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Crock Pot Whole Chicken

This Crock Pot Whole Chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender, mouthwatering, and so easy. You won’t believe this rotisserie style chicken came out of your slow cooker. Prep it in advance for easy weeknight meals.

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken
Crock Pot Whole Chicken is immensely tender and flavorful

crock pot whole chicken

Many busy home cooks love the ease of rotisserie chickens fresh from the store at 5pm on a Monday night. We sometimes reach for those ourselves, as we’re fanatical about transforming rotisserie chicken into easy meals like this Mexican Chicken Stew or  Tex Mex Chicken Burrito Bowl.

But if you can plan a bit on Sunday night and prep your own whole chicken for the Crock Pot, there is no store-bought rotisserie chicken that will match yours.

We’re talking SO tender, you’ll have to transfer the bird delicately from slow cooker to platter so it stays in one piece. No knife needed.

Why You’ll Love this slow cooker chicken

  • It’s extremely budget-friendly. When whole chickens go on sale, grab a couple.
  • Whole chickens in vacuum sealed packaging can last a long time in the freezer.
  • It’s unbelievably tender and flavorful; way better than store-prepared chicken.
  • It’s easily prepared the night before, completely in advance.
  • The juices create a savory, succulent sauce to pour over rice or potatoes.
Slow Cooker Roast Chicken 2
Crock Pot Whole Chicken is perfect for meal prep

Prep Crock Pot Chicken in Advance

  • If your whole chicken is frozen, keep in mind that it can take 2-3 days to safely defrost it in the fridge. Start defrosting a few days before you intend to use it.
  • Alternatively, you can fully submerge vacuum-sealed frozen whole chicken in a cool water bath. This cuts defrosting time down to a few hours.
  • Spices and dry seasonings can be pre-mixed well in advance.
  • Fully season whole chicken according to recipe instructions and place in Crock Pot, cover, and chill overnight or even up to 2 nights. That way, all you have to do the next day is set it and forget it.
  • Leftover cooked chicken can be shredded and frozen airtight for future meals such as this One Pot Gnocchi with Spinach and Chicken or this super easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole with Rice.
Slow Cooker Roast Chicken 4
This Crock Pot Whole Chicken naturally produces plenty of succulent sauce

Crock Pot whole Chicken
Commonly Asked Questions

How long does it take to cook raw chicken in the Crock Pot?

A large whole chicken about 5 pounds, takes 5-6 hours on low heat.

Do you need to add liquid to chicken in the Crock Pot?

You actually do not need to add any liquid. As the chicken slow-cooks, it produces its own juices.

Should you cook chicken on high or low heat setting in the slow cooker?

We always prefer low setting, as it’s much more forgiving in the case you accidentally cook a bit longer than needed.

How do you know when Crock Pot Chicken is done?

Though 5-6 hours is plenty of time to fully cook a large chicken, you can be sure by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone. It should read 160-165F.

More to cook and eat:

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Crock Pot Whole Chicken

4.9 from 10 reviews

Crock Pot Whole Chicken is even better than store bought rotisserie chickens! It’s fall-off-the-bone tender, juicy, and supremely flavorful. The seasoning is spectacular.

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large (5-6 lbs) whole chicken
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare Chicken: Place chopped onion on bottom slow cooker. Remove giblets from chicken and towel dry entire chicken well, both inside and out – this step is important to ensure chicken doesn’t turn out “watery.” Using your fingers, gently pry the skin away from the chicken all around, so you’ll be able to season chicken underneath skin.
  2. Combine Spices (can be done in advance:) In a small bowl, combine all the spices, from salt to black pepper. Mix well. Use your hands to evenly spread two-thirds of the spice mixture onto chicken, underneath the skin. Be sure to include all areas of chicken (legs, back, thighs, etc.) Use remaining spice mixture to spread on top of skin. Place seasoned chicken on top of chopped onion in slow cooker. Cover and keep chilled overnight.
  3. Cook: When ready to cook, turn slow cooker on Low for 5-6 hours only. Keep on warm until ready to serve.

Notes

If you’re using a smaller chicken, adjust for less salt.

