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You’re going to want to know how to cook a whole chicken in a Crock Pot slow cooker! There are many reasons to do it, but my biggest ones are: it’s EASY, it doesn’t take up room in your oven, and this Crock Pot whole chicken recipe turns out perfectly juicy every single time.
Whether it’s a slow Sunday evening, a busy weeknight, or even a holiday table spread, make this slow cooker whole chicken anytime you need a comforting meal with very little effort. If you prefer to use your oven, this spatchcock chicken recipe is just as easy! Or for an even easier recipe, try my air fryer honey sriracha chicken.
You may have noticed that I’ve had a lot of low carb Crock Pot recipes on the blog lately. It’s because I’m obsessed with my new 7-QT Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Easy Clean Slow Cooker! I love the 30-minute time increments, the easy-to-clean ceramic interior coating, the spacious size, and the convenient handles that let me take it anywhere.
I made keto taco casserole in it a few weeks ago, and today I’ll show you how to make Crock Pot whole chicken with it! It’s super quick and easy.
Can I Cook A Whole Chicken In The Slow Cooker?
Yes, absolutely! And, I’m going to show you the best method for how to cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker.
This recipe for cooking a whole chicken in a Crock Pot slow cooker is wonderful for many reasons:
- First, and possibly most important, you’ll end up with a really juicy chicken!
- It’s easy to make, without any complicated steps.
- It uses common ingredients you can find at any grocery store, and might even have already.
- Once you get it started, it’s very hands-off. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
- It’s both fancy enough for a special meal, and simple enough for a weeknight chicken dinner.
How To Cook A Whole Chicken In A Crock Pot Slow Cooker
I’ll show you exactly how to cook a whole chicken in a Crock Pot. (Hint: it’s easy!)
- Make garlic herb butter. I think the best whole chicken crock pot recipes are made with herbs, so we’re packing them in here! Mash together butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, salt, paprika, and pepper. This is one of my favorite compound butter recipes, but you can use other combos, too.
TIP: If your butter isn’t very soft, first soften it by placing it into a small bowl over a second bowl of warm water. Soft butter will be easier to spread. You want it looking as soft as the picture below.
- Make a bed of onions for the chicken to rest on. You want large pieces, so that they elevate the chicken while it cooks.
- Dry off chicken. Using paper towels, pat the chicken so that it’s very dry inside and out. This helps the herb butter stick!
- Rub chicken with herb butter. We want this butter everywhere, so use your hands to rub half of the garlic herb butter all over underneath the skin. Rub the rest of the butter all over the top and sides of the chicken.
- Stuff the chicken. Stuff the rest of the garlic, rosemary, and thyme right into the cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
- Cook the slow cooker whole chicken. Place the chicken over the onions, cover, and cook for several hours.
TIP: Check my recommendations for how long to cook whole chicken in a Crock Pot below! Both High or Low settings will work, with different times.
- Crisp the skin. Crispy whole chicken in a Crock Pot slow cooker isn’t possible on its own, but is easy to finish under the broiler! This is an optional step, but highly recommended. Simply broil the chicken for 4-6 minutes, until the skin is slightly crispy.
TIP: The broiler can burn the garlic butter on the chicken pretty quickly, so watch it carefully. Each minute makes a difference!
- Let the chicken rest. This is important for extra juicy slow cooker whole chicken!
How Long To Cook Whole Chicken In A Crock Pot
When you’re trying to determine the whole chicken in Crock Pot time, it’s important to look at the internal temperature, which you want to reach at least 160 degrees F.
Note: This is lower than the general poultry recommendation of 165 degrees F. This is because the internal temperature of the slow cooker whole chicken will continue to rise a bit after it’s done cooking. And, we’re also broiling it for a few minutes to get the skin crispy! It will definitely get to 165 degrees before you eat it.
Generally speaking though, depending on your chicken size, it will take about:
- 5-8 hours on Low… OR…
- 3-5 hours on High
Can You Make Frozen Whole Chicken In A Crock Pot Slow Cooker?
There is some disagreement on whether you can cook frozen whole chicken in a slow cooker.
Poultry manufacturers say it’s okay, but the USDA recommends thawing poultry before placing it in a slow cooker. The reason is that frozen chicken might spend too much time in the temperature “danger zone” between 40 and 140 degrees, where bacteria may grow quickly. Technically the bacteria should die once the chicken reaches the safe temperature of 165 degrees F, but may leave behind some toxins.
Just in case, I recommend listening to the USDA and thawing your frozen chicken before placing it in the Crock-Pot slow cooker. It’s easy to do overnight in the fridge!
