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. #
    Alisha @ Wee Foodie Fashionista — October 5, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    I’m pretty sure smoked paprika is covering all of the savory foods in heaven. If it’s not, I’m going to be MAD.


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

      I’m with ya.


  2. #
    lynn @ the actor's diet — October 5, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    i’ve been obsessed with making stuff with beer lately! just baked a chocolate chip stout bread yesterday:



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

      Holy crap. Give me some of that!


  3. #
    Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen — October 5, 2011 @ 10:59 am

    Sometimes you make me want to abandon vegetarianism and plunge face first into my computer screen. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing… I’m going to say it’s like being in a committed relationship, but still checking out the hot guys at the gym. Look but don’t touch. Totally ok.


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

      Oh mylanta. I freaking love that comparison.


  4. #
    Lee — October 5, 2011 @ 11:00 am

    Looks delicious!! Any recommendations on types of beer to use?


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

      I used leinenkugel classic amber, but I really think anything would work – maybe not something dark like guiness, but I can’t say for sure!


      • Kristin — October 5th, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

        You have such fantastic taste… I adore Leinenkugel’s. Guinness is fantastic for chocolate-stout cupcakes. :D Even better with Bailey’s cream cheese frosting. Mmmmm.

  5. #
    Tina — October 5, 2011 @ 11:17 am

    Crockpot. Beer. BBQ. Does it get ANY better? Probably not ;) PS- I was showing the hubs your website and he saw the pumpkin chocolate chip cookie pie and was like, “UM Please make this NOW.” haha


  6. #
    Jennknee — October 5, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    There have been quite a few pictures on your site of beer being poured into food…..and those pictures suck me in every. single. time.


  7. #
    Vicki — October 5, 2011 @ 11:46 am

    Looks absolutely scrumptious!!! MUST HAVE SOME NOW! What type/brand of beer did you use?


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

      I used leinenkugel classic amber!


  8. #
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — October 5, 2011 @ 11:47 am

    You can never go wrong with chicken cooked in the corck-pot! And I can NEVER add *just water* to any recipe. I always have to substitute some other liquid; beer, wine, broth, juice, etc.


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

      Me too! And when it comes to baking I usually add milk instead. That is probably wrong, but my grandma always did it.


      • Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — October 5th, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

        No it’s not wrong to use milk in baking (at least not wrong in my book)! I ALWAYS subsitute milk, juice, rum, beer (you know whatever!) in my baked goods as well. Why on Earth would you want to add flavorless ‘water’?

  9. #
    Erin — October 5, 2011 @ 11:59 am

    Oh yum! I definitely prefer to cook with beer more than I like to drink it. Totally busting out my also barely clean crockpot.


  10. #
    Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine — October 5, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    I’m thinking my BF might ask me to marry him if I make this. :) Win, win situation right there!


  11. #
    Brenna — October 5, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

    This. Looks. Incredible. I’m totally making this as soon as I get back from vacation!!


  12. #
    sarah — October 5, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

    I love beer in chili. My son has a wicked palate and hates it. I try and sneak it in and he ALWAYS catches it and asks why I like beer in chili. 11 year olds shouldn’t be so discerning about their chili!

    I’m thinking I’ll try this and see what the kid has to say.


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

      That is crazy that he can pick out the taste!


  13. #
    Tracy (Oklahoma) — October 5, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

    I have this deliciousness in the crock pot right this moment….but I was in such a hurry that I didn’t read through all of the directions and dumped all 32 ounces of bbq sauce in. Oh well….I’m sure it will be yummy even if I can’t follow directions!


    • Tracy (Oklahoma) — October 5th, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

      Thanks for a wonderful recipe.:)


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

      Awesome – I’m sure it will still be great – let me know how it is!


  14. #
    Emily — October 5, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    yumm!! p.s. congrats on your foodbuzz award nomination! :)


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

      Thank you!


  15. #
    Danielle A — October 5, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    Looks delicious, it is now on my radar to make soon! My crock pot is my friend during the fall and winter. The more ideas, and creativity the better. BTW, love that yours has a timer. :)


  16. #
    Karly — October 5, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

    Oh, yes. I was just wondering what to make for a birthday dinner on Saturday with the world’s most pickiest person. I think this will do wonderfully. Just don’t mention the onion powder.

