These barbecue chicken wings cook to tender perfection in your slow-cooker and then become crispy and nicely charred under your broiler. So toss them in the Crockpot and forget about them for several hours because you have better things to do. Then just before serving, make use of that broiler for smokehouse flavor and crispness.
The recipe starts with a nice barbecue rub that you toss together in a zip-lock bag. And then you coat them with just the right amount of your favorite barbecue sauce before slow cooking. You can use any sauce, or you could make this easy homemade barbecue sauce that tastes like it was simmered for hours with just-right flavor.
I used chicken wings for this recipe, but it would be equally amazing with drumsticks or chicken thighs. The meat was ready to fall off the bone out of the slow cooker. And the final minutes under the broiler made them crispy-delicious. No one will know how easy this was, but they’ll love them so make plenty!
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 pounds chicken wings and drummettes, or chicken drumsticks, trimmed
- 1½ cups barbecue sauce, divided
- Vegetable oil spray
- Mix sugar, paprika, mustard, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper together. Place ingredients in large plastic zip-lock bag. Dump chicken wings or drumsticks into bag and shake until all chicken is coated; transfer to slow cooker. Pour ½ cup of the barbecue sauce over chicken and stir to coat. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 3-4 hours on low for wings, 4-6 hours on low for drumsticks.
- Position oven rack 10 inches from broiler element and heat on high. Place a wire cooling rack on an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and coat the wire rack with vegetable oil spray. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet; discard braising liquid that remains in slow cooker.
- Brush chicken with ½ cup more barbecue sauce and broil until lightly charred and crisp (to your liking), about 10 to 15 minutes. Flip chicken over, brush with remaining ½ cup barbecue sauce, and continue to broil until lightly charred and crisp on second side, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Serve.
- Note about drumsticks... I've made these with wings and drumsticks and the wings do turn out much more juicy and have more flavor. Drumsticks are good, but we all prefer the wings.