Shredded chicken in a bowl with a fork taking a bite out.

The BEST Crockpot Shredded BBQ Chicken (Pulled Breast Meat)

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This is one of my go to recipes when I have a craving for BBQ, but I don’t have the time to fire up the grill. This Crock Pot BBQ chicken has so much flavor and all you have to do is dump a few ingredients in a slow cooker. You can thank me later for this super easy BBQ pulled chicken Crockpot BBQ Chicken – your favorite BBQ sauce comes together with rich spices, tangy apple cider vinegar, and robust Worcestershire making the perfect marinade for juicy slow-cooked chicken breasts. This shredded pulled BBQ chicken breast makes for a savory BBQ chicken entrée that can be enjoyed as a sandwich, on a salad, or even on its own.

Shredded chicken in a bowl with a fork taking a bite out.

BBQ chicken is one of my favorite meals.  The fact that this one can be made in the slow cooker puts it at the top of my list!  Simply mix all of the ingredients in the crockpot, let them cook all day, and come home to a delicious dinner!  It doesn’t get much easier than that.

This shredded BBQ chicken recipe is so versatile that it can be eaten in different ways over several days.  I like mine as a salad topping, served on a bun or Texas Toast as a sandwich, or by itself with a side of coleslaw and hush puppies.  That’s my idea of a perfect (and easy) comfort meal.

Why You’ll Love This Crockpot BBQ Chicken

  • Easy cleanup!  This BBQ chicken recipe doesn’t require any dishes other than the crockpot and a couple of forks or a hand mixer.  Line the crockpot and you’ll have almost no cleanup at all!
  • This juicy, shredded chicken is slow-cooked in the perfect combination of BBQ sauce and spices.  Everyone in your family will love it!
  • It’s so simple!  All of the work is done ahead of time, so when you get home the BBQ chicken will be practically ready to enjoy.

Equipment For your Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

  • Slow Cooker/Crock Pot
  • Forks or Hand Mixer

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make This Crockpot BBQ Chicken Recipe

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • BBQ sauce (I like Stubbs or Sweet Baby Rays)
  • Brown sugar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • Yellow mustard
  • Ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Crushed red pepper (chili powder can be substituted)
  • Worchestire sauce
  • Olive oil
Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Ingredients

How To Make Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken

You are going to start of by making the homemade BBQ sauce. Yes, I know we are using pre made BBQ sauce, but we are adding some ingredients to make it better and add flavor.

First start by adding the BBQ sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, ground black pepper, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, worchestire sauce and olive oil to your slow cooker. With a spatula or large spoon. Combine all the ingredients together until the are well combined.

Then, place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker and cover them with the BBQ sauce. Add crock pot lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high 3-4 hours. Chicken will be done once it reaches 165 degrees. The chicken will be easy to shred with a pair of forks.

Crock Pot BBQ chicken in a slow cooker.

How To Shred BBQ Pulled Chicken

Hands down the easiest way to shred chicken is with a hand mixer. You will want to place the chicken in a large bowl. If you shred it in your crock pot you could damage the finish. Then break the chicken into shreds with the hand mixer on the low setting. It is best to use heavier duty straight wire beats. This is a great way to shred a large amount of chicken.

No mixer? No problem. You can shred the chicken with two forks. You will use one fork to hold the chicken steady. With the other fork tear the chicken into small shreds.

Crock Pot BBQ chicken on a bun.

Storing & Reheating Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

This shredded BBQ chicken can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Make sure that it is in a sealed, air-tight container. To reheat, put in a microwave-safe container and heat until warm. You can also freeze this chicken for up to a month.  Either put the whole batch (after it has cooled) into a large Ziploc bag or divide it into portion sizes.  

Tips For Making The BEST Crockpot Shredded BBQ Chicken

  • Pick a sauce that you love!  I’ve found that the BBQ sauces that are available in grocery stores greatly vary by location.  You’ll want to use one that you’ve already tried and know that you love.
  • Don’t open the crockpot unless you need to!  You want the chicken to soak up as much flavor as it can.  Be sure to leave the crockpot lid closed until you’re ready to shred the chicken.
  • If the shredded chicken looks ready, but you aren’t ready to enjoy it yet, turn the crockpot to the “warm” setting.
BBQ pull chicken breast from a slow cooker on a bun topped with coleslaw.

