Gimme Some Oven

Slow Cooker “Rotisserie” Chicken

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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!!

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Slow Cooker “Rotisserie” Chicken

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 16 reviews
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 240 minutes
  • Total Time: 245 minutes
  • Yield: 1 chicken 1x


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 45 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)


  1. Rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. *I used this small 3-quart slow cooker, and the chicken just barely fit.  (It also shrunk down a bit while cooking.)

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

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169 comments on “Slow Cooker “Rotisserie” Chicken”

  1. 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. 

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

  2. 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!

  3. Thank you, absolutely wonderful!

  4. 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. 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. 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!

  7. So delicious! I will make this recipe again!

  8. 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?

    • 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. 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!!

  10. 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. 

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

  11. 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!

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

  13. 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. 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!

  15. 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 

  16. I use the seasoning to bake my boneless breasts for the week and then I use those in salads and other recipes. I am always looking for recipes to make my own seasonings without a lot of salt. Thanks so much.

  17. as neither my husband or i like other parts of the chicken can this recipe be tailored to split breasts with ribs instead?

    • You’re welcome to give that a try, Patty, but we aren’t sure how it would work as we haven’t tried that ourselves! Sorry we can’t be more helpful!

    • Yes, I do this with split breasts. Just don’t cook it as long.

  18. One of my all time favorite ways to cook a chicken. I was looking for some other spice blends for inspiration and happened upon your page. I like to wrap potatoes (sweet or white, whatever you fancy that day) in foil instead of doing foil balls. Then you have a side dish for your chicken! Wrap tightly and set in crock seam side up unless you want the juices from the chicken mingling with the potato. 

  19. I make chicken this way 2 to 3 times a week. I never know the exact time my husband will be home from work so this very versatile and delicious. Simple roasted chicken breast, chicken and noodles, healthy chicken salad, you just can’t go wrong. But…will try using potatoes instead of foil, sounds good.

  20. Cooked a 6.6 lb. Hen in a 6 quart crock pot. Did an overtime of the dry rub. I actually cooked for 6 hours on high by mistake. Turned out wonderful. My brother and family lived it. My daughter was wanting more if it 2 days later but only scraps were left. (I ate those=). I’m sure I will make this again and again. My daughter has also asked for the recipe. Next time I’ll buy the frozen hen earlier or try to find fresh so that I don’t have to rush.

  21. Do I add water in the bottom or will it make its own juice?

  22. Incredible recipe! So simple,yet so delicious. Made for the first time today…. Actually overcooked the bird, but was still super juicy!

  23. I’ve made your recipe a ton of times and it’s now in our regular rotation of meals. One tip I learned was to mix the spices into about 1-2 tbsp of butter and then spread it on the chicken. So yummy!

  24. Absolutely love love love this dish! Make it all the time! thank you xxxx

  25. When I make this dish, it quiets our whole house at dinner time… which is a good thing. It means everyone loves it. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  26. Does the chicken come out better with the breast side down?

  27. If you have Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning will that work.

  28. Do you have dessert recipes for slow cooker.

  29. I have a nearly 9 lb chicken…I’ll do it breast side down as you have shown…can you give the low and
    high times for one this size? thanks!
    hope to hear back ASAP, I’m trying this 3/5/17

    • Hi Tess! Oh my goodness, that’s a large chicken! We haven’t ever cooked one that size this way, so it’s honestly hard to say. We would advise starting with the times listed in the recipe and then checking the temp afterwards to see if it needs more time in the slow cooker. We hope that helps!

  30. I am making this tonight! I didn’t like the aluminum foil idea and didn’t have onions, so I went with thick lemon slices seasoned with pepper and cloves of garlic on the bottom. Did my own dry rub of salt, pepper, sage, thyme, and garlic and it’s now cooking. Can’t wait to see how it comes out!

  31. Making his tonight with a Portuguese sauce (onion, garlic, paprika, hot sauce and beer). I’ve been ready for dinner since noon. The entire house smells lovely. 

