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Crockpot Whole Chicken

Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker from TheLittleKitchen.net

This recipe for crockpot whole chicken is a wonderful recipe to make during the week or a weekend meal. It's really easy to put together with spices along with vegetables. We have made this recipe for slow cooker whole chicken and vegetables over and over again!

Crockpot Whole Chicken in a baking dish

This recipe was originally published in February 2011. I just updated the photos and added some recipe notes based on the many comments and questions I have received over the years. This recipe is a family favorite of ours and I hope you'll enjoy it if you try it!

My friend piqued my curiosity when she told me about her co-worker bringing in a slow cooker to work making crockpot whole chicken it for an entire day.

She often brought her crockpot in with some kind of concoction so she could bring dinner over to her friend's house who was going through chemotherapy treatment.

What a great friend, I'm sure her friend appreciated it. My friend told me their office often smelled really good during these days.

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken in a blue baking dish(Original photo this recipe was posted with in February 2011)

So when I was on the hunt for a chicken slow cooker recipe, I googled and found this one.

Why I love this recipe for Crockpot Whole Chicken

It's incredibly simple and the chicken goes into the crockpot in minutes. I added my own twist to it and guess what? The chicken is wonderfully moist and it's very simple.

After the chicken is done, you can put it in your broiler to crisp up the skin.

Carving the chicken is so easy because it just wants to fall apart. The breast comes right off the bone and is very easy to cut up. The chicken is really tender and flavorful and much easier than roasting a chicken in the oven.

I use a 3.5 to 4.5 pound chicken and it fits just fine in my slow cooker. I added the carrots and vegetables and the chicken rests nicely on them. Also, I added garlic and lemon.

My favorite roast chicken recipe calls for garlic and lemon inside the chicken so I do the same when I make it in the crockpot.

This makes a wonderfully easy meal you can serve with mashed potatoes or rice and your favorite vegetable alongside the carrots and celery if you wish. And  I make chicken pot pies with the leftover chicken.

The Best Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker Recipe from thelittlekitchen.net
Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker from TheLittleKitchen.net

Can I roast a chicken in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can totally cook a whole chicken in a crock pot. I use a 4 lb chicken in the crockpot. It's really easy to prep and honestly, I don't even bother roasting chicken in an oven anymore!

After the chicken is done in the slow cooker, I crispy the skin in my oven broiler so it's a slow cooker roast chicken with crispy skin!

If you want to roast a turkey as well, you can try this crockpot turkey recipe. If you still want to roast a chicken in the oven, try this recipe for perfect roast chicken.

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot

Using the ingredients listed below for my crockpot whole chicken recipe, you want to rub garlic on the outside of the chicken. Then, put the spices on the outside and inside of the chicken.

Add a cut up lemon inside the cavity of the chicken and then lay the chicken on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker. Cover the slow cooker.

Crockpot Whole Chicken Ingredients

How long to cook chicken in a crock pot?

It will take four to eight hours on low to cook a whole chicken in a crock pot. It really depends on the size of your chicken. When I made a 4 pound chicken, it took about 6 hours.

Do I need to add water when making crockpot whole chicken?

There's no need to add water when making my recipe for slow cooker whole chicken because when the chicken is cooking in the crock pot, it creates a broth. Definitely use that broth to flavor the meat and keep it moist for when you save it for leftovers.

Can you cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker from frozen?

No, you shouldn't put a frozen chicken into a crock pot. If you want to use my recipe for crockpot whole chicken, you'll want to fully defrost the chicken first. But you can roast chicken from frozen.

Carrots, Celery and Onions in a slow cooker

Let me show you the step by step for making crockpot whole chicken

I put the vegetables in the slow cooker first. Then, prep the chicken.

whole chicken on a cutting board with garlic

Pat your chicken dry with a clean paper towel. Rub the outside of the chicken with garlic and place the garlic inside.

Fold the wings back below the chicken.

whole chicken on a cutting board with spice rub and stuffed with lemon

Add the rub to the outside and inside of the chicken. And place the lemon quarters inside.

