Tender Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

This is the easiest way to enjoy a juicy, rotisserie like chicken by only using a crockpot. Slow cooker whole chicken that anyone can make! ohsweetbasil.com
Slow cooker whole chicken that anyone can make! This is the easiest way to enjoy a juicy, rotisserie like chicken by only using a crockpot.

Are a Slow Cooker and Crockpot the Same Thing?

A crock pot is actually a type of slow cooker, so they are very similar, but not all slow cookers are also crock pots.

A crock pot is a type of slow cooker with a stoneware pot that sits inside a surrounding heating element.

A slow cooker is a usually metal pot that sits on top of a heating surface.

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

This slow cooker whole chicken is dedicated to all of my favorite friends that claim that they can’t cook.  I bet you a million dollars that this tender slow cooker whole chicken will turn out perfect for you.

 

Whole Chicken in a slow cooker.

 

This tender slow cooker whole chicken was so moist that I could not even lift it out of the crock. Can you see where I tried and the chicken totally fell apart? I’m serious, I finally lifted it out and all that was left was a pile of bones. The bones were no longer in the carcass shape either.

 

Will Chicken Bones Hurt a Dog?

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘Don’t feed your dog chicken bones!’

But really, feeding any cooked bone to your dog is dangerous because cooked bones may splinter and damage the stomach and intestines.

Raw bones do not normally splinter.

 

 

Tender Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

There’s nothing like cooking a whole chicken in a crock pot. It’s the easiest way to do it as there’s no tying of kitchen twine, no roasting pan, no watching the oven and the internal temperature. You just set it and forget it.

 

Is it Safe to Cook Chicken in a Slow Cooker?

Although it seems that cooking food at such a low temperature might be dangerous, slow cookers are, in fact safe, according to the USDA.

When you use a slow cooker, food stays at 170-280 degrees in a tightly covered container.

 

Whole Chicken on a wood cutting board.

The chicken is delicious and you could add whatever spices or sauce suits  your fancy. I reaaaaaaaally wanted a rotisserie, but this recipe is seriously just as good. Cross my heart.

 

Pulling apart Slow Cooker Whole Chicken.

 

How Long to Defrost a Whole Chicken

I only want to remind you of two things,
1. Defrost your whole chicken the day before. It will take at least all day in the fridge to defrost. You can buy a fresh one if you are too nervous that you wont defrost it all the way.

 

How to Pronounce Giblets

Just really quick can we correct one thing? It’s “JIB-LITS” not “GIB-LETS”. Sorry but we should all know how to pronounce giblets because it may not be what you would think.

 

What are Giblets

The giblets (now that we are all pronouncing it correctly) are the heart, neck, liver, and gizzards that are packaged and stored in the cavity of a chicken or turkey. So if you ever wondered, what are giblets, now you know, it’s the inside stuff.

 

Why Remove Giblets from Chicken

2. Remove the giblets. These are great for making a really fantastic gravy but you don’t need them otherwise. Don’t be scared. Just reach in there and pull it out. You don’t want those baked in there.

 

Shredded Slow Cooker Whole Chicken on a wood cutting board.

 

If you do not have fresh garlic or thyme, don’t run to the store, just use dry thyme and garlic powder. Probably 1 Teaspoon powder.

 

 

Pinterest - Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

 

Ham in a Slow Cooker

Did you know you can make a whole ham in the slow cooker?!

Sliced ham in a white slow cooker.

 

Tender Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

Tender Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

This is the easiest way to enjoy a juicy, rotisserie like chicken by only using a crockpot. Slow cooker whole chicken that anyone can make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Whole 4-6 lb chicken, giblets removed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme (or 1 Ts Dried)
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Directions:

  1. Take the whole chicken and rinse it inside and out with water.
  2. Pat dry and set aside.
  3. Mix together all of the seasonings in a small dish.
  4. Using your fingers, gently lift the skin over the breasts by sliding your fingers up towards the neck to separate the skin and meat.
  5. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken, over the skin and underneath right onto the breast meat.
  6. Place the chicken in a crock pot on low for 8 hours.
  7. Once the chicken is done, remove from the crock pot and serve with potatoes, and veggies.

There is plenty of liquid if you wish to make a gravy.

  1. Just heat the liquid in a pot and mix a little cornstarch and cold water.
  2. Once the liquid is boiling add a little to the cornstarch so it heats it up a bit, and slowly add it to the liquid, whisking vigorously.
  3. Season as needed.

