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Barbeque Pulled Chicken

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Barbeque Pulled Chicken!  MMMMMMMMM Everyone needs a good BBQ chicken recipe right? Well, here’s a new fave. Good ol’ Cook’s Illustrated. It may have a few more steps than what you are used to but the flavor is worth it. A truly delicious BBQ chicken!

Can You Cook a Whole Chicken In a Slow Cooker?

You can cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker.

Place the whole chicken, breast side up in your slow cooker.

Season as desired.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or 3-4 hours on high.

How Do You Know When BBQ Chicken Is Done?

BBQ chicken should be checked for doneness with an internal thermometer.

165 degrees for dark meat, 160 degrees for white.

If you don’t have a thermometer, you can do a little cut into the middle to check that it’s just about opaque in the center.

How Long Can You Keep BBQ Pulled Chicken?

Left over BBQ chicken will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Or, BBQ chicken can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Barbeque Pulled Chicken

Barbeque Pulled Chicken

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Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 6


Recipe By: Cook's Illustrated Published July 1, 2005.

  • 8 chicken leg quarters bone-in, skin-on (about 7 pounds total), trimmed of backbone (see illustrations below) and excess fat


  • 1 onion large, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper ground
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic medium, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco


For the Chicken

  • Soak 2 cups wood chips in water to cover for 30 minutes; drain.
  • Place chips in small disposable aluminum pan; set pan on primary burner (burner that will remain on during barbecuing); position cooking grate.
  • Ignite grill, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat until very hot and chips are smoking, about 15 minutes. (If chips ignite, use water-filled spray bottle to extinguish.)
  • Scrape grate clean with grill brush. Turn off all burners except primary burner.
  • Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of chicken legs with salt and pepper.
  • Place chicken legs skin side up in single layer on cool side of grill.
  • Cover and cook 35 minutes (internal grill temperature should register about 325 degrees after 30 minutes).
  • Working quickly to prevent excess heat loss, remove cover, and, using tongs, rotate each leg so that side formerly facing burner now faces away (do not flip chicken): cover and cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thighs registers about 185 degrees, 35 to 45 minutes longer (internal grill temperature should register about 310 degrees).
  • Transfer chicken to cutting board; let rest until cool enough to handle.

For the Sauce

  • While chicken is cooking or cooling, process onion and water in food processor fitted with steel blade until pureed and mixture resembles slush, about 30 seconds.
  • Pass mixture through fine-mesh strainer into liquid measuring cup, pressing on solids with rubber spatula; you should have 3/4 cup strained onion puree. Discard solids in strainer.
  • Whisk onion puree, ketchup, apple cider, Worcestershire, mustard, molasses, pepper, and 3 tablespoons cider vinegar together in medium bowl.
  • Heat oil in large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until shimmering;
  • Add garlic, chili powder, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in ketchup mixture; increase heat to medium-high,
  • Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, until flavors meld and sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. You should have scant 4 cups sauce.
  • Transfer about 2 cups sauce to serving bowl; leave remaining sauce in saucepan.
  • Remove and discard skin from chicken legs.
  • Using fingers, pull meat off bones, separating larger pieces (which should fall off bones easily) from smaller, drier pieces into two equal piles.
  • Place smaller chicken pieces in food processor and pulse until just coarsely chopped, three to four 1-second pulses, stirring chicken with rubber spatula after each pulse.
  • Transfer chicken to sauce in saucepan. Using fingers or two forks, pull larger chicken pieces into long shreds and add to saucepan.
  • Stir in remaining tablespoon cider vinegar; cover saucepan and heat chicken over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 10 minutes.
  • Add hot sauce to taste and serve, passing remaining barbecue sauce separately.
Nutrition Facts
Barbeque Pulled Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 606 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat 35g54%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 189mg63%
Sodium 903mg39%
Potassium 993mg28%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 31g34%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 1120IU22%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 85mg9%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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  • YUM! I just posted a bbq chicken recipe too and was just scoping out the blogworld to see what all was out there. Looks great!

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  • Mmmmm…that sounds SO good. I love the picture, too!

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