Looking for an easy and delicious recipe for juicy BBQ chicken wings? This Easy 3 Ingredient Crockpot BBQ Chicken Wings Recipe will become your favorite go-to recipe. With just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can have juicy and flavorful chicken wings that will surely be a hit at your next party or gathering.

Cooking them in the crockpot means you can set it and forget it, making this recipe a breeze to prepare in under 10 minutes. You will impress your friends and family with this great recipe for mouth-watering juicy BBQ wings!

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3 Ingredient Crockpot BBQ Chicken Wings on a tray with extra bbq sauce and a bbq brush and can of dr. pepper

Best 3 Ingredient Crockpot BBQ Chicken Wings 

You will want to make this BBQ slow cooker chicken wings recipe whenever you have a craving for wings. This is the easiest recipe for BBQ wings that only takes about 10 minutes of prep, and then your slow cooker does all the work. This recipe is perfect if you need an easy weeknight family dinner, a game day snack, or an easy recipe for party snacks

These delicious crockpot BBQ wings are so tasty and juicy because you simmer your wings slowly in two simple ingredients. This will infuse the flavor and increase tenderness.

🎉 Other Party Food Ideas —> If you are looking for more easy recipes that you can serve as party snacks, then be sure and visit my 35+ Best Meatball Appetizers, Homemade Air Fryer Taquitos, Crab Pinwheels, and one of my favorites, Spicy Pimento Cheese Spread.

What You Will Need For This Recipe

This easy bbq wings recipe is so simple. It only requires 3 ingredients and a few simple tips to create tender and juicy wings in every bite.

Diet dr pepper, sugar free bbq and wings then regular dr. pepper and bbq sauce
  • Doctor Pepper: You can use regular or diet if you watch your sugar intake. You can use Coke or Pepsi and still have great-tasting wings if you prefer.
  • BBQ Sauce: If you have a favorite, use that. I like Sweet Baby Rays. 
  • Fresh Chicken Wings: I use fresh drumettes and wingettes/flats wing sections. 

💵 Budget Tip: Chicken wings are usually cheaper if you purchase fresh whole wings. I have a step-by-step tutorial on how to cut a chicken wing, trim off any excess fat, and pull pin feathers if needed. 

Can I use frozen, uncooked wings? 

You can use thawed, previously frozen store brand drummettes and wingettes. Just be sure to follow these simple steps for safely thawing chicken wings.

How To Thaw Chicken Wings

Thawing chicken wings properly is important to ensure they are safe to eat and maintain their quality. Here are some methods you can use to thaw chicken wings:

  1. Refrigerator method: Place the frozen chicken wings in a container or a sealed plastic bag and let them thaw in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. This is the safest and most recommended method as it keeps the chicken wings at a safe temperature and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.
  2. Cold water method: If you need to thaw chicken wings quickly, you can place them in a leak-proof plastic bag and submerge them in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the chicken wings are thawed. This method can take 1-3 hours, depending on the size of the wings.
  3. Microwave method: Using the defrost setting, you can also thaw chicken wings in the microwave. Be sure to follow your microwave’s instructions and rotate the wings occasionally to ensure even thawing. However, this method can partially cook the chicken wings and make them tough, so it is not recommended.

Tip: Once the chicken wings are fully thawed, cook them immediately or store them in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Tip: Do not refreeze previously frozen chicken wings, as this can lead to bacterial growth and spoilage.

Can I use a different brand of barbecue sauce?

Yes, you can use your favorite BBQ sauce for this recipe. Be sure you choose a thick sauce when substituting for Sweet Baby Ray’s. You could also try my Whiskey & Bacon BBQ Sauce, Peach BBQ Sauce or Spicy Orange & Coffee BBQ Sauce.

Lower Calorie Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Wings

⬇️ For this recipe, you can choose to make a lower-calorie sauce. I used Diet Dr. Pepper and no sugar added Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. The flavor is just as good. The only thing missing are some calories. 

How To Make 3 Ingredient Crockpot BBQ Wings

  1. Wash fresh or thawed wings in a colander under cold water.
raw chicken wings being washed with water in a sink

2. Look through the wings and remove any pin feathers still attached. Using kitchen scissors, trim off any fat or extra skin. Blot the wings dry with paper towel.

Raw wings washed and dried with paper towels.

3. Place all the wings in a 6-quart oval crockpot. You will want enough wings to at least make a single layer in the bottom of your slow cooker. 

raw wings in 6-qt crockpot

4. Pour Dr. Pepper over the wings.

Pouring dr. Pepper over crockpot full of wings

5. Next, pour 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce over the wings.

Bbq sauce being poured over wings and Dr. pepper

6. Stir the wings around to mix Dr. Pepper and BBQ sauce. 

3 ingredents in a crockpot to make chicken wings, dr. pepper, bbq sauce and wings

7. Place the lid on the crockpot. Turn the crockpot on high and cook for 2-3 hours. Check to see if they are done after 2 1/2 hours. Crockpot temperatures fluctuate a bit. 