But, if you choose to cook frozen whole chicken in the slow cooker anyway, make sure to increase the cook time.
TIP: Frozen whole chicken cook time in the slow cooker is 8-10 hours on Low.
How To Store Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
You may find yourself with some leftovers with this Crock Pot whole chicken recipe! (And if you manage to have any leftovers you should feel really, really happy about it. I like using them for completely new dishes like buffalo chicken salad!)
It’s easy to store the chicken in a way that will keep it nice and juicy. You can keep the chicken on the bone, or to make it easier, I like to gently remove the chicken from the bones (this should be easy as the meat is very tender) and then place the meat in an airtight container. Then, top with the broth and refrigerate.
TIP: If some of the broth mixture solidifies, simply reheat it – this is collagen! No need to get rid of it. Use it with the chicken to keep it juicy, or save it for broth.
Can You Freeze Crock Pot Chicken?
Yes, you can freeze slow cooker chicken. Whole chicken slow cooker recipes are great because they are so easy to put together, don’t need any babysitting, and can also be frozen for later once cooked.
After the slow cooker whole roast chicken is done cooking, let it cool so that you can remove the meat from the bones. Then pull off the meat and place in a glass or freezer-safe container. Top with some of the broth to keep it moist, cool completely, then freeze.
Thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat until hot in the microwave or oven.
What To Serve With Crock Pot Whole Roasted Chicken
Crock Pot whole roasted chicken needs just one (or two!) more things… some delicious low carb sides to go along with it. Here are some favorites to try:
- Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole – If there ever was a more perfect match, I don’t know about it. Sunday dinner anyone?
- Sauteed Broccoli – Simple, tasty, and totally versatile, this broccoli side is the perfect green partner to my Crock Pot whole chicken recipe.
- Italian Marinated Salad – If you’re looking for a fresh side idea, this one is great with chicken!
- Roasted Cauliflower – Roast up some cauliflower to serve alongside your chicken.
- Oven Roasted Vegetables – There’s no more perfect pairing than slow cooker whole chicken and vegetables! And, if you want a faster method, try sauteed vegetables instead.
And when you want a faster way to cook a whole chicken, try this air fryer chicken recipe instead.
Tools To Make Crock-Pot Whole Chicken
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- 7 QT Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Easy Clean Slow Cooker – The more I use this new slow cooker, the more I love it! And you definitely need it to make this Crock Pot whole chicken recipe. 😉
Crock Pot Whole Chicken Recipe With Garlic Herb Butter
Crock Pot Whole Chicken Recipe With Garlic Herb Butter
This Crock Pot whole chicken recipe is EASY and slow cooker whole chicken turns out JUICY every time! Just 15 minutes to prep.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry inside and out. This will help the herb butter stick better. (For food safety reasons, it's better NOT to rinse it.)
Grease the bottom of a Crock Pot with more butter. Place the onion pieces inside. (The onion will help keep the chicken raised.) Place the whole chicken, breast side up, on top of the onions.
Starting from the cavity side of the chicken, gently insert your hands underneath the skin to separate the skin from the meat, including the breast, thighs and legs. Be careful not to tear the skin it.
In a small bowl, mash together the butter, 4 cloves minced garlic, 6 sprigs chopped thyme, 2 sprigs chopped rosemary, chopped parsley, salt, paprika, and pepper.
Use your hands to rub half the garlic herb butter all over underneath the skin. Rub the remaining butter all over the top and sides of the chicken. (If your butter is not super soft, first soften it by placing it into a small bowl over a second bowl of warm water. Very soft butter will be easier to spread!)
Stuff the remaining whole garlic cloves (6-10 cloves), remaining 2 whole rosemary sprigs, and remaining 6 whole thyme sprigs inside the chicken cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. If necessary, reposition the chicken and onions so that the chicken is sitting on top and the onions are elevating the chicken.
Cover and cook whole chicken in the Crock Pot for 5-8 hours on Low or 3-5 hours on High, until the internal temperature reaches at least 160 degrees (72 degrees C) inside (it will rise another 5 degrees during broiling and resting). If your garlic butter didn't spread well in the beginning, you can lift the lid about an hour into cooking and use a pastry brush to spread the herb butter more evenly over the top and sides of the chicken. (Don't use melted butter from the beginning because it will all drip off the chicken too fast.)
When the chicken is done, discard the onions but save the liquid below, which you can use as chicken broth in recipes!
Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes on a platter before carving.
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Serving size: 1/6 of the chicken, or approximately 8 ounces without bones
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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