Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Chicken Recipe

Pulled chicken slow cooker recipe! It’s a foolproof shredded chicken meal that’s great to serve a large crowd. The flavorful BBQ juices are full of savory spices that keep you coming back for seconds!

I highly recommend serving this slow cooker pulled chicken with extra helpings of the pot juices. The flavor soaks into every fiber of the chicken breasts leaving you with hearty flavorful meat that serves beautifully alone with roasted vegetables or in a bun as a sandwich.

For the best organic meat we suggest ButcherBox. Check out my review on their meat delivery to see if it’s right for you.

Jump to:
  • Why this is the best pulled chicken recipe from scratch
  • Ingredients
  • Substituting chicken breasts for chicken thighs
  • Tools
  • Step-by-step Instructions
  • FAQs
  • More chicken recipes
  • More recipes you may enjoy
  • Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Chicken Recipe

Why this is the best pulled chicken recipe from scratch

  • BBQ chicken recipe made with healthy natural ingredients and no preservatives. This shredded pulled BBQ chicken is made from scratch with a homemade barbeque sauce that’s amazing! No preservatives here!
  • Slow cooker pulled chicken is a great dish for a crowd because this recipe makes a lot of chicken. This is wonderful for a party since it serves a lot in sandwiches.
  • Great for multiple weeknight dinners and meal prep! This is also great for meal prep, like this crockpot chicken, as you can enjoy it multiple nights for dinner. It heats up wonderfully. Add extras to this barbecue chicken stuffed spaghetti squash!
  • So easy anyone can make this recipe!


You just need about 6 large chicken breasts and the rest of the ingredients are for the homemade BBQ sauce, so don’t be overwhelmed by all these items.

  • 6 chicken breasts (see below for substitutions using dark meat chicken thighs instead of white meat)
  • Worcestershire sauce (make sure it is gluten-free for gluten sensitive and celiac as most contain gluten)
  • celery stalks (not the leaves)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • ketchup (I suggest organic or one without high fructose corn syrup)
  • water
  • lemon juice
  • apple cider vinegar (check out how to make homemade apple cider vinegar)
  • coconut sugar or dark brown sugar
  • dry mustard
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper

Substituting chicken breasts for chicken thighs

Can I substitute chicken thighs for the chicken breasts? Yes! The difference though is chicken thighs are a darker meat and have bones. If using chicken thighs, add 8-10 of them to the crock pot and top with the BBQ sauce ingredients. After 6 hours remove the chicken thighs and cut away or pull off the bones then shred them meat and transfer it back to the slow cooker.


  • slow cooker or crock pot – if using a small instant pot on the slow cooker setting, reduce this recipe to half so the chicken fits.
  • tongs – for removing pulled chicken from the slow cooker.
  • cutting board – optional to shred chicken on.
  • meat thermometer – to make sure the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Add ingredients.
  2. Shred the chicken.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

STEP 1: Add all of the ingredients to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours and until the internal temperature reaches 165 F.

STEP 2: Using two forks shred the chicken and stir everything together.

STEP 3: Serve in hamburger buns with juice drained, as an open-faced sandwich, into tacos, over salads, or as-is!


How long to slow cook shredded chicken?

Always cook chicken in the slow cooker on low to prevent it from drying out. Cook it until the internal temperature with a meat thermometer reaches 165 F when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast or thigh. Low and slow is the key to cooking in a crock pot or slow cooker and this shredded chicken takes about 6 hours until tender.

Can you overcook pulled chicken in slow cooker?

Yes you can overcook pulled chicken in the slow cooker. We add water to help keep this pulled BBQ chicken recipe moist, but chicken can dry out quickly. Always make sure to keep the slow cooker heat on low and only cook for the time the recipe calls for. Less chicken takes less time and more chicken may take longer.

What goes well with BBQ pulled chicken?

Serve this slow cooker pulled chicken with:
roasted brussels sprouts
rosemary roasted potatoes
air fryer potato wedges
roasted beet salad
into tacos
as a sandwich

Is pulled chicken the same as shredded chicken?

Not really. Pulled chicken is usually slowly cooked or grilled in a juicy sauce or rub such as BBQ sauce and then shredded. Shredded chicken is made using any method such as boiled, baked, or stewed then shredded and is typically seen lightly seasoned.

More chicken recipes

  • 3 Fast + Delicious Chicken Meal Prep Ideas
  • BBQ Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
  • Stuffed Chicken Breast with Spinach and Goat Cheese Filling
  • Cauliflower Crust BBQ Chicken Pizza (Dairy-Free + Egg-Free)
  • Easy Chicken Breast in Pan Sauce
  • Crockpot Chicken

More recipes you may enjoy

I hope you enjoy this BBQ pulled chicken recipe! Follow along with me on INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE and TWITTER for a feature and for more recipe inspiration! And don’t forget to give the recipe a star rating in the recipe area and leave a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *