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What could be easier than an Easy Slow Cooker Whole Chicken during a busy weeknight? Juicy and so tasty, you put it in your crockpot in the morning and come home to dinner on the table!
Two ingredients, plus salt and pepper, and dinner is ready! The added bonus is your house will smell amazing and you’ll only have one pot to clean!
Can you put a whole chicken in a slow cooker?
YES! My slow cooker is on the larger side because I love making large amounts of brisket in one sitting, but even a smaller size slow cooker will fit a whole chicken as well.
I went with a 7 lb. bird in my 7-Qt slow cooker, so just adjust the size of your chicken as necessary if your slow cooker is smaller.
I used to be intimidated by the thought of cooking a whole chicken, but this slow cooker whole chicken recipe makes it so easy. And who doesn’t love easy?
Ingredients for Easy Crockpot Whole Chicken
- 7 lb. whole chicken
- 2 lemons, halved
- salt & pepper to taste
How to Make Chicken in a Slow Cooker
One of the important first steps in making this Slow Cooker Whole Chicken recipe is to make sure your chicken isn’t touching the bottom of your slow cooker.
The chicken will release lots of juices during the cooking, and you want the chicken to sit above them. I like to make a rack with 2 or 3 clumps of aluminum foil to keep the chicken about one inch off of the slow cooker.
Instructions on slow cooking a whole chicken:
- Remove the inside parts of the chicken and dispose of them.
- Fill the cavity with lemon halves.
- Pat the outside of the chicken dry with a paper towel before adding a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Prepare your slow cooker by adding a makeshift rack with aluminum foil to keep the chicken one inch off of the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Place chicken in the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers at 165°F.
- Remove from the slow cooker, place chicken on a baking sheet and broil for 5-10 minutes until the skin is nice and crispy.
- Serve warm.
The lemon in my slow cooker whole chicken recipe is optional but highly encouraged. One of the best parts of this chicken (and I can’t say this enough) is how EASY it is!
How long does it take to cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker?
A 7 lb. chicken usually takes about 3.5 hours. A safe estimate is 3 to 4 hours, but you’ll know your chicken is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F.
Tips for Making Crockpot Whole Chicken
- Seasoning the chicken: Pat down the chicken, salt and pepper it and stuff with a few lemon halves and you are ready to roll. If you don’t have lemons handy, you can skip that step, but they add a nice freshness to the chicken as well as a subtle tang.
- Crispy skin: To get that nice, crispy skin on your chicken, pop it on a roasting pan and place it in the oven on broil (high) for 5-7 minutes.
- Be careful if broiling!: Keep an eye on the bird, because some ovens broil more quickly than others and you want crispy chicken skin, not burnt.
Serving Suggestions for a Whole Chicken
Once your slow cooker whole chicken is done (doesn’t it smell divine?), you can serve it up as you would any other chicken meal! When I make this chicken at home, I often will serve it alongside some seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes.
If you love leftovers as much as I do, cut up the leftover chicken and throw it on a salad for lunch the next day!
Make sure you save the liquid from the slow cooker too. Strain out any pieces of chicken that have fallen in and use the liquid as you would chicken broth to make soup (like our Zuppa Toscana), a really tasty risotto or more!
Side Dishes for Chicken
- Easy Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Carrots
- Foil Pack Potatoes
- Fresh Vegetable Salad
Ready to make your own whole chicken? Grab your slow cooker and sit back while it does all of the work for you, so you can enjoy a juicy chicken dinner in just a few hours!
For more chicken recipes and inspiration on how to cook chicken perfectly, follow my Chicken Temperature Chart!
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
- 7 pound chicken
- 2 lemons, halved
- salt & pepper
- Remove the inside parts of a whole chicken and dispose of them. Fill the cavity with lemon halves. Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towel before generously salting and peppering.
- Prepare a slow cooker by adding a makeshift rack with aluminum foil to keep the chicken one inch off of the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Pace chicken in the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers at 165 degrees. Remove from the slow cooker, place chicken on a baking sheet and broil for 5-10 minutes until the skin is nice and crispy.