Juicy Slow Cooker Whole Chicken (Easy How to Recipe)

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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! In my opinion, this is the best way to make a complete meal fast! Learn how to make tender juicy chicken in the crock pot! 

slicing slow cooked whole chicken


Are you a fan of meal prepping? This whole chicken slow cooker recipe is an easy way to prepare enough meat for several days of lunches or dinners — all in one go!

I love that this recipe uses simple ingredients and only takes a little effort to make.

You can quickly cook the entire chicken in the slow cooker and have a huge meal to feed the whole family. 

While I’m a fan of store-bought rotisserie chicken, making a cooked chicken this way saves money and creates a truly easy dinner idea.

The best part? Once you have all the cooked chicken meat, you can use it for so many other recipes! 

overhead: uncooked chicken next to bowls of butter and seasoning

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

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.

metal rack inside of crock pot

Tips for Making Whole Chicken In Slow Cooker

  • 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 work with this whole chicken slow cooker recipe, 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! As soon as the whole chicken in crock pot reaches 165°F, be sure to remove it. 

    Insert the thermometer into several different spots, avoiding the bones, 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.

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 your slow cooker whole chicken 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

What to Serve With Crock Pot Whole Chicken

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 – mashedbaked, 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 souppasta, or a comforting casserole. You can even whip up an easy chicken salad for lunch!

seasoned whole chicken in slow cooker surrounded by lemon and herbs

FAQ‌ ‌-‌ ‌Common‌ ‌Recipe‌ ‌Questions‌ ‌

Do I need to thaw whole chicken before cooking?

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 before cooking whole chicken in the slow cooker.

  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.

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.

What are ways that I can use leftovers of this easy slow cooker meal? 

This slow cooker roast chicken is perfect for using leftovers. A great way to use this slow cooker chicken is to store the leftover chicken in the fridge and plan out your meals for the week. 

You can use shredded chicken to make tacos, BBQ chicken sandwiches, and more. Add a bit of cayenne pepper or chili powder to the leftovers to enjoy them as a spicy meal for the next day. 

How do I know when the chicken is fully cooked? 

You can insert the tip of the instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Be sure to keep it away from the bone so that it doesn’t get a false reading. 

The internal temperature of this easy recipe should be at least 165 degrees. 

Once the cooking time has passed and the internal temperature has been met, you can serve and enjoy any way that you would like. Top with fresh herbs, pair with root vegetables, or just enjoy the flavor of this great recipe as it is. 

I always do let the chicken rest for a few minutes because chicken recipes that rest tend to be juicier. 

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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slicing slow cooker whole chicken

slicing roasted white meat

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 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
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, updated and republished February 2024

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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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