Slow cooker hunters chicken - 2 minutes to prep (2023)

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We love a nice home cooked dinner, particularly one made in the slow cooker. The flavours have more time to develop and the meat is always soft, tender and delicious. This slow cooker hunters chicken is one of our absolute favourite dishes.

A slow cooker is a really convenient way to have family meals ready and waiting to be served. Most slow cooker recipes cook in 3-4 hours on high and 6-8 hours on low.

There are lots of delicious meals that can withstand longer cooker times, such as slow cooker beef chilli, and this means you can set it before you begin work for the day. I personally don’t leave my slow cooker unattended usually as I work from home so it’s all good!

If you want to cook this faster then be sure to check out my 25 minute air fryer hunters chicken. This is extra crispy and delicious!

Also, if you’ve got a multi-cooker like me, such as the Ninja Foodi OL750UK 15 in 1, then you could even finish this dish off in the air crisper basket or using the grill function.

Here is my recipe for slow cooker hunters chicken. I’ve tested it a few times, in a few ways, and this is my favourite way of cooking it.

Slow cooker hunters chicken - 2 minutes to prep (2)

What is hunters chicken?

Hunters chicken is traditionally the same as chicken cacciatore, a dish served ‘hunters style’. In the UK this dish is often a chicken breast wrapped in bacon, covered with BBQ sauce and topped with grated cheese.

This is my own recipe and it is the same as the hunters chicken you will find in pubs. You can use shop bought BBQ sauce, and you can get this ready to place in the slow cooker in just a couple of minutes.

Ingredients for slow cooker hunters chicken

4 chicken breasts (1 per person)

Salt & pepper

(Video) Simply the Best Slow Cooker Hunters Chicken

8 smoked bacon rashes (2 pieces per chicken breast) – If you want to save some time prepping then just cook the chicken and top with air fryer bacon and grated cheese right near the end.

300ml BBQ sauce (I used 300ml) You’re free to use your own or a pre-made one will work well

60g cheese (Cheddar is our favourite but have whatever you fancy)

Method for slow cooker hunters chicken

If you’re looking for an easy hunters chicken recipe then look no further – this is the one for you!

Season your chicken breasts, wrap them in bacon and then lay in to the bottom of the slow cooker pot.

I like to tuck the bacon rashers underneath, to keep them from unfeeling during the cooking process.

See this photo for how I do it:

Slow cooker hunters chicken - 2 minutes to prep (5)

Pour the barbeque sauce over chicken. Sometimes I use shop bought but homemade would be even tastier if you have the time! I’ve tested both and found the store boughtwas almost as good!

These little time saving tricks are what make using the slow cooker so convenient for busy family life.

Slow cooker hunters chicken - 2 minutes to prep (6)

Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. This is what the pot looked like after cooking.

As you can see the juice from the chicken has thinned the sauce a little.

Chicken slow cooked typically stays very soft and tender, and can fall apart really easily.

Slow cooker hunters chicken - 2 minutes to prep (7)

You CAN add cheese directly when serving up the wrapped chicken breasts but I prefer to grill it. I carefully remove the wrapped chicken breasts from the slow cooker pot and place into an oven proof dish.

(Video) The English Pub Classic Hunters Chicken | Ready in 30 mins!

Slow cooker hunters chicken - 2 minutes to prep (8)

Top with grated cheese. Serve here if you want to save time/effort.

Slow cooker hunters chicken - 2 minutes to prep (9)

Grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese has melted.

I mostly use aged or smoked cheddar for this recipe and it works really well.

A good cheddar brings a delicious, strong flavour to the chicken and smoked bacon. It works really well with the BBQ sauce.

Slow cooker hunters chicken - 2 minutes to prep (10)

There you have it – the perfect hunters chicken!

We serve ours mostly with air fryer chips. They’re delicious and super tasty.

There is always plenty of sauce left in the slow cooker pot. This is perfect as a dip for chips or for an extra drizzle over the top once grilled.

Slow cooker hunters chicken - 2 minutes to prep (11)

This hunters chicken slow cooker recipe is so simple and delicious. It is tender, soft and not dry at all. I feel like the chicken is much more succulent than when you cook it in the oven.

You do have to be careful when removing it from the slow cooker pot but by grilling it youget that lovely crispy top that makes hunters chicken so delicious.

How to make hunters chicken sauce:

A hunters chicken sauce is usually a BBQ sauce. You can either use a jar or bottle of ready made sauce or you can make my brown sugar BBQ sauce.

