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Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs on a sheet pan with a fork and knife in the bottom right corner and a small bowl of BBQ sauce in the top right corner.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs

Boneless chicken thighs are seasoned with dry rub and tossed with your favorite BBQ sauce. They're slow-cooked until juicy and fall apart tender! Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs are smokey, sweet, and savory, and they only require a few ingredients! 

  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs - about 8 thighs
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup thickly sliced white onion
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • Extra BBQ sauce for serving


  1. Make your dry bbq seasoning blend by combining the brown sugar, chili powder, smoked paprika, mustard powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. 
  2. Place the raw chicken thighs in the bottom of your slow cooker.  Open them up so that they lay flat.  It's okay if they overlap. 
  3. Season the chicken thighs with the dry BBQ seasoning blend.  Use tongs to move the thighs around and turn them over so that all sides are coated in the dry rub.  
  4. Add the sliced white onion to the slow cooker. 
  5. Pour 1 cup of BBQ sauce over the chicken and sliced onion.  Use tongs to toss the chicken and onions into the sauce.
  6. Cook the BBQ chicken thighs on low for 2.5 - 3 hours.  When they're done cooking you can shred them if you'd like.  I like to partially shred the thighs and leave some larger pieces just gently pulled apart. 
  7. Transfer the chicken thighs to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread the chicken out in a single layer.  You can drizzle some extra BBQ sauce on the cooked chicken before broiling it.  Broil the chicken under high heat for about 5 minutes.  This will crisp up the top edges of the chicken.  Don't skip this step!  Broiling the chicken deepens the flavor of the BBQ sauce and adds nice, crispy texture to each bite.  
  8. Remove the chicken from the oven, serve with an extra side of BBQ sauce, and enjoy! 


  • The nutrition information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.  It should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. 
  • I do not recommend cooking boneless chicken thighs on high.  
  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: lunch, dinner
  • Method: slow cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: slow cooker BBQ chicken thighs