After the allotted cooking time, check using a meat thermometer to see if the center of the wings are at least 165 degrees.

8. When done, remove the wings from the crockpot with a slotted spoon or tongs. Drain off and discard the combination of the chicken juices, Dr. Pepper, and bbq sauce. 

3 Ingredient Crockpot BBQ Chicken Wings drained after cooking in sauce.

9. For the final step, place chicken wings back into the crockpot and pour 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce over the wings.

pouring bbq sauce over slow cooker wings after cooking and draining

10. Gently stir the wings to coat them with sauce. I like to use a silicon brush to dab sauce and brush wings. Place the lid back on. Cook wings again on high for 15 minutes. 

slow cooker bbq wings after cooking, being drained and sauce put back on

11. Remove the wings to a serving platter and brush with a little more BBQ sauce before serving. Don’t forget the napkins too!

Close-up of 3 Ingredient Crockpot BBQ Chicken Wings covered in bbq sauce and being brushed with more

How To Make Crispy Skin Slow Cooker Wings

If you like crispy barbecue chicken wings, here are three options to do after they are done slow cooking in your crockpot.

Oven:

  1. Place the cooked wings on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Place the wings into a preheated 375-degree oven on the top rack.
  3. Switch the oven heat to high broil. 

It is very important you do not walk away from your oven. Keep a watchful eye for your wings to char just a bit. Once they do, carefully open the oven and flip the wings. When the other side starts to brown a bit, remove the wings and serve immediately.

Air fryer: You could also crips the wings in an air fryer. Place in an air fryer basket and cook at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook for a few more minutes to crisp the skin. 

Grill:  Place the cooked chicken wings on a preheated grill. Grill for a few minutes until they start to brown. Flip the wings and cook until crisp. 

Entertaining Tip

Always keep a big bag of frozen wings in your freezer. I like to purchase wings cut into two pieces with the skin on and bone in. This recipe only takes 5 minutes of your time to prep for an impromptu get-together later in the day with friends and family.

3 Ingredient Crockpot BBQ Chicken Wings on a tray with extra bbq sauce and a bbq brush

Tips For Great Wings

Let’s talk about some safe cooking tips and what to do with leftovers.

How can I tell if chicken wings are done?

 When cooking chicken wings in a slow cooker, there are a few ways to tell if they are done:

  1. Check the internal temperature: The internal temperature of chicken wings should reach 165°F (74°C) to be safe to eat. You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the thickest part of the wings.
  2. Check the meat texture: When chicken wings are fully cooked, the meat should be tender and easily come off the bone.
  3. Check the color: Fully cooked chicken wings will have no pink or red meat.

It is important to note that slow cookers can vary in temperature and cooking time, so it is recommended to check the wings periodically to ensure they are cooked properly.

What size crockpot should be used?

A 6-quart crockpot is good for 2 and ½ pounds of fresh wings. An oval crockpot has more surface area, so the wings do not have to pile up on each other, which makes cooking them slightly better. 

How many chicken wings are in a pound?

The average raw fresh chicken wing weighs about 3.5 ounces. That means there are approximately 4 to 5 wings per pound. One pound would yield about 2-3 flats and 2-3 drummettes.

How many wings per person for a party snack?

If you’re serving wings as the main appetizer at a party, you can figure about 5 wings per person if you are serving other snacks. Five wings would average 1-1.5 pounds of wings per person.

What to do with leftover chicken wings?

If you have leftover chicken wings, you can safely refrigerate them. Here are some guidelines for safely storing cooked chicken wings in the refrigerator:

  1. Allow the chicken wings to cool down to room temperature before storing them in the refrigerator. Do not put hot or warm chicken wings in the fridge, as it can raise the temperature and promote bacterial growth.
  2. Place the chicken wings in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  3. Label the container with the date of storage and the contents.
  4. Store the chicken wings in the refrigerator at a temperature below 40°F (4°C).
  5. Cooked chicken wings can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  6. If you’re storing a large number of chicken wings, it’s best to divide them into smaller portions for easier storage and quicker cooling.
  7. Do not store chicken wings in the refrigerator door, as the temperature can fluctuate due to frequent opening and closing.
  8. Cooked chicken wings can be kept in the refrigerator for up to four days. After that, they should be discarded to avoid the risk of foodborne illness. It’s essential to follow proper food storage guidelines to ensure the safety and quality of the chicken wings.