  32. I love this recipe, it tastes delicious with some roast veggies and makes the house smell wonderful too! Since becoming a mum I am always looking for no fuss slow cooker recipes and I can’t go past this one.

  33. I cook this all the time. We have it at least once a month. We LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! So tender and juicy.

  34. Love this recipe! I’ve made it about half dozen times. Always perfect.
    My “go to” recipe when I make a crockpot chicken. Thumbs UP?❤️!!!

  35. Thank you so much.This sharing is my very helpful. An amazing amount of liquid was onions, carrot, celery and chicken.Waw…that’s very very tasty.Any way my time is no loss.So Thank you.

  36. I used this recipe using attached leg quarters because I didn’t have a roaster. All I did was use a few more aluminum balls to cover the bottom of the slow cooker, and I used my 8qt cooker. It required the same amount of time, but I removed the lid about 20 minutes before I served it to crisp up the skin. The meat was super moist, tender, and fall off the bone. My kids and I loved it.

  37. Delicious, easy tasty wholesome, if I can cook this anyone!!!!

  38. LOVED this recipe! It was so easy. We used vegetables in the bottom instead of the aluminum foil balls. I got home and the meat and veggies were ready to go! I made some rice with chicken stock to go with it. And the meat was fall-off-the-bone tender. I will definitely be doing this one again!

  39. Can this be cooked on low? If so, how long?

    • Read Carlos instructions he has both low and high amount of hours

    • Forgot to copy his instructions

      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.

  40. I’ve used a dry rub of chile powder and brown sugar.
    Simple and tasty.
    Great for tostadas, enchaladas or tacos.

    Your combo sounds great for salads, sandwiches and as a traditional chicken meal with veggies and potatoes.
    Will try it next.

  41. This was so good! Loved it!

  42. I cut onions in half and placed them in the bottom of the cooker, then put the chicken on top to keep it out of the juices. Chicken turned out nicely, and the onions were delicious! I will make this again. You could do a rub with almost any seasoning you have in your kitchen – I added cumin to this one.

  43. Wow! Exactly what I was thinking of and did not know how to do it. Foil balls are a great idea. No more dry turkey for Thanksgiving. Thank you.

  44. I have been looking for a good chicken rotisserie recipe and finally found one, your’s. Made just a few minor changes not to the spices just the way I applied the dry ingredients to the chicken. Instead of rubbing the dry ingredients, decided to use 1 – 1/2 tablespoons of oil (used vegetable oil) and then mixed with the dry ingredients. Applied the paste to the chicken breast, legs, wings, iand bottom of the chicken with a pastry brush (keeping my hands from getting messy with the mix). Then cooked 4.5 hours. Delicious! Thanks, Ali, for sharing this great recipe.

  45. I have made this recipe before and absolutely loved it! I used thickly sliced carrots, onions, and potatoes in the bottom, and they made for a perfect yummy side dish to go with the chicken. I can’t remember how many portions it made though. About how many servings is a whole chicken?

  46. I knew this recipe would be tasty, because your recipes always are, but I didn’t have any expectations that it would really taste like rotisserie chicken. But it did! Excellent recipe, definitely a keeper.

  47. Is it necessary to remove the insides of the chicken before cooking?

    • Meg:
      I can not give you a definitive answer but if you are boiling giblets for gravy they tell you to take the liver out after a half hour, otherwise it will taste bitter. So while I think the heart and gizzard could be inside the chicken I’m not so sure about the liver. Good luck with whatever you try!

  48. We’ve made this similar recipe on the advice of my home health aide. We lined the slow cooker with sliced onions, added a “little” garlic as seasoning to the top of the bird (we LOVE garlic!), And left that baby to cook for the day. It was THE BEST chicken we have ever had, including restaurants!!!!

  49. Really good, simple, and budget friendly recipe! I used a 6.5 lb chicken and just increased the seasoning and time cooked. I also put it under the broiler a few minutes to crisp up the skin. Turned out great! The whole family loved it. We even have enough leftover for at least one more meal that calls for cooked chicken. Definitely a keeper recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  50. This is my second time making this recipe. It is delicious