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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Recipe

If you’re after a soft, tender and juicy chicken, using a slow cooker to cook a whole chicken is the answer.

Once cooked, the chicken quite literally falls off the bone.

And, the best bit? You can put the chicken in the slow cooker in the morning and then get on with your day!

Read on to see how easy it is to cook a slow cooker whole chicken.

slow cooked whole chicken on plate next to slow cooker

🛒 What You Need

ingredients for cooking a whole chicken in a slow cooker, raw whole chicken on a chopping board, carrots, onions, herbs and spices and chicken stock pot



  • Whole raw chicken
  • Slow cooker

Yes, it’s true – you could just place the raw whole chicken straight in the slow cooker pot as it is. However, it will taste much nicer if you add some extra flavours.


  • Onions, chopped
  • Whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • Chopped carrots and celery
  • Herbs or spices – I like to add some dried mixed herbs, but you can add whichever your favourites are

👉 Want to cook a whole chicken another way? Try it in an air fryer or pressure cooker.

👩‍🍳 How To Cook A Whole Chicken In The Slow Cooker

Step 1: Add the chicken to the slow cooker

You can place the raw chicken directly in the slow cooker or raise it slightly from the base of the bowl.

To raise it, you can rest it on;

  • a small trivet
  • rolled up foil balls
  • chopped up vegetables. Onion and carrot work well; this is my preferred method
raw chopped carrot and onions in slow cooker

Using a Sling

When you cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker, it can sometimes fall apart when you try to take it out. This is because the chicken becomes so tender and soft after such a long and slow cooking time.

Although this is good, it’s not always ideal if the chicken falls apart in the slow cooker bowl.

One way around this is to use a sling. You can either;

  • Buy a purpose made silicone sling (from Amazon)
  • Make your own from rolled-up foil

Step 2 – Season the chicken

Season the chicken with your choice of dried herbs and spices. I tend to use 1 tablespoon of dried mixed herbs.

whole chicken in slow cooker with herbs on top of carrots and onions

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook using the following settings:

  • 7-9 hours on low (my preferred option), or;
  • 4-5 hours on high
cooked whole chicken in liquid in slow cooker

Ensure the chicken is completely cooked before removing it from the slow cooker. You can check by either piercing it with a knife/metal skewer and seeing if the juices run clear. Or, use a meat thermometer; the internal temperature should be at least 75°C.

Step 3 – Optionally brown the chicken

One downside to using a slow cooker to cook a roast chicken is that the skin doesn’t come out crispy. If you want a browned chicken, place it under a grill for a few minutes until the skin begins to crisp.

Leave the chicken to stand for about 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

browned whole chicken after it has been slow cooked

Do You Need To Add Water?

No, there is no need to add any water when cooking a slow cooker whole chicken. As the joint slowly cooks, the juices will gradually be released, and the chicken will cook in it.

Can I Make Gravy From The Liquid?

You should be left with quite a bit of liquid at the end of the cooking time. This is great for turning into chicken gravy or reserving for a soup stock.

You might want to pour it through a sieve to remove any bits, or you can serve it as is if you prefer.

If it needs thickening up, you can stir in some gravy granules; if you don’t have any, you can make up a little slurry of cornflour.

And that’s it! Yummy, tasty slow cooker whole chicken! Let me know in the comments if you make it!

🧾 More Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes

Are you looking for more slow cooker chicken recipes? Check some of these recipes for inspiration:

👉 Recipe Card (Instructions + Print)

slow cooked whole chicken on plate next to slow cooker

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes

Slow cooker whole chicken tastes amazing! After being cooked for so long the meat is soft and tender and full of flavour.


  • 1.9kg chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs (or seasoning of your choice)


  1. Season the whole chicken according to your tastes. I like to use some dried mixed herbs, but you can just use salt and pepper, or whatever your favourite herbs and spices are!
  2. Place the whole chicken in the slow cooker. You can optionally place the chicken joint on some rolled up foil balls, or on top of chopped vegetables such as onions and carrots.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  4. Check the chicken is cooked through by piercing it with a sharp knife and seeing if the juices run clear. Alternatively, use a meat thermometer.
  5. If you want to crisp up the chicken skin, brush with a little oil and place under a grill for 3 to 5 minutes.

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