Firecracker Chicken

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Slow Cooker Firecracker Chicken is flash fried then slow cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce, for chicken that’s crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside and coated in a perfectly sticky sauce. Serve this spicy chicken dish with a side of rice for an easy weeknight dinner!

Chopsticks grabbing a piece of firecracker chicken

Easy Slow Cooker Firecracker Chicken Recipe

If you’re looking for a dish with a little heat to it, you’re going to love this Firecracker Chicken! Made with wing sauce, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar, the sticky sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.

Like many of our other favorite dishes, including bourbon chicken and orange chicken, this dish was inspired by our favorite Asian restaurants and buffets. But, in my not-so-humble opinion, I’d say it’s even better than anything you’d find in a restaurant.

While many firecracker chicken recipes opt to make the entire recipe on the stovetop or in the oven, I decided to let my slow cooker do the work. That means I just need to be in the kitchen for about 15 minutes and let the slow cooker do the rest. I think it also results in more flavorful chicken too, as every juicy bite ends up infused with the sauce! We also have a firecracker chicken instant pot option as well.

Firecracker chicken on a wooden spoon

Why You’ll Love This Spicy Chicken Recipe

Here are a few reasons this homemade firecracker chicken has become a family favorite.

  • Better than takeout. I swear the flavor on this chicken is better than you’ll find at any restaurant – because YOU control it! And you never have to worry that it’s been on the buffet for hours and may be dried out.
  • Perfectly spicy flavor. As the name suggests, this chicken has a definite spicy kick to it. The brown sugar keeps it from being OVERLY spicy but you can easily adjust the spice level by adding red pepper flakes or less wing sauce.
  • Easy weeknight dinner. This slow cooker recipe takes just about 20 minutes of hands-on time to prepare then the slow cooker does the rest, which makes it perfect for those busy nights.
Firecracker chicken ingredients

What You’ll Need

This Asian-inspired spicy chicken dinner is made with just a handful of easy-to-find ingredients. Be sure to check the recipe card below for measurements.

  • Chicken – Boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs both work well in this recipe.
  • Cornstarch – Helps crisp the chicken when fried.
  • Oil – Any neutral cooking oil for frying will work.
  • Hot wing sauce – You can use Frank’s or any other favorite brand. The spicier the sauce, the spicier the firecracker chicken will be.
  • Brown sugar – Sweetens the sauce and helps create the sticky glaze.
  • Water – To thin the sauce a bit.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Adds a tangy undertone that balances out the sugar and wing sauce.

Watch The Recipe Video!

Easy Additions

There are so many ways to customize your crockpot firecracker chicken, especially by adding in some veggies. Here are a few ideas:

  • Garlic
  • Red bell pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Onions

How to Make Firecracker Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Preparing this spicy chicken dish requires just a few minutes of hands-on time to brown the chicken then you can toss and dump everything in the slow cooker and come back to a tasty dinner ready to serve!

  • Brown the chicken. Coat the chicken in cornstarch then quickly brown in a pan with oil. Transfer the browned chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Make the sauce. Whisk together the frank’s red wing sauce (or buffalo sauce), sugar, water, and vinegar. Pour over the chicken and stir.
  • Cook. Cook the chicken in the slow cooker on low for 4 hours, stirring once or two to make sure the sugar doesn’t burn.
  • Enjoy. Serve with scallions over white rice.
Overhead view of firecracker chicken in the slow cooker

Baked Spicy Firecracker Chicken

Don’t have Crock Pot? No problem! Here is the oven version…

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 9″x13″ pan with cooking spray.
Place the cooked chicken pieces in a single layer in the 9″x13″ pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the frank’s red sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and water.

Pour the sauce over the chicken. Bake for 1 hour, stirring once halfway through to coat the chicken with the sauce. Top with green onions and serve.

Tips & Variations

Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your firecracker chicken.

    • Brown but don’t fully cook the chicken. When you fry the chicken in the oil, you’re just looking to brown and crisp up the outside – not cook it completely. This helps achieve the crispy texture. Cooking it completely in this step will lead to over-cooked chicken.

    • What wing sauce should I use? I suggest using Frank’s wing sauce (not the regular hot sauce). It’s the one I use and seems to work the best but you can try it with any preferred wing sauce. Buffalo sauce is fine to use as well.

    • Adjust the spice level. Firecracker chicken is a spicy dish but you can easily adjust the heat level by adding less wing sauce. Or you can opt for a mild wing sauce.

    • Stir at least once. I recommend stirring your slow cooker firecracker chicken at least once, to ensure the sugar is not stuck to the bottom and burning.

A bowl of firecracker chicken with rice

What to Serve with Crockpot Firecracker Chicken

Firecracker chicken is typically served over white rice and garnished with scallions or green onions. Brown rice is another good option, as is fried rice. You could also serve it with chow mein or lo mein noodles.

For sides, you can never go wrong with steamed veggies, like broccoli. I always like to make some of these addicting crab rangoon egg rolls to go with any Asian dishes we make.

Chopsticks holding a piece of firecracker chicken above the bowl

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • Fridge. Store any leftover slow cooker firecracker chicken in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll last for up to 3 days. Be sure to store it with any extra sauce that was left in the slow cooker and to store rice or other sides separately.
  • Reheat. The easiest way to reheat your leftovers is just to pop them in the microwave until heated through.

More Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes:

Firecracker Chicken feature
5 from 2 votes

Firecracker Chicken

Slow Cooker Firecracker Chicken is flash fried then slow cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce, for chicken that's crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside and coated in a perfectly sticky sauce. Serve this spicy chicken dish with a side of rice for an easy weeknight dinner!
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken diced into bite size pieces
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup hot wing sauce
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • Scallions for garnish


  • Coat your chicken pieces in cornstarch.
  • Heat up the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Brown the chicken quickly in the pan. We are not looking to cook the chicken through, just get a little color on each side.
  • Place the browned chicken in the slow cooker.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine the hot wing sauce, brown sugar, water and vinegar.
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker and stir.
  • Cook on low for 4 hours, stirring once or twice to make sure the sugars are not burning.
  • Garnish with scallions and serve over white rice.

Last Step:

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Calories: 800kcal | Carbohydrates: 118g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1009mg | Potassium: 305mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 107g | Vitamin A: 114IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 2mg


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2 comments on “Firecracker Chicken”

  1. 5 stars
    Making this tonight and this is so easy to do and being able to adjust the heat factor helps tremendously. Definitly making this again.