The secret to cooking a succulent whole chicken in your slow cooker is as simple as a couple of unsupervised hours and a few balls of aluminum foil.

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Did you know you could cook an entire chicken in your crock pot? You absolutely can! With no cutting and no basting; just some spices and tin foil. The foil balls lift the bird up off of the bottom of the crock pot so that it doesn’t end up braising in its own juices and falling apart when it’s done cooking.

You’re going to feel like an amazingly talented chef when you serve this tender and juicy chicken–but if you want to feel like a smartypants too, don’t forget to draw attention to your on-point trussing technique when you present the bird. Trussing is just a fancy culinary term for tying things up. We tie up the chicken’s legs in this recipe for a few reasons: to help it fit into the crock pot better, so that after cooking it holds a better shape for a nice presentation, and because tucking everything in close to the core of the bird helps the overall chicken to cook more evenly.

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken hero shotTipHero

What kind of string can you use for tying up meat? Butcher string, a.k.a. cooking string, should be natural and 100% free of dyes. But don’t sweat it if you don’t have the real deal, because you probably have one of these fine substitutes from trussing twine in your home. In a pinch, you can use rolled gauze from your first-aid kit, a strip of cheesecloth, or even dental floss (seriously!)–just make sure it’s not flavored unless you want to add a hint of mint.

This is truly a set-it-and-forget-it chicken recipe. All you need is a few minutes under the broiler at the end to get that crispy skin that everyone loves.

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

Serves 4 – 6
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 3½ – 4½ Hours


  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika


  • 6 qt. slow cooker
  • aluminum foil
  • butcher string


  1. Ball up 4 to 5 sheets of aluminum foil and place them, evenly spaced, into the bottom of a slow cooker to create a base for the chicken.
  2. Slow Cooker Whole Chicken balls of foilTipHero
  3. Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken.
  4. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. You want to absorb as much moisture as possible from the inside and the outside of the bird.
  5. Generously season the chicken, inside and out, with salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika.
  6. Tie the chicken’s legs together with string.
  7. Place the seasoned chicken on the center of the foil balls, and make sure that it’s not touching the bottom of the slow cooker.
  8. Cover with the slow cooker lid and cook for 2½ to 3½ hours on high (or 4 to 5 hours on low), until the internal temperature has reached 165°F / 75°C in the thickest part of the thigh.
  9. For crispy skin, preheat the oven to broil. Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker, place it on a sheet pan, and broil it for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the skin has reached the desired crispiness.
  10. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes, then serve.

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken bird in potTipHero

Now that you know about this slow cooker hack, will you ever buy another rotisserie chicken?