A couple months back, I finally caved and bought my first slow cooker. It was only twenty dollars at Target and I couldn’t wait to get home and start making delicious barbecue and one-pot meals with it that I didn’t have to worry about during the day. Well, typical me only made one meal with it (the day I bought it) and then promptly forgot about my shiny new Crock Pot.
That is, until I came across this recipe for Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches by Tasty Kitchen member myretrokitchen. The recipe was incredibly simple (basically just dump everything together in the crock pot, turn it on and six hours later you have dinner!) and turned out to be absolutely delicious. The pineapple chunks give the barbecue a delightful sweet surprise and using chicken was a nice change of pace from typical pulled pork.
Here’s what you need!
Simple, right? Just chicken (I used thighs for more flavor), your favorite barbecue sauce, a can of pineapple and an onion. Love it.
The recipe says to first put the chicken at the bottom of the Crock Pot…
Then, cover it with diced onion.
Followed by a can of pineapple chunks.
Amie says you can either save the pineapple juice to add to the sauce at the end for sweetness, but I prefer a more savory barbecue sauce so I tossed mine.
Next comes my favorite part: adding the sauce! Coming from the South, I love me some tangy vinegar based barbecue sauce, but for this recipe I chose my tomato-based favorite—Stubb’s.
You can never have too much barbecue sauce, no matter what anyone tells you.
All that only took about four minutes and now all there was left to do was turn the slow cooker on low and let ‘er stew!
At the end of the day, after the chicken had been slowly cooking for about seven hours, I removed the meat from the sauce and shredded it before adding it back in to soak up all the yummy barbecue goodness.
Delicious! I ate barbecue for dinner and then lunch the next day. Even my boyfriend, who claims to hate pineapple, absolutely loved this meal and devoured two sandwiches in the speed of light.
This is easily my most requested recipe. Each time I make it, I am always asked to provide the recipe so friends can make it themselves at home. It really is yummy, and the best part is it takes about 3 minutes to prepare, a couple additional minutes to shred the chicken once cooked and then back in the crock pot it goes to finish soaking up the goodness! Easy-peasy, but oh sooo good!
- 3 pounds Boneless Chicken Breast, Thighs Or A Combo Of The Two
- 1 whole Onion (large), Sliced Into Chunks
- 1 can (20 Oz. Size) Pineapple, I Recommend Nibblits Or Crushed, Drained But Reserve The Juice If Using (See Note Below)
- 1 bottle (18 To 20 Oz. Size) BBQ Sauce Of Your Choice (Our Favorites Are Sweet Baby Ray's Or Open Pit If We Want To Give It A Little More Of A Kick)
- Hamburger Buns Or Kaiser Rolls
If you use frozen chicken, make sure it is completely defrosted. If you cook it frozen, it will indeed cook but it will make a very “wet” sauce. Place your chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Top with onions, then pineapple. Pour the entire bottle of BBQ sauce over the whole thing.
Note: If you want a sweeter BBQ, add up to half a cup of the pineapple juice you drained, depending on how sweet you want it. This is optional.
Turn your crock pot on LOW and cook for 8–10 hours (or on HIGH for 4–6).
An hour or two before it is finished cooking, carefully remove the chicken from the crock pot and shred it using two forks. Watch out, it will be hot! Place chicken back in the crock pot and stir well to combine. Finish cooking an additional hour or two so the chicken can absorb most of the sauce. Serve on hamburger buns and top with coleslaw if desired.
Note: When I had made it with Sweet Baby Ray’s and pineapple juice, it was a very sweet Pulled Chicken. It was great, and everyone loved it. But I have to say, using Open Pit BBQ Sauce and no pineapple juice was hands down our favorite! It had just the right amount of sweet and vinegar that we love in a good BBQ.
If you are making this for kids, children tend to like the sweeter variety.
Jenna is a food writer who has worked as a pastry chef and bread baker. Her blog Eat, Live, Run has great recipes, travel stories, and the perfect slogan: “Celebrating life, one crumb at a time.”