This article is for you if you are looking for a quick and easy way to prepare shredded chicken. It guides you on how to make shredded chicken in the crockpot. Follow the steps below to prepare this delicious chicken dish. After the cooking process, you can store the shredded chicken in an airtight container or freeze it. You can use it in countless ways.
When using crockpot chicken, you can use any spices and herbs. There is no right or wrong order when it comes to spices. The flavours of the spices will infuse with the chicken while it cooks. And, unlike the traditional roasting method, it doesn’t take long. Cooking the chicken on low for 6 to eight hours is more than sufficient. Once the chicken is cooked, it can be frozen in small containers for future use. During the winter, you can also defrost the shredded chicken in the microwave and use it as needed.
How to Prepare Chicken Shredded in a Slow Cooker?
With a comparison of chicken breasts against chicken thighs and boneless versus bone-in chicken, we’ll start by discussing how to make slow cooker shredded chicken.
First, add the chicken to the slow cooker.
To ensure uniform cooking, add your chicken breasts or thighs to the slow cooker in a single layer first, and the chicken won’t cook evenly if the layers are overlapped.
Step 2: Seasoning is added
The seasonings will then be added to the chicken. Don’t cut corners here, especially with the salt, as it’s crucial for the flavour of the chicken. The only opportunity you have to flavour the meat is now.
Salt and pepper work best with any dish if you want to use your chicken in various recipes.
Other ideas for flavouring your chicken in the slow cooker:
Mexican chicken shreds. Add the seasonings from my Mexican chicken in a crock pot.
Chicken shredded in Italian. To your chicken, add two teaspoons of Italian seasoning.
Spicy Chicken Shredded. If you enjoy spiciness, season your chicken with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
Third Step: On HIGH or LOW, cook. As shown by the Times Below
These cooking times are suggestions based on my experience, but I always advise using an instant-read thermometer to check your chicken for doneness early. Your chicken should be 165 degrees F when finished. After the cooking period, if your chicken is not fully cooked, put it back in the slow cooker and cook it again until it is.
Cooking times for boneless chicken breasts.
Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours on LOW. Always cook your boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the greatest results over low heat.
Even if you check the boneless chicken breast frequently, HIGH cooking will make it very dry. Low consistently produces the greatest results for me; high causes the chicken to come out drier.
Based on an 8-ounce, medium-sized boneless chicken breast. If your piece of chicken is smaller or larger, make sure to adjust the time accordingly.
Check ahead! Your chicken may require less or more time than indicated because every crock pot model is unique.
Chicken Breasts with Bones
LOW for two to three hours or HIGH for one to two hours.
You can cook the chicken on high since bone-in chicken is less likely to dry out than boneless chicken.
Based on an 11-ounce, medium-rare, bone-in chicken breast. If your piece of chicken is smaller or larger, make sure to adjust the time accordingly.
Cooking times for chicken thighs
Chicken thighs without bones.
Cook for 3 to 4 hours on Low or 2 to 3 hours on High.
You may cook the chicken on high since chicken thighs are less likely to dry out than chicken breasts.
Based on a 4.5-ounce, medium-sized boneless chicken thigh.
If your piece of chicken is smaller or larger, make sure to adjust the time accordingly.
Chicken Thighs with Bones
Either HIGH or LOW for 5–6 hours of cooking is appropriate.
Based on a medium-sized, 5.5-ounce bone-in chicken thigh.
If your piece of chicken is smaller or larger, make sure to adjust the time accordingly.
How to Shred Cooked Chicken Thighs and Breasts?
Although you can certainly eat the chicken from your slow cooker diced or sliced, shredding it is quicker, easier, and more adaptable. Here are some of the top techniques for shredding chicken thighs and breasts:
Hand blender. This is the approach I prefer! To shred the chicken, remove it to a bowl or shred it right in the slow cooker using a hand mixer set to low speed. Additionally, you can add the cooked chicken breasts or thighs to the paddle-equipped bowl of a stand mixer and shred them on low speed.
Two Knives. Get two forks and use one to steady the large pieces of chicken. To shred the large piece, use the other fork. (I’ve also heard that these Meat Shredder Claws work particularly, according to reports.)
Fingers. You can use your fingers to shred chicken with enough cooling.
Which Chicken Breed Makes the Best Shredded Chicken?
Chicken with or without bones. You can use bone-in and boneless chicken pieces to produce shredded chicken.
It cooks more quickly and is usually easier to shred when the meat is boneless.
Chicken flesh with the bone tends to stay highly wet and may taste better.
Skin is optional. Although you can cook your chicken with the skin, it will most likely go soggy, and it is best to remove any skin before you start cooking this recipe.
Lay the chicken skin side in the slow cooker with the lid slightly ajar if you want to cook it with the skin on. This will assist the skin in crisp up while cooking by allowing some moisture to escape. Be aware that allowing the lid to be ajar may require you to extend the cooking time.
