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. #
    Danielle — February 6, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

    I also made this yesterday it was AMAZING!! I did use Sweet Baby Rays because it was on sale haha!! But I also put the chicken in frozen and knew the juices would help with the thickness of the sauce and I had it on for about 8 hours and then on warm for another hour. I also made your Beer Mac and Cheese AND the Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie!!!! Everyone asked where I got my recipes… I always say my FAVORITE blog How Sweet It Is!!! Thank you soooo much for the amazing recipes I am making the Spicy Parmesan Shrimp this evening also does that Reheat well or should I cut it in half becaue I am making it just for one :o)


    • Jessica — February 6th, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

      It reheats really well! We ate it 2 nights in a row.


      • Danielle — February 6th, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

        YES!!! Then I shall as well!!!!

  2. #
    Kate — February 8, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

    Making this now! Looks delist! But it’s 230….and I was thinking I could cook on high for half the time. Can I do it in four hours on high? Or do I make it for tomorrow’s dinner…. And follow the 8 hour on low


    • Jessica — February 8th, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

      Yep you can do that! I’ve done it before too.


  3. #
    Paula Giles — February 9, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

    Made this yesterday for dinner last night. Sooo delicious. Loved it and the family loved it too! Reheated for dinner tonight and it tasted just as good! :)


  4. #
    Kelley — February 13, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

    Just made this for dinner tonight. I just taste tested it and it is awesome. I had my 6 year old taste it and he is on round 2 already! Thank you so much!


  5. #
    Jake — February 14, 2012 @ 10:25 am

    If i cut the portions in half, will it still work just the same?


    • Jessica — February 14th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

      Most likely, yes,


  6. #
    Elise — February 16, 2012 @ 1:05 am

    Awesome idea, I’m going to make this over the weekend! I wanted to make something simple for sandwiches… got chicken and bbq sauce… now I will know to just add beer! So smart! My boyfriend will LOVE this. I think I might also throw some onions on the bottom as well, get those cooking in the beer for extra flavor.


  7. #
    Lauren — February 17, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    I made this and IT. WAS. SO. GOOD!!! I used Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Also, I didn’t quite have 32 oz of BBQ, so I mixed what I had with worchestshire, ketchup, and Franks Hot BBQ sauce. Pretty dang good. I will make it with 1 kind of BBQ next time. It’s easier :) Thank you for posting this. It’s now made regularly in our kitchen.


  8. #
    Michele — February 17, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    Should there be a lot of liquid remaining? Mine has been cooking for 7 hours and there is a lot of liquid in the crockpot. I did add 3 more ounces of beer since i was using a thicker bbq sauce. There still semms to be alot, even if I hadn’t. Hoping it gets absorbed after shredding.


  9. #
    Anell — February 17, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

    This looks and sounds so delicious. Will be making this tomorrow !! A great meal for the lakehouse….the family will love it. I will also be checking out all your other recipes. So glad I found your site on Pinterest.


  10. #
    Courtney — February 19, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    I am making this tonight and have made it before, but to change up the flavor we added a packet of dried onion soup. It smells amazing.


  11. #
    sarah hammer — February 19, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    do you have to cook it for 8 hour? could you do it for 6?


  12. #
    Sweet Marcella — February 20, 2012 @ 9:41 am

    I just want you to know this is my go to busy meal! I just throw it in before work. My fiance gets so excited about it….he doesn’t realize how easy it is for me! Thank you!


  13. #
    Kimmi Rea — February 22, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

    What is the best way/container to freeze left over meat? Do you just set it in the fridge when ready to unthaw and eat again?


    Love- Kimmi


  14. #
    Jennica — February 23, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

    Is 8oz of beer enough? It seems a little low, but I’m not sure. How much liquid should be in the crockpot before turning it on?


  15. #
    Samantha — March 2, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    I made this yesterday and it was de.li.cious.! Thank you so much. I’ve added it to my recipe stash to make again & again.


  16. #
    Kristen @ notsodomesticated — March 2, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

    I made this tonight, and it was delicious! It was a little messy because the meat had a lot of liquid in it, but the flavors were awesome! Thanks, Jessica! :)


  17. #
    Terri — March 19, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

    What could you substitute for the beer?


