What is up with beer and me lately?

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken I howsweeteats.com

I can’t get enough of the stuff.

If I’m telling the truth, I really enjoy cooking with beer much more than I like drinking it. I do like to drink it on occasion, but it’s not always my beverage of choice. However, when it comes to cooking with it?




Basically, I love replacing water with alcohol. Always and forever.

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken I howsweeteats.com

And now… a peek into what a mess my kitchen appliances really are.

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken I howsweeteats.com

You don’t even want to see my stand mixer. Or my toaster. Or my food processor. Or my fridge. Or my… everything. I’m a train wreck.

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken I howsweeteats.com

Look at that bun. (Or bum, since that’s what I really just typed.) Don’t you want to do a big trampoline jump on it? So puffy and fluffy and fat.

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken I howsweeteats.com

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that this is the best chicken I have ever made in the crockpot. It might be the best chicken I’ve made, period. And… I make a ton of crockpot chicken. Like really, a ton.

People… I live with a man who seriously eats chicken at least five days a week for lunch and dinner. Sometimes I get insanely creative, but most weeks he gets the short end of the stick when I throw chicken in the slow cooker with, uh… nothing else, just so I don’t have to deal with making him something delicious only to stuff it in five giant tupperware containers. Maybe I do wish you could see my fridge.


So, I’m convinced it’s a combination of the perfect marriage between beer, spices (I freakishly love onion powder and smoked paprika together… give it a whirl) and sauce (Bone Suckin‘ is the best) that makes this so amazing. It’s a great meal for a crowd but if you’re smart, you’ll make a big crock for yourself and freeze a bunch for the days when wine drinking and pie eating takes precedence over dinner.

Or is that just me?

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken I howsweeteats.com

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken

serves about 8-10

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 large)

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

8 ounces of beer (I used a classic amber)

32 ounces of barbecue sauce

Season chicken with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add to crockpot, then add beer and 24 ounces of barbecue sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours, tossing once or twice if desired. After 8 hours, shred and add remaining barbecue sauce. Toss chicken to coat and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving to absorb everything. Serve as desired.


1. I’ve found that *thinner* barbecue sauce works better (such as Bone Suckin’ Sauce) than thicker sauce (like Sweet Baby Ray’s). If you choose to use a thicker sauce, you may want to add a little more beer (or liquid) in order for the sauce not to burn and thicken on the edges of the pot. This is also the reason I don’t use my homemade barbecue sauce.

2. If you don’t want to use beer, you can try a ginger ale, chicken stock, or even water.

3. This makes a ton of chicken and I usually freeze immediately freeze a container for later.

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken I howsweeteats.com

I wish I was sandwiched between those buns.

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476 Responses to “Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken.”

  1. #
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — October 5, 2011 @ 7:02 am

    Beer is one of those things that can make food taste amazing…and I don’t even like beer to drink. I think I need to make beer-marinated tofu :)


  2. #
    Amy @ A Stool at the Counter — October 5, 2011 @ 7:04 am

    I loooooove cooking with beer! …oh wait. I also loooooove drinking beer. Hmmm….anyway this chicken looks great. And I am all over some slow cooker recipes. Woot!


  3. #
    Kathryn — October 5, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    The flavour of the chicken sounds amazing – chicken can be so bland but this looks ridiculously tasty!


  4. #
    Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 5, 2011 @ 7:20 am

    BBQ Chicken in the crockpot is one of my favorite meals! It’s so tender and flavorful, not to mention the house smells like heaven when I come home from work! Adding beer to the mix is an awesome idea!


  5. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — October 5, 2011 @ 7:31 am

    I never drink beer, but I used to love to cook with it. I haven’t done it in so long since gluten free beer is so expensive and we treat it like gold around here. This looks amazing!


  6. #
    Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers — October 5, 2011 @ 7:33 am

    you had me at “beer” and “bbq.” this is going on my “must make” list immediately!


  7. #
    Holly — October 5, 2011 @ 7:33 am

    You’ve just solved my dilemma for what to make this weekend for football games. This will be a hit, especially with the beer. Beer + football..doesn’t get much better, well maybe if I added in some ‘better than crack brownies, then it would make it better. ;)


  8. #
    Katrina — October 5, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    Anything in the crockpot turns out to be pure gold. Love it!


  9. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — October 5, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    I’m looking for new game day recipes… this would be a hit! Looks so freaking good…


  10. #
    Kelly — October 5, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    Beer does add amazing flavor…my mom makes a great beer chili and I have made some really good Guiness chocolate cake before!


