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How to Cook BBQ Chicken Legs in the Slow Cooker

Updated on November 18, 2012
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I am a K–12 art teacher at a small school district, and I love to cook. Most of my articles are art projects for kids or recipes. Enjoy!

Finished BBQ chicken legs, very tender and moist
Finished BBQ chicken legs, very tender and moist | Source
Cast your vote for BBQ Chicken Legs

BBQ chicken legs are so easy to make in the slow cooker! They are one of my family's favorite meals and I make them every couple of weeks. The slow cooker is also one of my favorite meal delivery methods. These are incredibly tasty, especially with the honey and fresh garlic added to Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce. This is my favorite sauce to use all the time, even by itself or as a dipping sauce for French fries. Adding the extra ingredients makes it even better and more flavorful.

An added bonus to making a lot of chicken legs in the slow cooker is that they will give you fantastic leftovers of pulled chicken. This can be used in many different recipes after the initial chicken leg night. I usually serve the legs with a vegetable, fries and/or bread the first night. For leftovers, one of our favorite things to make is tortilla chicken wraps the next day. I even make chicken enchiladas with the leftovers sometimes. The meat literally falls off the bone of these chicken legs, so it is very easy to make shredded chicken with the leftovers. We also like to make nachos with the leftovers from this dish. This makes wonderful BBQ chicken nachos.

Every thing you need plus the chicken
Every thing you need plus the chicken | Source
Browning the chicken legs in butter
Browning the chicken legs in butter | Source
Brown legs until golden
Brown legs until golden | Source
Place the browned legs in the slow cooker on the onions and garlic
Place the browned legs in the slow cooker on the onions and garlic | Source
Add the BBQ sauce and honey for the last hour
Add the BBQ sauce and honey for the last hour | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 5 hours
Ready in: 5 hours 15 min
Yields: serves 4 - 5


  • 3 lbs chicken legs
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 chicken boullon cubes, dissolved
  • 1/2 C water, to dissolve bouillon cubes
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 C BBQ sauce, Sweet Baby Ray's is our sauce of choice
  • 2 Tbsp honey


  1. Wash chicken legs and pat dry. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium heat with 2 Tbsp butter melted in it. Sprinkle the chicken legs with salt, pepper and paprika on all sides.
  2. Dice the onion and garlic into small pieces and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Place chicken legs in the skillet and brown them in the butter on all sides until they are a nice golden brown color. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes for each one. Keep turning in them so they brown all over. I had nine legs in my 3 lb package of chicken.
  4. Layer the browned chicken legs in the slow cooker on top of the onion and garlic, laying them in a criss-cross pattern. Heat 1/2 C water to boiling in the microwave and dissolve the two chicken bouillon cubes in it. Pour over the chicken after all pieces are layered in the crock pot. Cook for four hours on low. I usually put my crock pot on high for the first hour, then I turn it down to the low setting after an hour. One hour on high equals approximately two hours on low in a slow cooker.
  5. Blend the honey and BBQ sauce together in a small bowl. Pour over chicken when you have one hour left to cook the legs. Once combined with the onions and garlic, this makes for an incredible BBQ sauce. It will cook down some and thicken up a bit.
  6. Turn the legs off and let them cool a bit before serving, they will be very hot in the slow cooker. Then serve and enjoy the rich BBQ flavor!

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