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Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are a fan favorite but not the easiest appetizer to recreate at home. The slow cooker is the perfect solution to make wings for game day snacks or any night of the week! With sweet honey, BBQ sauce, and just a hint of lime, the ease and flavor of this Slow Cooker Chicken Wings recipe will convince you to make them again and again.

bowl of glazed chicken wings with a side of fresh celery stalks

What’s To Love About This Recipe 

If you love to order wings at the restaurant but have never tried them at home, you HAVE to give this easy recipe a try! The slow cooker makes this a breeze compared to deep frying in large quantities of grease or hovering around the oven with a complicated baking process. 

Here’s why you’ll love it:

  • With no breading or frying, the ingredient list is short and it’s easy to throw these together and get them cooking!
  • Using the slow cooker keeps the mess contained. Unlike deep frying, you won’t be left with an oil-splattered kitchen to clean!
  • The wings stay juicy and tender in the slow cooker. Using the slow cooker rather than the oven also makes it much easier to prevent overcooking!
  • This recipe can be a much healthier alternative than typical deep-fried and breaded wings. You don’t need any greasy oils to fry them, and you can adapt the sauce ingredients to meet a variety of dietary needs. (It’s already dairy-free and can be adapted to be gluten-free!)
  • You can easily swap a light beer for the chicken broth for extra delicious flavor. It’s such a simple step!
  • The flavor is simply delicious! With a hint of sticky sweetness from the BBQ sauce and honey, and a bit of tanginess from the lime, this flavor combination will be a true crowd-pleaser!

Ingredients Needed

  • Chicken wings – I used a mix of drumettes and wingettes, and I recommend finding these pre-cut for convenience. Be sure the wings are thawed before cooking.
  • Chicken broth – Chicken broth is needed to add moisture to the slow cooker and keep the wings juicy! You can use any variety you choose (regular, low-sodium, bone broth, etc.). 
  • BBQ Sauce – A traditional BBQ sauce will work great for this recipe. Choose your favorite flavor or even a spicy one if you prefer.
  • Honey – Honey is essential to achieving that classic sticky-sweet glaze.
  • Lime juice – A bit of lime juice is the perfect element to balance the sauce’s flavors and give it a tangy kick!

*Optional – Try using 12 ounces of your favorite beer as an alternative to the chicken broth! It can add a richer, more complex flavor to the meat and keep the chicken wings very tender. I suggest using a light beer, such as a wheat or IPA beer or one with a citrusy flavor.

How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

  1. Place chicken wings in the slow cooker (see notes for how to cut if using whole wings).
  2. Add the chicken broth (or beer), cover the slow cooker, and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours.
  1. Mix together BBQ sauce, honey, and lime juice.
  2. Remove the wings from the slow cooker and brush them with the sauce mixture.
  3. Place the chicken wings on a foil-covered broiler pan and broil in the oven on high for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned and crisp. Or, instead of using the oven, drain the liquid from the multicooker and sauté the wings until browned.

What To Serve With Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

Every plate of chicken wings needs a good dipping sauce!

These are so tasty served with Zesty Lime Jalapeno Ranch Dressing or any other ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Don’t forget the extra sides! A tray of raw veggies like celery, carrots, and cauliflower will go with any dipping sauces you wish to serve. 

For other hot sides and appetizers, try Slow Cooker Loaded Pub Fries, Slow Cooker Corn Dip, or Slow Cooker Jalapeño Popper Dip. Complete the meal with a side salad!

bowl of chicken wings served with celery stalks and side dish of ranch dressing

Storing and Reheating

Here are 2 suggestions to use leftover chicken wings: reheat them in the air fryer or use the leftover meat in another dish. With either option, store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To reheat, use an air fryer to achieve the best results. Turn the heat to 400 ℉ and heat the wings for about 5-6 minutes, turning them on the opposite side about halfway through (or heat for about 2-3 minutes per side).

For another use, I also like to debone the meat and repurpose it for another tasty meal. Try chopping up the leftover chicken and adding it to a salad, nachos, or a tostada! 

Slow Cooker Chicken Wings

Jennifer Draper
Chicken wings are a fan favorite but not the easiest appetizer to recreate at home. The slow cooker is the perfect solution to make wings for game day snacks or any night of the week! With sweet honey, BBQ sauce, and just a hint of lime, the ease and flavor of this Slow Cooker Chicken Wings recipe will convince you to make them again and again.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 186 kcal

Equipment

  • slow cooker or multicooker
  • broiler pan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth or 12 oz light or citrusy beer
  • 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Instructions
 

  • Place chicken wings in slow cooker (see notes for how to cut if using whole wings)
  • Add chicken broth (or beer), cover slow cooker, and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours
  • Mix together BBQ sauce, honey, and lime juice
  • Remove wings from slow cooker and brush them with sauce mixture
  • Place wings on a foil-covered broiler pan and broil in the oven on high for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned and crisp (or drain liquid from multicooker and sauté the wings until browned)

Notes

  • Store leftover wings in the fridge for up to 3 days. Debone leftover meat and use it for other meals or reheat wings in an airfryer for 5-6 minutes at 400 ℉, turning halfway through.
  • Follow this recipe to make easy air fryer chicken wings from start to finish!
  • To make this recipe gluten-free, check sauce labels and choose a gluten-free beer if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 186kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 12gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 393mgPotassium: 150mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 132IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @slowcookergourmet or tag #slowcookergourmet!
Important nutritional disclaimer

Slow Cooker Chicken Wing FAQs

  • Do you put sauce on the wings before or after cooking? For this recipe, I add the sauce after cooking, although you can add it during cooking as well. I prefer adding the sauce at the end so that the wings cook in the chicken broth and stay juicy without worrying about burning (or over-caramelizing) the sauce.
  • How do you cut chicken wings? It’s generally easier to find pre-cut wings, but if you have to cut them yourself, check out this in-depth tutorial or follow these simplified steps:
    • Spread out the wing and find the joints.
    • Twist the wing to separate the joints.
    • Use a sharp knife to cut the joints apart.
    • Discard the wing tips (or save them to make a stock).
  • Can you cook frozen wings in the slow cooker? Wings should be thawed before cooking them in the slow cooker.
  • How many wings should you make per person? The number depends on how you plan to serve them—either as an appetizer or the main dish. In general, about 4 wings per person would be a moderate serving size. This recipe can serve up to 6 people as an appetizer.

7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow, Thank You… This looks like it will work in my 9×13″ casserole slow cooker… While my super bowl cheese cake is in the oven…

    1. Hi there! I’m so sorry, I’m not familiar with that and can’t make a recommendation. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it!

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