This dish is delicious over fluffy rice or potatoes so you can fully enjoy the sauce.

For best results, allow chicken to sit in seasoning overnight. I simply prepare the entire thing overnight and turn Crock Pot on the next day!

If you’d like more browning on top, place cooked chicken on a sheet pan and broil for 5 minutes or so, watching carefully not to burn.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating 🙂

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 192
  • Sugar: 0.9 g
  • Sodium: 954 mg
  • Fat: 7.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.1 g
  • Fiber: 0.8 g
  • Protein: 27.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 80.2 mg
  • Author: Amy | Chew Out Loud
  • Category: dinner, main
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: slow cooker roast chicken, slow cooker whole chicken

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Recipe rating

25 comments

    • Aya

    I love a recipe that you can prep in advance! This one turned out great, and the chicken was so tender and delicious!

      • Amy Dong

      SO glad you guys loved it!

    • Leslie

    Cooking a chicken in the slow cooker is a game changer! This will be a regular recipe in my house!

    • Tammy

    Oh your chicken is gorgeous! So flavorful and juicy…I love how easy this recipe is!

    • Jessica

    This chicken is so well seasoned and the meat so very tender. My family loved it and asked that I make it again soon. I will most definitely be doing so.

      • Amy Dong

      So happy your family enjoyed this!

    • Mikayla

    After my weekend shopping I opted to not freeze my chicken but prep for the crock pot. Delicious aroma and flavor. Perfect for work week lunches.

      • Amy Dong

      So glad you liked this!

    • silvia

    I love easy recipes, and this is one of them. This chicken is so tender and moist. Nothing like putting all the ingredients together and allowing the slow cooker to do all the work for us.

    • Freya

    Delicious! The crock pot is such a miracle worker!

    • Megan

    Yes! This recipe is the bomb! So easy and delicious. Thanks for another great recipe to make me look like a star!

      • Amy Dong

      SO glad you guys liked this, Megan!

    • Jeannie R Merino

    LOOKS VERY DELICIOUS! PLANNING ON TRYING THIS!

    • Heather

    Love that I can do this in my slow cooker! Game changer. And the seasoning looks delicious!

    • Chet Marinduque

    hi! i’m planning to try this recipe over the weekend. do i need to adjust or add to the cooking time if i use 2 whole chickens?

    thanks! i’ll let you know how it turns out!

      • chewoutloud

      I’m thinking you can try it with original time and just check to see if it’s to your desired doneness. Add time if you need at that point. Happy cooking! 🙂

        • Chet Marinduque

        Hi! Finally tried out the recipe. It is so yummy. Chicken is super tender and moist. I planned on cooking 2 chickens but they won’t fit in the cooker so i ended up cooking one. Will cook the other one tomorrow and bring it over to my mom’s house for Sunday dinner. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Will try out your other recipes soon.

        Thank you very much!

          • chewoutloud

          Thanks for coming over and letting us know you liked this!! Yay

    • Augie

    Since there’s no liquid included in the recipe may I assume the liquid in photo is from chicken

    • nhrachik

    I’d like to know how you got the beautiful color on the chicken, is it mostly due to the seasonings? I will be making this soon!!! Thanks!

      • chewoutloud

      Yes, I put the seasonings under the skin and then save enough to spread on top of the chicken as well, over the skin to get that nice color. If need be, take your cooked chicken and broil for 5 minutes or so to get a deeper brown. It tastes great, even if you don’t do that 🙂 Enjoy and so glad you came over today 🙂

    • Quilter Mom

    I’m assuming I should bring the crock pot back to room temperature before starting the cooking process? I have broken a crock before by putting directly from the refrigerator back into its shell to cook.

      • chewoutloud

      I typically go straight from fridge to turning it on low temp; but if you’ve broken a pot before, then you could definitely let it sit out for a bit before turning it on. Enjoy! 🙂

    • Liz

    Thank you or the nice recipes.

      • Burt

      5 hours on slow cooker low was too long. It fell off the bones to the point that it was not possible to tell the leg/thigh from the breast! Tasty and most definitely moist…

      Next time I will try 3 hours. Best to have some bone attached.

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