When it comes to cooking chicken, there’s no better way than in the slow cooker. This handy kitchen appliance makes it easy to cook a roast chicken with minimal effort and cleanup. However, one thing that most people don’t realize is that meat needs time at an even temperature before it’s done—especially when cooking on low. That’s why we’ve put together these guidelines for how long you should cook your crockpot roast chicken from start to finish:
2-1/2 to 3 hours on high.
The cooking time for chicken in a slow cooker depends on the size of your chicken. A 3-pound chicken will take 2-1/2 to 3 hours, while a 4-pound bird will require 3-1/2 to 4 hours.
3-1/2 to 4 hours on low.
- 3-1/2 to 4 hours on low. If you’re cooking a whole chicken, this is the optimal time to do so. If you’re using chicken breasts, it’s best to cook them on high because they’ll dry out more quickly than their larger counterparts.
4-1/2 to 5 hours on low.
For 4-1/2 to 5 hours on low, the average cooking time for a boneless chicken breast is about 1 hour per pound. A whole chicken will take 3 to 4 hours per pound and a bone-in breast will take 2 to 3 hours per pound. You can use this as a general guide when figuring out how long it will take for your specific recipe.
The best way to know if your chicken is done is by using an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat without touching bone or fat (or by cutting off part of the breast). It should read 165 degrees F internal temperature at its thickest point after resting for 5 minutes in its juices before serving
The slow cooker is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cook a roast chicken, but it’s easy to forget that the meat needs time at an even temperature before it’s done. Keep track of how long you’ve been cooking your roast chicken in the slow cooker by using these guidelines.
Use these guidelines to help you determine how long your chicken needs to cook in a slow cooker:
- The ideal temperature for cooking chicken is between 160°F and 180°F, which is about 10-15 degrees lower than what we recommend for roasting. This will allow for more tender meat and prevent overcooking it completely.
- If you’re using an oval-shaped or wide pot with plenty of room around the bird, then set it on low heat and let it go for 4 hours (or until done). If you have an older model that doesn’t have temperature controls, start out by turning it up just slightly above medium-low heat–you can always adjust after 15 minutes if things seem too hot or cold!
We hope this guide has helped you figure out how long to cook chicken in your slow cooker. If nothing else, it should be a reminder that all cooking is an experiment and requires some trial-and-error. Remember that the best way to learn is by doing: try one of these times (or something in between) with your next roast chicken recipe!