Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Drumsticks

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Skip dinner worries with these Asian style Crockpot Chicken Drumsticks in your slow cooker! Quick, simple, and easily broiled to perfection after a long day.

Slow Cooker recipes are the best for busy nights. I love their simple set it and forget it method. Some of our favorites include these Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks, Crockpot Orange Chicken and Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos.

Asian Chicken Drumsticks in the Slow Cooker are great as an appetizer or for a busy weeknight dinner.

Slow Cooker Asian Style Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Today I’m sharing with you a wonderful slow cooker recipe that will surely plant itself onto your regular dinner menu.

I can spend hours in the kitchen with no worries, but this is not the same for many. Slow cooker recipes are becoming more common in our household not only to beat the heat, but because they are just so simple! Asian chicken drumsticks in the slow cooker sounds like a standard dinner, but you can transform it into so much more! Slow Cooking is the best way to get a delicious, quality chicken dinner on the table fast.

Asian Chicken Drumsticks in the Slow Cooker are great as an appetizer or for a busy weeknight dinner.

How to Serve Crockpot Chicken Legs

We usually serve them over rice but my husband has recently gotten into de-boning the chicken before storing, allowing us to take that chicken a step further. Wraps, pasta salads, pizza, you name it!

When I make this recipe and want a complete meal, I usually serve it with Fried Rice or Coconut Rice and Air Fryer Broccoli or Garlic Green Beans.

These Slow Cooker Chicken legs are also a perfect handheld snack option for game day as part of your finger foods spread. Plus they stay warm in the crockpot!

Can you use frozen drumsticks in the slow cooker?

While keeping chicken on hand in your freezer is a great idea, I recommend thawing bone-in chicken before cooking. Using frozen, you run the risk of the chicken not cooking all the way through to the center and drying out on the outside.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Chicken drumsticks – you can remove the skin or leave it on, it’s really a personal preference. In the recipe, I share how I get the skin nice and crispy after it cooks.
  • Salt,  pepper and crushed red pepper flakes – seasoning for the chicken legs. Use sparingly; you can always add more seasoning later.

For the Sauce

  • Granulated sugar – Sweetness to balance the salt. Brown sugar also works well.
  • Soy sauce – for a salty, umami flavor.
  • Rice wine vinegar – for tanginess.
  • Tomato paste – for acid and flavor.
  • Garlic and ginger – fresh for the best flavor, but bottled and store bought will work as well.

How to Make Asian Style Crockpot Chicken Drumsticks

So now you know I am all about leftovers, but something else I am big on is being frugal and seeing how far a dollar can take us. Yes, boneless skinless chicken breasts are awesome and convenient, but they are also quite expensive. These Asian chicken drumsticks use a cheap cut of meat and transform into a flavorful dinner for the entire family. Plus, meat on the bone has more flavor AND reduces the chances of dry meat (but don’t let this fool you, you can still overcook any meat!).

Asian Chicken Drumsticks in the Slow Cooker are great as an appetizer or for a busy weeknight dinner.

  1. Start by seasoning 2 and a half pounds of chicken drumsticks with salt and pepper and some red chile pepper flakes. This is about 10 chicken legs, and usually how large packages are sold.
  2. Arrange the chicken in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  3. Combine sauce ingredients – sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, tomato paste, garlic and fresh ginger – and pour oven the chicken.
  4. Replace the slow cooker lid and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees F.

Asian Chicken Drumsticks in the Slow Cooker are great as an appetizer or for a busy weeknight dinner.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Obviously your slow cooker isn’t going to get you that beautiful, crispy, toasty skin that oven-baked would, but I easily fix this issue by broiling the chicken for a few minutes in the oven. It takes little effort and really makes a difference. Place the chicken skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet and broil until crispy. Whatever way you choose, you will surely love these Asian chicken legs in the slow cooker.
  • Easily sub in your favorite cut of chicken here if drumsticks are not your thing. Cooking times will vary on size/cut of meat. For leaner, boneless breasts we recommend cooking on high for about 3 hours and for boneless thighs, about 4 hours.
  • Enhance the flavor of these chicken legs by garnishing with sesame seeds and sliced green onions for color.

