How To Make Your Own Rotisserie Chicken {No Rotisserie Required}

rotisserie chicken

I used to buy rotisserie chickens from the grocery store a LOT! They are just SO convenient and can be used in SO many different ways. Some of the ways I use them:

  • Chicken Quesadillas
  • Barbecue Chicken Salad
  • Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Chicken Chili
  • Chicken Nachos

Honestly, I could go on and on. HOWEVER, I hardly ever buy those pre-cooked birds anymore because I finally “hit the wall” at paying $8 for them! Actually, most times I would have to buy TWO chickens because they are pretty puny and ONE simply won’t feed my “men” (even if I did try and make it go further in a salad or on nachos!) So I did some research and came up with what is now considered “rotisserie chicken” at our house. No rotisserie required….just a crockpot! I have cooked a lot of chicken in the crockpot over the years…but it wasn’t until I tried this technique that I first spied at Living Renewed that I really accomplished what *I* think tastes exactly like the rotisserie chickens from the grocery store.

The key is in this box!

First step…..

crockpot rotisserie chicken

Make about 6 – 8 balls out of aluminum and put them in the bottom of your crockpot.


Next, take your whole chicken (this bird was almost 6 lbs. and cost me $5.75…or .98 cents a pound) and rinse it inside and out.

crockpot rotisserie chicken

Place the chicken in a large bowl, breast side down, and sprinkle generously with your favorite seasonings.

I like to use Lawry’s seasoning salt, onion powder and garlic powder.

crockpot rotisserie chicken

Now flip the bird over and place on top of aluminum balls in the crockpot and sprinkle this side as well.

You want to cook it breast side up…so that the breast is farthest away from the heat and less likely to dry out.

And that’s it. Now all you have to do is wait. I have had the best success cooking the chicken LOW and SLOW…so I cook mine for 8 hours on the low setting.

After that you will be hard-pressed to get it out of the crockpot without it literally falling apart….like it did when I tried to take it out this time.

crockpot rotisserie chicken

 This picture is my best attempt to piece the bird back together for a picture. :-)

crockpot rotisserie chicken

 And this is a picture of the two breast pieces that I literally just lifted off the bone and placed on this plate. You can leave the skin on or take it off, depending on your preference.

crockpot rotisserie chicken

If I am serving just the chicken and a few side dishes….I will slice up the breasts and plate it with the drum sticks and the thighs and wings. Otherwise I’ll shred it for whatever I’m planning on making.

Now we need some inspiration!  What kinds of recipes do YOU like to make using “rotisserie chicken”?



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  1. says

    Hi Jillee! I love following all the great tips you have here. My wife has tried some and it has helped save our family of 6 money! She loves making her own laundry detergent now. Another great way to make chicken like this is on the bbq! We do this ALL the time and it gives it a great smoky flavor. The leftovers are amazing! Check out my website for the whole chicken recipe. Today’s post was actually a recipe using leftover chicken! And more to come in the near future.

  2. Shannon (gidgetnfroggi) says

    I starred this so I can use this recipe next time I make chicken. I don’t eat meat but my girls and hubby love deli chicken as we call it. I only buy it when they run the buy 10 sides knorr 10 for $10 and you get a free deli chicken. On those deals I pick up 1 or 2. Otherwise we have to pay $6 bucks.

  3. Mary Malone says

    I’ve been doing this one for a while. I use the Lawry’s perfect blend seasoned sale chicken and poultry which I buy in a big jar at sam’s club in the spice section. It is amazing how much fat/grease is in a chicken and it all goes under the aluminum balls.

  4. Martha says

    Can’t wait to try this. I’m fairly new at cooking chicken and can never quite figure out which is the breast side. All the recipes ask that it be cooked “breast side down”. Can you help clarify this for me?

  5. jennifer says

    To make it more moist and give more of the classic wonder roast flavor , I slather the whole bird with miricle whip then seasoned salt. I will have to use the aluminium balls next time. Also if you add about 16 cups of water to all of the remaining skin and bones, set it on low over night you will have free chicken broth. Strain it, pour it in freezable containers, place in fridge over night and the fat floats to the top and fan be scraped off, leaving the gel broth fat free and ready for the freezer.
    I like to make chicken salad with the left overs by adding miricle whip, a small squirt of sweet relish, and a big squirt of dill relish.

  6. says

    Thanks for the advice! I love the chickens from the grocery but after my husband bought one that had been sitting around too long and became deathly ill from it, I never buy any of that hot food stuff anymore. This I will totally do though. THANKS!

