Are you wanting to try chicken in your slow cooker?
Here’s everything you need to know to get started 🙂




What cut of chicken can be slow cooked…
The short answer is any kind!
– whole chickens
– drumsticks
– wings
– marylands
– breast fillets
– thigh fillets
– diced chicken
– even chicken mince
When using chicken fillets my personal choice is always thigh fillets over breast fillets.  I find they stay much more moist when slow cooked than the breast fillets. But both are of course ok to use 🙂


Before slow cooking with chicken DEFROST FIRST …
Always, ALWAYS defrost your chicken first in a safe manner.  Doing so in the fridge for 24hrs is the safest way to do so.
However you like to usually defrost your meat is fine, just don’t be tempted to follow those who give dangerous advice to slow cook frozen chicken!  Here’s why >> Slow Cooking Frozen Meat – It’s NOT safe!!


Do I need to brown my chicken first …
Totally up to you.
While chicken is meant to be slow cooked from raw, many do like to just brown or sear it first.
This can help to lock in moisture, speed up cooking time or simply to improve visual appearance of the finished dish.
Keep in mind that chicken will release a lot of liquid during cooking.  Browning and draining liquids before slow cooking can help this issue too.
Many, like me, slow cook for convenience.  Having to pre cook before slow cooking can take away from this convenience.
However with the introduction of searing slow cookers that allow you to sear/brown in the actual slow cooker itself, this avoids the need for extra dishes and mess, so browning first can now be more desirable for some.
If however you do choose to slow cook yours from raw that’s OK.





What’s a general guide to cooking times needed for different cuts of chicken?
Breast – 2-3hrs low
Thigh fillets – 3-4hrs low
Wings – 4hrs low
Bone in chicken pieces like drumsticks and thigh cutlets etc – 4-5hrs low
Whole chicken – 6hrs low



Where do I find the recipes to get started …
Finding recipes is super easy on our website.
There are several options of how to do so 🙂
Go direct to our CHICKEN RECIPES
From here you can browse to your hearts content (as you scroll down more and more recipes will load – we have 100’s)
You can also use the search box to further define your search
– search for a chicken recipe by name eg apricot chicken
– search for a recipe type eg ‘whole chicken’ or ‘roast chicken’
– write the chicken type in the search box to bring up recipes that use that specific cut eg ‘drumsticks’ or ‘chicken breast’
You can of course also try you own family favourite chicken recipe in your slow cooker.


And if you are cooking a whole chicken in your slow cooker we have a special blog written all about this topic with all you need to know here >> Slow Cooking Whole Chickens


Enjoy 🙂

45 thoughts on “SLOW COOKING WITH CHICKEN – The Basics”

  1. Everyone knows that chicken is a MAJOR source of salmonella, which is one of the bacteria that causes food poisoning. In order to kill the salmonella bacteria, the chicken needs to be cooked properly at a high heat. Not slow cooked.

    Slow cooking chicken is incredibly dangerous, don’t do it if you value your health.

    1. This is incredibly inaccurate what you are saying Chari…

      It is TOTALLY safe to slow cook chicken 🙂
      NEVER start with frozen chicken and always cook thoroughly as you would in any other cooking method and it’s 100% SAFE! 🙂
      Not dangerous
      Not a risk to your health – at all.

      Sorry to see you’ve been so misinformed by someone 🙁

      Happy to help you know better now 🙂

      1. Im just learning but i have always put raw
        Chicken ? n slow cooker never ever had a issue.
        Thank you for verifying and confirming .
        She should not be posting false advice. Maybe its her opinion but it clearly isn’t factual!

          1. Hi colette
            Do you cook your chicken for 4hrs on low or high? ? im using diced chicken breast

      2. Odd question. While camping I’m planning on slow cooking my raw fresh chicken drumsticks. Then browning them on the BBQ. I don’t want them to fall apart but also would like them cooked through. How long would you leave them in the slow cooker for and what heat?

    2. That reply is so WRONG!!!!! Dangerousness?? You mad? Cook it for 50% more time that’s it, where you get that information from? It’s safe!!!!!

  2. Because of the bad rap chicken has for not being cooked correctly does it have to cook by itself in the slow cooker before adding other ingredients such as veggies? Or is it safe to cook it all together as long as it all gets thoroughly cooked?