  18. #
    rose — March 26, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    Hi, this looks amazing and we make a lot of chicken, the man’s all about chicken, Anyway, is there any way to make this without a slow cooker/crockpot?? Sorry if this is an obvious YES/NO question.. I’ve always wanted to make “pulled” chicken like this and I’ve never known if possible because I don’t have a slow cooker. Also we both love beer Obviously… so this must be delicious :)


  19. #
    Heather — March 28, 2012 @ 1:00 am

    I am making pulled chicken for my son’s second birthday party and I am using this recipe. Can’t wait to try it. Looks awesome. Also, I feel you on the appliances not being the cleanest, but I mean, come on! Am I supposed to clean them EVERY TIME I use them?? What? The answer is yes..huh. Never thought of that.


  20. #
    Tricia Maniaci — April 4, 2012 @ 11:35 am

    I have found my Easter Sunday main course!!!! Thank you! And your commentary gave me a delightful giggle!


  21. #
    Drew — April 10, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

    This also works really well in a pressure cooker. I saw the recipe at 4pm and decided that I wanted to eat it right then, not 8 hours later or a day later. I threw everything into my (electric) pressure cooker with frozen chicken breasts, cooked at high pressure for about 40 mins and everything was great.


  22. #
    Jen — April 13, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    I’m am so trying this! There is nothing I love more than a slow cooker chicken recipe. Keep sharing your wonderful recipes :)

    I nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger Award. Check it out: http://becomingpigzilla.com/2012/04/13/the-versitile-blogger-award/


    • Jessica — April 13th, 2012 @ 11:16 am

      Thank you so much!


  23. #
    Jenny K. — April 27, 2012 @ 11:12 am

    Saw this recipe on Pinterest. Just put everything into the crock. Looks so good!!! Thank you for sharing.


  24. #
    rachael — April 27, 2012 @ 12:42 pm



  25. #
    angel — April 28, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

    Awesome recipe….super easy……great dinner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  26. #
    Stan Schubridge — April 30, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    Thanks for the information for my research. I’ll be sure to link back and mention the resource if I use any of it! Jess


  27. #
    Danielle — May 1, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    Yum, this looks soooo good. I have to make it this weekend. I love that it makes enough to feed a crowd.


  28. #
    Danny — May 3, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

    I tried doubling the recipe and it seems very watery.


  29. #
    Karen Scruggs — May 6, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

    I made this yesterday – it is the best BBQ Crock pot chicken I have ever had! and I have tried a lot!
    16 year old son loved it too which is a big test!
    I used Sweet Baby Rays because it was on sale and also used Sierra Nevade Pale Ale.
    This was the first recipe of yours of yours I have tried but I will definitely try more. Thanks!


  30. #
    Danielle's Dish — May 21, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

    I just made this over the weekend. It was splendid. I couldn’t find Bone Suckin’ bbq sauce and I looked at Wal-Mart & Kroger. SAD! It was super easy and tasted good. I used light yuengling.


  31. #
    Rock Star Dad — May 30, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    I found your recipe via Ziplist and I made it last night. It was great! I used a bottle of Yuengling Porter with the BBQ sauce and added pinch of Chipotle powder. I love how simple this one is! I posted your recipe on my blog…hope you don’t mind. Keep on rockin!


  32. #
    Victoria — June 8, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    I am thinking of making this for a lunch potluck at work next week. Can I make this the day before (cook for the 8 hours) then just put it in my crock pot the next day on warm for a few hours? Will that dry it out too much, or should I just cook it on high for 4 hours starting early in the morning?


    • stephanie d — June 8th, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

      i just made this yesterday, using sweet baby ray’s and 12oz. of fat tire. perfect consistency! it cooked on high for four hours. tonight i reheated in the crock pot and the flavors were amazing! it stayed moist and tender, too! your co-workers will definitely want the recipe!


    • Jessica — June 10th, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

      It should be fine! Have a little broth or more sauce on hand to add if needed.


  33. #
    Siekobilly — June 10, 2012 @ 11:53 am

    Sounds amazing. Just started cooking mine about 40 minutes ago. Didn’t feel like searching for Bone Suckin’ so I went for a vinegar based BBQ sauce from a local restaurant here in Marietta, GA. Can’t wait to eat it!


  34. #
    Jessica — June 13, 2012 @ 9:31 am

    I really want to make this tomorrow so it’ll cook while I’m at work… but I don’t have any chicken thawed out, can I use a pack of frozen chicken breasts?


    • Jessica — June 13th, 2012 @ 10:24 am

      Can you thaw the chicken overnight before you make it tomorrow? If you use frozen, it might just add a lot more liquid.


