These tasty Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Chicken Wings are amazingly simple, kid-approved, and will make a delicious movie night treat. And the cherry on top is that there are a number of ways to make this dish! For this recipe, your cooking choices include crockpot, oven-baked, and pressure cooker. And, naturally, this recipe is freezer friendly too.
I am often shocked by all the stuff you can create with chicken wings and especially chicken. It is so multipurpose. Check out these recipes for some chicken recipe inspiration; Slow Cooker Chicken & Rice, Chicken Breast Dinner with Gravy, and for sure this Chicken Pot Pie Soup.
Before we go any farther, let's get the legal stuff out of the way...this post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This will NOT increase your cost in any way. But does give you awesome recommendations that have been tested by myself or someone I dearly trust.
This slow cooker BBQ chicken wing recipe makes the perfect freezer meal. It's freezer-friendly before AND after cooking so there is absolutely NO waste.
I just love freezer meals. No waste, no stress, and so simple to prep. And there are SO many ways to do freezer meals.
Btw, if you're interested in trying freezer meals, you do NOT have to jump in feet first into making a bunch. Just a couple of make ahead meals here and there can save you a ton of money…
BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken Wings Freezer Meal Options
Here are just a few options to begin on your freezer meal journey:
- Toss together two batches of one recipe. Make one for dinner and freeze the second for later. Do this 2 or 3 times for a couple of weeks. Make a log in this
meal planning journaland don't forget to add a created or "consume by" date. Most cooked freezer meals are fine for up to 3 months. You will be stocked up in just a couple of weeks.
- Pair this easy BBQ chicken wing recipe with maybe 3 more recipes. Be sure to click the button for the number of servings you'll need for your family.
- Next, make a grocery list and go shopping if necessary.
- Now, toss them together per the freezer-friendly recipes instructions on each recipe. You do 5 recipes like this and double it; you obviously get 10. Taa Daa! You've got meals made for at least 10 days.
- Or join our newsletter and receive one of our own freezer meals cooking sessions. You'll get 6 recipes, a printable menu, and step-by-step directions. It's free and you'll get notified as new publications and recipes go live.
Slow Cooker BBQ Wings Ingredients & Variations
These are your main five ingredients for making some yummy honey bbq chicken wings. But there are SO many interesting ways you can vary your ingredients. Each and every swap out gives you a new kind of deliciousness 🙂
Main Ingredients & Optional Subs
The main 5 ingredients you need for these barbecue slow cooker chicken wings are:
- Chicken Wings – But do you NEED chicken wings? Nope! Why not use chicken tenders or chicken thighs?
- Barbecue Sauce – Is barbecue sauce a must? Nope. Some sort of sauce is but you could also use Sriracha sauce or teriyaki sauce too! Both would be yummy following these exact directions.
- Honey – Now, I’ll be honest…I’m a super honey fan. This one is our absolute favorite. It's excellent and SO good for you. BUT you can always change stuff up so it doesn't get boring. And you can jazz this up with a little maple syrup? And I mean the good stuff that comes straight out of the tree. Well, not STRAIGHT out of the tree. But close. The consistency is pretty close to honey, so you’d not need a thickening agent at all.
- Soy Sauce (this one is our favorite) – Or Bragg's soy alternative. I prefer soy myself but aminos work better for some. And as far as changing up the recipe, substituting soy for Worcestershire sauce works very well in this recipe and many more.
- Sesame Seeds – Sesame seeds are delicious. They are also VERY good for you and add a nice texture. But there is no reason that chopped chives or diced green onions couldn’t be used as a sub here.
So. Do you get me? You can vary your recipe is SO many ways it isn’t even the same recipe anymore 😊
Why You Should Vary Your Recipes
And the reason for changing up the recipe a bit? SALES my friend. Sales and bulk buying. Meal prep, bulk buying, and sales shopping are the best things you can do for your food budget.
And knowing the steps with your sales shopping purchases, that is the ticket to get a stocked freezer, saving money AND far less stress in your life.
This freezer meal excursion is part of cooking in bulk by utilizing meat sales. Now, you may not want to eat honey BBQ slow cooker chicken wings for a whole week, BUT that isn’t the goal here. See all the excellent substitute ideas above if you want to make LOTS of delicious chicken wing recipes.
But again, that isn't our goal. Not 5 pounds of BBQ chicken wings. It's about shopping sales for 2 or 3 weeks and rotating your meal prep. You can use this
printable freezer meal calendar so we can all track our purchases and meal prep.
BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken Wings - Cooking Methods
These barbecue chicken wings were made in the slow cooker, then baked for just a bit to a slight glaze and crunch, THEN they went back in the in my Cuisinart Multi Cooker to be kept warm and ready all through our movie.
But, is all that necessary? Or do you HAVE to make them in your slow cooker? Nope again 😊 They CAN be made in several ways.
- They can be made exclusively in the slow cooker, the oven step only adds a bit of crispiness.
- BBQ chicken wings can also easily be made in the instant pot as well.
