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. #
    Kim — January 27, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

    My family loves this. It is my six year old favorite meal she requests it for her birthday.


  2. #
    Myra — February 3, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    Super Bowl food :) In the crockpot right now! I used chicken thighs because my husband likes the dark meat best. I put the BBQ sauce in before the beer (I hope that doesn’t mess things up)… chicken is not sitting directly in the beer :/ Do you think it’ll be okay?


  3. #
    Jennifer — February 4, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

    I made this for the Super Bowl this year and it came out amazing! So, so easy and shredding the chicken was a cinch.


  4. #
    Amy — April 8, 2013 @ 10:50 am

    Would the cooking time change if I halved the recipe?


  5. #
    Tiffanie Greenburg — April 14, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

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  6. #
    Kirk Fitzmier — April 21, 2013 @ 2:46 am

    Most etymologists believe that barbecue derives from the word barabicu found in the language of the Taíno people of the Caribbean and the Timucua of Florida, and entered European languages in the form barbacoa. The word translates as “sacred fire pit.”‘

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  7. #
    bakeca Carbonia-Iglesias — June 14, 2013 @ 4:12 am



  8. #
    Jara — July 8, 2013 @ 7:57 am

    I made this last night and it is AMAZING! So easy and tons of leftovers. I made barbecue chicken pizza (your pizza dough recipe) with some of it and it was DELISH!


  9. #
    Rocio — July 10, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

    Canoe Paddler from Leinenkugal is the best!!


  10. #
    Brynda — July 29, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

    Made this tonight with high hopes but we really didn’t like the taste, I’m thinking it was the smokey paprika that did it and not enough salt.


  11. #
    Natalie — September 3, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

    Made this over the weekend for our first college football game. The BF LOVED it! Thank you for the fabulous recipe!!


  12. #
    Denise — October 2, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

    If I cut recipe in 1/2, does cooking time change?


    • Jessica — October 2nd, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

      it depends on your crockpot, but you can most likely shave 1-2 hours off the cook time.


  13. #
    lisa — October 9, 2013 @ 12:01 am

    Do you think it would still turn out well if i use a Redds Apple Ale?


  14. #
    Natalie — October 11, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

    Can I use hot paprika instead of smoked? That’s what I have in my spice rack.


    • Natalie — October 13th, 2013 @ 11:59 am

      Got some smoked paprika in the end and it was well worth it! What an amazingly yummy dish, will be making it again for sure!


  15. #
    Tonda — October 13, 2013 @ 10:46 am

    I received the following question when I posted the recipe on Pinterest. I briefly looked through all of the comments, and I didn’t see that it had been asked previously.

    “Can I use beef or pork? My husband doesn’t eat chicken.”


  16. #
    Puya — November 27, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

    can i substitute the beer?


  17. #
    Sue — December 10, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    As the first snow falls here in the northeast I’m making this for the umpteenth time. It’s our go to meal on a day like today and my husbands favorite meal. We love having the leftovers!


  18. #
    Erin — January 4, 2014 @ 5:11 pm

    If you set the crock pot to high instead of low, do you know how long it will take?



  19. #
    Alba — February 12, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

    I made your crockpot bbq beer chicken for my boyfriend’s birthday party. I worked that day and friends were coming over about 3 hours after I got home from work. I set up the dry ingredients the night before and combined everything into the crockpot before leaving to work. It was so easy to make and it turned out deliciously. It was one less thing to worry about and everyone loved it. Thank you for your recipe, I can’t wait to try more of your crockpot recipes!


  20. #
    Rachel — April 6, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

    LOVE this recipe!! Making it for the 2nd time today for the Game of Thrones Season Premier! Thank you!!


  21. #
    Senaroo — April 26, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

    Dig the Leini’s in the background-must be a Wisconsinite :)


  22. #
    Amanda — June 4, 2014 @ 11:58 am

    Help! I just finished putting all of this into the crockpot for a dinner party tonight and realized that the beer i used (Flat Tire) expired in March! Do you think i should go ahead and make a plan b? I went ahead and just left if in the crockpot and turned it on.


    • Jessica — June 4th, 2014 @ 11:59 am

      honestly, if this happened to me i’d still totally keep it. i really think it will be fine!


      • Amanda — June 4th, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

        Ahh, thank you! It’s only been expired two months and has been in the refrigerator the entire time. Fingers crossed as I’m having a CMT awards party.

        Ps-i LIVE for your blog and am so excited to see you have a cookbook. I’m definitely ordering!

      • Jessica — June 4th, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

        ummm CMT awards party?! omg. so jealous. why aren’t we neighbors.

  23. #
    Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen — June 10, 2014 @ 10:16 am

    Making this tomorrow since I need something simple and delicious. Love that it will freeze well – I’m going to go ahead and make the whole recipe and freeze half. I couldn’t find Bone Suckin’ Sauce at the store, so I’m gonna go with Stubb’s (my fave!). Can’t wait to try these!


  24. #
    Heather — September 5, 2014 @ 4:22 pm

    I stumbled upon this recipe through another pin on Pinterest. We made it for the first time last night and it is seriously the BEST thing EVER! I am in love with this recipe! Thank you so much for making this and sharing it as it is a new favorite in my household!


  25. #
    Joseph — January 18, 2015 @ 7:36 pm

    Could I use a bud light lime for the beer ?


  26. #
    chris — February 4, 2015 @ 9:35 am

    Threw this in the slow cooker today, I’ve never slow cooked anything with beer. I’m using Blue Moon (Belgian-Style Wheat Ale), and a spice rub I made at the market for poultry. You can easily customize this meal to suit your taste bud needs :)


  27. #
    Marisa — March 23, 2015 @ 9:06 pm

    If I double the recipe how long will it need to cook? I’m feeding about 20!


  28. #
    GARRETT WESTMARK — July 13, 2015 @ 9:17 pm

    Just curious has anyone tried this recipe with using a pork shoulder cut into sections for even cooking or just basting the whole shoulder while it cooks? Just curious and let me know


  29. #
    Rachel — October 17, 2015 @ 8:49 am

    Beer and BBQ nothing better for a cold October day in northern WI. Thank you!


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