  35. #
    Ashley — June 18, 2012 @ 10:50 am

    Does it matter what kind of beer you use? Would a coors light be a bit too hillbilly? Otherwise, I’ll run to the grocery store! :)


    • Jessica — June 18th, 2012 @ 10:56 am

      As long as you really LOVE to drink it, it should be good!


      • Ashley — June 18th, 2012 @ 11:01 am

        Hmm…maybe I’ll give it a shot and it can be a learning experience. :)

  36. #
    Richard — June 22, 2012 @ 4:01 am

    Have made this a few times at home and to take to work. Just wanted to say thanks. I get rave reviews every time :)


  37. #
    Erika Hilliard — July 23, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe on Pinterest! Quick, easy and taste great!


  38. #
    Cate — July 24, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

    Hi – I just got a Crock Pot as a birthday gift and I can’t wait to make this! I’m curious though (not sure if I missed it in the comments), how large is your Crock Pot? Mine is 5.5 and I don’t know if that is too small to fit three pounds of chicken. I may cut it in half since it’s just me eating it. I want to make this and your baked beans!


  39. #
    Becky N — August 22, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

    I tried this a couple nights ago and it was a hit with my picky hubs. So delicious! I am sharing it with my blog followers too!


  40. #
    kmar819 — August 30, 2012 @ 10:53 am

    thanks for the idea, unfortunately I didn’t have any beer in the house so I used spiced rum, and a shot of teryaki because I didn’t have enough BBQ sauce :-( we’ll see how it turns out, my husband is always a good guinea pig for when I test out new recipies


  41. #
    Jill — September 16, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

    I’m making this tonight but instead of chicken breast I used chicken thighs. It smells gray in my house can’t wait to try it.


  42. #
    Noah — September 21, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

    Found this recipe recently, and made it for my co-workers yesterday. They loved it (so did I). Simple, easy to make, easy to transport.


    • Noah — September 21st, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

      Also, I used Yuengling Lager and Sticky Fingers Carolina Sweet BBQ sauce :)


  43. #
    Annie — October 6, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

    I made this tonight for dinner and it was a hit! Of my beer choices I had miller lite and Octoberfest in the fridge, so since the recipe used an amber beer, I went with the Octoberfest. I won’t lie, it didn’t start smell good until about hour 5. I also didn’t measure my spices. I coated my frozen chicken on both sides. Around hour 6 I shredded the chicken. I also added a few shakes of all the spices again so the sauce would have some extra spice to it. I never needed to add more sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays) or beer. It was plenty saucy when it was ready. This was a fantastic meal and plenty left over! Yummmm thanks for the great recipe!


  44. #
    Kathryn — November 14, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

    Currently in my crockpot right now! Can’t wait to try it :) it was the easiest meal ever and I love how there is so much you can do with it. Thanks for the recipe.


  45. #
    Sue — December 2, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

    Finally, after almost 12 years if marriage, did I get “best thing I ever ate”…this recipe rocks!!! So easy, so yummy. I used Target marinade and diet DR Pepper instead of beer. My 7 year old loved it as well (9 year old is picky)
    Thank you so much for posting-yum!!


  46. #
    tara — December 8, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    I’m planning on making this for a party tomorrow…I need to double it…should I double the bbq sauce, 64 oz seems like a lot but if its what it takes then ill do it! Thanks!!


  47. #
    Rayann Culp — December 12, 2012 @ 9:38 am

    Just threw a variation of this in the crock. I used Coors Light & emptied all the bottles of BBQ sauce that were 1/2 empty in the fridge plus added one bottle of kraft original to complete the amount. Used what I had on hand….that’s what caught my eye on this recipe. It already smells good. The test will be the boy and husband tonight. Thanks for such an easy recipe.


  48. #
    Amanda — December 29, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

    Can this be done with a whole chicken?


  49. #
    Rachel — January 8, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

    I just made this on Sunday for a big family day of football, beer and food. It was, simply put, AMAZING. Loving this website, loving this recipe, and I can’t wait to make more tasty treats from here! Thanks!


  50. #
    Katie Ryan — January 14, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

    WOW! I must say the long these flavors get a chance to sit, the better! I had a football party gathering yesterday and made this!!! It was a huge hit and since this recipe makes a TON, I even have a bit of leftovers for this week. I used Alaskan Amber for the Beer and I just used regular Paprka instead of Smoked and it was just as good! I am thinking about making Stuffed Bell Peppers with the leftovers for dinner this evening… Thank you so much for such a great recipe and combo of flavors! xoxo


    • Amber — January 31st, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

      What BBQ sauce did you use? Also did you do the entire 8 hours?



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