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BBQ Chicken Sliders Recipe

BBQ Chicken Sliders Recipe

Brining the chicken overnight helps make it taste exceptionally good. Plus, it’s so tender, it melts in your mouth. —Rachel Kunkel, Schell City, Missouri
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + brining Cook: 4 hours YIELD:8 servings


  • BRINE:
  • 1-1/2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup liquid smoke
  • 1-1/2 cups hickory smoke-flavored barbecue sauce
  • 16 slider buns or dinner rolls, split and warmed


  • 1. In a large bowl, mix brine ingredients, stirring to dissolve brown sugar. Reserve 1 cup brine for cooking chicken; cover and refrigerate.
  • 2. Place chicken in a large resealable bag; add remaining brine. Seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible; turn to coat chicken. Place in a large bowl; refrigerate 18-24 hours, turning occasionally.
  • 3. Remove chicken from brine and transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker; discard brine in bag. Add reserved 1 cup brine and 1/3 cup liquid smoke to chicken. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.
  • 4. Remove chicken; cool slightly. Discard cooking juices. Shred chicken with two forks and return to slow cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce; heat through. Serve on buns. Yield: 8 servings (2 sliders each).

Nutritional Facts

2 sliders: 376 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 98mg cholesterol, 883mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 3g fiber), 30g protein.

Reviews for BBQ Chicken Sliders

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s_pants User ID: 174050 273211
Reviewed Sep. 19, 2017

"We all enjoyed this, but I was not overly impressed. Would make it again. I doubled the recipe, but I am not positive you would need to double the brine. I feel 1 1/2 times would probably be sufficient. And if you like saucy BBQ you will need to add more sauce either when mixing together or at the table."

LegalSec User ID: 548619 269368
Reviewed Jul. 12, 2017

"Made over this past weekend. I changed one thing and that was the liquid smoke. The second time I only added two tablespoons instead of the full 1/3 cup. I don't like things too smoky and it was perfect. Very tender chicken and I used my own homemade chipotle sauce and I did add extra because I too like it saucy. Very, very good. Oh by the way, the chicken was not mushy from soaking in the brine, I let my chicken soak for 16 hours. Delicious."

robbrd User ID: 1292786 269350
Reviewed Jul. 12, 2017

"My family liked this. It seemed a little dry so I added more BBQ sauce, but then, we like things a little more saucy than most recipes suggest."

sd20 User ID: 5560294 267983
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2017

"Good, a little dry so added more barbecue sauce."

Corwin44 User ID: 7541400 260967
Reviewed Feb. 7, 2017

"I made this tonight for dinner and it turned out great. I did brine my chicken overnight and it wasn't mushy at all. The chicken was tender and delicious. The only change I made was to use chicken broth instead of water and omit the salt. My entire family loved this recipe."

klb2909 User ID: 8902826 260761
Reviewed Feb. 4, 2017

"According to America's Test Kitchen, my source for all cooking rules, NEVER brine chicken longer than an hour or it gets spongy."

chefheidi18 User ID: 8210724 249704
Reviewed Jun. 22, 2016

"This was Fantastic. I was worried that the chicken would dry out like it usually does with other crock pot recipes, but it didn't. the flavor was great!"

justmbeth User ID: 1196484 240627
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2015

"Wow! Absolutely tremdous! Made exactly as written, flavor was perfect."

kaid21 User ID: 8158121 233876
Reviewed Oct. 2, 2015

"Was very good, made per recipe even though I was skeptical with that much liquid smoke. Wasn't overpowering at all."

swinny User ID: 1858482 230174
Reviewed Jul. 26, 2015


pajamaangel User ID: 1603339 224395
Reviewed Apr. 7, 2015

"This is amazing! I thought the chicken tasted wonderful before I even stirred in the BBQ sauce. What a wonderful smoky flavor! Big hit with us!"

luigimon User ID: 1692040 221529
Reviewed Feb. 27, 2015

"Wow! The brine makes it amazing!!! I used bone in breasts, and KC Masterpiece Hickory bbq sauce. The flavor was out of this world and I will make it again!!"

diggerandcrafty User ID: 6708313 220109
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2015


angcy User ID: 1160970 215535
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2014

"chicken is moist and falls apart. Great recipe."

heaty89 User ID: 6675815 191279
Reviewed Oct. 2, 2014

"My family loved this! We served it on sesame seed hamburger buns with the freezer slaw and it was good! It doesn't specify what kind of liquid smoke to get so I just used the hickory smoke flavored liquid smoke and it turned out great! So easy to make too! Will def. make again!"

scsvatek User ID: 4971420 116566
Reviewed Sep. 22, 2014

"This is a big hit with everyone at my house. I foolishly think there will be leftovers every time I make it. Delicious!"

recipehound54 User ID: 4246730 132141
Reviewed Aug. 31, 2014

"Delicious! I followed the recipe as written; very simple with basic ingredients that would be found in most peoples' pantries. I did use a barbeque sauce that did not have high fructose corn syrup; don't think that made any difference in the taste. I served it with cheesy potatoes and a green salad. Next time I'll make a double batch and freeze smaller portions for quick meals. I think it would be tasty served over a baked potato with a little sour cream and chives."