Nutrition Information

Yield: whole chicken, Serving Size: 6 ounces

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 167 Calories
  • Total Fat: 11.5g
  • Cholesterol: 56mg
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Sugar: 0.1g
  • Protein: 14.3g
All images and text ©Carrian Cheney for Oh Sweet Basil.

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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100 comments on “Tender Slow Cooker Whole Chicken”

  1. This whole Chicken was off the chart amazing. Will make again and again.

  2. This did not work. It was pale and slightly overlooked. I followed the recipe exactly but cut the cooking time a half hour since it was a smaller chicken

  3. Thaw out my home grown chicken last night and heading to the kitchen right now to cook it in the crockpot using your recipe. So excited! 

    • Yesssssss!! We would love to hear how it turns out! I wish I was coming over for dinner! 😉

    • This recipe is a keeper! It turned out SO amazing I can’t be more happier. I did 3 hrs on hi and 2.5 hrs on low even though it was set for 3 hrs on low, but 2.5 hrs later it was falling apart so what’s the point to keep it going? My children usually never finish a rotisserie chicken from Costco, not the case with this one. It was gone completely!!! It’s totally awesome and you know exactly how it was prepared without preservatives and other unhealthy stuff. Today I am using this recipe on the turkey instead. Will share opinion later. ❤️❤️❤️

  4. Did this meal for dinner. Large chicken, about five to six hours cooking. First three hours on high, last three on low. So much juices, that it almost covered the bird. Came out perfect and tender. Deboned itself. Family loved this meal. Mash potatoes and gravy, green beans, and rolls.

  5. will this work with a bigger chicken, mine is 3.90kg which works out to be over 8lbs and would a bbq chicken seasoning be just as tasty as I don’t have fresh or dried thyme on hand at the moment

  6. How long. and. what temperature. to cook in oven?

  7. Would it have a cook time of 4-5 hours on high in a crockpot?

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  9. Hi Carrian,

    I got started on this recipe a bit late. I wanted to know if cooking the chicken on high for the first 3 hours and then turned it down to low for 2 hours would work? I want it to be done but not dry either. What are your thoughts?

    Thank you! 🙂

  10. Made this recipe and it turned out AMAZING! However, I made a few additions— I added a pack of Souza seasoning, some garlic & herb seasoning, & some chicken seasoning. I sprinkled seasoning under the breast skin and stuffed a small lemon wedge & a pat of butter. & inside, and stuffed 2 lemons inside with a little butter. I ( cut in quarters)

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  12. Hi,
    Do you add water to the pot to cook the chicken? 

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  14. Have you tried this in the InsantPot?

  15. Holy moly! When you said juicy, you weren’t lying! It literally fell off the bone in my crockpot. All that was left was a pile of bones in juice (and like you said, not in the form of a carcass)! So good and so easy! Thank you!

  16. I went through all the comments and reread the recipe and did not see what the suggested cooking temperature should be, I just saw cook on low. What is the suggested temp to bake this on?

  17. Wow, perfect timing! I just came into a giant box of frozen cornish game hens that need to be cooked up. I’m definitely going to use this recipe. Your pictures are fantastic!Thank you so much…

  18. Wow, perfect timing! I just came into a giant box of frozen cornish game hens that need to be cooked up. I’m definitely going to use this recipe. Your pictures are fantastic!Thank you so much…

  19. Thank you for your wonderful recipe …

  20. Can I add pineapple slices on the sides?

  21. I love cooking with my crockpot too! I have not broken down and tried an instant pot yet, though.

    Does the skin on the chicken actually brown in the Crock-Pot? If there is not much juice in the bottom of the Crock-Pot when it’s done cooking, it seems like the skin maybe halfway down would be soggy.

    My crock pot came with a little rack that goes in the bottom. Should I use the rack if the chicken will fit in the pot with the rack in the bottom?

  22. Can I add potatoes, carrots and celery in with the chicken?

  23. Super late to this thread, but for serving size, it just reads “1”… 1 what?

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  25. Thank you so much for a great recipe! Simple enough that my toddler helped put it together and so yummy!

  26. Can i leave the giblets in the crock pot?

  27. This was good but breast meat was soooo dry. Maybe my bird was too small and should have only done 4 hours?

    • Hi Heather,
      That definitely could have been the case. As you can see in the video the bird ends up with a lot of juices and is incredibly tender. It was probably just too small of a bird.

