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Whole chicken in the slow cooker

whole chicken in the slow cookerOne of my favorite go to recipes is a whole chicken in the slow cooker.  We have a crock pot, but you can make a whole chicken in the slow cooker of your choice.  Making a whole chicken my crock pot helps me keep my grocery spending down as it provides chicken for several meals as well as a ton of delicious broth for future recipes!  I make a whole chicken in my crock pot when I have a busy week coming up, it is really so easy!

First, I always try to have a couple whole chickens in the freezer.  Watch for sales!  Even if you don’t have time to watch for sales, a whole chicken is generally never more than about $2 or $3 a pound, but I have been able to snag chickens for as low as 99 cents a pound in the past!  If you have a goal of keeping your grocery budget down, adding this recipe to your rotation is a great way to do it!

Whole chicken in the slow cooker


  • Whole Chicken
  • Lemon (optional)
  • spices of your choosing (I use salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, oregano, and garlic powder

(You can of course add other spices, vegetables, or whatever you fancy.)


  • Make sure there are no ‘guts’ inside your chicken (you can have the butcher do this at the counter like I do)
  • Prep your chicken by washing (or not washing) – your decision.
  • Put half a lemon inside the chicken cavity.
  • Place chicken inside the slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle spices of your choice all around your chicken.
  • Slice up remaining lemon and place around the chicken.
  • Do NOT add water.  I promise.
  • Turn your chicken on high for the first hour (this helps avoid salmonella)
  • Turn chicken back down to low for another 6 hours (time will vary of course based on the size of your chicken.  I personally check at about 5 hours)

Chicken will cook deliciously and chicken stock will also be made!  Once your chicken is done cooking, take it out and collect the meat in a bowl.  It will literally fall off the bone.  We put the skin and bones back in the crock pot and fill the crock pot about half way with water.  I set the crock pot back on low for another 8 hours.  The broth that comes from this is extremely flavorful and practically free!

Once eight hours is up, I collect the broth in reusable containers and set it in the fridge overnight.  I personally like my chicken broth as low in fat as possible.  Overnight fat will separate from the broth and sit on top.  I scoop the fat off the top and toss it.  You can use the fat for other things if you like, but I toss it.  I never leave the broth in the fridge for more than a day or two, anything I am not going to be using almost immediately goes into the freezer.

* Important * there is a healthy debate going on over on my YouTube video about whether you should wash your chicken or not.  I never did in all the years I have made them.  Some people say I have been cheating death by not doing this.  Others say it is just as harmful if not more so to wash your chicken.  My advice, do your own research and decide what is best for your family.  For the record, I am decidedly not telling you what I do now, but read up and make your decision.

Below is that oddly popular whole chicken in the slow cooker YouTube video I made about a year ago.  Most of my YouTube videos have about a 100 views on them, a few have over 1,000, this one (at the time I wrote this article) has over 27,000.  Honestly, I don’t know why, but people dig it.   It walks you through the whole process of making a whole chicken in the slow cooker, but full disclosure, the amount of times I say ‘um’ is downright criminal.  It’s like every other word.  I say ‘um’ when I am nervous and this was one of my first cooking videos, I almost remade the whole thing and I really wish I did, but now it is so popular I just can’t take it down.  So anyway, you have been warned…..

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Until Next Time ~ Kate
Categories:  Food, Recipes
  1. […] have been making my own chicken broth and vegetable broth in my crock pot for years now.  If you cook with broth often, making your own […]

  2. Lorry says:

    I love cooking with crock pots…I’ve yet to try this one, so I’m going to have to try it. Looks yummy!!

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