Summer is here and cookouts are near! When I’m headed to a cookout, I want a dish that not only impresses but tastes better than it looks. Something simple that doesn’t eat into my laying out tanning time and is easily portable. Anything cooked in a crock pot is a great idea for all your graduation parties, bachelorette/bachelor parties, Fourth of July family get-togethers, or pool parties with friends. You don’t have to spend tons of time cooking and you still get to bring something delicious.
Crock pot BBQ chicken wings is one of my favorite recipes for summer. Not only does it fit the theme of many gatherings, BBQ and beer, but it mixes well with cold KFC coleslaw, potato salad, soda, and chips. The sauce is perfect for dipping and it makes this pizza staple easy if you’re trying to save some money. Making your own BBQ wings is much cheaper than ordering the side dishes from pizza delivery joints and picking up the pre-made varieties at the grocery store. And they’re much more delicious because you can customize the recipe.
These crock pot BBQ chicken wings are easily packed into your car in the crock pot you cooked them in or stored in Tupperware until you’re ready to eat them. They still taste great if you need to reheat them in the crock pot or microwave and you can crisp them up by lightly toasting them under the broiler in the oven. I also suggest that since it’s summer, you take your crock pot BBQ chicken wings and throw them on the grill for a good char. They do come out extremely tender from the crock pot but if you love grill marks and a little bit of added smoky flavor, the grill will do the trick.
Don’t be afraid that you’re using frozen wings in this recipe! I recommend buying the regular wings from the meat section and freezing them. The prepackaged wings from the frozen food section are just freezer burned and contain a lot of preservatives and salt. The wings you purchase from the chicken section, you know next to the boneless, skinless breasts and the thighs, are a much better option. Freezing the wings helps you keep the meat fresher longer and it doesn’t hurt the cooking process. You don’t have a time limit on when you have to use the meat and the only change you need to make is a quick stir in the middle of the cooking process.
If you prefer to use non-frozen wings, the cooking time does shorten but I still suggest stirring throughout. You want to ensure that the wings are always covered in sauce and are cooking in the ultimate marinade. The cooking time is relatively short for a crock pot dish, only 5 hours, when you use the frozen wings and cook on low but if you want to shorten it up, non-frozen wings will break the time down to about 2-3 hours.
As for the sauce, I recommend using a bottle of BBQ sauce or your own homemade BBQ. You’ll add some extra ingredients to the mix but the base layer of BBQ sauce is critical to giving the wings their BBQ-ness. There are some great homemade BBQ sauces including this one but I also recommend any of the Dinosaur BBQ sauces for a tasty experience.
The extras added to this recipe are to give the BBQ wings a little kick and tang. I like to add BBQ dry rub, mustard, and lemon juice for exceptional punches to the taste buds without going overboard on the palette. The wings aren’t spicy enough to scare away those who hate heat and there’s just enough bite and flavor to keep those who love hot food engaged. You can mix and match ingredients, add more spices if you want to have more kick, or leave out some of the hotter ingredients if you prefer. This dish is more about the BBQ flavors than anything so it errs on the side of smoky and ketchup-y than spicy.
This summer you can make a statement with your cooking skills in addition to your exceptional tan with crock pot bbq chicken wings. They’re simple, tasty, and you’ll never leave a gathering with a full crock pot of wasted food. For another tasty treat, try crock pot buffalo chicken wings.
- • 4 lbs frozen chicken wings
- • 17.5 oz of BBQ sauce
- • 2 TB stone ground mustard
- • 1 TB honey
- • 2 TB butter
- • 2 TB Worcestershire sauce
- • 2 TB buffalo wing sauce such as Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce or Anchor Bar Wing Sauce
- • 1 TB lemon juice
- • 2 TB BBQ dry rub
- For the wings: Add the frozen chicken wings to the crock pot. Add all other ingredients to the crock pot and set the crock pot to low for 5 hours. After 2.5 hours, stir the wings to fully coat them in the other ingredients. Stir occasionally for the last 2.5 hours to make sure the wings are always covered in the sauce. After 5 hours, remove bbq wings from crock pot and dive in!
Recipe Category: Appetizer
Recipe Cuisine: American
Slow Cook it:
- Remove the frozen wings from the freezer and place them in the crock pot (DO NOT worry! Cooking the wings while frozen will not be a problem. About halfway through the cooking process, they’ll need to be stirred and coated with the sauce mixture but the wings will absorb more than enough of the flavors while cooking. Frozen is your friend!)
- Add the BBQ sauce, stone ground mustard, honey, butter, Worcestershire sauce, buffalo wings sauce, lemon juice, and dry rub to the crock pot on top of the frozen wings (Don’t worry about stirring this mixture quite yet. It’s fine for it to marinate on top of the frozen wings while they thaw. The mixture will get into the wings later and is mostly mixed when the wings are thawed anyways.)
- Place the cover on the crock pot and cook the wings on low for 2.5 hours
- After 2.5 hours are done, stir the wings that are now thawed to cover them with the sauce. Make sure you have thoroughly covered all the wings with the sauce so they all get a chance to marinate properly (A trick I like to use is to take a fork and stab each wing so that all the sauce gets soaked through the meat to the bone of the wing. It adds extra flavor and it’s fun.)
- Keep the crock pot on low and continue to cook the wings for an additional 2.5 hours. Make sure to stir the wings through out the next 2.5 hours for maximum flavor and ultimate sauce coverage.
- When the wings are fork-tender, remove them from the crock pot and serve with a side of the left over crock pot sauce for a good kick of flavor in your mouth.