Note: BOTH slow cooker BBQ wings and pressure cooker chicken wings will be tastier if you toss the cooked chicken wings into the oven for 5 to 10 minutes on broil. THEN return them to the slow cooker's warm setting to keep tasty for several hours and snacking.
- You can also JUST bake your honey barbecue chicken wings, but they will not be as tender or juicy.
- And, as previously mentioned, slow cooker BBQ wings make an excellent freezer meal.
You can check out the printable recipe (see below) and see the exact cooking times and required variations per recipe. Sometimes one cooking method is far easier than another.
BUT if you forget to toss your BBQ wings in the slow cooker before you get busy with other stuff, you'll still be able to have your own homemade, budget saving snacks… without much fuss.
Barbecue Slow Cooker Chicken Homemade Ingredients
Any kind of chicken wings recipe is awesome. Now, for me, honey BBQ chicken wings made in my slow cooker are the fav. I LOVE the tender juiciness that crockpot cooking offers. But again, broiling them for just 5 minutes can add a delicious, caramelized coating that throughs this recipe right over the top.
Homemade Honey BBQ Sauce
Though I don’t do it often, I sometimes make a homemade barbecue sauce that works well for just about any barbecue recipe. It does take a little cook time. But when I need it, I toss my ingredients in the crockpot in the evening…and it’s ready the next morning.
It can then be refrigerated to use in the evening. It can also be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks to use when you need it.
BTW, the links below are to the ingredients I use. You can purchase them in bulk and save money on this part of cooking too. Or you can purchase them at the grocery as you need them, your choice 🙂
Homemade Crock Pot Barbecue Sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons ground mustard
- 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 1 teaspoon pink salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Spray or oil your slow cooker insert.
- Combine all ingredients and stir well.
- Cook for 6 to 8 hours on low; or even overnight.
- Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
More Homemade Ingredients for BBQ Chicken Wings
Homemade Recipes & Substitutes for Soy Sauce
I have never made homemade soy sauce, but there are several substitutes that are available. Some folks can’t have soy sauce due to the gluten. Coconut aminos are a great alternative if your system can’t handle gluten.
And this Healthline article can tell you all about the different alternatives. It also offers links to several homemade soy sauce substitutes.
There is no substitute for honey. And we can’t make it, our friendly neighborhood bees do that for us. And all we must do is supply them with flowers and blooming plants. They do the rest.
My father-in-law used to have several beehives on our farm before he passed. I never got into it myself. It’s something I intend to try when we aren’t traveling for work so much.
So, if you’d like to learn about having your own hobby bees check out the aptly named Backyard Hive’s Beekeeping 101.
More Slow Cooker Chicken Deliciousness
I do love slow cooker chicken recipes. So below, there are links to MORE delicious chicken recipes you might like. Each and every one of them works as a freezer meal AND can be prepped in less than 10 minutes. Most in 5 minutes or less.
But why do I love those chicken recipes so much? Several reasons. But mostly because they are quick and simple, fill up the freezer AND feed those hungry bellies. Check out a few more of the recipes we have to offer. Let me know if you have any questions.
- Chicken Stroganoff
- Chicken Adobo
- Mexican Chicken
- Honey Mustard Chicken
- Sour Cream Chicken
- Chicken ala King
Asian Twist Honey BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken Wings
- Mix the cornstarch into the cold water. Mix until well incorporated and no lumps are left.
- Add the barbecue sauce, sesame oil, hot sauce, white vinegar, honey, soy sauce, garlic powder, and chili powder. Stir well.
- Pour over chicken wings in a slow cooker. Low 5-7 hours; High 3 1/2-4. If frozen 7-9 hrs on low.
- OPTIONAL STEP: Preheat the oven to broil and broil wings on a single layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 4-5 mins.
- Flip the wings. Brush or pour (depending on how saucy you want the wings) sauce from the crockpot over the wings.
- Return to oven and broil an additional 5 minutes.
- Mix sauce as per steps 1 & 2. Seal in bag #1.
- Add chicken wings to bag #2. Wash the limes and toss whole into the bag with the chicken wings.
- Place sesame seeds in a sandwich or snack-sized bag and toss in with the chicken wings too.
- Tape the bags together using freezer or painters tape. Label and freeze.
- Remove the limes and sesame seeds from the chicken bag before cooking. You will need them when serving.
Instant Pot Directions:
- Freeze chicken separately from the sauce.
- Add chicken wings to instant pot plus 1 cups of water.
- Cover, seal, and manually set to high pressure for 8 minutes. Natural release for 10 minutes.
- Pour the premade sauce into a bowl. Use tongs to add cooked chicken wings to the sauce. Toss to coat.
- Broil as directed in the "OPTIONAL STEP" listed above.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the chicken wings to the sauce bag. Close and shake well to coat.
- Spray a 9x13 baking dish.
- Place the wings in a single layer in the baking dish.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, turn wings, brush or dap with more sauce and return to oven for 20-25 more minutes.