Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken recipe with bbq sauce and Dr. Pepper. It is so easy to make, full of flavor, and is sure to become a family favorite!
We’ve been making this recipe for years and it is one my kid’s favorites. I love that it is mainly hand-off since it cooks in the crockpot. Our favorite way to eat it is as barbecue chicken candwiches.
Start by seasoning both sides of the chicken breasts and set them aside. You can find my savory dry rub recipe here.
Why preseason the chicken breasts?
I like to to preseason the chicken breasts before adding them to the slow cooker because it gives them a fabulous flavor boost. Even if some of the seasoning comes off while they are cooking, it still remains in the sauce!
That being said, you can skip the seasoning if you are short on time or don’t have a seasoning mix handy.
What other seasonings can I use?
As I mentioned above I used a savory dry rub to season the chicken. It is a sweet and spicy combination that goes well with the barbecue sauce. You can choose your family’s favorite spice blend or simply use salt and pepper.
Pour the barbecue sauce and Dr. Pepper into the slow cooker and stir to combine.
Can I use Coke instead of Dr. Pepper?
Yes, you can use Coke instead of Dr. Pepper to make this slow cooker barbecue chicken. I’ve also made it using diet soda and it worked just as well.
Add the seasoned chicken breasts to the sauce mixture in the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F.
Does this barbecue chicken recipe work in an instant pot?
Although I’ve never tried making the slow cooker barbecue chicken in an instant pot instead of a crockpot, I’ve read online that you can do it. I don’t know what the ingredient measurements or cooking time needs to be.
Remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker and shred the chicken.
What is the best way to shred chicken?
- Two Forks: Using two forks is the most basic way to shred cooked chicken. This method is the most popular because everyone has forks available. It works best when the chicken is fork-tender.
- Mixer: You can use a stand mixer or hand mixer to shred the chicken. Put the cooked chicken in the mixing bowl and turn the mixer on low to shred the chicken. This is a great way to quickly shred all of the chicken at once.
- By Hand: Chicken can also be shredded by hand. Allow the chicken to cool enough to handle. Use your impeccably clean hands to pull the chicken breasts apart.
Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir until the chicken is coated with the sauce.
Is this slow cooker barbecue chicken gluten-free?
It will be gluten-free as long as you make sure to use a gluten-free spice rub and gluten-free barbecue sauce.
Leave the lid off the slow cooker but keep the heat on high for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will allow some of the excess liquid to escape and let the chicken get more of the barbecue flavor.
Serve the slow cooker barbecue chicken on toasted buns. We enjoy eating them plain but you could also add cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, or coleslaw to your sandwich.
How do you toast sandwich buns?
Toasting the buns before making the pulled barbecue chicken sandwiches makes them about 900% better! I toast the buns as if I were making a grilled cheese sandwich.
Warm a skillet over medium heat. While it is warming up, but the buns in half and spread butter on each of the cut sides. Place the buns, butter side down, in the skillet until golden and toasted.
Can leftover shredded barbecue chicken be frozen?
Yes, the leftover shredded barbecue chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat before serving.
The leftovers can also be stored in an airtight container the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave before serving.
How else can slow cooker barbecue chicken be served?
Our favorite way to eat slow cooker barbecue chicken on a toasted bun but that isn’t the only way to eat it. Here are a few more ways to use the chicken:
A Hawaiian Barbecue Walking Taco is easy to make and full of flavor. This walking taco recipe is perfect for feeding a crowd at a backyard bash or party.
This Barbecue Chicken Pizza made with a tortilla crust is topped with shredded cheese, sliced onions, and chopped cilantro.
This Cheesy Barbecue Dip recipe is a delicious appetizer that you can share with friends at a backyard barbecue or bring to holiday parties and potlucks.
Hawaiian Barbecue French Bread Pizza recipe is easy to make in the oven or on the grill. Serve it as an appetizer or enjoy as a family dinner.