Slow Cooker “Rotisserie” Chicken

Slow Cooker "Rotisserie" Chicken -- all you need are 5 minutes to prep this recipe! |

There’s a bird in my slow cooker!

Yes, make that an entire roasting chicken tucked right in there, seasoned perfectly to taste like it’s fresh off the rotisserie.  I have to admit that the idea to cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker had never occurred to me before.  But while I was standing in the poultry section at Trader Joe’s this week, trying to decide which of my (many) shredded chicken recipes sounded good to toss in the slow cooker, the lightbulb finally went off.  Why just buy a handful of chicken breasts to cook and shred in the slow cooker when — for actually less cost– I could cook an entire chicken?!?

I’ll admit my biggest question right off the bat was whether or not a whole chicken would even fit in a slow cooker.

But I’m here to report that it definitely does.  (Even this smaller 3-quart slow cooker.)

And you should totally try it.

Slow Cooker "Rotisserie" Chicken -- all you need are 5 minutes to prep this recipe! |

Without a doubt, my favorite method for making a whole chicken at home will always be roasting it, especially if you want that traditional crispy-skinned chicken fresh out of the oven.

But if you ever have a day when you don’t have time to babysit the chicken in the oven, or just want to come home to the most delicious smelling dinner after a long day’s work, or even if you just want to have a nice mix of light and dark chicken meat to make shredded chicken (vs. the usual breast-only recipes), then this slow cooker method is a fantastic alternative.

Plus, it only takes about 5 minutes to prep.  You can season it however you’d like (notably, knowing exactly what goes into it).  You can use organic chicken if you’d like (knowing that most store-bought rotisserie chickens are not).  And, well, it’s just pretty darn tasty.

To make this chicken, begin by removing any of the insides and the neck, if they are included.  And then give the chicken a thorough rinse, and pat it dry with paper towels.  Then whisk together your dry rub seasoning mix, and rub it evenly all over the chicken.  (Optional: If you’d like, you are welcome to add some onions or veggies inside the cavity for extra flavoring.)

Slow Cooker "Rotisserie" Chicken -- all you need are 5 minutes to prep this recipe! |

Then pop the bird in the slow cooker!

If you don’t want the bottom of the chicken to sit and cook in its juices all day, you can place a layer of aluminum foil packs or balls on the bottom of the slow cooker, to serve as a “rack” to elevate the chicken an inch or so.  Or you can also cook the chicken on a bed of onions or vegetables (like carrots and celery, etc.) — your choice.  I went with the aluminum foil route, and it definitely kept the chicken elevated above the juices that accumulated below (which make an excellent base for chicken broth, by the way!).

Cover and cook the chicken on high or low until the meat is completely cooked through, noting that the cooking time will vary slightly depending on the size of the bird.  Then once it’s done, carefully transfer the chicken to a serving plate, and reserve the juices for future use if desired.

By contrast to a traditional rotisserie chicken, the slow cooker method will definitely result in a chicken that is fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy, so much so that the chicken may actually fall apart a bit when you try to remove it from the slow cooker.  (In a very delicious way, but not always the prettiest for serving.)  It also will have a soft and seasoned skin, versus crispy.  If you really want your chicken to be crispy, simply transfer the chicken to a baking dish and pop it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes (on the “high” setting) until the chicken reaches your desired level of crispness.  But otherwise, just serve and enjoy it as is.  Or shred the meat off of the bones and freeze it for future use, as I obviously love to do with slow cooker shredded chicken.  ;)

However you make it, hope that you enjoy!!

Slow Cooker "Rotisserie" Chicken

This Slow Cooker "Rotisserie" Chicken recipe only takes a few minutes to prep, and then your slow cooker will do all of the work!


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4-5 lbs.), insides removed
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • (aluminum foil, or thickly-sliced onions or vegetables)


Rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat it dry with paper towels.

In a small bowl, whisk together the paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder until combined.  Rub the seasoning mix all over chicken -- on the outside skin, the inside cavity, and (if you're feeling brave) on the chicken breasts underneath the skin.

Roll up a few small balls of aluminum foil (or thickly slice some onions, and/or veggies) place them on the bottom of your slow cooker bowl to serve as a "rack" for the chicken, so that it doesn't have to cook in the juices that will accumulate in the bottom of the slow cooker.  Place the chicken on top of the aluminum foil (or veggies), pressing it down a bit if need be for the lid to fit.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker (it may be so tender that it falls apart on you), discard the bones, and serve the chicken as desired.

*I used this small 3-quart slow cooker, and the chicken just barely fit.  (It also shrunk down a bit while cooking.)

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Slow Cooker "Rotisserie" Chicken -- all you need are 5 minutes to prep this recipe! |

Leave a Comment:


  1. Carlos — April 12, 2016 @ 9:42 am (#)

    I’ve used this recipe several times n everyone loves it. I use the low setting so when it’s done, the meat is so tender that it falls off the bone. Very delicious, the whole family loves it. Doesn’t take much time to prepare, put it in the slower cooker, and leave it alone. Very good eating. I highly recommend this for a really easy meal. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — April 12th, 2016 @ 9:59 pm

      Thanks for sharing with us Carlos — we’re happy it’s a hit with your family! :)

  2. Gab — April 26, 2016 @ 2:10 pm (#)

    I made this last night (first night of Whole30) and it was so moist and delicious. An amazing amount of liquid was produced from the vegetables (onions, carrot, celery) and chicken. I’m going to use it as a base for a soup later this week.
    I have made a few other things over the years form this website and they are all delicious!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — April 26th, 2016 @ 9:03 pm

      Thanks for sharing Gab — we’re happy you enjoyed this! :)

  3. pamela bourque — April 28, 2016 @ 7:53 pm (#)

    Thank you, absolutely wonderful!