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 9:58 am

      I love guiness cake!


  11. #
    Blog is the New Black — October 5, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    I heart crock pot dinners!!!


  12. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — October 5, 2011 @ 7:52 am

    um, i’m going downstairs to make this right now. seriously, i was in desperate need of dinner tonight…and i found it!


  13. #
    Vicky @ Recipe Adaptors — October 5, 2011 @ 7:53 am

    I’ve got family coming over from the UK soon and this looks like it would be a great, no hassle meal. I imagine it would go well with some chunky potato wedges?

    And lots of beer of course.


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 9:58 am

      Oh yes… yum.


  14. #
    Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} — October 5, 2011 @ 7:54 am

    I’ve been searching for more crock pot meals, so thanks for this! I’m going to try it next week.


  15. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — October 5, 2011 @ 7:55 am

    I want. Right now. At 5:56 am.

    I’ve never put beer in my BBQ chicken but now I’m wondering why I haven’t. YUM!


  16. #
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — October 5, 2011 @ 8:02 am

    Looks amazing! I also love to cook with beer…wine…have a rum recipe coming Friday….


  17. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — October 5, 2011 @ 8:04 am

    I can’t stand the taste of beer as a beverage, but I haven’t tried it in cooking. Maybe that’s what I should do with the beers our friends left in the fridge on the weekend and haven’t picked up yet…. ;)


  18. #
    Kim in MD — October 5, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    Boy…those are some nice buns! ;-) The crock-pot chicken in between those buns looks and sounds so delicious, too! I am adding this to my “must try” list. In fact, I am going to stop by the store to pick everything up today so I can make it tomorrow! Thanks for sharing, Jessica!


  19. #
    Grammy@gram-cracker.com/blog — October 5, 2011 @ 8:11 am

    My husband wants to know if he can move in your house??…seriously. I’m throwing this in the crockpot as we speak in an attempt to convince him to stay put….you’re welcome!


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 9:56 am

      As long as he doesn’t snore… sure.


  20. #
    Shannon — October 5, 2011 @ 8:13 am

    I love beer. I love chicken. Must try soon!!


  21. #
    Shayla @ The Good Life — October 5, 2011 @ 8:17 am

    This sounds so amazing…and my husband will love me, uh you ;), for this meal. Now that it’s fall he’s been begging me to make a crockpot meal and I think I’ll blow him away by making this recipe for our first fall crockpot meal of the season…I’m so glad I found your blog, my hubby will definitely appreciate it too ;)


  22. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — October 5, 2011 @ 8:21 am

    I’m convinced! This is getting made as asap!


  23. #
    Lindsay @ Lindsay's List — October 5, 2011 @ 8:21 am

    Just used beer to marinade my meat for kabobs last night! Just beer and worchestershire. So simple and so good!
    Oh…and of course your pie! You’ll get a pingback today about it!


  24. #
    Jenn from Much to My Delight — October 5, 2011 @ 8:35 am

    I just bought my first-ever Crock Pot yesterday and am now convinced it was the best decision I’ve ever made. This will be mine. I too wish I was sandwiched between those buns. PS: You are such a fun writer. Love, love, love your style.


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 9:56 am

      Thanks Jenn!


  25. #
    katie @KatieDid — October 5, 2011 @ 8:36 am

    I wonder how gluten free hard cider would work in this ahha! On second though maybe I’ll try the chicken stock instead. I love loveee bbq chicken, its been far too long since I’ve had it though. And crockpots are God’s gift to a lazy cook (talking about myself here).


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 9:56 am

      I actually bet the hard cider would be really good.


  26. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — October 5, 2011 @ 8:39 am

    LOVE. Looks like a meal that will be eaten here very soon!
    And my stand mixer might be the grossest thing in the kitchen. I try to keep it clean, really I do.


  27. #
    lacy — October 5, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    thanks for feeding me this x2.. yummo.


  28. #
    Kacy — October 5, 2011 @ 8:48 am

    Fun story: I ordered a crock pot (I burned my last one to ruin) so I could get on making delicious things such as this on the weekends while watching football and being a general bum, but I accidentally shipped said crock pot to Oklahoma instead of Virginia where I now reside.
    No matter, because I’ve starred this to make as soon as I get my refund and can reorder the damn thing. Looks fabulous!