Leftovers

Storage: Leftover chicken legs should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Freezer: Cook completely, then place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 4 months.

Reheating: Reheat chicken in the slow cooker or in the microwave. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator first.

Asian Chicken Drumsticks in the Slow Cooker are great as an appetizer or for a busy weeknight dinner.

More Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes to Try

For all Slow Cooker Recipes, go HERE and for all dinner recipes go HERE. For the Recipe Index, go HERE.

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Asian Chicken Drumsticks in the Slow Cooker

4.68 from 25 votes
You can broil your chicken before placing into the slow cooker for a crispy skin, but broiling afterwards works as well!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 10 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian
Servings 5 servings
Calories 339kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional

Sauce

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly chopped ginger

Instructions
 

  • Arrange chicken in 6-quart slow cooker. Season with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.
  • Combine sauce ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours, or until chicken is cooked through (160-165F.)
  • Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds if desired. Serve over rice.

Notes

For crispy skin, broil your chicken until golden. You can also do this before placing into the slow cooker but I find the final broiling to yield great results.
If you like, you can remove all the meat after cooking and throw it into a big batch of rice or use it for sandwiches and wraps.

Nutrition

Serving: 2drumsticksCalories: 339kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 29gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 1477mgPotassium: 425mgSugar: 20gVitamin A: 115IUVitamin C: 1.2mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1.6mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. I made this recipe for wings today. My family ate them all,, The only change I will make is less soy sauce. It was a bit strong for us. Al so the time in our slow cooker is much less’, more like 4 hrs on low even with the wings frozen. I think to make up for less liquid I will add some pineapple juice next time!

  2. I’m going to make this today but do not have fresh ginger. Can I use ground ginger in place and how much would you suggest?

  3. I bought drumsticks just to make this chicken. Made it before and lost the recipe. I FOUND IT YaY! This is so effing good ! I subbed the tomato paste for about 1 tomato and put all the ingredients in a blender. And threw it on the chicken.

    1. Hi, it’s not likely that the drumsticks would be fully cooked in under 3-4 hours on high. They need to reach an internal temp of 165 F.

  4. This recipe is so good I’m writing my first ever review! I’m not even a drumstick or dark meat lover, but this dish is a game changer! Amazingly easy and amazingly delicious!!

  5. What an amazing and easy chicken recipe! I thickened the delicious sauce with cornstarch and served it with the yummy drumsticks.

    1. Hi Shari, these are full size chicken drumsticks. You could use drumettes though, if that’s what you wanted to do. I would remove the skin though.

  6. I only have a small, 3 qt slow cooker. Should I just half the recipe? Haven’t used it yet so I just want to make sure I do the right thing

  7. This looks amazing, I was wondering if cooking time would change if I was doing around 3kg of drumsticks? I’ve got a lot of people to feed tomorrow and this looks perfect, I just want to make sure I get it right! Thank you

    1. Sounds like you are more than doubling the amount…I’d worry that they wouldn’t all fit into your slow cooker. They may take a little longer to cook; just be sure to test their doneness with a meat thermometer. It should register 165 degrees in the thickest part of the meat.

  8. After the crockpot, how long should I broil it for? And should it be broiled on high or low?

    1. Chicken breasts in the slow cooker take around 3-4 hours on high and 5-6 hours on low. However keep in mind that the chicken will be fall apart tender and will be better shredded than sliced. I can’t speak for how well this will work because I haven’t tried it with breasts myself.

    1. Drumsticks will take 30-40 minutes in a 425 degree oven. I’d flip them at least once during cooking.

  9. Great recipe, easily doubled. I had less time that I’d have liked so I cooked them on higher for 2 hours 15 minutes