Slow Cooker Chicken Wings are fall off the bone delicious. A quick broil gives you the best of both worlds – crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside!

Be sure to try my Garlic Chicken Wings next!

bbq chicken wings in a basket with fries

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Why We Love This Slow Cooker Chicken Wings Recipe

  • Love chicken wings but don’t want to heat up your house by turning on the oven? These slow cooker wings are the perfect solution!
  • The meat is tender and juicy, and when you stick them under the broiler at the end you get a crispy, caramelized finish!
  • Serve crock pot chicken wings as your main appetizer or even as a fun handheld dinner.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

  • Chicken Wings – You can usually find these fresh in the meat department, but they are also available frozen. I usually pick up a 3 pound bag of frozen wings to keep on hand.
  • BBQ Sauce – Pick your favorite. You can go spicy, smoky, or sweet. I love Sweet Baby Ray’s so that’s the brand I usually use.
  • Honey – To sweeten the sauce.
  • Garlic Salt – Adds flavor. For less salt, go with garlic powder instead.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – To bring the heat.

How To Make Chicken Wings in a Slow Cooker

See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

bbq sauce with spices

Combine the sauce – BBQ sauce, honey, garlic salt and red pepper flakes.

chicken wings and bbq sauce in slow cooker

Pat the chicken wing pieces dry and season them with salt and pepper, then place them in the slow cooker. Pour the sauce over the wings and toss to evenly coat the wings. The easiest way to do this is with your hands.

cooked chicken wings in crockpot

Cover with the lid and cook on high heat for 2 ½ hours.

Finish off the wings using one of the methods below.

Finish ‘Em Off: Broil, Bake, or Air Fry

Once they’re cooked, you can choose to serve them as is or broil, bake, grill, or air fry the wings to dry them out a bit, caramelize the sauce and crisp them up a bit. Keep in mind these aren’t deep-fried wings, so they won’t be as crispy as you might get at a restaurant.

Broiling: Line a baking sheet with foil and turn your broiler to high. Arrange the wings on the baking sheet and spoon on some of the sauce from the slow cooker. Broil for 2-5 minutes, or until the sauce is caramelized.

Baking: If you prefer to bake them, arrange them on the baking sheet and bake at 400℉ for about 15 minutes.

Air Fryer: Place wings in a single layer in your preheated 400℉ air fryer basket for about 5 minutes. You may need to do this in batches.

Allow the wings to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

bbq chicken wings on sheet pan

Recipe FAQs

Can you use frozen chicken wings?

You absolutely can! In, buying a package of frozen wings practically guarantees that you’ll get a good combo of wings and drumettes. However, you do need to completely thaw the wings before cooking. Just set the package in the fridge overnight and you’ll be ready to go the next day.

How long does it take to cook chicken in a slow cooker?

It really depends on the cut. Chicken cooks rather quickly in the crockpot, and can dry out quickly as well. Typically around 2-3 hours on high is plenty for cooking boneless chicken breasts and thighs, or wings. Bone-in chicken will take a little longer, but not much.

How do you keep chicken wings from being soggy?

The broiling we do at the end helps to not only caramelize the sauce but crisp up the skin so it won’t be soggy.

Serving Suggestions

Wondering what to serve with chicken wings? There are so many options, but the classics include:

  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery sticks
  • Ranch dressing or Blue cheese dressing
chicken wings held in someone's hand

Variations

For this recipe, the variations are practically endless. You can use a variety of sauces with this method to achieve great results.

Spicy: Use a spicy BBQ sauce and double the amount of red pepper flakes. You might want to try adding some hot sauce to the BBQ sauce as well.

Kid Friendly: For a kid-friendly version, skip the red pepper flakes altogether and choose a BBQ sauce that’s on the sweet sauce. Or complement the BBQ sauce with something sweet, like grape jelly or orange marmalade (ala Grape Jelly Meatballs)

Other flavors: One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s more about the method than anything. In the mood for buffalo wings? Pour in some Frank’s Red hot instead. Got a hankering for teriyaki? Use teriyaki sauce!

Make Ahead and Storage

Make Ahead: You can coat the wings and store them in the fridge, uncooked, for up to 2 days. As long as they were fresh and not previously frozen, you can also store them uncooked in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight before placing in the slow cooker.

Storing: If you happen to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. They can be frozen for up to 3-4 months. All leftovers should be cooled before storing.

Reheating: You can reheat in the oven or in the air fryer at 350 degrees until warmed through. Microwaving is also an option, but will make your wings soggy.

Expert Tips

  • Choose your favorite BBQ sauce. You can go sweet, savory, spicy, or smoky.
  • You don’t have to go BBQ – your crockpot wings, your call! Try a wing sauce or a homemade buffalo sauce.
  • Other spices you can add to the sauce include chili powder, paprika, onion powder, celery salt, etc.
  • Save the sauce from the crockpot to use for dipping your wings.
  • You can skip the broiling step if you’d like and enjoy the wings straight out of the slow cooker, but they will not be crispy.
chicken wings with bbq sauce in a basket

More Chicken Appetizer Recipes

Recipe

  • 4 pounds chicken wings
  • 3 cups BBQ sauce divided
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • In a medium sized bowl, stir together the BBQ sauce, the honey, the garlic salt, and the red pepper flakes. Stir for about one minute to ensure ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the BBQ sauce.

  • Pour the sauce over the wings and use your hands to stir the mixture, ensuring that each wing is evenly coated in the sauce.

  • Dump the wings into your slow cooker and cook on high heat for 2 ½ hours. Finish off the wings using one of the methods below to crisp them up and caramelize the sauce.

Broiling:

  • Line a baking sheet with foil and turn your broiler to high. Arrange the wings on the baking sheet and spoon over some of the sauce from the slow cooker. Broil for 2-5 minutes, or until the sauce is caramelized.

Make Ahead: You can coat the wings and store them in the fridge, uncooked, for up to 2 days. As long as they were fresh and not previously frozen, you can also store them uncooked in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight before placing in the slow cooker.
Storing: If you happen to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. They can be frozen for up to 3-4 months. All leftovers should be cooled before storing.
Reheating: You can reheat in the oven or in the air fryer at 350 degrees until warmed through. Microwaving is also an option, but will make your wings soggy.

Calories: 473kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 23gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 1489mgPotassium: 448mgFiber: 1gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 494IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 2mg

Keyword crockpot chicken wings, slow cooker chicken wings



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