Barbecue chicken drumsticks are fun for kids to eat.

How to Cook Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks in a Slow Cooker

by Melissa Hamilton

Cooking barbecue chicken drumsticks in a slow cooker is a fairly easy process, but it does involve some cooking beyond the slow cooker. A barbecue rub is added to drumsticks to thoroughly infuse the meat with flavor, and once the slow cooker process is finished, the chicken is broiled to give it a crispy, lightly charred skin. On a busy day, moms can opt to forgo the broiling process. You’ll lose the crispiness but keep the smoky barbecue flavor and be able to serve the meal faster.

Season the chicken drumstick skin with a dry barbecue rub. Take the time to really rub the spices into the skin of the drumstick, so it is infused with flavor. When it's ready, the drumstick should be colorful with the spices and you should be able to tap the meat without the rub falling off.

Place the drumsticks in the slow cooker. Pour in enough barbecue sauce to toss and coat the chicken, plus a little extra to keep the chicken moist while cooking.

Cook for four to six hours on low heat. Stick to low heat, since high heat is more likely to dry out the chicken by the end of the cooking process.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with a non-stick spray to keep the chicken from sticking. Set your oven rack 8 to 10 inches from the broiling element and preheat broiler on high. If your broiler is set by temperature, put it at 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the slow cooked chicken on the baking sheet and brush with additional barbecue sauce. Broil on high for 10 minutes, turn the meat over and brush with barbecue sauce again, then broil for another five to 10 minutes. The chicken will be crispy, lightly charred and full of delicious barbecue flavor.

Items you will need

  • Dry rub
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Slow cooker
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Foil
  • Baking sheet
  • Non-stick spray
  • Pastry brush


  • Experimenting with different flavored barbecue sauces can be fun for cooks and is an excellent way to add variety to an easily prepared dish.


  • Verify that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit after broiling and before serving. Chicken below this temperature may contain bacteria and cause food poisoning.


  • The Potluck Club Cookbook: Easy Recipes to Enjoy with Family and Friends; Linda Evans Shepherd

About the Author

Melissa Hamilton began writing professionally in 2007. She has enjoyed cooking creatively in the kitchen from a young age. In addition to writing cooking articles for various publications, she currently works in the restaurant industry as a food and beverage trainer.

Photo Credits

  • Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images