What is the Best Advice for the Ideal Slow Cooker Diced Chicken?
Chicken shouldn’t be overcooked. In a slow cooker, chicken can be overcooked, and the chicken will get dry if it is overcooked. Early on, especially if it’s your first time making chicken, check to see whether it’s done. To prevent overcooking, I also like to use a slow cooker that can be programmed.
Cook at LOW heat. Although chicken breasts that are cooked on high may finish cooking more rapidly, they are considerably more likely to dry out. The wait time isn’t long, and the trade-off is worthwhile because this recipe cooks very rapidly, even on lows.
Cook in one layer alone. To ensure consistent cooking, put the chicken pieces in a single layer.
No liquid needs to be added. As long as the chicken is in a single layer, its inherent moisture will suffice. So you can prepare this shredded chicken in the crockpot without any stock.
Season! Any taste benefits greatly from a generous sprinkle of kosher salt, and I also enjoy including black pepper. More seasoning suggestions are provided above.
The chicken should rest. After removing the chicken from the slow cooker, give it at least five minutes to rest, and this will assist in keeping the chicken’s juices within and moist.
Can Frozen Chicken be Cooked in a Slow Cooker?
Never put frozen chicken in a slow cooker because it might take too much time at room temperature and become dangerous to eat. Chicken has the most risk of acquiring dangerous bacteria at room temperature.
The purpose of today’s shredded chicken recipe is to put raw chicken in the slow cooker, but it must first totally defrost.
Use frozen chicken if you must. Follow the directions for my Instant Pot Chicken or the advice below for rapidly thawing chicken if you forgot to thaw your chicken and need to use it frozen (I’ve been there).
Fast thawing of frozen chicken. Put the frozen chicken in a plastic bag, and then pour cold water into a large bowl. Place the bag in the bowl of cold water, then let it there until it thaws (about 1 to 2 hours). Pour away any heated water, then top the dish with cool, new water.
Keeping and Freezing Food Chicken To Store In A Crock-Pot. For up to 4 days, store shredded chicken in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
To rewarm. To prevent it from drying, microwave some basic shredded chicken until it’s hot and then top it with a little water or chicken broth. You can reheat chicken in sauce on the stovetop over medium-low heat if you’re serving it with sauce.
To Frost. Keep chopped chicken in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
What are the Uses for Chicken that has been Shredded?
The versatility of shredded chicken makes it perfect for SO many different recipes! Add more protein to your favourite salad, soup, or pasta dish to any recipe that asks for shredded chicken. I like to utilize shredded chicken from the crock pot in the following ways:
Tex-Mex Cooking. A fantastic option to use the chicken is in slow cooker shredded chicken tacos, enchiladas, or quesadillas (Chicken Enchilada Skillet, anyone?). Here are some other fiesta-themed suggestions!
Sandwiches. Consider adding a sauce to my Healthy Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes or Crock Pot BBQ Chicken. After that, create a sandwich with the shredded chicken from the crockpot.
Salads. Top your favourite salad with this shredded chicken from the crock pot to add protein. My favourites are the spinach strawberry salad with balsamic poppy seed dressing and the chicken caesar pasta salad.
Pizzas. Pizza can be topped with your chicken shredded.
Soups. To increase the protein value of your favourite vegetarian soup, like broccoli cauliflower soup, stir some of this chicken into the mix.
Casseroles. Add shredded chicken from the crock pot in a vegetable dish like this Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole.
When is a Slow Cooker Best Used on High?
Some recipes call for cooking on high even if the low setting is more practical, especially for foods that benefit from prolonged cooking.
Even on high, a slow cooker will take at least 3 to 4 hours to prepare food, although cooking on high has the advantage of making food more rapidly.
If you decide to use the high setting, be careful not to overcook your meal. It is simple to overcook food on a high setting, especially if you switch the timer from low to high.
On high, cook lean meat.
Leaner beef slices should be cooked on hot rather than low in your slow cooker. These portions of beef will become leathery and dry from long, low cooking.
For dishes including ground beef, the high setting can also be used, but always brown the meat first because it would turn out grey and unappetizing otherwise.
On high, cook the chicken.
Any recipe that calls for cooking chicken on high should be followed to prevent the chicken from overcooking. Stick to thighs and drumsticks when cooking chicken in the slow cooker; avoid cooking anything with chicken skin.
To make shredded chicken in the crockpot, you’ll need to place the ingredients in your slow cooker. Then, cook on low for at least 6 hours or high for four. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken and shred it with a fork. You can add a tablespoon of chicken broth or a half cup of chicken broth to give it a flavorful edge. Typically, 2 pounds of chicken will yield 4 1/2 cups of shredded chicken.
Once the chicken is cooked, season it with salt and pepper. If you don’t want to use salt, use two teaspoons of Italian seasoning. If you don’t have any of these ingredients, you can substitute them. Once the chicken is cooked, it will be tender and super moist. You can use this chicken in salads, soups, and sandwiches and freeze it for later use.