Crock pots are a kitchen essential that offer convenience, especially for busy individuals. All you have to do is drop your ingredients and seasonings into the pot, and voila! You have a delicious dinner for yourself and your family.
Compared to traditional cooking methods, using a crock pot takes longer because it cooks slowly. But how long does it take to cook frozen chicken in a crock pot?
How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken in a Crock Pot?
A frozen chicken will take approximately 6 hours to cook in a crock pot. Since it’s frozen, it needs time to thaw and cook at the same time. If you’re cooking with thawed chicken, it can be ready in about 3-4 hours, depending on the quantity.
How To Cook Frozen Chicken in the Crock Pot?
The easiest part of the chicken to cook when it’s frozen is the chicken breast. It doesn’t have bones, and the meat is soft enough to thaw quickly and cook well simultaneously.
Cooking frozen chicken in a crock pot is simple. Just put the frozen chicken directly into the crock pot and cook it for a longer period. Always give the chicken extra time to thaw to avoid any food safety risks. Before serving, make sure you check the chicken’s temperature.
The USDA suggests that the chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees before it’s safe to eat.
Here’s a simple recipe you can follow:
“Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches”
- 4 lbs frozen boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup of water
- 5 cloves of thinly chopped garlic
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Burger buns or hotdog buns
- Ready-made barbecue sauce
- Put the frozen chicken in the crock pot.
- Add the water, garlic cloves, and seasonings like salt and pepper.
- Cover the chicken with a lid and cook on low for 6 hours.
- Check if it’s ready to shred.
- Shred the chicken with two forks and set it aside.
- Toast the buns on a pan with butter.
- Slice them in half and spread some barbecue sauce on both sides.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of shredded chicken and serve.
- You can refrigerate leftover chicken for about a week or freeze it for a month.
Can You Cook Frozen Chicken in the Crock Pot on High?
The same method applies to both raw and frozen chicken. It should always be cooked on low temperature. Cooking it at a high temperature will result in dry, tough, and overcooked chicken meat.
I mean, who likes tough chicken?
If the idea behind cooking it on high temperature is to cook the meat faster or you’re cooking a larger batch, then it won’t work. It will still take the same amount of time as cooking it on low, but the results will be extremely different. Always remember to cook any meat in the crock pot on low.
How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken Meat with Bones in a Crock Pot?
Since chicken meat with bones still has traces of blood in the bone marrow, you need to give it an extra hour to cook, especially if it’s frozen. Don’t rush the cooking process and be tempted to cook it at a high temperature because it won’t cook well and will dry out the meat.
What’s the Difference Between a Crock Pot and a Slow Cooker?
First of all, let’s define a slow cooker and a crock pot separately.
A crock pot is actually a brand name that was invented in the ’70s. It’s a thick ceramic or stoneware pot that is surrounded by a heating element, ensuring even cooking for any dish you put in it. The thickness of the ceramic holds the heat inside perfectly.
Crock pots are easy to use and have three settings to choose from: low, high, and keep warm. They maintain a consistent heating pattern that doesn’t require any effort to turn on or off when adjusting the heat inside. Some advanced models even have a timer that automatically switches to keep warm when the set time is up.
On the other hand, a slow cooker is not a brand but rather a type of kitchen appliance. It comes in different styles, but typically consists of a metal pot placed on a heated surface.
Unlike a crock pot, the heating mechanism of a slow cooker is only at the bottom. That’s why sometimes food can stick or burn on the bottom if it’s not stirred occasionally. Dishes with low amounts of fluids or those containing dairy products must be stirred to prevent sticking.
Unlike a crock pot, a slow cooker cooks in cycles. It doesn’t remain on a steady cooking pattern but switches on or off throughout the cooking time until the set time has elapsed. Like the crock pot, it also has three settings to choose from. You can purchase slow cookers from various brands available in the market.
Therefore, both kitchen appliances are similar and don’t offer much of a difference. Just pick the right recipe and follow the standard cooking procedure. If you have either one of them, you should be good.
Can You Cook Frozen Chicken in a Slow Cooker?
Yes, the same process applies to cooking frozen chicken in a slow cooker. Just make sure you follow the safety guidelines suggested by the USDA. The chicken meat needs to achieve the desired temperature before serving to avoid any bacterial growth, such as salmonella.
How Long Will it Take to Cook?
Depending on the size of your recipe, it will need more time. Generally, it takes about 6-8 hours under low heat. Keep in mind to keep stirring the dish in a slow cooker to prevent burning or sticking on the bottom.
Similar to a crock pot, avoid cooking your chicken at a high temperature as it will result in overcooked meat.
Here’s a recipe you could try for your Slow Cooker:
“Slow Cooker Chili Chicken”
- 3 large boneless and skinless frozen chicken breasts
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 2 cups of diced tomatoes
- 2 cans of tomato sauce
- ½ cup of full cream sauce
- ½ cup of diced onion
- 1 large chopped green bell pepper
- 1 can of black beans
- 2 thinly chopped jalapeños
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 tsp of Italian seasoning
- 3 tsp of chili powder
- 1 tbsp of cumin
- 1 tbsp of minced garlic
- Mix all the ingredients in the slow cooker, except for the cream sauce.
- Stir all the ingredients evenly and cook for about 6 hours on low.
- Once cooked, remove the chicken and chop it into small pieces. Place it back in the slow cooker together with the cream sauce.
- Stir the mixture evenly until it becomes nice and creamy.
- Do a taste test and add additional seasonings if needed.
- Cover for 15 minutes.
- Serve with warm rice and top with cheese and freshly chopped cilantro.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week.
My Key Takeaway
As a fan of using a crock pot during the weekends, I appreciate the convenience it offers. It allows me to cook without the need to rush, especially when it comes to thawing or defrosting chicken meat.
However, I wouldn’t recommend cooking frozen chicken in a crock pot all the time due to food safety concerns. When using a crock pot, it’s easy to get distracted and go about our daily activities while waiting for the food to cook. Because of this, we may forget to check the meat’s internal temperature.
Therefore, when cooking frozen chicken in a crock pot, it’s crucial to be cautious and always check the internal temperature. If not, it’s best to thaw your meats beforehand. After all, safety should always be a priority over convenience.
If you’re looking for more information or recipes, you can visit Ekilove, where you’ll find a wide range of resources and tips for cooking with a crock pot or slow cooker. Happy cooking!