How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in a Slow Cooker? There are several general guidelines. First, be sure to use an instant-read thermometer. A good rule of thumb is to check the meat with the thermometer halfway through cooking. If it looks raw, it is not yet cooked, and recheck it at the low end of the cooking range if it is. When the surface of the chicken breast no longer looks raw, you can turn the setting down.
If you overcook the meat, the slow cooker will need more time to return to temperature, and it will also lose most of the trapped steam. If you don’t have a microwave, you can defrost the chicken breast in the freezer and use it for recipes that call for shredded chicken. Shredded chicken is an excellent option for a meal and can be shredded with two forks in the slow cooker. If you don’t feel like doing the slicing yourself, you can use a handheld mixer at low speed to shred the chicken. You can also dice it for recipes.
Once your chicken breasts have been cooked to your satisfaction, you can shred them with a stand mixer. You can also use the paddle attachment to shred them a little thicker. Shredded chicken breasts are easily stored in the freezer for up to 2 months, making meal prep accessible!
You can even make salads with your leftover chicken. But be sure to check the nutrition labels before serving. The cooking process is complete; transfer the chicken to an airtight container and store it in the fridge or freezer for four days. You can also make a batch and freeze it immediately if you don’t use it. Once it has cooled, you can slice or shred it and serve it to your family. After cooking, crockpot chicken is easy to store and will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
How Long to Cook Chicken Breast in a Slow Cooker?
Before cooking, thoroughly season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a covered crockpot on the stovetop, cook chicken breasts on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours. The chicken is ready when its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Make chicken a regular element of your menu. Cook the chicken breast-side up on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours. The juices should stream clear when the thickest chicken breast and thigh section are pierced with a knife. Before cutting, let the chicken rest for about 20 minutes.
In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine the chicken, stock, broth, or water. Prepare the chicken. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 hours on the LOW setting or 2 to 3 hours on the HIGH setting, or until the chicken is cooked and registers an internal temperature of 165°F. If you wonder how long to cook chicken breast in a slow cooker, it is best to defrost the meat before putting it in. This way, you can control the salt level in the dish and prevent the chicken from drying out. Also, use low sodium chicken broth. While it’s tempting to use water, chicken broth is healthier. However, chicken broth can cause food safety risks. Salmonella can multiply rapidly at temperatures in the 40 to 140oF danger zone, resulting in food-borne illnesses.
How to Freeze and Store Chicken Breast?
You may either use the chicken right away or save it for later once you’ve cooked it in your crockpot or slow cooker: Allow the chicken breast to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container, whole, shredded, or cubed. Refrigerate the container and use the chicken within 4-5 days.
Follow the methods above and place it in the freezer to freeze your chicken. Cooked chicken breasts can last about three months in the freezer. Thaw it in the refrigerator and serve it cold with salad recipes, or heat it in the microwave for warm meals.
How to Make Perfect Slow Cooker Chicken Breast?
- Choose good quality chicken. I’m not saying it has to be pricey (I purchase frozen chicken breasts when they’re on sale! ), but I’ve discovered that the quality of chicken breasts can vary significantly from one package to the next. Choose a type that you like and stick with it.
- Not too full or empty: What do I use this 2.5-quart crockpot for? These days, almost everything. Its size is ideal for 4 or 6 chicken breasts, and I’ve discovered that putting just a couple of chicken breasts in a larger crockpot cooks them faster and makes them more prone to overcooking. When your slow cooker is at least half-filled, it provides a layer of “insulation” for the chicken, preventing it from overcooking.
- To sear or not to sear. I tried both methods because I like to know what I’m talking about when I say this is the best slow cooker chicken breast you’ve ever had. There wasn’t much of a difference between the two, I discovered. If you want to sear it ahead of time, go ahead; if you’re already stressed and want to dump and go, go ahead.
- Butter (my secret ingredient that makes all the difference. Alternatively, margarine. Another confession: I eat a lot of margarine, and I do not despise it. Because they have three times the quantity of fat, chicken thighs offer superior flavor and juiciness to chicken breasts. I reasoned that if I put just a little fat in the slow cooker, I could give my chicken breasts some fat love. (SPOILER: it works.) It’s excellent (and doesn’t even require half a cup).
- Don’t overcook. If you want a longer cook time, try filling your slow cooker more than half full, slowing down the cooking process.
- Toss in a package of taco seasoning for slow cooker chicken tacos!
- Brush with barbecue sauce once they’re done cooking before serving.
- Brush with any of your favorite sauces, and there you go — the most leisurely dinner you never had to babysit!
Is It Safe to Cook Chicken in a Slow Cooker?
Even on the low setting, if your slow cooker is working properly and you follow a few simple recommendations, the chicken will be cooked at a temperature well below food safety regulations. The low setting cooks at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, while the high setting cooks at around 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yes, if they’re used properly. The slow cooker cooks food at a low temperature for several hours, usually between 170 and 280 degrees F. The slow cooker is a safe way to cook foods because direct heat from the pot, long cooking, and steam kill microorganisms.
Serving Suggestions for Slow Cooker Chicken Breast
- One of the most adaptable ingredients on the planet is cooked chicken breast, and here are a few ways to put it to use.
- Shred the meat and add it to soups like Spinach Tortellini Soup, Quick Chicken Noodle Soup, and White Chili.
- Make Greek Quesadillas or a Brie Grilled Cheese with it.
- Add this to Caesar Salad (or Kale Caesar Salad), Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, or Wild Rice Salad to make a complete meal.
- Use it to make Waldorf Chicken Salad by chopping it up.
- It can be shredded and used in Chicken Pot Pie or Buffalo Chicken Pizza.
- Mango Salsa, Chimichurri Sauce, or Roasted Red Pepper Sauce are great additions.
Seasoning the chicken is crucial. It’s the only way you can get flavor into the meat. Generally, salt and pepper are enough, but you can add Italian seasoning or spicy flakes for a few types of recipes. The seasoning will vary, so it’s good to do your calculations. One way to increase chicken flavor is to use taco seasoning. Another tip is to make sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts take four to five hours to cook on low, while skin-in breasts take around eight hours to cook on high. When cooking, make sure the chicken is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal tenderness. For the best result, use a slow cooker with low heat. You can adjust the temperature by adding water if the meat becomes too dry.
Another great tip for cooking chicken breasts in a slow cooker is to choose boneless, skinless breasts. These chicken breasts are lower in calories and fat than chicken with bones. A half chicken breast contains 13.4 grams of fat and two-hundred calories. It’s an excellent choice for chicken salad, soups, or sandwiches and is also a healthy and convenient choice for meal prep.