BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks

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BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks are perfect for a BBQ with the family or game day! The dry rub is irresistible, and the drumsticks come out so tender and delicious after cooking in the slow cooker all day.

BBQ Chicken Dry Rub

This is my very favorite chicken dry rub recipe. It’s a little spicy, perfectly sweet, and satisfyingly savory as well. I love BBQ dry rubs, especially if they have brown sugar in them. Say what you want, but I want my BBQ chicken spicy AND sweet!

  • brown sugar
  • paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • dry mustard
  • cayenne

Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks

At first, I was a little skeptical about cooking drumsticks in the slow cooker. I thought it was a little odd to throw something that I usually see baked or grilled to crispy perfection into a bunch of sauce and cook like stew!

I was pleasantly surprised to find out how tender and delicious these drumsticks turn out. These slow cooker chicken drumsticks are a different experience than crispy-skinned ones, and they are very delicious. It’s kind of more like a fall-off-the-bone ribs experience, and who can complain about that!

How to Make Slow-Cooker Chicken Drumsticks

The benefit of making drumsticks in the slow cooker is they’re completely hands-off. You dump them into the slow cooker and walk away for 6 hours until you have perfect, fall-off-the-bone chicken.

First, make the dry rub by combining all the ingredients. Rub that into the chicken. You kind of have to get over your fear of touching raw meat when you use a dry rub, haha. The more you rub it in, the better.

Next, combine the drumsticks and 1 cup of BBQ sauce in the slow cooker and cook for about 6 hours.

Now, the chicken will be great, but you can add an extra step to make them even more saucy and delicious.

Add 1/4 cup BBQ sauce to the drumsticks and broil on a sheet pan for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce thickens up a bit. This step is optional, but I highly recommend it!

Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Fajitas in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Marry Me Chicken

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Recipe by Julia Pacheco
Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks are perfect for a BBQ with the family or game day. The dry rub adds so much amazing flavor.

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  • Dry Rub
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp paprika

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp mustard

  • dash of cayenne pepper

  • Drumsticks
  • 1 1/4 cups bbq sauce

  • 6 chicken drumsticks


  • In a small bowl mix the dry rub together.
  • In a greased slow cooker, add the drumsticks and the dry rub. Coat the drumsticks evenly with the rub and work it in with your hands.
  • Add in 1 cup of the bbq sauce and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.
  • Once the 6-7 hours is up, remove from the slow cooker and place on a sheet pan. Add 1/4 cup more bbq sauce on top and brush all over the drumsticks. Place under the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and turns into a glaze. Enjoy!

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  1. I never knew it was this easy to make tasty bbq chicken! I did one alteration: I bought the pre-rubbed chicken drumsticks from the local HEB grocery store and then followed the rest of the recipe. So quick, so easy, so yummy!

  2. This is so good. I didn’t expect it to be this yummy. And cheap! Wow! The rub makes all the difference.

  3. Absolutely love this recipe! My son is not a fan of bbq sauce, so I leave that out. The dry rub is perfect on its own. Thank you Ms. Pacheco…you have given me the strength to not be afraid of adding spices. I use a combo of the spices (minus the brown sugar and dry mustard) on hamburger sliders. My son is an extremely picky eater…he really likes the spice combination.

  4. These were great. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I made these drumsticks last night and they were amazing! So simple, inexpensive and I think it was the first time my hubby didn’t complain about having drumsticks for dinner.

  6. This recipe is sooo good. A family favorite!

  7. Alyssa Seholm

    What type of mustard do you recommend here? Dry/powdered? Stone ground? Yellow?


    • Alyssa, she says mustard powder in the video which is the same thing as dry mustard or ground mustard seed in my experience. If you use yellow or stone ground mustard it would probably taste fine, but it would form a paste with the dry ingredients since they are liquidy.
      You would need more of those, since the powdered form is concentrated.

  8. Hi Julia! I love your recipes. Thanks for sharing them! Quick question- I want to double the recipe. Would this mean doubling the dry rub ingredients? And what would the cook time be? Thanks in advance and God bless you!

    • Kaitlyn Taylor

      Rebecca, it would make sense to me for the dry rub ingredients to be doubled. I wouldn’t think cook time would be effected though!

  9. Minerva Alcantar

    Could I cook this on high for 4 hours you think?

  10. Minerva Alcantar

    Could I do this on high for 4 hours you think?

    • Scott Hiers

      I think most people cook it while not high but I guess if you can pull it off while high go for it.

  11. Thank you for the recipe. Can’t wait to try them.❤

  12. These look so good! Can I cook them on High for a shorter time?

  13. Can you cook these on high, as well? If so, for how long?

  14. Can I use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of drumsticks? If so, how does that affect the cooking time in the slow cooker?

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