slow cooker pulled barbecue chicken
Print Recipe

Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken

This simple barbecue pulled chicken recipe uses boneless thighs in the slow cooker with a homemade barbecue sauce. So delicious!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
Course: Dinner
Servings: 10 -12
Author: Lisa Douglas



  • Lightly salt and pepper each chicken thigh and saute in large skillet with olive oil for about three-to-four minutes on each side, until browned slightly. (You're not cooking thoroughly here, you're just browning slightly to seal the juices into the chicken thighs.)
  • While cooking chicken in the skillet, combine the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker, whisking until thoroughly combined.
  • Once chicken is browned on both sides, shake chicken over the pan to get the oils off, and start dropping chicken into barbecue mixture in the crock pot, until all the chicken has been sauteed. (You can even choose to place chicken onto a plate with a paper towel or napkin to blot to remove all the oil.)
  • Lightly toss the chicken in the barbecue sauce, pushing the chicken down into the sauce to completely cover.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for one hour; reduce the heat to low without removing the cover, and cook for five to six more hours.
  • A couple hours before serving (when chicken is fully cooked and is pulling apart when you lift it with a fork), remove the chicken from sauce with a slotted spoon and onto a plate to pull and shred it apart (I use two forks for this).
  • Return the shredded chicken back into the barbecue sauce and stir; taste.
  • Add in more seasonings and sauces here as you see fit. (You might want a tad more Worcestershire and molasses here if it seems too light. But add a little at a time, and taste-taste-taste!)
  • Cover and continue to cook until dinner time.
  • Once it's time to serve, spoon chicken with ample sauce onto hamburger buns (you can toast the buns to hold up to the barbecue sauce).