Slow Cooker Whole Chicken


  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) whole chicken
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  • 6-quart slow cooker or larger
  • Metal trivet or aluminum foil


  1. Create a base in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place a small metal rack, heatproof trivet, or three balls of aluminum foil (each about 3 inches wide) in the bowl of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. This is the base that the chicken will sit on top of during cooking.
    Remove the giblets. Reach inside the cavity of the chicken and remove the bag of giblets (if you can’t find them, check in the neck cavity). Discard them, or save to make stock or gravy later on.
  2. Pat the chicken dry. Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry. Make sure to absorb any liquid behind the wings or legs. Blot inside the body cavity to get the chicken as dry as possible.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the chicken all over with the salt and pepper.
  4. Place the chicken, breast-side up, in the slow cooker. Place the whole chicken, breast-side up, on top of the trivet or balls of aluminum foil so that it’s not sitting on the bottom of the slow cooker. Keep the chicken in the center of the slow cooker as much as possible.
  5. Cook the chicken. Cover the slow cooker and cook on the HIGH setting for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours or on the LOW setting for 4 to 5 hours. The exact cooking time will depend on the size and type of your chicken.
  6. Check the chicken. The chicken is done when it registers 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh, when the wings and legs wiggle loosely, and when the juices run clear.
  7. Broil for crispy skin. For extra-crispy skin, carefully transfer the chicken to a rimmed baking sheet, oven-safe skillet, or large baking dish and place in the oven. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes — just until the skin reaches your desired level of crispiness.
  8. Rest the chicken for 15 minutes. Once the chicken has finished cooking, transfer it to a clean cutting board. Let it rest for about 15 minutes before carving.

Recipe Notes

If not used immediately, store the cooked chicken in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days, or the freezer for up to 3 months.

From Kitchn.

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