    As for messy appliances, I just scheduled a house cleaning and they mentioned that they’d be cleaning the outsides of all of the appliances on the counter top. Would it be weird/mean/bad/wrong for me to just line up every single small appliance I own and leave them out for them?


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

      HAHAH! Oh man… I am begging for a cleaning service…


  17. #
    Amy @ A Little Nosh — October 5, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    Any ideas on what else to do with it besides serve it on a bun? I love pulled chicken like this but get so BORED with it just sitting on a bun all the time.


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

      Oh girl… ideas! Quesadillas, BBQ chicken enchiladas, someone mentioned on top of a potato, BBQ chicken pasta bake…


      • Shelly Knight — October 5th, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

        BBQ Chicken pizza is da’ bomb!

        • Lisa — October 5th, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

          BBQ chicken salad like California pizza kitchen serves! Mmm

  18. #
    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen — October 5, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    HA! Your line about replacing water with alcohol made me laugh, for real. This thing looks SO delicious. UGH!


  19. #
    Cate — October 5, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    Drooling and I just had some of my slow roasted pulled pork for lunch! Is that a big bowl of Brussels sprouts I see in the background? YUM!


  20. #
    Dana B — October 5, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    yummy! Looking forward to a great excuse to buy some beer (I like it in food and drinking it, but not bud please :). I’ll have to try Bone Suckin’ and see how it is. I love the various Dinosaur BBQ sauces, which are also all natural, no corn syrup, wonderful sauces :) thx!!


  21. #
    Laura — October 5, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

    You just gave me the recipe for dinner Thursday night. Thanks!!


  22. #
    Emma — October 5, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    Is there any way to make this without a crockpot?


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

      You may be able to do it in a dutch oven in the over but I’m honestly not positive because I’ve never tried? Anyone else have other suggestions? I’m just not sure how the beer would cook out?


      • Emma — October 5th, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

        Maybe it’ll work in a pot on low boil?

        • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

          It actually might. You could maybe also boil the chicken first in water, then add it to the pot with beer and sauce and cook it on very low for 2-3 hours?

          • Emma — October 5th, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

            cool, ill try that. this is soo mouth watering!

            • Lia Paul — October 5th, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

              My crockpot is too small for that (my original one died but I still have the crock). According to (http://busycooks.about.com/od/slowcookerrecipes/a/crockpot101.htm) which is Crockpot 101 info site the low temp setting on most crockpots is 200 degrees and that high is 300 degrees. For larger meals I use my oven set to 200 for the same amount of time and get the same results. So if you have earthernware or oven safe pots you can do the same. Hope this helps.

      • Cristy — October 6th, 2011 @ 8:27 am

        Maybe sticking the dutch oven in the oven in low heat would work??

  23. #
    Robin — October 5, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    Can you please write a cook book? I am in love with all your recipes. I look forward to them daily :)


  24. #
    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries — October 5, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

    Great looking recipe – I love the idea of using beer instead of water! Your posts always make my mouth water…


  25. #
    Stefanie — October 5, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    Thank you for posting a Crock Pot recipe that doesn’t require me to do any “pre-cooking” (as so many of them do, which kind of defeats the purpose in my opinion). I will definitely be trying this on out. :)


  26. #
    christina @ ovenadventures — October 5, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

    good to know i’m not the only one who’s appliances are a disaster ;) this looks fabulous. I should have read this earlier and I would have made it tonight. I’ve got a bunch of chicken thighs in my fridge and nothing to do with them.


  27. #
    Kelly — October 5, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

    Um…this recipe is pretty much the best thing I’ve ever seen…printing NOW!! Thanks for sharing!! :)


  28. #
    Michelle — October 5, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

    I like to pretend that filthy appliances mean I’m spending my time making more awesome food. Who wants to waste time cleaning?

    Beer in anything is pretty much awesome.


  29. #
    Carolyn — October 5, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

    Wow, this looks awesome. I’m on work break & drooling….yummy. I will definitely have to try this one this the weekend. My husband(Mr Football) Will love it too. Thanks :D


  30. #
    Sweet Marcella — October 5, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

    OHHH MYYY!! My fiance will love this!


  31. #
    Leslie — October 5, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    Yay! This is fabulous! Thank you!


