How to slow cook chicken
A slow-cooked chook is a thing of beauty – not only is it delicious, it’s also easy. All it takes is a little prep on your part and then the oven or slow cooker will do the rest while you get on with life. Follow our simple tips to find out why time is on your side the next time you have to get dinner ready.
How long do you slow cook chicken?
Chicken will cook much faster in the oven than in a slow cooker. When cooking in a slow cooker, the most important thing is to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for your particular slow cooker, as all appliances vary.
A great rule of thumb is:
- For a whole chicken – Place it in your slow cooker breast side down. Cover with the lid and cook on High for around 4-5 hours or Low for 6-8 hours
- For bone-in pieces - Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer in the slow cooker. Cover with the lid and cook on High for around 3-4 hours or Low for 4-6 hours
In the oven at 160°C, a whole chicken with vegetables will take up to 4 hours, whereas chicken pieces can be done in as little as 2 hours.
How do you slow cook chicken breast?
Chicken breasts are a lean cut and the key to slow cooking them without drying them out involves the right amount of moisture.
- Add just enough liquid to come 1cm up the side of the bowl. Cover and cook on High for 2 ½-4 hours or on Low for 4-6 hours.
- Chicken breast fillets can be placed directly into the slow cooker, but to create richer, deeper flavours and better visual appeal, first sear the chicken breast in a hot pan over medium-high heat on each side for 1-2 minutes.
- For an easy one-pot meal, add vegetables and a simmer sauce like the Passage to India Punjabi Lemon Simmer Sauce.
Can you put raw chicken in a slow cooker?
Yes. Add other ingredients such as onion, garlic and enough liquid to come 1-2cm up the side of the bowl, cover and cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 3-6 hours.
Is it better to cook chicken slowly?
Chicken is a very versatile and lean meat with little fat or sinew, so it doesn’t need long cooking for it to become tender. Both quick high heat methods such as frying, and low, slow cooking are suitable.
Can I overcook chicken in a slow cooker?
Yes, but the solution is extremely simple. Follow the recipe and manufacturer cooking time guidelines to ensure your chicken comes out juicy and tender every time. Chicken thighs take much longer to overcook in a slow cooker, so try them if you need a foolproof cut.
How do you slow cook chicken in the oven?
- Brown your chicken on both sides in a flameproof Dutch oven until golden to seal in the flavour.
- Alternatively, you can place raw chicken into an oven-proof casserole dish.
- Add root vegetables, fresh herbs and liquid, such as stock or wine.
- Cover and cook in a preheated low oven (160°C) for 2-4 hours depending on the cut you are cooking.
How do I know if my chicken is done cooking?
Raw chicken is definitely something we want to avoid, salmonella is not a good look for anyone. To ensure your chicken is good and cooked through:
- Check that the chicken meat has changed colour and become white.
- Use a meat thermometer to check internal meat temperatures are above 75°C.
- Push a fork or knife into a thick part of the chicken. Cooked chicken will have clear juices rush to the surface. If the juices are pink or bloody, return the chicken to the slow cooker and cook for a further 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Should you flip the chicken in the slow cooker?
No, all you need to do is add all the ingredients into the slow cooker, cover and cook.
Slow cooker chicken recipes
Chicken is such a delicious, versatile and healthy option and there are a variety of ways to cook it. From Indian curries to Italian casseroles, it’s a protein that’s embraced by all cultures and appeals to most appetites. Now that you have mastered the art of slow cooking chicken, try some of these great chicken recipes here.
More Tips & Advice
How to slow cook beef in a slow cooker
Whether you are cooking gravy beef, Osso Bucco or a juicy roast, nothing warms the soul more than a hearty bowl of slow-cooked beef.
The best slow cooker recipes and tips
Slow cookers are one of the most convenient kitchen appliances, providing the ability to create a variety of meals with little effort. They're especially great for preparing cold weather dishes such as casseroles, soups and stews. Learn how to use a slow cooker and get lots of slow cooker recipes. Also learn how to convert a stove top or oven recipe to a slow cooker recipe.
How to marinate chicken and 5 marinade recipes
Learn how to marinate chicken, how long you can marinate chicken, and how to cook marinated chicken. Plus get five delicious marinade recipes.
Converting an oven or stovetop recipe to a slow cooker recipe
Slow cooker fanatics will know the frustration of finding a wonderful slow-cooked recipe, only to realise it's written for the oven or stovetop. With this easy guide, convert oven and stovetop recipe times, ingredients, liquid measurements and more to make it a slow cooker recipe!