  3. When placing vegetables under the whole chicken and using the alfoil sling, would you just sit the sling on top of the vegies?

    1. In a bowl in the fridge then tip into the slow cooker the next morning yes … but don’t store it in the actual slow cooker in the fridge as it can cause the bowl to crack (and of course never just left out in the slow cooker not turned on anymore than you’d leave any other raw meat sitting out all night)

  4. Or you are slow cooking breasts, how long is cook time? Just the chicken. Or can you also throw the potatoes in? Never slow cooked chicken!

      1. That’s about what it took. I should have thrown the potatoes in with the chicken. After shredding the chicken, I put everything else in with it. My green chile chicken creamy soup turned out delicious. I had a heaping bowl for breakfast, and will do the same at super. Plenty to freeze in one serving bowls for around 6 more servings.??

  5. Can you leave chicken in the slow cooker on low over night ( lets say putting it on at 4pm) to eat for lunch around 1pm the following day?

      1. I want to do chicken portions in my slow cooker for the first time tomorrow ..Reading these comments I’m being put off cos of the time element with working..wot will it turn out like if its in for approx 9 hrs on low?

  6. I put drumsticks in slow cooker. Thawed over night. Small amount of water and each drumstick was BBQ sauced ahead of starting.
    14-16 drumsticks…how long will they take to thoroughly cook?

  7. Helpful blog! I always make my coq au vin with boneless thighs on low. If needed for lunch, apart from chicken, prep the night before & just brown chicken in the morning – always fantastic with home made bread & small roast potatoes & greens ?

  8. Re chicken — I have a 3.5 litre (just bought). To cook a smallish chicken whole on its own — what is recommended heat & length of cooking time pls? Or wd you rather advise including small amount of veg? And I gather no added liquid. Is that correct? Thanks. Yvonne a slower cooker newbie

  9. *Using a crock pot for the first time*
    Making chicken stew with chicken breasts. Do I put everything-chicken, veg, etc in all at same time? How many hrs? On low or high?

  10. If you put veg in with chicken/meat won’t it be overcooked please? Can you open the cooker and add prt way through? Can crisp roast potatoes be cooked at the same time please?

  11. Hi when cooking a casserole I get white stringy stuff from the chicken when it is cooked how do you avoid this please? What am I doing wrong?

  12. I was given a Breville 6l Smart Slow Cooker for Christmas, I’m afraid that it’s too big for me for cooking chicken just for myself.

    Could you suggest a safe way that I would be able to cook about a kilo of Maryland on it’s own (I usually just go a salad with my chicken, so no veggies, etc would be going in with it) and how long I would cook it for, or am I going to be limited to using it to cook for multiple people and have to get a smaller one for cooking for myself?

    Even then, how long would I cook it for, your recipe page is great for when I want to go all out and special, but doesn’t help for just things on its own, plus Google only wants to show me full blown recipes, not just plain things.

    1. Hi Ben

      Being emptier is ok it will just cook a little hotter/faster when not so full
      For a kilo of bone in chicken I’d suggest cooking it for around 4hrs low or until you can see the meat near the bone is lovely and cooked and coming away when you test it 🙂
      You can season it how you like first but it’s fine not to add all the other veg etc
      The chicken will release a lot of it’s own liquid during cooking also 🙂

  13. Making a chicken korma in slow cooker, cheating a bit, is it ok to use jarred sauces? How long for 3 breasts cubed to cook? 🙂

  14. I am always worried that the chicken hasn’t reached a high enough temp on low. I love cooking beef in a slow cooker but chicken worries me in case I give my children food poisoning! My recipes in my. Slow cooker book all suggest low. I have four cubed chicken breast, a can of chick peas and a jar of sauce. If I cook from. raw is it best slow and low and long hours of high and less hours in order to be confident it’s reached a high enough temp? I don’t have a meat thermometer and don’t know how I could know how hot it’s got? I am new. Thanks

    1. Heather cubed chicken breast will be very much cooked in 4hrs low from raw. Probably less, more like 3hrs for a lot of cookers, but if you want to be certain for your piece of mind – 4hrs 🙂 Even without a meat thermometer you’ll know it’s cooked when it flaks apart easily like cooked chicken does, unlike raw chicken.

  15. Can you pre-cook chicken (breast) first (by boiling) and then put in crock pot ? And if so, how long would you need to cook them?

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