  7. says

    Great idea! You may want to experiment with some folded strips of foil to lift the chicken out whole. Also, someone asked about other suggestions to cook breast side down. I think it’s because the juices will go down into the breast and it won’t get as dry. Thanks for this “one good thing”, Jillee! :)

    • Sue says

      Norma, exactly correct regarding the breast side down. The juice will bathe the breast, you may not have as much juice that accumulates in the bottom of the crock pot. Personally I would use potatoes & carrots, or your other favorite root veggies rather than the aluminum foil at the bottom, that being said, I’d also use at least enough broth just to coat the bottom of the crock pot so there would be enough ‘juice’ to bathe the veggies to keep them from drying out!
      I’ve never tried this but I do ‘beer can’ chicken on the grill…using a pop can half filled with Guinness (the guinness can has that ball in it so that wouldn’t work!) The chicken is bone in 2 hrs or less! And the skin is beautifully crisp!

  8. kim says

    I never would have thought to make chicken in the crock pot sans liquid. Although at Costco, the chickens are only $5, and larger than at the grocery store, I am going to try this as the seasonings they use really bother my husbands tummy.

  9. Sue says

    Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas. My sister introduced me to the site, and love the daily emails.

    will try the chicken, as I do love the ones the grocery and warehouse stores sell.

    I have done the chicken stuffed with apples in a brown paper bag on the grill. Use a disposable pan, and some wood clothes pins to separate the bagged chicken from the pan. The bag keeps the moisture inside and it is SO tender and delicious. The bag also absorbs a lot of the grease. Then just toss the pan and the grease into the garbage can.

  10. Linda says

    Does the skin get crispy in the crockpot? Have you ever done an oven beer can chicken? They are awesome! The grease drips down and the skin is perfectly crisped! Just google the recipe. You don’t have to use a beer. I’ve also used a can of soda, any kind will do. I believe it can be cooked on the grill as well.

  11. Terez says

    Thanks Jillee, this is a great idea. I will definitely be trying this, this weekend! I use them for a lot of recipes like you but lately I’ve been buying them to make chicken salad. I’ve also used them to make Buffalo chicken dip. I’m tired of paying a high price for a puny chicken too!

  12. Denisefromark says

    I am sitting with a friend at an extended hospital stay. We are in an extended stay hotel and bought a rot. chicken Monday and the two of us have been eating on it ever since, adding it to cafeteria leftovers or some frozen veggie sides we bought. It’s sooooo good and one of the things we love is how the flavor is so thoroughly infused, so when I use your recipe, I will first either brine it or inject it. We prefer highly seasoned food and your technique + extra seasoning should do it. I am cheeeeep, so for shredding I will plan to use .59/lb hindquarters.

  13. Lorie Ann says

    I like to do mine in the oven. Takes about 1.5 hours. I lay mine on a bed of lemon ha lves, garlic, and quartered white onions and season depending on how Im using it.

    I cook one for enchiladas, tortilla soup, tacos, burritos, chimichangas, tostadas, chicken and noodles, bbq sandwiches, taquitos, salads, etc

  14. Sher says

    We also do the “beer butt” chicken on the barbecue and love it.

    Another tip…I buy the ones at the grocery store already cooked LATE at night…and they are CHEAP. I actually just bought one last night for 3.59 (so less than the raw ones in the meat department!!)


  15. says

    This recipe looks amazing; I can’t wait to try it out! I seriously love your blog… I don’t think there is a post I haven’t read on the same day it was published since I chose to follow it many months ago! So many great money saving tips, and they are especially helpful since I have been unemployed for a year and half… every penny saved counts. Thank you for all of the wonderful posts!

  16. says

    Yum. My husband is very particular about his chicken–it needs to be store-bought rotisserie, served with StoveTop stuffing (no substitutes). Sometimes we do chicken noodle soup with the leftovers, or I put it on salad. There isn’t much leftover, though. For a lot of chicken uses, I just boil or grill chicken, cut it up, and put it in the fridge or freezer for later.

    I’ve been hesitant to try roasting a chicken, since it would have to be a really good imitation to satisfy my husband. This looks good enough that I might give it a try.

  17. Jane says

    I use rotisserie chicken in my chicken pot pie or any kind of casserole with chicken in it, and I also use it to make chicken salad with grapes in it. I am definitely going to try roasting my own chickens this way. Thanks for the tip!

  18. says

    Great idea! I’m sharing this with my daughter and DIL. They’ll be happy!
    I like to make chicken pot pie, chicken salad (with celery, apple or grapes, mayo, etc. on a good croissant or roll), chicken enchiladas or stir fry. I like to save the bones for chicken stock, and I make it in the crock pot too. I like to do slow simmer for 24-48 hours to get all the nutrients.