What to have with hunters chicken / what to serve with hunters chicken:

We love chips or fries, whether homemade or frozen, and here are some of our favourite side dishes for hunters chicken:

  • Air fryer frozen potato wedges
  • Frozen french fries in the air fryer
  • Mashed potatoes in the air fryer
  • Air fryer hasselback potatoes
  • Bread rolls in the air fryer
  • Air fryer green beans
  • Air fryer carrots

We personally love air fryer chips. Also, a nice side of vegetables goes down well and is a great way to make this a more balanced meal. I love air fryer broccolini and air fryer baby carrots with mine, but also spicy beans, cous cous and rice all work very well too.

Click here for 25+ great side dish ideas for hunters chicken:

(Video) Slow Cooker Hunters Chicken

What to do with leftover hunters chicken?

I have seen people making a hunters chicken lasagne, which sounds absolutely amazing! You could also put it in a panini (we often have leftovers from when I make air fryer tuna panini) or a wrap, to make a tasty, simple lunch packed full of flavour.

Want to make hunters chicken in the oven?

Wrap your chicken in bacon and cook at 200C (gas mark 6) for 20 minutes. Pour oven the barbecue sauce, top with cheese and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve! Delicious!

Can you make hunters chicken with chicken thighs?

Absolutely! Chicken thighs are the most flavour packed cut of chicken in my opinion, and would work great. You’ll want to use two thighs per portion, bone out!

Want to add something extra to bring some more flavour?

Chorizo works SO well with this dish. You could buy slices of chorizo, or just add some nice chopped pieces to the BBQ sauce. I suggest sautéing them first, and then using the oil in the bottom of the slow cooker pot for some extra flavour.

ALL of the slow cooker recipes on this website have been cooked using a Ninja Foodi OL750UK, or the previous model, but you can use ANY slow cooker, as timings should be very similar.

How to make hunters chicken:

Slow cooker hunters chicken - 2 minutes to prep (15)


slow cooker hunters chicken

A hearty slow cooker hunters chicken that is just like the pub classic, with less effort!

CourseMain Course


(Video) Freezable Hunters Chicken


Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 4 hours

Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes

Servings 4 servings

Calories 481 kcal

Author Katykicker


  • 4chicken breasts1 per person
  • Salt & pepper
  • 8rashers of bacon(smoked)
  • 300mlBBQ sauce
  • 60gCheese


  1. Season your chicken breasts and wrap in bacon.

  2. Place into the slow cooker.

  3. Pour over the barbeque sauce.

  4. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours.

    (Video) Pinch of Nom- Hunters chicken healthy and delicious

  5. Either serve, and added grated cheese, or place into an ovenproof tray, top with cheese and grill for a couple of minutes.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

If you enjoyed this post I’d love it if you could pin it on Pinterest!

Slow cooker hunters chicken - 2 minutes to prep (16)


How long should you cook chicken in the crockpot? ›

Cover your crock pot and cook chicken breasts on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Chicken is done when the internal temp reaches 165 degrees F. Use chicken in your favorite recipes. Perfect for shredding!

Is it better to cook chicken on high or low in slow cooker? ›

Always cook your boneless skinless chicken breasts on LOW for the best results. I do not recommend cooking boneless chicken breast on HIGH, as it will become very dry and tough, even if you check it early. On high, the chicken turns out drier; I consistently have the best results with low.

How long does raw chicken take in slow cooker on high? ›

Cook the chicken breast-side up for 4 to 5 hours on the high setting, or 6 to 8 hours on low. The juices should run clear when the thickest part of the chicken breast and thigh are pierced with a knife. Chicken needs to rest for about 20 minutes before carving.

Can you just put raw chicken in a slow cooker? ›

Yes, you can put raw chicken in a slow cooker! Slow cookers and Crock-Pots are designed to cook raw meats. The direct heat from the pot, lengthy cooking time and steam created from the tightly covered container destroys bacteria, making slow cooking safe. You can put frozen chicken in a slow cooker, too!

Does the chicken have to be covered in water in slow cooker? ›

There is no need to add water to a whole chicken recipe in the slow cooker. Adding butter or lemon juice is better for infusing flavor. Unless you want poached chicken, do not add water.

Does chicken need to be fully covered in crockpot? ›

However, if a recipe doesn't call for the chicken to be submerged, then it's probably because the ingredients and cooking time have been devised so that submerging the chicken isn't necessary. In general, chicken breasts don't need to be submerged, but thighs and drumsticks benefit from fully immersed in liquid.