  32. #
    Kimberly — October 5, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

    Yummm. I am sooo making this! Too bad it’s 4pm and I’d have to wait until midnight to eat it.


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

      You could cook it on high for 3-4 hours instead. :)


      • Kimberly — October 5th, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

        Sold! It’s in my crockpot right now.

        • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

          Yesss… keep me posted. :)

          • Kimberly — October 6th, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

            A-mazing! I love this recipe. I’m using leftovers tonight to make quesadillas. Thanks Jessica, you rock!

  33. #
    Kerry — October 5, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    Beer. Barbeque sauce. And chicken. Yeah, I’m pretty sure my boyfriend’s gonna love me double after this.


  34. #
    Dianna — October 5, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

    what about, ….grated onion with the juice? I l-o-v-e the taste of onion (as mentioned a few days ago), so I was wondering if one could substitute real onion for the powder?
    This looks wonderful, and the sweet can be controlled (more for him, less for me) win-win,. and a new recipe for chicken…. always welcome!


    • Jessica — October 5th, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

      I definitely think you could do that!


  35. #
    Anja — October 5, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

    this post makes me want to cook chicken for the first time in my life this way! applause!


  36. #
    Sarah @ The Cyclist's Wife — October 5, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

    Now I’m starving. Before I was just hungry.


  37. #
    Erica — October 5, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

    Ummmmmmmmmm totally making this for football Sunday one Sunday! Perfection. Beer is awesome in so many recipes.


  38. #
    erin — October 5, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    That’s what she said.


  39. #
    Lindsey @ Stink and Hincks — October 5, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

    “I wish I was sandwiched between those buns”…That’s what she said. Sorry, I just had to go there… Looks delicious! I am going to have to try this new crockpot recipe!


  40. #
    CouponClippingCook — October 6, 2011 @ 12:43 am

    This must smell soooo good when you’re cooking it. It looks amazingly delicious, and so tender.


  41. #
    Fallon — October 6, 2011 @ 12:52 am

    I must try! I love cooking with beer.


  42. #
    Kara — October 6, 2011 @ 2:30 am

    this looks delicious!! i nominated you for the versatile blogger award, pass it on! :)


  43. #
    Miz — October 6, 2011 @ 5:57 am



  44. #
    Sonnet Gal — October 6, 2011 @ 6:57 am

    My Saturday shopping list is getting longer and longer, but my family is getting happier and happier when I show them what I am going to make next week. This is a perfect game day dinner! I’m going to use KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce, though, since I am from Kansas City, Missouri (home of some AMAZING BBQ), and I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for another amazing recipe.

    Also, thanks for your return email and post about 365 days. Both an incredible leap of faith and ultimate blessing your blog and career are. Keep cookin’!


  45. #
    Kim @ Eat What You've Got — October 6, 2011 @ 6:58 am

    That does look delicious!


  46. #
    Cristy — October 6, 2011 @ 8:28 am

    Beer and chicken. My favorite things in a one-pot meal. Woohoo! Awesome to make and freeze. IF I can keep from eating the entire crock as I’m spooning it into freezer container. Doubtful.


  47. #
    Sandra — October 6, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    Who cares what your appliances look like when you turn out meals like this!


  48. #
    Brandy — October 6, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    You should experiment with craft beers to see how they change the flavor of your dishes. There are literally thousands of choices, so you could have a hay day and you might find that you enjoy craft beers far more than your traditional mass-produced slops. This recipe looks amazing, I’m definitely trying it out next week and will let you know which beer I chose. What beer do you typically use when you make it?


  49. #
    Bri — October 6, 2011 @ 10:24 am

    This looks so delicious! I was wondering if you use light or dark beer in it, or if you think it makes a huge difference?


    • Jessica — October 6th, 2011 @ 11:05 am

      I used an amber ale… I honestly am not sure about others – I don’t think I’d do dark though, but that’s just my preference!


  50. #
    Aubrianne — October 6, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    For those of us who don’t consume alcohol, do you have any suggestions of what I should replace the beer with? Would water work, or would it make it too liquid-y (pretty sure that’s not a word)? Thanks!


    • Jessica — October 6th, 2011 @ 11:05 am

      There are a few different options in the recipe notes but I think brother or maybe even ginger ale would work best!



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