    • If you have a pot with a temp sensor, stick it in the thickest part of the breast before starting to cook. If not, cook the bird upside down so all the juices drain to the breast, and just use a cooking thermometer to check the breast and thigh every now and then. I had a smaller bird and it cooked in just under 4 hours — delicious recipe! 🙂

  28. Am I use a Cornish hen ? If so how many hours on low?

  29. Can you do this with just chicken breast?

  30. I made this on Sunday and it was delicious. I never made a whole chicken in the crock pot before but this was a HUGE success. Even my 5 and 8 year old who almost never have seconds of meat had thirds. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. It’s a keeper.

  31. Can I put the potatoes and carrots on the bottom while cooking this chicken?

  32. Can I cook this on high…. if so, what is the cooking time?

  33. Looks delish,is it OK if I season the chicken with the rub and leave it overnight before cooking

  34. How spicy is this? I love spicy but one child can’t tolerate anything too spicy

    • Hi Suzanne,

      I am secretly a big whimp with spicy so I can tell you this definitely is not at all. It tastes more like a well seasoned rotisserie chicken than actually tasting the spices. It’s flavorful but not any spice to it. 🙂 You could definitely add a little chiptole and make it spicy though!

  35. Going to try this today. Just put the bird in the crockpot. Can’t wait. I added lemon wedges to the bottom of the crockpot 🙂

  36. I will NEVER buy rotisserie chicken from the grocery ever again! This was amazing. Really amazing. I sure wish I found this recipe years ago. SO tender, juicy and tasty. With the leftover juice from the chicken you can make soup or save it for chicken stock.

  37. Do you have to add water?

  38. I am going to give this a go today but using my simmering oven of my AGA as I don’t have a slow cooker / crock pot anymore! I’ll let you know what happens.

  39. I just made this! My husband who is a self proclaimed “crockpot food hater” gobbled it up! I followed the instructions exactly and it was perfect!!

  40. Do you put a cover on it while it cooking?

  41. I have put my chicken in frozen and has come out fine. I lift mine out and put it under the broiler for a bit to brown. So moist.

  42. Place a long piece of foil in your crockpot to make a sling that you can use to lift out the tender chicken and place in a 9×13 baking dish. Then place in a low broil oven to brown. Works every time for me!

  43. I want to do this but I have a round crockpot, it doesn’t look like a chicken would fit. 🙁

  44. I like the looks of this recipe! I’ve never done a whole chicken in the crock pot before — has anyone encountered issues with cooking whole birds in their crock pots? I read it’s not recommended, but everyone seems to have positive feedback here (?)

  45. This recipe looks delicious! I’m going to thaw my turkey today!

  46. My husband has made this and it is yummy. He did not add any liquid at all but he did roll up aluminum foil about the size of 1 inch meatballs on the bottom of the slow cooker

  47. Did you pour any liquid in?

  48. T usually means Tablespoon, t usually means teaspoon 🙂

    • haha, yes I know. It was posted a while ago before I realized not everyone grew up saying Ts and Tb for teaspoon and tablespoon. Seems to ridiculous to say out loud now. aghh, the shame

  49. Was looking for a crockpot recipe like this and found yours. Heading to the kitchen right now to get started! Also looking foward to looking over the rest of the blog.

  50. Another online recipe for crockpot roasted chicken says to place the finished bird under the broiler for a few minutes because the “flabby white skin” is otherwise unappetizing. Do you find this is true? The finished product in your photo looks pretty appetizing . . . . Thanks!

    • Linda, nope! I mean, I can totally see how that could happen to some birds depending on cooking time, temp and ingredients, but because it cooks for so long on low and the salt in the rub helps dry out the skin ours was crispy perfection. If all else fails, stick it under the broiler but we truly didn’t need to at all. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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  52. I can't wait to try this! Is that teaspoons or tablespoons of the spices? Trying your honey roasted chicken tomorrow!

  53. I tried this recipe- it was delicious! Even though I warned my boyfriend that it would be tender, he used tongs to lift the breast and the whole body separated itself from the legs. Great flavor, easy to prepare and the right amount of spiciness- can't wait to try more of your recipes!

  54. This sounds great! I like roasting my chicken but this is def a good substitute to get a moist chicken! Thanks!

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  56. I do a similar crock pot roasted chicken. My family LOVES it. I <3 my crock pot!

  57. This looks delicious! I bet it was super moist, too! Crock pots are so awesome.

  58. Looks delicious! And what an easy idea for dinner.