How do you keep chicken from drying out in a slow cooker? ›

To prevent poultry from drying out, use chicken thighs—they have more fat and won't dry out as quickly, says Finlayson. Cook thighs for about 6 hours and breasts for a maximum of 5 hours on low heat.

Can you overcook chicken in a Crockpot? ›

Can you overcook chicken in the slow cooker? Yes, it is possible! If the meat is cooked too long it could end up dry and not juicy and tender. The recommended times in my recipe are ideal for juicy results, but if you use less chicken than the recipe calls for I would recommend checking it sooner.

Is it safe to slow cook chicken on low? ›

Research conducted by USDA FSIS indicates it's safe to cook large cuts of meat and poultry in a slow cooker.

Can you cook chicken in crockpot on high for 2 hours? ›

Cook the chicken.

Cover and cook until the chicken is tender and registers an internal temperature of 165°F, 4 to 5 hours on the LOW setting, or 2 to 3 hours on the HIGH setting.

How do you know when slow cooked chicken is done? ›

Cook until the chicken is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (not touching bone) reads 160°F, around 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Can you put raw meat straight into a slow cooker? ›

Can You Put Raw Beef in a Slow Cooker? Yes, you can totally cook raw beef in a slow cooker. Many slow-cooker chili recipes have a step for browning the beef before it goes into the Crock-Pot. While this step isn't necessary, caramelizing the meat creates richer, bolder flavors.

How quickly do you need to cook raw chicken? ›

The short answer here is: set your oven to 350 degrees F. Put your whole, unstuffed chicken in the oven, and it's going to take 20 to 25 minutes for every pound that chicken weighs.

Is it OK to put raw chicken in slow cooker with vegetables? ›

As crazy as it might seem, you can cook raw chicken with vegetables. By ensuring the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F, you can be certain that your vegetables are safe to eat. How long can you leave a slow cooker on low? You can leave a slow cooker on low for 8-12 hours.

Do you need to add liquid to meat in slow cooker? ›

There is no need to cover the meat in liquid when cooking with a slow cooker, you only need enough liquid to cover the base of the slow cooker as the meat and vegetables will release liquid as they cook.

Does chicken get rubbery in slow cooker? ›

Aside from accidentally overcooking the meals, the most common reason we see for tough, rubbery, or overdone chicken is customers using a Crockpot that is far too big. Each of our meals comes with a recommended slow cooker size.

Why is my chicken rubbery but moist? ›

– Here's your answer: It means that you have overcooked the chicken breast. This has caused the protein fibers to lose their elasticity, resulting in a rubbery texture. The two biggest reasons for overcooking is that you either forgot your dish was on the fire or you were afraid of undercooked meat.

How long can you cook on low in slow cooker? ›

That varies by what's inside the slow cooker and also by the appliance's setting and model, the experts say. Most recipes for all-day cooking call for 6 to 8 hours on low. Quality- (and safety-) wise, another 1 to 2 hours in 'keep warm' mode won't mess things up.

What is the lowest you can cook chicken? ›

The minimum oven temperature to use when cooking chicken is 325 °F (162.8° C). Using a food thermometer is the only sure way of knowing if your food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria.

What is the danger zone for slow cooker? ›

A safe slow cooker, cooks slow enough for unattended cooking, yet fast enough to keep food out of the bacterial danger zone. In the danger zone (above 40°F to below 140°F), bacteria grows very rapidly.

What is the lowest temperature to slow cook chicken? ›

  • Remove the pack of giblets from the chicken. Save for use in homemade stock, if desired. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. ...
  • Bake, uncovered, at 275 degrees F for 3-4 hours. If chicken is smaller, cook on the low end of the time frame and vice-versa. ...
  • Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Does slow cooking chicken make it more tender? ›

Slow cookers (or Crock Pots) are perfect for breaking down meats and making them tender and juicy. By gently simmering boneless chicken thighs (or chicken breast) in a flavorful cooking broth, the chicken become ultra tender.

Can chicken be a little pink? ›

The USDA says that as long as all parts of the chicken have reached a minimum internal temperature of 165°, it is safe to eat. Color does not indicate doneness. The USDA further explains that even fully cooked poultry can sometimes show a pinkish tinge in the meat and juices.

How do you tell if chicken is fully cooked inside? ›

Poke the meat to see if juices are red or clear

For properly cooked chicken, if you cut into it and the juices run clear, then the chicken is fully cooked. If the juices are red or have a pinkish color, your chicken may need to be cooked a bit longer.

What happens if you don't brown meat before slow cooking? ›

You should always brown ground beef or any ground meat in a skillet before adding it to your slow cooker to prevent the meat from clumping up or from adding excess grease to your cooked dish.