I try to put the insides of the lemons up against the insides of the chicken, see how the outsides of the lemon quarters are touching?

whole chicken tied with kitchen twine on a cutting board

Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen twine.

whole chicken with spices placed on top of vegetables in a slow cooker

When making this slow cooker whole chicken recipe, place the chicken on top of the vegetables. This creates the best cooking situation for the chicken.

Cooking a whole chicken inside of the slow cooker creates a lot of broth and resting the chicken on top of veggies keeps the chicken from failing apart too much.

I use turkey lifters to remove the chicken from the crockpot carefully.

Crockpot Whole Chicken in a baking dish horizontal

Place chicken in an oven safe dish or roasting pan & in the broiler for just about 4-5 minutes.

But it's inevitable, the chicken does fall apart a little bit. The meat is so moist and tender and it's honestly, the only way we make a roast chicken these days!

Crockpot Whole Chicken Video

I show you how easy it is to put the slow cooker whole chicken recipe together in this video below.

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Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker from TheLittleKitchen.net
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Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker Recipe

It's incredibly simple and the whole chicken goes into the crockpot in minutes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings


Rub Ingredients for the Chicken

  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Crockpot

  • 1 cup chopped onion approx 1 medium to large onion
  • 4 to 5 carrots scrubbed, no need to peel, chopped in halves or thirds
  • 4 celery stalks cut in thirds
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 1 whole lemon quartered
  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds whole chicken


  • Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Prep the vegetables and place inside the slow cooker (I use a 7 quart oval one like this one.)
  • Remove chicken from packaging and remove neck and pouch with organs. Discard or reserve for later use in another recipe. Pat your chicken dry with clean paper towels.
  • Rub garlic all over outside of the chicken. Put garlic inside the chicken. Put the rub all over the outside and inside the chicken. Add quartered lemon to the inside of the chicken.
  • Place chicken on top of the vegetables. Cover slow cooker and cook chicken on low for 4-8 hours. (When I used a 4 lb chicken, it took about 6 hours. The time will depend on the size of the chicken and your slow cooker.) Cook until the internal temperature of the leg is at 160 degrees F or use a pop-up thermometer as the original recipe calls for.
  • Remove chicken and place in a 9x13 glass or ceramic baking dish. Place baking dish in the oven under the broiler for about 4-5 minutes. Allow chicken to rest after removing it from the broiler for 5-10 minutes.


Frequently asked questions:
Do I need to add water to the crockpot?
Nope no water needed. This recipe actually makes broth while it's cooking the chicken. You can strain it and use it for a later recipe if you want!
How do I get the skin crispy?
After it's done in the crockpot, see the instructions in the recipe to crisp up the skin in your oven broiler.
Can I cook this recipe skinless?
I have never tried it but I have seen other bloggers post a recipe where they did it. If you want to, definitely try it! I can't guarantee it will turn out the same as with the skin (moist and tender) since I haven't tried it myself.
Can I make this recipe with a frozen chicken?
I wouldn't do this. Be sure to thaw your chicken first and then place it in the your crockpot using the instructions above.
Modified and adapted from food.com.

I have made this recipe so many times now that I can't even count. It seriously is the best recipe for making slow cooker whole chicken! I can't believe it's taken me this long to blog about it. I even make chicken pot pies with the leftovers!

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More Crockpot Whole Chicken Recipes

Lemon Pepper Roast Chicken in a Slow Cooker

Other Slow Cooker Recipes

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Buffalo Chicken Dip
Pulled Pork Sliders 
Slow Cooker Ham
Free Slow Cooker Recipes eBook 
Kale Soup Crock Pot
Crockpot Spinach Dip 

kitchen supplies for whole chicken in a slow cooker

Crock-Pot 7 Quart Slow Cooker Glass Prep Bowls Anchor Hocking glass baking dish Turkey Lifters OXO Fat Separator Italian Bakers Carving Knives Image Map

Tools I use to make Crockpot Whole Chicken:

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post – that means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I make enough for a cup of coffee or two. Thanks!

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