Substitutions and Variations

  • If you like your shredded BBQ chicken to be spicy, use a HOT BBQ sauce.  Most of your favorite sauces come in hot or mild – be sure to check the bottle. Alternatively, you can add in more red pepper. Just be careful not to go overboard.
  • If you’re not a fan of apple cider vinegar, you can leave it out or replace it with red wine vinegar.
  • If you don’t have any Worcestershire on hand, you can replace it with soy sauce and ketchup. You’ll want to use a 1:1 ratio, and if you really enjoy that tangy flavor, you can also bump up the apple cider vinegar.

What To Serve/Pair With Your Best Crockpot BBQ Chicken Recipe

  • This shredded slow cooker BBQ chicken is good on its own or served as a sandwich on a bun or Texas Toast.
  • I like to enjoy mine with a side of coleslaw and Sweet Jalapeno Cornbread.  It’s also good with potato salad.
  • If you have a sweet tooth, apple pie or Peanut Butter Banana Cake make a great dessert pairing with this shredded BBQ chicken.  You’ll feel like you’re on a picnic!
  • This BBQ chicken will pair well with just about any cocktail.  If you’re wanting to stay traditional, enjoy it with a Long Island Iced Tea.
Hands holding a BBQ shredded chicken sandwich.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken FAQs

Do I have to add the BBQ sauce to the slow cooker during the cooking process?

For this shredded BBQ chicken recipe, you’ll want to be sure to add the BBQ sauce into the slow cooker with the uncooked chicken.  This helps the chicken absorb the flavors and not get too dry.

Why do I need to add mustard?

Mustard adds a tart flavor that blends wonderfully with BBQ sauce. You’ll be glad that you added it to your shredded chicken!

Do I have to line my Crockpot?

No, you don’t have to line your crockpot.  It’s possible to do it without, but lining it definitely helps with cleanup.  If you choose not to line it, be sure to spray it with cooking spray.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

Yes,  you can.  Chicken breast is leaner and more people prefer it over thigh meat, but darker meat has more moisture and flavor. You can get boneless, skinless chicken thighs at your local grocery store.   

Make Sure You Come Back And Let Me Know How Your Crockpot Shredded BBQ Chicken Turned Out!

Close up off crock pot BBQ chicken in a slow cooker.

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

This is one of my go to recipes when I have a craving for BBQ, but I don't have the time to fire up the grill. This Crock Pot BBQ chicken has so much flavor and all you have to do is dump a few ingredients in a slow cooker. You can thank me later for this super easy BBQ pulled chicken Crockpot BBQ Chicken – your favorite BBQ sauce comes together with rich spices, tangy apple cider vinegar, and robust Worcestershire making the perfect marinade for juicy slow-cooked chicken breasts. This shredded pulled BBQ chicken breast makes for a savory BBQ chicken entrée that can be enjoyed as a sandwich, on a salad, or even on its own.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 10 mins
Course Chicken, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 406 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5-6 chicken breasts)
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce (use your favorite)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Combine BBQ sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, ground black pepper, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, Worchester sauce, and olive oil to your slow cooker. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.
  • Place the chicken breasts in the sauce and cover them completely with the sauce.
  • Add crock pot lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high 3-4 hours.  The chicken will be done once it reaches 165 degrees.
  • Remove chicken from crock pot and shred with forks. You can also leave the chicken in the slow cooker and shred it with a hand mixer.
  • Add chicken back to slow cooker and stir until well combined.

Notes

*Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on Modernmealmakeover.com should only be used as a general guideline.

Nutrition

Calories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 22.3gProtein: 44gFat: 13.4gSaturated Fat: 3.4gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 711mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 12mg
Keyword Crock Pot BBQ Chicken
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