I may receive commissions from purchases made through links in this article. Full Disclosure
Fun fact: I had never cooked a whole chicken until I wanted to make my own chicken broth. However, after I bought that first chicken I was hooked.
I continue buying and cooking whole chickens not only because I can makes tons of broth (with this broth method I can make up to 12 cups!) from the bones but also because it’s just more frugal.
For the same price as boneless chicken breasts I can get usually double the amount of meat from 2 whole chickens (not to mention all the broth).
There are many ways to cook a whole chicken and I’ve tried a few of them. I started out by cooking my chickens in a roasting pan and that works great but I didn’t like dealing with the heavy pan and watching the oven.
I’ve also made it by standing it upright on a bundt pan which is clever because it gets nice and crispy and all the drippings are down at the bottom, but again I had to deal with the pan and watching the oven. I also had the tendency to over cook my chicken if I cooked it in the oven.
Then I came across how to cook a whole entire chicken in the crock pot. It was amazing!
No more watching the oven, no more confined to the house to cook, no more lifting heavy pans from the oven, and no more dried chicken (seriously, this chicken is so moist that you will not be able to lift it out of the pot without the legs falling off!)
One of the best parts is that since I already have my crock pot out for cooking the chicken, it’s all set and ready to go to make broth right after I cook my chicken!
I’ll write more about that in a bit, first how to cook a whole chicken in the crock pot.
Cook a Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot
1 whole chicken – mine are around 4-6 lbs
Any seasonings you would like – this is all very non-specific, I know. I tend to vary my seasonings and often I’ll just stick with garlic and some basic Italian seasonings as I really make my chicken for being used in other meals (like Savory Chicken) and not really for eating a roasted chicken.
Onion, chopped – this is also optional as you can definitely cook a chicken without it but I think it adds flavor to the chicken.
If using an onion, place the chopped onion in the bottom of your crock pot.
Rinse your chicken and remove any inside parts from the chicken (I’ve heard of some people leaving them in but most remove them).
Place your chicken, breast side up, in the crock pot.
Rub with seasonings.
Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.
Want to move on and make some chicken broth after cooking your chicken?
From Whole Chicken to Chicken Broth – All in the Crock Pot
Simply remove the meat from the chicken and return the bones back to the crock pot with the drippings. Then follow my directions in my Crock Pot Chicken Broth recipe and you’ll have lots of homemade broth.