Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

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Slow cooker whole chicken comes out perfectly tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Broil it just before serving for deliciously crispy skin!

This crock pot whole chicken recipe is a homemade alternative to storebought rotisserie birds.

It’s got all of the flavor without any fillers or additives, and you can choose the appropriate size based on how many people you need to feed.

Prefer to use a smoker or air fryer instead? I’ve got you covered! No matter how you prepare your bird, you’ll never want to go back to store bought again.

slicing slow cooked whole chicken

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken – Tips and Tricks

  • Use a rack. This helps the underside of the bird stay intact and keeps it from boiling in its own juices. I used the trivet from an Instant Pot, but you can form a ring with crumpled aluminum foil instead.
  • Adjust the spices. Any combination of dried herbs and spices will do, even your favorite dry rub! Try different blends depending on your side dishes and work them into every part of the meat so it’s full of flavor.
  • Check the internal temp. Overcooking will result in dry meat, so be sure to pull it as soon as it reaches 165°F. Insert the thermometer into several different spots to ensure that’s it’s done.
  • Don’t want to broil? That’s fine! It isn’t necessary, but it does crisp the skin and give the bird a nice golden color.
overhead: uncooked chicken next to bowls of butter and seasoning

Serving Suggestions

There isn’t much that doesn’t taste great with slow cooker whole chicken. Add a simple green salad and some roasted veggies or make potatoes in a variety of ways – mashed, baked, or as crispy fries!

Pasta salads can chill while the bird is cooking, and little ones won’t turn down a side of colorful fruit.

If you’ve got leftovers, use the shredded meat for soup, pasta, or a comforting casserole. You can even whip up an easy chicken salad for lunch!

metal rack inside of crock pot

Kitchen‌ ‌Tools‌ ‌You‌ ‌Will‌ ‌Need‌

  • Crockpot – Great for soups, roasts, shredded meats, and more! I love it in the cooler months, but it’s also great in the summer when you don’t want to heat up the whole house with the oven.
  • Small Baking Sheet if you want to broil it before serving.
  • Digital meat thermometer – The easiest way to check the temp on the bird. Not only will you know when it’s safe to eat, but you can make sure it’s not overcooked and dried out as well.
whole chicken with seasoning in crock pot

FAQ‌ ‌-‌ ‌Common‌ ‌Recipe‌ ‌Questions‌ ‌

Do I need to thaw it first?

Yes – if your bird is frozen, defrost it in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow you to properly clean it and remove the giblets from the middle cavity.

Is it safe to cook a whole chicken in the crockpot?

It is safe, but only if you cook it on High for at least the first hour. The appliance doesn’t heat quickly enough on Low alone to meet food safety standards.

crock pot whole chicken finished with herbs

How long do leftovers last in the refrigerator?

Unless you’re feeding a large group, this slow cooker whole chicken should be able to stretch for another meal or two.

Remove all of the meat from the bones and store it in an airtight container. It will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or up to 4 months in the freezer.


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slicing slow cooker whole chicken

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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

Donna Elick
Slow cooker whole chicken comes out perfectly tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Broil it just before serving for deliciously crispy skin!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Slow Cooker
Servings 5 – 7


  • 1 whole chicken, about 5 pounds, be sure it will fit in your slow cooker
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper


  • Clean chicken, remove giblets and neck, rinse bird and pat dry.
  • Place chicken on a raised rack (I use the rack from my instant pot, but you make a rack with some crumpled aluminum foil shaped into a ring).
  • Spread melted butter over the entire outside of the chicken (top and bottom) as well as inside the cavities.
  • Stir together thyme, garlic salt, onion flakes, paprika, and pepper until combined.
  • Sprinkle spice and herb mixture over the chicken and then use your hands to rub the mixture over the entire outside of the chicken, as well as inside the cavities.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and program to cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Test the temperature between the leg and the breast occasionally so that you do not overcook. Internal temp should reach 165°F.
  • Lift cooked chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a baking sheet. Broil for 2-3 minutes or to achieve desired browning and crisp on the skin.

Donna’s Notes

Chicken should be thawed so that you can properly remove giblets and clean chicken.
Broiling isn’t necessary, but it gives the chicken some nice golden color and makes the skin crispy.
You can substitute a cooking oil for the butter, but the butter adds some nice flavor and also contributes to a flavorful gravy if you want to use the drippings in the bottom of the slow cooker to make gravy.
Lifting the chicken up onto a rack while cooking keeps the chicken from boiling in its own juices. It also helps the underside of the chicken stay intact.
Overcooking will dry out your chicken. 165°F is the proper temperature to reach. Check the chicken’s internal temp in several spots to make sure it is done.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 413cal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 1110mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled pinterest collage for crockpot chicken recipe

Originally published November 2021

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  1. 5 stars
    The chicken came out so moist and tender, I was so pleasantly surprised. A great method for cooking a whole chicken.

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