Igraine32 User ID: 7006585 126682
Reviewed Aug. 28, 2014

"I didn't have time to brine overnight so I just made a cup of the brine to cook in. Still turned out great."

lberry222 User ID: 4948624 123373
Reviewed Aug. 28, 2014


westielove User ID: 7585918 193701
Reviewed Aug. 24, 2014

"i made this many times, i don't use the store bought BBQ sauce, i make my own. It's a family favorite"

SweetiePie44 User ID: 7773316 192298
Reviewed Aug. 20, 2014

"Absolutely AMAZING!!!! Will make regularly. This time did double the recipe. I got two meals, second meal was a pizza. AWESOME too!!!!"

kimb0 User ID: 7108367 149793
Reviewed Jul. 30, 2014

"Yummy!!! This is a keeper! Made a couple of changes--used thighs instead of breasts, as this is our preference. I started with 1 cup of barbecue sauce, which seemed like plenty for my amount of chicken, and then added a little of the cooking liquid to loosen it up. We'll definitely be making this one again!"

dmswells User ID: 5519352 191278
Reviewed May. 27, 2014

"We 6x this recipe for a Memorial Day family gathering and served them on regular soft and hard rolls. We served 25 people and still had enough left over for another dinner for our own family. Everyone really loved it and we had to share the recipe with all of them.."

rwippel User ID: 4262008 132138
Reviewed May. 26, 2014

"I really enjoyed these sliders for my Memorial Day party. Served it with dill pickle chips."

jo66 User ID: 6055005 116558
Reviewed May. 17, 2014

"Made this the other day as a test run to see if I would use it for a party I am having in a few weeks and it was awesome. I might try a few boneless thighs in for just a little bit more moisture. I served it with cole slaw, cheese and pickles. Yum! This is definitely a keeper"

Moonbeam81 User ID: 6987090 123372
Reviewed Mar. 17, 2014

"Awesome recipe! I tripled the ingredients and made this for a family

BBQ and everyone absolutly loved it. One of the best BBQ recipes for chicken I have ever had or made."

Hautemom User ID: 6490770 123371
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2014

"I loved this recipe! The only modification I made was that I used Italian seasoning instead of Stand alone thyme because I didn't have any. The liquid smoke measurements made the chicken delicious! The brine and the slow cooker made the chicken so tender that I just used my hands to shred it. I paired mine with some Dukes Southern Cole Slaw and French fries. ..yummy!"

ajonesy32 User ID: 7465871 110531
Reviewed Jan. 27, 2014

"Made this last night to see how it would taste for the upcoming Super Bowl party. This is now a favorite in my house. Thank you so much for sharing!!!"

LizzyC05 User ID: 7225601 116557
Reviewed Nov. 27, 2013

"After making pork BBQ in the crockpot several times, I decided to give this recipe a try. It is fabulous and has become our go-to BBQ recipe. It is much easier to make than pork, very tender, and less fatty. Tastes delicious & freezes great. Our family loves it, and it would also be great for a crowd. I agree with others' suggestions about adding more BBQ sauce."

Andrea Love User ID: 7097133 193699
Reviewed Sep. 25, 2013

"This was great for a crowd. I was concerned about the amount of liquid smoke but went with the amount called for. It was so good. I would add more bbq sauce next time. It was a little dry for me. Everyone at the dinner loved it!"

mamaha24 User ID: 6114261 178351
Reviewed Aug. 12, 2013

"Loved this! The brine made the chicken incredibly tender. The flavor was wonderful. The only change I made was to decrease the liquid smoke in the sauce by about half. I was worried it might be a little overpowering; cut in half it was perfect."

bunqui95 User ID: 7138867 183695
Reviewed Jul. 22, 2013

"I love using my crockpot, and I was very eager to try this recipe. I've made it twice already, once with store-bought bbq sauce, and once with the Texas-Style BBQ sauce that was published in the June/July 2013 issue ( De-lish both times. My husband prefers it served on Hawaiian bread rolls. It's become an instant favorite in our house."

jferrence User ID: 7188884 149792
Reviewed Jul. 17, 2013

"loved it..I am a chef and this rocks!! Use it in my restaurant"

Gay Luce User ID: 1445124 115778
Reviewed Jul. 13, 2013

"easy meal to start and forget about! Must start way in advance though!"

