Can you overcook chicken in a slow cooker? (+5 tips)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you overcook chicken in a slow cooker?”, and how to make crockpot shredded chicken?

Can you overcook chicken in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can overcook chicken in a slow cooker. If you cook your chicken way long past the recommended cooking time in the recipe, the chicken will get deprived of its juices and end up becoming chewy and hard. If you reduced the amount of chicken for a given recipe, make sure you cut the cooking time accordingly.

Can I use frozen chicken?

No, you cannot use frozen chicken in your slow cooker because It renders the chicken unsafe for consumption. According to the food safety guidelines, chicken must be defrosted before cooking it in the slow cooker.

How to make crockpot shredded chicken?


  • 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast¹ (1.4kg)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (235ml)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder


  1. Put all the ingredients in your slow cooker container.
  1. Cover the crockpot and let the chicken cook for 3 hours on high and 6 hours on low.
  1. After 3 or 6 hours, take the temperature of the chicken to make sure It has reached an internal safe temperature and is safe for consumption. The thermometer should read as 165℉ or 75℃.
  1. Use a pair of forks to pull the fibers of the chicken apart. Fully cooked chicken will be easily shredded.

Nutrition facts 

The following nutrition facts are applicable for 1 cup shredded chicken made using the above recipe.

Calories 525 kcal
Carbohydrates 1 g 
Proteins 97 g
Fat 12 g
Saturated fat 3 g 
Cholesterol 290 mg
Sodium 1395 mg 
Potassium 741 mg
Fiber 1 g
Sugar 1 g
Vitamin A 136 IU
Vitamin C11 mg 
Calcium 27 mg 
Iron 2 mg

Tips for cooking the chicken all day in the slow cooker

Use chicken thighs or leg meat over chicken breast 

It is recommended to go for leg meat over chicken breast because It has a lot more flavorful juices as compared to the breast peice. This will also keep the chicken from drying out quickly. 

If you are not using a whole chicken, de-skin the chicken to allow it to crisp up or else it will be too oily since the skin has a lot of fats. At the end of the day, It all comes down to personal preference. Whatever chicken cut you choose, you must cook it the right way t o get the best results.

Plan to use the meat shredded 

Chicken cooked in the cooker for 6-8 hours will obviously be tender but It won’t slice. Your best bet is to shred the chicken with a pair of forks and use it to stuff tacos or make chicken BBQ sandwiches.

Do not start with frozen chicken, any type, no exceptions 

The frozen chicken will be unable to reach a safe internal temperature of 165℉. Therefore, If you do not want to risk your health due to Salmonella poisoning, thaw your chicken overnight in the fridge.

Cook the whole chicken 

If you cook the whole chicken, we do not promise you a crisp golden crust, but, one thing we are sure about is juicy flavor and the fall of the bone meat. 

Do not remove the skin before cooking(remove It If you want) and cook your chicken with a lot of flavorful herbs and spices. Line the bottom of the cooker with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions.

Chicken on top 

If you place the chicken pieces, especially chicken legs and thighs, on top of a bed of vegetables, the chicken is less likely to become dry and more likely to retain its flavor and tetxure.

How much water do I use?

Add sufficient water that covers the chicken entirely but does not spill out of the cooker when the lid is closed. Another important consideration is the amount of broth you need. Add water accordingly.

Can you freeze chicken from the crockpot?

Yes, you can freeze chicken from the crockpot. Let the chicken come to room temperature before storing it in the freezer. Shred the chicken using forks and put it in a freezer bag. 1-2 pounds of shredded chicken per bag is good portion size.

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

How to boil chicken thighs for shredding?

How to boil frozen boneless skinless chicken breast?

Are rotisserie chickens gluten free?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you overcook chicken in a slow cooker?”, and how to make crockpot shredded chicken?


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!