Is it OK not to brown meat before slow cooking? ›

"Browning, or caramelizing, meat before putting it into a slow cooker isn't 100 percent necessary, but it is well worth the effort for the most flavorful and full-bodied end result," he says. "The caramelized surface of the meat will lend rich flavor and color to the finished dish."

Does meat get more tender the longer you slow cook it? ›

Cook Low and Slow

This long, slow braise breaks down the connective tissue and fat, creating deliciously soft and juicy meat. Why is meat still tough in the slow cooker? It's because you haven't let the collagen break down. Extend the cook time, make sure there's enough liquid and keep an eye on the dish.

Can chicken be cooked in 6 minutes? ›

Start by having the heat medium-high when you put the chicken breast in the pan. Sear it quickly. Then get the heat down to medium-low. The average-size boneless chicken breast takes only about 6 minutes of cooking time.

How fast can you get food poisoning from raw chicken? ›

The bacteria are usually found on raw or undercooked meat (particularly poultry), unpasteurised milk and untreated water. The incubation period (the time between eating contaminated food and the start of symptoms) for food poisoning caused by campylobacter is usually between two and five days.

How long does it take to get salmonella from raw chicken? ›

Salmonella infection is usually caused by eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, and eggs or egg products or by drinking unpasteurized milk. The incubation period — the time between exposure and illness — can be 6 hours to 6 days.

Why do you need to brown chicken before slow cooking? ›

Sear the Chicken Before Adding It to the Slow Cooker

Pre-cooking seals in the juices in the poultry and makes it even more tender as you cook it. A caramelized piece of meat will always taste better in your dish.

Do you put meat or vegetables on top in slow cooker? ›

Layer wisely: For even cooking, cut food into uniform-size pieces. Place firm, slow-cooking root vegetables like potatoes and carrots at the bottom of the crock and pile the meat on top.

What foods should not go in a slow cooker? ›

​11 things you shouldn't put in your slow cooker
  • Lean meats. ...
  • Raw meat. ...
  • Too much liquid. ...
  • Delicate vegetables. ...
  • Too much spice. ...
  • Dairy. ...
  • Too much booze. ...
  • Meat that has the skin on.
Oct 12, 2022

Should you put the meat at the bottom in a slow cooker? ›

Hearty, tough veggies must be placed on the bottom of the slow cooker. And meat is generally best on top. If you place it directly on the bottom heating element, the meat can overcook, while the veggies are still crunchy.

What happens if you put too much liquid in a slow cooker? ›

If you add too much liquid to your recipe, it will become very hot and cause excess condensation, which will drip from the lid back into your dish and make the recipe too watery. Ladle out the excess before cooking, if you find there's too much.

What happens if not enough liquid in slow cooker? ›

It's really no different from cooking something on a stove: if you have no liquid at all, things are probably going to start getting too hot, sticking on the bottom, and maybe burning. As long as there's some liquid, you'll be fine.

How long can you leave chicken in the crockpot on low? ›

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: 1-2 hours on Low. Bone-in Split Chicken Breasts: 2-3 hours on Low. Chicken Thighs: 3-4 hours on Low. Whole Chicken: 4-6 hours on Low.

Can you leave chicken in the slow cooker too long? ›

Can you overcook chicken in the slow cooker? Yes, it is possible! If the meat is cooked too long it could end up dry and not juicy and tender. The recommended times in my recipe are ideal for juicy results, but if you use less chicken than the recipe calls for I would recommend checking it sooner.

Can I leave chicken in a crockpot for 9 hours? ›

Yes! There is plenty of room is a 6 quart crockpot to double this reicpe if you want to make a very large amount of shredded chicken. Doube all the ingredients. Cook on HIGH for 5 hours or LOW for 9 hours.

Is it better to cook chicken low and slow? ›

The slower you cook chicken, the better. That's the overall rule for cooking protein. Start by having the heat medium-high when you put the chicken breast in the pan.

How do restaurants get their chicken breasts so tender? ›

Ever notice how the chicken in stir fries at your favourite Chinese restaurant is incredibly tender? It's because they tenderise chicken using a simple method called Velveting Chicken using baking soda. It's a quick and easy method that any home cook can do, and can also be used for beef.

Does chicken get more tender the longer you cook it? ›

Does chicken get more tender the longer you boil it? Yes, chicken will continue to become more tender as you boil it. However, once the chicken reaches 165°F, it is likely to turn rubbery if you continue to boil.


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