How Long to Cook Chicken Legs in Slow Cooker?
In a slow cooker, chicken legs should be cooked for 3 ¼ – 4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low until they are tender.
After slow cooking, the chicken legs should be transferred to a baking tray and broiled for 1-2 minutes until the skin is sticky and lightly charred.
Flip the chicken legs, brush them with sauce again, and broil for an additional 1-2 minutes.
It is important to note that washing poultry is not recommended as it can spread bacteria, but cooking thoroughly will destroy any bacteria present on the chicken’s skin.
Additionally, it is advisable to avoid overcrowding the slow cooker, and overlapping the chicken leg portions is acceptable.
The cooking time may vary depending on the cut of meat used.
- Chicken legs should be cooked for 3 ¼ – 4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low in a slow cooker
- After slow cooking, transfer the chicken legs to a baking tray and broil for 1-2 minutes until the skin is sticky and lightly charred
- Flip the chicken legs, brush with sauce again, and broil for an additional 1-2 minutes
- Washing poultry is not recommended as it can spread bacteria, but cooking thoroughly will destroy any bacteria on the chicken’s skin
- Avoid overcrowding the slow cooker, but overlapping the chicken leg portions is acceptable
- Cooking time may vary depending on the cut of meat used.
Did You Know?
1. Chicken legs can be cooked in a slow cooker for approximately 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low, depending on the size of the legs and the desired tenderness.
2. Slow cooking chicken legs allows the meat to become incredibly tender and flavorful as the slow, even heat breaks down the collagen in the meat, resulting in melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
3. Did you know that slow cooking chicken legs with the bone-in can enhance the flavor even further? The bone helps trap and infuse the meat with more succulent juices.
4. One benefit of slow cooking chicken legs is that it allows you to effortlessly separate the meat from the bone once it’s done cooking. This means you can enjoy your meal without worrying about the hassle of deboning beforehand.
5. For an extra burst of flavor, try marinating your chicken legs before slow cooking them. Marinades can add a variety of delicious flavors like tangy barbecue, zesty teriyaki, or aromatic herbs and spices, making your dish even more memorable.
1. Recommended Chicken Leg Quantity
When cooking chicken legs in a slow cooker, it’s important to consider the number of servings you need. As a general guideline, use 2 chicken legs per person. However, feel free to adjust the quantity as per your needs. For example, if you have a large gathering or want leftovers, you can increase the number of chicken leg pieces accordingly.
Eight chicken leg pieces typically weigh around 3 lbs/1.4 kg, which can serve approximately 4 people. However, you can adjust the amount depending on the appetites of your family or guests. Whether you’re cooking for a small group or a larger gathering, this recipe can be easily scaled up or down.
- Use 2 chicken legs per person
- Adjust quantity based on needs
- Increase portions for large gatherings or leftovers
- 8 chicken leg pieces weigh around 3 lbs/1.4 kg
- Can serve approximately 4 people
- Scale recipe based on number of servings
2. Seasoning And Cooking Time
To ensure a flavorful result, the chicken legs should be properly seasoned before cooking. Begin by generously seasoning them with salt and pepper. This simple combination will enhance the taste of the chicken and complement the BBQ sauce.
Once seasoned, place the chicken legs in the slow cooker. Next, pour your preferred BBQ sauce over the chicken, ensuring that each piece is coated evenly. The BBQ sauce can also be customized according to your taste preferences, whether you prefer a tangy or slightly sweet flavor.
Now, it’s time to patiently let the slow cooker work its magic. Set the cooking time for 3 ¼ – 4 hours on HIGH or 5-6 hours on LOW. This duration allows the chicken legs to slowly cook and become tender, ensuring moist and juicy results. However, keep in mind that cooking times may vary slightly depending on the size and cut of the chicken legs, so it’s always a good idea to check for doneness with a meat thermometer.
- Generously season the chicken legs with salt and pepper before cooking.
- Pour your preferred BBQ sauce over the chicken to coat evenly.
- Customize the BBQ sauce according to taste preferences.
- Set the cooking time for 3 ¼ – 4 hours on HIGH or 5-6 hours on LOW.
- Check for doneness with a meat thermometer.
3. Broiling The Chicken Legs
After the chicken legs have reached their desired tenderness in the slow cooker, it’s time to give them a delightful finishing touch. To achieve a sticky and lightly charred skin, transfer the chicken legs to a baking tray lined with aluminum foil.
Before broiling, brush the chicken legs with some of the reserved BBQ sauce. This will help create a caramelized glaze on the skin, adding an extra layer of flavor. Place the tray under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to prevent burning.