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 9:55 am

      OMG… hahaha what a pain in!


  29. #
    Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy — October 5, 2011 @ 8:53 am

    This looks amazing! I love crock pot meals!


  30. #
    Missy — October 5, 2011 @ 8:59 am

    This looks great! Does it matter what type/brand of beer? What kind did you use? I don’t want to mess it up ;)


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 9:55 am

      I used an amber ale but I really don’t think it matters – as long as it isn’t too fruity!


  31. #
    Kita — October 5, 2011 @ 8:59 am

    I don’t think I got around to having shredded bbq chicken once this summer. And that’s just tragic. Thanks for posting this now so I can quickly remedy that!


  32. #
    Julie H. of Sprinach and Sprinkles — October 5, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    My appliances are a train wreck as well! Sooooooo messy! :) Glad I’m not alone!!


  33. #
    Christina — October 5, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    This looks fantastic! I was wondering what size slow cooker you used. I have a 3.5 quart cooker. Would that be big enough or should I cut the recipe in half? Thanks for your help and all your great recipes!


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 9:54 am

      I have a really big one – 6 quarts. I’m not familiar with a 3.5 one to actually see it, but I would say if you can stuff it in there, do it! If not, just cut the recipe in half. :)


  34. #
    Claire — October 5, 2011 @ 9:09 am

    I know what I’ll be making ALL Winter long… As much as I dislike the cold weather, there is one great thing about it– CROCK POT time!


  35. #
    Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs — October 5, 2011 @ 9:11 am

    Mmmm…this looks so good. And I love that you use breasts (hee) – a lot of recipes call for thighs and that just grosses me out. I love cooking with beer (and drinking it too!).


  36. #
    Ashley — October 5, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    Yummy! I can’t wait to try this!


  37. #
    Morgan — October 5, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    I know this is going to sound like a ridic question but when you freeze the chicken, how do you do it? Individual containers? And how to do you thaw it? Pull it out the morning of? Put it in the fridge? Or straight into a lunch box? Thanks!


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 9:52 am

      I probably don’t do it the right way, but I just fill a tupperware container with it and freeze (same with chili, once it’s cooled). Depending on how much I procrastinated, I may need to let it sit out on the counter, or even go in the microwave, but sometimes in the fridge. I never put it from the freezer into his lunch though – it’s always thawed!


  38. #
    Bev Weidner — October 5, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    I’m seriously looking at that baby as a sleeping bag for me to crawl into, nap for 38 years and eat my way out once I wake up.


  39. #
    Andrea — October 5, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    OM NOM NOM! That is all.


  40. #
    Cait's Plate — October 5, 2011 @ 9:26 am

    Reason # 1456 I need a crock pot: Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken.

    Looks BEYOND awesome!


  41. #
    Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy — October 5, 2011 @ 9:26 am

    I love cooking with booze period. It justifies day drinking (1 for the crockpot/pan, 1 for the cook…) and adds so much flavor.
    Did I mention the day drinking?


  42. #
    Danielle — October 5, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    Yet another one that hits the mark with me. I can’t wait to make this!


  43. #
    Jamie @ snacktress — October 5, 2011 @ 9:44 am

    I just got a crock pot last week. This is next on my list of things to make. Beer AND BBQ sauce? Yea boi.


  44. #
    Brett Bralley — October 5, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    I’ve been having a beer addiction too lately (both drinking it and cooking with it). Must be that Oktoberfest-y time of year. I bet the flavor in that chicken is phenomenal. Always looking for new Crock-Pot recipes.


  45. #
    Kaitlyn — October 5, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    Bone suckin’ sauce is the BEST. I just discovered the bone suckin’ rub this summer, totally addicted.


  46. #
    Cookbook Queen — October 5, 2011 @ 10:09 am

    I’m a huge fan of crockpot meals. This looks amazing!!


  47. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — October 5, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    I like drinking beer, WHILE cooking with it. Best of both worlds :)


  48. #
    Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl — October 5, 2011 @ 10:27 am

    I make this form my family (btw, beer is way good. so keep cooking with it). But add this recipe and top that meat with this: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/03/onion-strings-oh-yeah-baby/

    Super good. I always add extra cayenne to the flour. ;)


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

      You are brilliant. Will do.


  49. #
    Encore — October 5, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    One beer for the chicken and four for me…seems to be the right ratio, don’t you think?


  50. #
    april — October 5, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    My husband is going to love you for posting this! I need more delicious crock pot recipes :)


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