The Best Crockpot Barbequed Chicken Legs (with Spice Rub)

These barbequed chicken legs are simply melt-in-your mouth tender. Slow cooking the chicken legs with a spice rub and sweet and tangy barbequed sauce makes the chicken so beautifully tender and soft that even toddlers will love the texture! This recipe for barbequed chicken legs is made with a spice rub that is mildly spicy, feel free to adjust the amount of chili powder and paprika if you don’t like any heat. This barbeque sauce blend is my go-to for barbequed meats in my recipes for barbequed spare ribs and barbequed chicken wings. The homemade barbeque sauce has the perfect amount of sweet and tangy flavor and we even like to save some of the leftover sauce from the crockpot to use as a dipping sauce for the chicken. Pair this barbequed chicken with Roasted Ranch Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, Amish Style Mashed Potatoes or Amish Potato Salad and Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots.

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The best crockpot barbequed chicken with rub

The Best Crockpot BBQ Chicken Legs

marilynpeight
These barbequed chicken legs are topped with a spice rub and sweet and tangy barbeque sauce, then slow cooked until they are fall apart tender. A great main dish to pair with pasta, potatoes and more!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Equipment

  • 7 quart slow cooker (linked below)
  • Mixing bowls (linked below)
  • Stainless steel measuring cups (linked below)
  • Whisk (linked below)

Ingredients
  

  • 6-8 large chicken legs
  • 1 tablespoon butter softened

Spice Rub:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder *see note
  • few dashes paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

Barbeque Sauce Blend:

  • 1 cup Sweet Baby Ray's barbeque sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar can be added to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine the spices for the spice rub in a small mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the barbeque sauce blend until smooth.
  • Place the chicken legs on the bottom of a 6-7 quart slow cooker, then spread the softened (or melted) butter over each chicken leg. Generously sprinkle the spice rub over the chicken legs, then pour barbeque sauce evenly over top, using a spoon or spatula to cover the chicken legs with barbeque sauce as needed.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (I usually let it get to 180 or so and 8 fully thawed chicken legs only take 4 hours in my 7 quart).
  • Optional: Remove the chicken legs from the crockpot and place into a baking dish. Brush additional Sweet Baby Ray's barbeque sauce (blended with a little sauce from the crockpot to loosen it up) over the top of each chicken leg. Broil in the oven at high heat until the sauce is bubbling and sticky. Allow to cool slightly, then enjoy!

Notes

These chicken legs have a mild heat, but if you prefer to have no heat at all, you can reduce the amount of chili powder and paprika added to the spice rub. For more spice, feel free to add more paprika, chili powder and even cayenne pepper to the spice rub. 
Add brown sugar to taste, some may prefer it more tangy than sweet. 
Additional notes and step by step photos below. 
Keyword Barbequed chicken legs, crockpot, with spice rub, homemade barbeque sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
  • Crockpot I used my 7 quart crockpot for 8 pieces of large chicken legs. You can also use a 6 quart slow cooker but may need to stack some of the chicken legs, rotating half-way through the slow cooking process.
  • Mixing bowls Small mixing bowls or serving dishes are needed to mix the spice rub and barbeque sauce blend before adding them to the chicken legs in the crockpot.
  • Measuring cups Measuring cups are needed to measure out the barbeque sauce and brown sugar. Measuring spoons are useful for measuring out the spices, Worcestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar for these barbequed chicken legs.
  • Whisk A whisk is nice to have for combining the barbeque sauce ingredients.

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Ingredients needed for this crockpot barbequed chicken: butter, chicken legs. Spice rub: salt, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika and ground mustard. Barbeque sauce blend: barbeque sauce, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar.

Why add apple cider vinegar to the barbeque sauce?

Apple cider vinegar not only adds a great tang to the barbeque sauce, it also acts as a meat tenderizer, meaning the slow cooked chicken with apple cider vinegar will get even softer and juicier.

Step 1: Combine the spices for the spice rub in a small mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the barbeque sauce blend until smooth.

Step 2: Place the chicken legs on the bottom of a 6-7 quart slow cooker, then spread the softened (or melted) butter over each chicken leg. Generously sprinkle the spice rub over the chicken legs, then pour barbeque sauce evenly over top, using a spoon or spatula to cover the chicken legs with barbeque sauce as needed.

Why isn’t there more barbeque sauce blend for the chicken?

In my experience, chicken legs release a lot of juices while slow cooking, so there will be a good bit of thinner sauce left behind in the crockpot. You only need a thin layer of sauce over the chicken to keep the chicken nice and juicy while slow cooking. If you wish to broil the chicken at the end, I recommend whisking additional Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce with a little sauce from the crockpot before brushing it onto the chicken and broiling it to get that beautiful glazed finish.

Step 3: Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (I usually let it get to 180 or so). Photo shown above is before broiling the chicken legs with additional barbeque sauce.

Optional Step (but, highly recommended): Remove the chicken legs from the crockpot and place into a baking dish. Brush additional Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce (blended with a little sauce from the crockpot to loosen it up) over the top of each chicken leg. Broil in the oven at high heat until the sauce is bubbling and sticky. Allow to cool slightly and then enjoy! Photo shown is with broiled chicken.

Is it necessary to broil the chicken legs with additional barbeque sauce?

No, you certainly can enjoy the chicken legs straight out of the crockpot. But, if you want to get those chicken legs looking and tasting even better, then I highly recommend doing the additional barbeque sauce and broiling step. Broiling the slow cooked chicken legs with extra barbeque sauce gives them such a lovely finish!

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