Chicken thighs are a simple dinner recipe that can be put together in less than 5 minutes. Slow cooker bone-in chicken thighs cook all day and are ready for dinner whenever you are.
When you know you’re going to be gone all day and need a quick dinner, crockpot recipes come in handy.
Healthy chicken crockpot recipes that taste great become family favorites. Kids tend to like chicken and if you watch for sales, you can grab bone-in chicken thighs for a great price. I like to keep chicken thighs frozen in my freezer for quick meals.
If your family prefers to not have chicken on the bone, go ahead using boneless chicken thighs and following the same instructions.
Forget about dried-out chicken breasts. These slow cooker chicken thighs with the bone in & skin on, make this recipe juicy and delicious.
How Do I cook this?
Cooking bone-in chicken thighs in the crockpot is one of the easiest ways to cook chicken. I love bone-in chicken thighs because they are cost-effective and kids love them! If you don’t have time to let the chicken cook all day, follow our instructions on How to Boil Chicken Thighs for quick, tender chicken in just 45 minutes.
For this recipe, you’ll start by placing the chicken thighs into the bottom of your slow cooker. Add the beer and spices then let it cook!
Can I Cook From Frozen?
Per the USDA, it’s not recommended to put the frozen chicken into the crockpot, but rather thaw chicken first.
This baked chicken post reviews quick ways to properly defrost chicken thighs.
That said, I have cooked frozen chicken thighs in my crockpot often. Make sure to cook them in a single layer. This ensures they simmer in their own juices all day providing delicious flavor, helps keep the chicken moist, and brings the chicken thighs up temperature more quickly.
The safest bet is to cook frozen chicken thighs in an instant pot. Learn how to cook Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Thighs here.
Let’s take a closer look.
While this recipe is my go-to chicken thigh recipe due to how simple it is, a close second is my crockpot Chicken Cacciatore.
Start by arranging your thawed or frozen chicken thighs into the bottom of your crockpot. 8 chicken thighs fit perfectly in mine.
Next up is adding the spices.
Choose pretty much any 3 spices you like. My favorite combo for this method of making chicken thighs in the crockpot is garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Add salt and pepper as well.
I like to season liberally without measuring, but if you’re someone who really likes to have an amount, use 1 tsp. of each spice and 1/4-1/2 tsp. of pepper.
Next up is the beer. You can use any variety, but darker beers do add a different flavor to the chicken.
Kitchen Tip: Don’t worry about the alcohol, it cooks off!
What Can I Use Besides Beer?
If you’re just not into beer and want an alternative, try the following:
- Skip the beer altogether and let the chicken simmer in its own juices
- Replace beer with chicken broth
- Replace beer with a gluten-free beer like Omission Lager for a gluten-free recipe
You can store the fresh or frozen chicken thighs in the crockpot overnight or cook them right away. Cover the slow cooker with the lid. Cook until the chicken registers an internal temperature of 165°F.
When the chicken comes out of the crockpot it’s ready to be served.
Pro Tip: For crispy skin, after slow cooking, place the chicken on to a baking sheet and broil for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown!
Cook chicken thighs on high for 2 to 3 hours.
Cook chicken thighs 4 to 5 hours on low.
After the chicken thighs are cooked, simply place them onto a baking sheet and broil them for 3-4 minutes or until the skin starts to brown up and get crispy.
You could use a gluten-free beer. I have done that in the past with good results. You could also use chicken broth.
Broiling helps crisp the skin after cooking in the slow cooker.
I made this recipe last night and from the time my hubby walked into our home he commented on how good the smell was! When he sat down to supper he was completely sold from the very first bite! He ended up eating a total of 5 thighs! He’s usually good for at least three but he surpassed that last night! I’ve never been more content! Thank you for sharing this especially easy and simple recipe. I’m hanging on to this one because he’s already called from work to see if he could have “leftovers” from last night– Merri
I was looking for inspiration for something to make for dinner that would utilize my slow cooker as I was going to be busy with errands all afternoon (helping someone move). I had a 1.3 Lb. package of chicken thighs (previously in my freezer, defrosted in microwave).
I didn’t even think about beer as a recipe ingredient, but I usually have a good selection of craft beer bottles on hand. Found this recipe and decided to go for it!
I used a 12oz bottle of Heavy Seas Siren Noire (Imperial Stout brewed with Chocolate aged in Bourbon Barrels) minus a couple sips ?
I also used Garlic Paste, ground ginger, ground chipotle chilie pepper, Himalayan pink salt, ground black pepper, and Red Robin seasoning!
Cooked on high 4 hours. Turned out AMAZING. Thank you! I love how versatile this recipe could be with a few tweaks, different beer, different spices, etc. Also got a surprise approval from someone who has worked in the restaurant industry for years and considers themselves a very good cook (AKA scary to cook for, lol).– Darla
You might also enjoy these Instant Pot Chicken Recipes:
- Instant Pot Bone-In Chicken Thighs
- How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Chicken Wings
- Instant pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti
If you enjoyed the recipe make sure to leave a comment and a star rating below! Then follow me on social media and tag #createkidsclub if you make the recipe. I love seeing what you come up with!
Crock Pot Chicken Thighs
- 8 bone in chicken thighs
- 6 oz. beer any brand (about a half a bottle of beer)
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- Place the chicken thighs into the crockpot, pour the beer in, sprinkle spices on top.
- For thawed chicken, cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-4 hours. If using frozen chicken, increase cooking time to 8-10 hours on low, or 4-6 hours on high.
Delicious Simple Family Recipes
Join Create Kids Club & get our 10 Favorite Crockpot Recipes ebook!