Once the skin has achieved a desirable level of stickiness and char, flip the chicken legs and generously brush them with sauce again. Return them to the broiler for another 1-2 minutes, allowing the other side to develop the same tasty glaze.
4. Precautions And Tips For Cooking
When preparing chicken legs, it is important to follow proper food safety practices. The article advises against washing poultry as it can spread bacteria. However, it is essential to handle raw chicken carefully and wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with it.
It’s important to note that the bacteria present on the chicken’s skin will be destroyed during the cooking process. Slow cookers are designed to cook at low temperatures for an extended period, ensuring the chicken is thoroughly cooked and safe to eat.
While it is acceptable to overlap the chicken leg portions in the slow cooker to maximize space, it is advisable to avoid overcrowding. Overcrowding can hinder proper heat distribution and affect the cooking time. To ensure even cooking, consider using a larger slow cooker or cooking in batches if necessary.
Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the cut of meat used. For example, chicken drumsticks typically require 3 ¼ – 4 hours on HIGH or 5-6 hours on LOW in a slow cooker. However, other cuts such as chicken thighs or boneless chicken breasts may have different cooking times.
5. Recipe Variations And Additional Tips
This recipe is a versatile base that allows for various flavor variations and customization. If you’re a fan of spicy flavors, consider adding sriracha or cayenne pepper to the BBQ sauce before coating the chicken legs. This will give them a delightful kick, perfect for those who enjoy a bit of heat.
Additionally, feel free to experiment with other seasonings or herbs to further enhance the taste. Garlic powder or minced garlic can add a savory element to the dish. If you enjoy a hint of sweetness, consider adding a touch of honey or brown sugar to balance out the flavors.
If you prefer a more hands-off approach to cooking, this recipe can also be adapted for a crockpot. The terms “slow cooker” and “crockpot” are often used interchangeably, referring to the same appliance. Crockpot is actually a trademarked name for a brand of slow cooker. So, whether you use a slow cooker or a crockpot, the cooking process remains the same.
It is worth noting that cooking frozen chicken in a slow cooker is not recommended. To ensure the chicken cooks evenly and reaches a safe internal temperature, it’s best to thaw it thoroughly before placing it in the slow cooker.
6. Simple And Kid-Friendly Recipe Description
This chicken leg recipe is delicious and incredibly simple to make, perfect for kids. The slow cooker does most of the work, allowing you to set it and forget it until the chicken legs are ready to be devoured.
By slow cooking the chicken legs, they become tender and juicy, making them more appealing to both children and adults. The flavorful BBQ sauce adds a touch of smokiness and sweetness, resulting in a crowd-pleasing dish that is sure to become a family favorite.
As an added benefit, the recipe provides tips for storing and reheating any leftover chicken legs. They can be refrigerated and enjoyed as a quick and convenient meal later in the week. Alternatively, the leftover chicken can be repurposed into other delicious dishes such as salads, enchiladas, or quesadillas, giving you endless possibilities for leftovers.
To sum it up, this chicken leg recipe is not only straightforward to prepare but also yields tender and juicy results. With the recommended cooking times, additional broiling step, and flavor variations, you can easily tailor this dish to your preferences and create a memorable meal that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is 4 hours long enough to slow cook chicken?
To ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly and safe to consume, it is recommended to slow cook chicken breasts for 6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. This allows for sufficient time for the chicken to reach the recommended internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Cooking the chicken for a shorter duration, such as 4 hours, may not provide enough time for the chicken to cook thoroughly and reach the desired temperature. Therefore, it is advisable to adhere to the recommended cooking times for best results.
Is 3 hours long enough for chicken in slow cooker?
In our continuous experimentation, we have consistently observed that chicken breast cooked in a slow cooker reaches a safe temperature of 165°F, as recommended by the FDA, within approximately 3 hours on the low setting. Nevertheless, this duration may vary slightly depending on the size of the chicken breast or additional ingredients present in the slow cooker. Thus, three hours generally prove to be sufficient for thoroughly cooked chicken in the slow cooker, ensuring both safety and tenderness in the final result.
Is it better to cook chicken on high or low in slow cooker?
It is better to cook chicken on low in a slow cooker. While cooking chicken on high may result in quicker cooking times, it increases the risk of the meat drying out and becoming tough. Even when cooked on low heat, chicken in a slow cooker still cooks relatively fast, and the slight delay is well worth the flavorful and tender result.
Can you leave chicken in slow cooker for 8 hours?
While it is technically possible to leave chicken in a slow cooker for 8 hours, it is important to note that the texture of the meat might be compromised. Due to the prolonged cooking time, the chicken will become incredibly tender and not suitable for slicing. However, this can work to your advantage as the meat can easily be shredded using forks and combined with the flavorful cooking liquid for an effortlessly delicious dish.