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Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks

Just a few ingredients and you can have these slow cooker chicken drumsticks waiting for you. Let the crockpot do all the work and get tender, juicy, and delicious chicken!

close up chicken drumsticks with barbecue sauce


If you are a fan of the crockpot, you are definitely going to want to try this super easy chicken drumstick recipe. The slow cooker does all the work, you just have to season the chicken and let it cook for a few hours. These slow cooker chicken drumsticks stay super juicy, tender, and the spice rub gives them so much flavor!

You can mix up the seasoning how ever you like. I went with the Best Dry Rub, that is universal for any meat and I always have in my pantry. And topped with barbecue sauce. But you could keep it simple and just use salt and pepper too.

coating chicken legs in seasoning

Why You’ll Love This Crockpot Recipe

  • Easy – I love dinner that takes about 5 minutes of prep and the rest is just done. All you have to do is toss the chicken with the spices, and then load up the crockpot. It does all the work, so you can just come back cooked drumsticks.
  • Tasty Smoked Chicken Drumsticks are one of my favorite meals, but not everyone has a smoker or the time to man it. These drumsticks get so much of that same flavor and you can do them any day of the year.
  • Affordable – drumsticks have to be one of the most affordable proteins out there. You can often find them on sale for $.99 a pound, sometimes even less. So stock up and have them in your freezer. Then you can make this recipe in no time, at a very affordable price.
seasoned chicken drumsticks on crockpot

What You’ll Need

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for the FULL PRINTABLE recipe card.

  • Chicken Drumsticks
  • Olive Oil
  • Dry Rub or favorite spice blend
  • Barbecue Sauce

I will include a small version of the dry rub in the recipe card below, but you can use whatever your favorite spice blend is. You can use just a few of the spices listed in the recipe below. You just want to give the meat that barbecue flavor.

pouring barbecue sauce over drumsticks in crockpot

How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks

  • Season. Add the chicken drumsticks, olive oil, and dry rub to a large plastic bag. Seal and toss to evenly coat the chicken.
  • Cook. Arrange the chicken in an even single layer in the base of your crockpot. Pour barbecue sauce over the top. Put the lid on, and cook for 4 hours on low.
  • Serve. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the crockpot, top with a little more barbecue sauce and serve.
Can I cook frozen drumsticks

Yes, they will work. I don’t think they cook as evenly, but you can do it in a pinch. You will need to add 1-2 hours to the cook time. It is a little harder to get the spices to stick, they tend to fall off as they thaw. But if you need something last minute, it will definitely work.

How do I make Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks crispy?

Everyone loves a crispy skin, I get that! And in the slow cooker you definitely miss that. The best thing to do is put them under the broiler at the end. Once they are cooked, brush them with sauce, place them on a foil lined baking try and put under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until they crisp up. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

barbecue chicken drumsticks on plate with coleslaw

Recipe Tips

  • Get creative. If you like things spicy, add some cayenne pepper to the rub or use a spicy barbecue sauce. Like things sweet? Mix in a little honey with your sauce to give them that sweet and sticky flavor. Lots of ways to make it exactly what you like!
  • Leave the skin on. The skin really helps the chicken stay juicy and tender as they cook. I think that because chicken breasts are so lean, they often times dry out in the crockpot. But drumsticks work really well and don’t try out, the skin is part of the reason why!
  • Like it crispy? if you want crispy skin, make sure to put them under the broiler for a few minutes at the end.
  • Other cuts of chicken. You can definitely follow this recipe with thighs, breasts, and even wings. The cooking times will just change a little based n the size and if it contains a bone. But all are delicious.

What Goes With Chicken Drumsticks

This is a super simple meal that you can serve just about anything with! Here are a few of my favorites.

looking down on a white plate with slow cooker chicken drumsticks and coleslaw

More Easy Crockpot Recipes

Yield: 4

Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks

cropped close up chicken drumsticks

Just a few ingredients and you can have these slow cooker chicken drumsticks waiting for you. Let the crockpot do all the work and get tender, juicy, and delicious chicken!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes


  • 3 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup favorite dry rub or spice mixture
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce

Dry Rub

  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper


  1. If you are making the dry rub, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Add the chicken, olive oil, and spice mixture to a large plastic bag. Seal and toss well to coat the chicken evenly.
  3. Arrange the chicken in the base of the crockpot in a single, even layer. Alternating the way you put them down allows to fit more in. Pour over 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce.
  4. Cook on low for approximately 4 hours.
  5. Remove chicken from crockpot and toss with the remaining barbecue sauce.
  6. Serve immediately.


Best Dry Rub Recipe - I always have this in my pantry to put on chicken, pork, turkey, beet etc.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 777Total Fat 34gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 432mgSodium 1059mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 1gSugar 23gProtein 82g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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Sunday 16th of July 2023

This is such an amazing dinner! Such a great recipe for slow cooker!


Friday 14th of July 2023

Winner winner, chicken dinner! Literally. This looks so good, and I love how easy it is to make.

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