I like to use the slow cooker during the week. I usually leave at about 6am, and don't sit down and eat until around 6pm. I have a crock pot with a timer mechanism that automatically turns to warm after the specified cooking time elapses. The last recipe I made with chicken breast (i think it was some type of pineapple chicken) had a recommended cook time of 6 to 8 hours on low. I think I chose to cook it for 7 hours. Honestly, this is the first time I dried out chicken. It was so bad I ended up throwing it out.

The dish had plenty of liquid (actually probably a little to much), and I added some butter. Do you think my dry chicken problem was linked to the length of time I cooked the chicken, or the amount of time the dish sat in the crockpot at the warm setting? Ever since then, I've been avoiding recipes with chicken breast, which are a favorite.

So do I need to avoid recipes crockpot recipes with chicken?

  • 1
    Yes. You overcooked your chicken breast. It is not the best ingredient for a crock pot.
    – moscafj
    May 19, 2018 at 16:16
  • @moscafj but what overcooked it? 7 hours i the slow cooker or hours on the warm setting?
    – coding4fun
    May 19, 2018 at 16:37
  • 3
    At approximately 200F in a crock pot on low setting, your chicken breast was probably cooked in about an hour...give or take, depending on thickness and exact temp.
    – moscafj
    May 19, 2018 at 16:45
  • 1
    In my experience, poaching a medium, room-temperature chicken breast at a low simmer, to fully cooked, but not over cooked, takes 15 - 18 minutes. Much longer than that, and it will start to go rubbery and dry. May 20, 2018 at 19:51
  • If you're willing to upgrade your slow cooker, there are ones that have a probe thermometer that you can stick in the meat, and the cooker will switch to warm when it gets to a preset temperature. Or you could go whole hog, and get a 'multicooker' which lets you pressure cook and you can control the cooking time in minutes. Or just switch to thighs
    – Joe
    Aug 1, 2018 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


A very common technique for maintaining moisture in meat is to dry brine it. That is, shake salt on both sides of the raw breast to the same degree you would to serve it. Wrap and let it rest for at least an hour. I like to add the salt the day before. Before cooking you can add other rubs or seasoning but be careful with store bought seasoning that is normally high in salt. Search on dry brining and you will find a lot of info.


Try thighs.

Chicken breast is super lean. It is easy to dry out. Thighs have more fat on them and more flavor - and are cheaper than breast. Also chicken breasts come boneless. You can get thighs with skin and bone on (cheaper yet!) and skin and bone will both retain moisture in the meat.

6-8 hours in the slow cooker does seem like a long time for chicken. Idea 2: try that pineapple recipe with pork chops.

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