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BBQ chicken drumsticks lined on parchment paper served with extra BBQ sauce and crinkle cut celery and carrots.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Our Crockpot BBQ Chicken Drumsticks are sticky, sweet, and just a little spicy. Drumsticks made in the slow cooker are economical, kid-friendly, and tasty. The secret to making these crispy is giving them a few minutes under the broiler at the end.

Yield: 6 servings (2 drumsticks per serving) 1x
Prep: 5 minutesCook: 4 hoursTotal: 4 hours 5 minutes


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • About 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks (we get ours from ButcherBox)
  • 2 cups BBQ Sauce, store-bought or our homemade version

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Make It Now:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the seasoning evenly over the drumsticks and rub it in to coat all sides. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  2. Place the seasoned drumsticks in the slow cooker and cover with 1 cup of the BBQ sauce. Cover and cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours or until cooked through. 
  3. Position the top oven rack about 6 inches below the broiler. Preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. (Note: You can also use the grill for this step instead of the broiler, placing the drumsticks directly on the grill.)
  4. Use tongs to place the drumsticks on the prepared baking sheet; discard any liquid. Brush the chicken with 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce and broil until the chicken starts to brown and look crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the chicken over, brush with another 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, and broil until the skin begins to brown and look crispy, 2 to 3 minutes more. 
  5. Serve warm with remaining BBQ sauce on the side.

Freeze For Later: Follow Step 1. Place the seasoned chicken and 1 cup of the BBQ sauce in the bag. Try not to stack the drumsticks in the bag; instead, place them flat, side by side. Use parchment paper to divide layers, if needed. Seal, toss to coat, and freeze flat. Pour the remaining BBQ sauce into a small freezer bag or container, seal, and freeze alongside the chicken. 

Prepare From Frozen: Completely thaw meal kit. Follow the cooking instructions above. 


  • We use this same rub and BBQ sauce in our Instant Pot and Baked BBQ Drumsticks.
  • You can also use this rub and our BBQ sauce on chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Cook in the slow cooker on Low for 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours or in the Instant Pot for 7 minutes with a quick release. Shred and serve on buns for easy BBQ chicken sandwiches.
  • We get our chicken from ButcherBox.
© Author: Polly Conner
Cuisine: American Method: Slow Cooker