How to Cook a Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker + Stubb’s BBQ Chicken Sliders Recipe

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Whole chickens used to intimidate me. You mean I have to clean out the insides AND cut it up once it is cooked? It baffled me as to why anybody would want to do this until I decided to roast a whole chicken in the oven and WOW was it amazing.

Roasting a chicken, however, can require you to be home long enough to have the oven on for two hours. That isn’t always doable, so I started to investigate how to cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker. I knew it had been done before, so why not give it a shot?

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker + Stubb's BBQ Chicken Sliders 3

This might be your new favorite way to use your slow cooker. It’s almost TOO easy. Really. And once you have a cooked chicken, you can do many things with it. In this case, I decided to make chicken sliders with Stubb’s BBQ sauce. I’ve always been a fan of Stubb’s since my first bottle a few years ago. While I like making things at home, barbecue sauce and ketchup are two condiments that I prefer to purchase. I did make my own ketchup once, and while it was delicious, you’ll never get the same consistency or taste as that of what you get out of the bottle. Stubb’s is so good, I don’t dare compete with it.

Here I decided to use Stubb’s Sweet Heat sauce, which I had not tried before. It is exactly as the name states – slightly sweet and spicy but neither are overpowering. Stubb’s sauce is thick and great for basting the chicken before you put it into the oven as I mention below. I also dabbed it onto the slider buns and put some extra on top of the chicken once I assembled the sandwiches. I highly suggest that you try Stubb’s Sweet Heat sauce for this recipe! There are several other finger-licking good sandwiches such as Hickory Bourbon, Smokey Mesquite and Honey Pecan.

The chicken will be so tender and delicious, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing this for years. Since it’s only John and I, we ate two sandwiches each and put the rest of the chicken in the fridge for lunch the next day. It’s unbelievable how these handful of ingredients come together to make a delicious meal.

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker + Stubb's BBQ Chicken Sliders 2

Stubb’s BBQ Chicken Sliders

Makes enough for 8 sliders


  • One whole chicken, about 4.5 pounds
  • 2 yellow onions
  • Half a bulb of garlic
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Stubb’s Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce
  • Sandwich fixings: Lettuce, sharp cheddar cheese and slider buns

Roughy dice one onion and scatter the pieces on the bottom of your slow cooker. This creates a base for your chicken to sit on.

Remove the chicken from its packaging and discard any gizzards or innards if you have them.

Stuff the chicken with the other diced onion and the garlic cloves, then sprinkle the thyme instead and on the outside of the chicken.

Place the chicken into the slow cooker with the breast side down. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place the cooked chicken onto the plate. Your chicken will be so tender that it may fall apart (mine broke in half) but that’s okay because you’re going to shred the chicken for the sandwiches anyway. Brush the chicken with some of the Stubb’s sauce and place it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the skin crisps up to your liking. Slice the meat off of the chicken and onto a plate.

Assemble the sandwiches: Brush some of the Stubb’s sauce onto the slider buns. Place the chicken onto the bun and top with lettuce and cheddar cheese. Add more sauce to your liking. Enjoy!

Disclosure: Stubb’s BBQ provided me with free product in exchange for a kick ass recipe that includes their sauce. The recipe, photos and commentary are all my own.

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  • Jessica Turner Strange

    Sounds great! I wondered how you were going to deal with the skin on the chicken in the slow cooker, but the broiler sounds like a good plan. I am going to make this tomorrow for dinner. :o)

    • solidgoldeats

      Glad you were inspired!

    • solidgoldeats

      Also, since making this several times, I haven’t noticed too much of a problem with the skin. I just remove it and go about my chicken shredding skillz.