williehart62 User ID: 4670486 192296
Reviewed Jun. 3, 2013

"My youngest son is very critical of most recipes and always finds something to complain about. However, after he tasted these sliders, his exact words were, "Mom, these are sooooo good.""

l2bake User ID: 2030987 126681
Reviewed May. 28, 2013

"These are amazing!!!! The flavor is excellent, they are super easy and were a great hit with the family."

obxgoer User ID: 2649993 191277
Reviewed May. 23, 2013


ChocolateMudCake User ID: 162783 183693
Reviewed May. 11, 2013

"These were so good! We have made them several times now. Great topped with the freezer slaw."

dasie09 User ID: 7258332 132136
Reviewed May. 10, 2013

"I made this recipe for a gathering at my grandma's house. Everyone liked it, and still talk about it months later. I am making this ahead of time for a camping trip and will be reheating it in my coleman 3-in-1 crockpot :)"

powellcou User ID: 5464683 192287
Reviewed May. 2, 2013

"I finally found a recipe that EVERYONE loves - my 3 kids and my husband. Definitely making this one again!"

ejshellabarger User ID: 3870843 126680
Reviewed Apr. 24, 2013

"This recipe was just 'ok'. It was fun to experiment with a brined BBQ recipe but I wasn't a fan of my house smelling like liquid smoke. I'll stick with my other BBQ crock pot recipes in the future."

comsterry User ID: 7235034 132131
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2013

"I'm no gourmet chef, so complicated recipes kind of throw me but this was super easy and I loved it!! Will definetely make it again"

SkeeterBugg User ID: 243137 132127
Reviewed Apr. 19, 2013

"Since there is just my husband and myself, I reduced this recipe for 2 people, and we both enjoyed it. Since neither of us can have salt, I reduced it down to a teaspoon for us, as the BBQ Sauce has plenty of salt/sodium in it. I have passed this recipe onto other friends, and they too love it!


snowbengal User ID: 3456820 183692
Reviewed Apr. 17, 2013

"Very tasty...loved it"

cpietila User ID: 1193049 195086
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2013

"Awesome flavor! The house smelled like liquid smoke all day, but the flavor of the chicken was worth it."

ChocolateMudCake User ID: 162783 195058
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2013

"These were fabulous! Next time I will have to double or even triple the recipe. Rave reviews from the friends and family who ate them. I also made the freezer slaw to top them off and everyone loved that too. 5 stars from this home! Thank you for sharing!"

Jacannaday User ID: 5850885 192286
Reviewed Apr. 6, 2013

"Wow! These were amazing. My husband LOVED it and didn't complain about eating it for leftovers for a couple of days. It was so incredibly tender and the flavor was amazing!!"

HopMomof3 User ID: 5803661 178349
Reviewed Apr. 4, 2013

"Absolutely delicious! The chicken is so tender and flavorful. I was a little hesitant about so much liquid smoke, but it turned out great! We used a small amount of BBQ sauce on these, simply b/c the chicken had so much flavor of it's own. My 7 y/o immediately said these were a repeat!"

amandamomof6 User ID: 7183451 193697
Reviewed Apr. 2, 2013

"At first these looked like they might be a little complicated but they turned out to be really easy. They taste amazing! We always have a big crowd to feed ( 5 boys and 1 girl) and they loved them so much I had to double the recipe the second time I made them!"

meezergurl User ID: 5917744 195057
Reviewed Mar. 28, 2013

"LOVE this recipe! While at first glance it seems to involve a lot of time, it really doesn't. Most of the time is spent with the chicken sitting in the brine or cooking in the crock pot. Only about 20 minutes is actually spent in prepping the meal. I've tried different BBQ recipes and all fell somewhat flat to me. This has an awesome smokey flavor and the chicken is wonderfully tender! My husband raves about it! Will make again soon."

TCD1 User ID: 6008964 212367
Reviewed Mar. 26, 2013

"I made this from this months magazine and the coleslaw was with it. But I see it is labeled as Freezer Slaw. Also, I did not add the 1/3 cup of Liquid Smoke when I cooked the chicken, it would have been way too over powering. And I adapted the recipe for 1 lbs chicken since I made this for my family. Will definitely make it again."

Torres1974 User ID: 7196221 194626
Reviewed Mar. 25, 2013

"Where do I find the slaw recipe?"

TCD1 User ID: 6008964 110479
Reviewed Mar. 24, 2013

"I have a question about the sliders in the picture. What buns were used for these since they look like they could be crusty on the outside? Where they baked using a TOH recipe or are they store bought?"

ericamarie730 User ID: 7185368 183691
Reviewed Mar. 19, 2013

"These are the absolute best chicken sliders EVER!!! Slaw is terrific also! Would definitely enjoy these on a regular basis!!!"

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