Following these guidelines, you can safely store your cooked crockpot chicken wings in the refrigerator and reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

How To Freeze Leftover Wings

If you have leftover cooked chicken wings and want to freeze them, here’s how to do it properly:

  1. Allow the chicken wings to cool completely at room temperature before freezing. Do not leave them at room temperature for more than 2 hours to avoid bacterial growth.
  2. Transfer the chicken wings to an airtight container or a resealable freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
  3. Label the container or bag with the date of freezing and the contents.
  4. Place the container or bag in the freezer. Make sure the temperature of the freezer is set to 0°F (-18°C) or lower.
  5. Frozen chicken wings can last up to 3-4 months in the freezer. To reheat the frozen wings, follow the instructions mentioned above for reheating chicken wings.

Note: It is important to only freeze cooked chicken wings once. Repeated freezing and thawing can lead to a loss of quality and texture and increase the risk of foodborne illness.

How do I reheat chicken wings?

There are several methods to reheat chicken wings, depending on your preference and the equipment you have available:

  1. Oven method: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the chicken wings on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are heated through and crispy.
  2. Air fryer method: Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Place the chicken wings in the air fryer basket and cook for 8-10 minutes or until they are heated through and crispy.
  3. Microwave method: Place the chicken wings on a microwave-safe plate and heat on high for 1-2 minutes per wing or until they are heated through. This method can make the chicken wings soft and rubbery, so it is not recommended if you want crispy wings.
  4. Grill method: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Brush the chicken wings with oil and grill for 3-4 minutes per side or until they are heated through and crispy.

Whichever method you choose, check the chicken wings’ internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure they have reached a safe temperature of 165°F (74°C). Serve the chicken wings immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.

Need a big batch to feed a crowd? You can easily change the number of servings in the recipe card below by tapping 2x or 3x. The ingredient measurements will automatically double or triple. You can then tap print and there you have it, a recipe for a crowd.

Close up of bbq wings from a slow cooker using 3 ingredients covered in sauce.
5 from 1 rating

Easy 3 Ingredient Crockpot BBQ Chicken Wings Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 4
These 3 Ingredient Crockpot BBQ Chicken Wings only take 10 minutes to prep and three simple ingredents.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

Ingredients
 

  • 3 pounds Chicken wings, 3 pounds of cut and trimmed wings will equal approximately 10 drumettes and 12 wingettes/flats.
  • 1 cup Dr. Pepper
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, Divided into 1/2 cup portions. I use Sweet Baby Ray's for this recipe.

Instructions
 

  • Wash fresh or thawed wings in a colander under cold water. Look through the wings and remove any pin feathers still attached. Using kitchen scissors, trim off any fat or extra skin. Blot the wings dry with paper towel.
    3 pounds Chicken wings
  • Place all the wings in a 6-quart oval crockpot. You will want enough wings to at least make a single layer in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Pour Dr. Pepper over the wings.
    1 cup Dr. Pepper
  • Next, pour 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce over the wings. Stir the wings around to mix the Dr. Pepper and BBQ sauce.
    1 cup BBQ sauce
  • Place the lid on the crockpot. Turn the crockpot on high and cook for 2-3 hours. Check to see if they are done after 2 1/2 hours. Crockpot temperatures fluctuate a bit.
  • After the allotted cooking time, check if the wings are done using a meat thermometer to see if the center of the wings are at least 165 degrees.
  • When done, remove the wings from the crockpot with a slotted spoon or tongs. Drain off and discard the combination of the chicken juices Dr. Pepper, and bbq sauce.
  • For the final step, place chicken wings back into the crockpot and pour 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce over the wings. Gently stir the wings to coat them with sauce. I like to use a silicon brush to dab sauce and brush wings. Place the lid back on. Cook wings again on high for 15 minute
    1 cup BBQ sauce

Equipment

Notes

Lower Calorie Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Wings
For this recipe, you can choose to make a lower-calorie sauce. I used Diet Dr. Pepper and no sugar added Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. The flavor is just as good. The only thing missing are some calories. 
How can I tell if chicken wings are done?
 When cooking chicken wings in a slow cooker, there are a few ways to tell if they are done:
  1. Check the internal temperature: The internal temperature of chicken wings should reach 165°F (74°C) to be safe to eat. You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the thickest part of the wings.
  2.  Check the meat texture: When chicken wings are fully cooked, the meat should be tender and easily come off the bone.
  3.  Check the color: Fully cooked chicken wings will have no pink or red meat.
It is important to note that slow cookers can vary in temperature and cooking time, so it is recommended to check the wings periodically to ensure they are cooked properly.
Serving: 1g, Calories: 482kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 141mg, Sodium: 508mg, Potassium: 370mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 350IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 34mg, Iron: 2mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Appetizer
Author: Gina Dickson

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