Slow Cooker

How to Cook Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

It might seem basic for many, yet I had to search How to Cook Slow Cooker Whole Chicken the first time I did so.

I was hesitant on making crockpot whole chicken, because of the low steady heat and the obvious risk of undercooking, no one likes a foul chicken. *wink*

how to make whole chicken in the crockpot or slow cooker

When cooking whole chicken in the slow cooker, much like making Beer Can Barbecue Chicken, there are some necessary steps to take. Not only increase the taste of the meat when done, but to also ensure food safety is priority.

how to cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker

The following recipe card has start to finish instructions on How to Cook Slow Cooker Whole Chicken.

It includes some very important notes on steps that shouldn’t be missed, such as why you should pre-heat the slow cooker and just not stick it in immediately like many of us do with most slow cooker cooking.

How to make crockpot whole chicken in the slow cooker

Safety instructions when making crockpot whole chicken:

  • The reason for preheating the slow cooker is because according to the USDA, you want to get the temperature of the cooker up quickly so that it doesn’t take a long period of time for it to heat, thus giving it a chance to grow unhealthy bacteria.
  • DO NOT let the chicken cool down in the slow cooker. Take the chicken out of the cooker immediately and serve, or you can cut it up into pieces to use for other dishes later.
  • DO NOT cook a chicken in the slow cooker from frozen. ALWAYS start with a thawed chicken.
  • DO NOT cook a chicken that is stuffed.
How to safely cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker

Yet what about washing, seasoning and cook time for slow cooker whole chickens?

Read and print the card below, soon it’ll become second nature yet for the first few times, having this handy will be a great {and safe} thing!

whole chicken slow cooker instructions. How to wash, dry, season and cook safely

How often do you cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker?

instructions to make whole chicken in the slow cooker
whole chicken slow cooker instructions. How to wash, dry, season and cook safely

How to Cook Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours 50 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours

Step by step instructions on How to Cook a Chicken in the Slow Cooker, including washing, drying, seasoning, and safety tips to follow. Steps to make the best crockpot whole chicken! 

Ingredients

  • 1 4-5 lb Whole Chicken
  • Spices as desired {I use salt, pepper, garlic, onion, thyme, and poultry seasoning}
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Water or bouillon

Instructions

  1. With clean hands, inspect the chicken for any pin feathers still left on from processing. The color of the skin can range from a white to a light pale yellow color and check for any unpleasant smell. Also, check inside the chicken cavity to be sure there was nothing left behind during processing.
  2. Run the chicken under cool water, being sure to rinse the inside cavity as well. Rinse under the wings and the top where the neck bone was. You can take an extra sanitary step if you wish, by squeezing fresh lemon juice or vinegar over the surface skin and inside cavity. If you do this, be sure to rinse it well. 
  3. Bring the chicken to a plastic cutting board and pat dry with kitchen towel. Be sure to lightly dry the inside as well. 
  4. Wash your hands with warm soapy water before you begin to handle spice and seasoning jars. 
  5. Preheat the slow cooker by turning it on its HIGH setting approximately 20 minutes before you plan on cooking the chicken. 
  6. Begin to season your chicken with any seasoning that you prefer. Be sure to liberally season the inside cavity of the chicken as well.
  7. Add the water or bouillon to the bottom of the slow cooker bowl. Place your chicken in the slow cooker. Inspect the chicken and how it’s fitting in the bowl,. If the it’s is too large for the size of the slow cooker bowl, if you have to squish the chicken inside, or the lid doesn’t close properly, the cooker is too small and I suggest to oven bake it at this time. 
  8. Leave it on the high setting for the first hour or so of cooking, and then you can safely turn it to low.
  9. Depending on the size of your slow cooker, you will want to consult the manual at this point for its recommended cooking times, according to the size of the chicken you are roasting. If it says to cook the bird for approximately 6 – 7 hours then do so, but it’s also wise to have a meat thermometer ready to take the reading of the bird. When it reaches 165 degrees it is safely cooked. 

Notes

  • The reason for preheating the slow cooker is because according to the USDA, you want to get the temperature of the cooker up quickly so that it doesn’t take a long period of time for it to heat, thus giving it a chance to grow unhealthy bacteria.
  • DO NOT let the chicken cool down in the slow cooker. Take the chicken out of the cooker immediately and serve, or you can cut it up into pieces to use for other dishes later.
  • DO NOT cook a chicken in the slow cooker from frozen. ALWAYS start with a thawed chicken.
  • DO NOT cook a chicken that is stuffed.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 50Cholesterol: 25mgSodium: 143mgProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

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8 Comments

  1. Have never really though about doing a whole chicken in the slow cooker but I am definitely going to give it a try, thanks for the recipe.

  2. I like to finish my chicken off by putting it under the broiler just to brown up the skin, but the slow cooker does leave the chicken nice and juicy!!

  3. I have never cooked a chicken in my slow cooker but I may try it, using your sensible tips for cleaning and preparing. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  4. I do this all the time, but especially at Christmas! We aren’t big fans of turkey and the chicken is just enough meat for us also leaving leftovers for next day.

  5. I love cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker. It always comes out moist and juicy. Thank you for the tip of heating up the slow cooker before putting the chicken in – had never thought to do that! I have one thawing right now in fridge for the slow cooker tomorrow – cannot wait!!

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