supervise to monitor how long it takes to cook as all slow cookers vary.
For a gluten free meal, make sure you've got gluten free BBQ sauce!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.