Slow Cooker BBQ Drumsticks

Nothing is better than BBQ chicken, and there’s no better recipe than these Slow Cooker BBQ Drumsticks. They’re sweet, spicy, and have that classic char that everyone loves on their BBQ.

We were so blown away by these slow cooker drumsticks!  These were so easy and quick to pop into the slow cooker and then they cook all day in spices, BBQ sauce, honey, and brown sugar before getting broiled to perfection. 

We will be making these all summer long!!  The chicken just fell clean off the bone and was full of flavor!

We’re big fans of BBQ chicken. You just can’t beat the flavor. We love to make ours in the slow cooker. It’s super easy, and it really lets the flavors meld with the chicken. Oh, and it’s super easy, too!

chicken drumstick held in the air in the woman's hand

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It only uses a few simple ingredients.
  • It’s an easy slow cooker recipe that anyone can make.
  • It’s a sweet and spicy BBQ chicken recipe everyone will love.


bowls of chicken legs, seasoning, honey, bbq sauce, and brown sugar

You’ll only need a handful of ingredients to make this recipe, and most of them are probably in your kitchen right now. Anything you don’t have is just a quick trip to the store away. You’ll find the exact quantities in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Brown sugar
  • Black pepper
  • Smoked paprika
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Honey
  • BBQ sauce, divided

🔪 How to Make Slow Cooker BBQ Drumsticks

The only real work you’ll have to do with this recipe is a little prep and a little broiling. Otherwise, the slow cooker does all the work!

Step 1: Combine the Seasonings

Mix brown sugar, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and cajun seasoning together in a bowl.

raw chicken and seasonings in the slow cooker

Step 2: Cook the Chicken

Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Then, sprinkle it with the seasoning mix. Drizzle with honey and pour in 1 1/2 cups of the BBQ sauce. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

chicken drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet

Step 3: Broil

Before serving, place the drumsticks on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Brush with the remaining BBQ sauce and broil until caramelized and a bit crispy. Enjoy!


Do you want to change up this recipe and make it your own? Here are some ways that you can do that!

  • Drumsticks – You can make this recipe with chicken breasts or thighs, as well.
  • Mild – Omit the cajun seasoning for a mild version.
  • Hot – For a kick of extra heat and flavor, add diced jalapenos.

If you like this easy BBQ drumsticks recipe, then check out our oven baked BBQ chicken legs.

bbq drumsticks in the slow cooker

🥄 Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Small bowl
  • Slow cooker
  • Baking sheet
  • Foil or parchment paper

🥫 Storage

You can store these drumsticks for up to 3 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. For longer storage, freeze them for up to 3 months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container.

💭 Tips

  • DO NOT walk away from your drumsticks. They can easily burn.
  • Remove your drumsticks from the oven as soon as they get a little char on them. Don’t overdo it!
  • Wait until right before serving to broil the drumsticks for the best texture.

⁉️ FAQ

Do you have questions about this recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Can you put raw chicken in a slow cooker?

Absolutely. Slow cookers were designed to cook raw foods – including meat. Any raw meat can go into a slow cooker.

Why did my chicken burn under the broiler?

You have to have everything ready to go when you’re ready to remove the chicken. The time to clear space on the counter for the pan or put on your oven mitts isn’t when the drumsticks are ready to come out. By the time all of that is done, your chicken is burned.

Why is my chicken still pink?

Sometimes, dark meat chicken will appear to be a little pink even when it’s fully cooked. It’s totally okay!

How do I know when my chicken is done?

For this recipe, you know it’s done because it’s been in a slow cooker for upwards of 6 hours. However, for other recipes, a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat should read 165 degrees.

🍽 More Recipes

Do you enjoy BBQ? Then try these delicious recipes:

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four chicken drumsticks on top of a bed of mashed potatoes with corn cobs in the background

🧾Recipe Card

Want to make this recipe? Print the recipe card below, or pin this recipe, so you can find it later.

four chicken drumsticks on top of a bed of mashed potatoes with corn cobs in the background

Slow Cooker BBQ Drumsticks

These slow cooker BBQ drumsticks are loaded with sweet and spicy seasonings, BBQ sauce, slow cooked, and then finished under the broiler. Yum!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 644kcal


  • slow cooker
  • foil-lined baking sheet
  • bbq brush


  • 3 pounds drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • cup honey
  • 2 cups bbq sauce divided


  • Place all your drumsticks in your slow cooker.
  • Mix together the brown sugar, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and cajun seasoning.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning mix all over the chicken.
  • Drizzle the honey all over the chicken.
  • Pour 1 ½ cups of the bbq sauce into the slow cooker over the chicken.
  • Cover and cook on LOW 5-6 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours.
  • Right before serving place the drumsticks on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
  • Brush the drumsticks with the remaining bbq sauce and broil under the broiler until they are caramelized, do not let them burn! Keep a close on them under the broiler, you just want to crisp them up a bit.


Any nutritional data I provide is an approximation and actual dietary information can vary based on ingredients and proportion sizes.


Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 644kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 210mg | Sodium: 1713mg | Potassium: 893mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 802IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg

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