  4. Deborah Lorraine — May 5, 2016 @ 6:58 am (#)

    Can’t wait to try this! However, I won’t be rinsing the chicken. Not only is it unnecessary, its considered dangerous, as it can spread bacteria around your kitchen, and onto you.

  5. Nicole Stephens — May 27, 2016 @ 7:22 pm (#)

    OMG! Ali- I just googled “Whole Chicken Crock Pot” and there you were! I love it! Hope you’re having a great day and getting ready for a loooong weekend. What are you and the B up to? Dave is actually in KC at this exact moment doing a show at The Raphael Hotel. Hope you either made it there through the deluge or maybe saw him last night on KC Live! Miss you! Come back out and stay with us!!!!

  6. Red — June 20, 2016 @ 5:00 pm (#)

    My client has a hard time cooking for herself, tonight we made a Turkey chilli and I noticed she had some frozen smaller chickens in the freezer, she has the same crock pot as used in said recipe, so this will be something that I can do with her, it’s a much smaller chicken so I’ll just adjust the timing!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 20th, 2016 @ 10:25 pm

      That’s wonderful — we hope she enjoys this! :)

  7. Christina — June 21, 2016 @ 4:28 pm (#)

    So delicious! I will make this recipe again!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 22nd, 2016 @ 12:38 pm

      Thanks Christina — we’re so glad you enjoyed it! :)

  8. Casey — July 13, 2016 @ 9:08 am (#)

    Hi Hayley. Should the chicken be breast-side up, or down? I’ve read other recipes where they say to have it breast side up. Does it matter?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 13th, 2016 @ 3:14 pm

      Hi Casey! Hmmm, we haven’t noticed much of a difference, but feel free to do either way. We hope you enjoy the recipe!

  9. Evelyn — July 31, 2016 @ 10:23 am (#)

    Just put chicken on top of onions in the slow cooker. Garlic, onion, salt and a sprinkling of thyme. A really bad experience with my first oven roasted whole chicken for my new husband was a disaster, and that was 25 years ago, maybe I will finally redeem myself!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 3rd, 2016 @ 11:28 am

      We hope this works well for you Evelyn — let us know what you think! :)

  10. S. Orion — August 3, 2016 @ 9:40 am (#)

    I came across your site in search of a slow cooker whole chicken recipe. I think you have one of the best site names around for this kind of blog. It’s very clever. Your photos are also very well done. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 3rd, 2016 @ 2:17 pm

      Thank you for your sweet words and for checking out the site! We hope you enjoy the chicken!

  11. ShanonS — August 13, 2016 @ 12:25 am (#)

    I made this chicken and cooked it breast side down. I sliced the apples in half and used that as the lift as well as placing one inside the cavity.  I prepared the skin with a nice dry rubb as directed. The dark meat had an amazing crispy skin when I pulled out of the broiler and after I let it sit, quarter the chicken.  Used one breast to turn into shredded chicken OMG falls off the bone. The other I saved without skin and the thigh and leg kept a nice crispy crust.  I just want to thank you for the easiest recipie ever!!!  Took minutes to setup and just left it. Thanks. Such an amazing gravy or stock I will put in the freezer cause the apples disintegrated and this will make an amazing okra gumbo base or gravy!! Thank you!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 14th, 2016 @ 4:52 pm

      Thanks for sharing with us, Shannon! We’re so happy you enjoyed this, and the way you prepared it with the apples sounds lovely! :)

  12. Johanna — September 24, 2016 @ 1:50 pm (#)

    How did you get your chicken to fit into the 3qt crock pot? Mine is sticking out. Help!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 25th, 2016 @ 11:05 am

      Hi Johanna! Oh no! We’re wondering how big your chicken is?

  13. Jen Roney — September 26, 2016 @ 10:22 pm (#)

    I’m gone 9 hours during the day. If I set this to low for 7 hours and it shuts down to warm after that, do you think it will be ok?

  14. Kellie — October 5, 2016 @ 10:33 pm (#)

    I bought a chicken to roast in the oven, which is one of our favorite meals, and then my oven died over the weekend. I googled for a whole chicken recipe in the crockpot. I’m glad to see it can be done, but I am worried about the skin being soggy, but if the meat is good, I guess I don’t care. I’m excited to try it!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 10th, 2016 @ 11:57 am

      Hi Kellie! We hope you and your family enjoyed this!

  15. Tracey — October 12, 2016 @ 4:19 pm (#)

    Hi I definitely want to try this recipe,  just wanted to make sure no liquid needs to be added in to cook the chicken.

    Thank you 

    • Ali — October 12th, 2016 @ 5:18 pm

      Nope, it’ll cook well on its own. :)