  19. jennielynn says

    My kids get very excited about roast chicken, because they know a pan of “sofa chicken” will show up a day or two later. Mix a can of cream of mushroom soup with a 1/2 c mayonnaise and 2 tbs lemon juice. Stir in equal parts cooked chicken (shredded or diced) and lightly steamed broccoli. I usually use 1-2 cups of each. Spread in a 9×13 pan, cover with a cup of shredded cheddar -or- a cup of crushed cheese cracker -or- 1/2 cup of each. Bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes and serve with steamed rice.

  20. says

    For all the people who mentioned they use rotisserie chickens for chicken salad…..THANK YOU! That is one of my favorite dishes and for some reason the only time I really ever have it is at baby and wedding showers! Why is that? :-) I’m going to make it this weekend!

  21. Marie says

    I’ve only done the crock pot chicken once (I usually forget to put it on) but when I do them in the oven, I throw 1/2 a lemon (cut in a few pieces) and a few cloves of garlic inside the chicken and it gives it fabulous flavor.

    Then throw the bones back in the crock pot overnight on low to make some fab broth.

    Thanks for the ideas on what to use them in…I know there are tons of good recipes for cooked chicken but I don’t think fast on my feet, so we end up eating the same things over and over.

  22. Melanie says

    As a single working mom, I do this fairly often. Usually I put potatoes & onions as the bottom layer, a little bit of water & a frozen whole chicken. We leave the house around 7:30 and eat around 7pm. All day on low and always perfect results. I love the lemon wedges idea and can’t wait to try it! I also keep the deboned chicken pieces for tetrazzini or tacos as well as make homemade chicken broth or soup overnight in the crock pot. Great post !

  23. Tammi says

    Hi there, love this idea but have one question…I bought a whole chicken w/ giblets inside. I’m assuming I remove those before cooking but wanted to make sure. Thanks, love the blog!!

  24. Renee says

    I put this together this morning before I left for work. I rubbed the chicken with mayo first and then rubbed the spices all over it. I would have used EVOO, but to my horror I was out so I hope the mayo does ok. Before I left home an hour later my entire downstairs smelled so yummy! I can’t wait to get home to taste it. Thanks for sharing! :)

  25. Sarah S says

    Another great post, thanks Jillee. I love all your tips and tricks, they have helped my family tremendously. My husband is a better cook than I, and can be a little picky. I am a working mom, so we share supper making duties. We eat ALOT of chicken, and I too realized very quickly that boneless skineless chicken breasts were WAY too expensive and started using chicken hindquarters, bone in chicken breasts, or thighs and wings. I have made a few whole chickens, but never liked how long it took (I’d try to make it when I came home from work) I love this recipe because I can just throw it in before I go to work, and it doesn’t involve peeling, cutting and prepping like some crockpot recipies do :) Sometimes I have night meetings so this would be a great suprise for him to find supper ready when he came home from work! Thanks again!

  26. Bobbi-Jo says

    I always save the strings from around the chicken (and roasts for that matter), put them in a ziploc bag and toss them in the freezer. When I have accumulated a bunch (about 1/2 a crockpot full) I take them all out throw them in the crockpot cover them in water and leave it for a day or two. It’s yet another way to make broth as the strings soak up a LOT of the flavour from the chickens. My aunt used to own a restaurant and always did this with her prime rib and baron of beefs to make a nice gravy. When I do this with a roast I also put the slab of fat in the ziploc as it adds tons of flavor too. Just make sure to skim off all the fat!

  27. Andrea Hope says

    It is 12:42 am in Atlanta,I just popped my chicken in the hubby was so excited he took a picture and sent it to one of his online friends that he seems to be in competition with as to who is getting their gullet stuffed better! My house smells amazing,and whats even better..I can sleep cook and not be bothered about Sunday dinner on a rainy day. Love your Blog ( but the hubby says he getting a belly ). Thanks to you I make my own cleaning supplies, so maybe he can get a gym membership with the money we have saved ..Thanks so much!

  28. Kiersten Sharp says

    I tried this and it was delicious, I served it as just chicken with side dishes, and then had enough left over to make sandwiches with and also chicken salad. I couldn’t get over how much mileage we got out of a whole cooked chicken. Doing it again this week.

  29. says

    I’ve been doing this for years, and I love it! I also like to roast lean cuts of beef this way, although I skip the foil for either. (Leaves the chicken stewing in the juices at the bottom, but I hate to waste the tin foil. ROFL.)

    This is great for hot weather, too – we just had a 95 degree day here in NY and we only have two small air conditioners in our house; plugged this in in one of the non-air-conditioned rooms and had chicken by dinnertime! No hot kitchen.

  30. Carla says

    This was amazing! Learning to use my crock pot and most things I’ve made my boyfriend said were not that good. This is the first thing I’ve made that he liked! I said I finally made something good in the “pot.” Love Your website by the way, I keep noticing alot of my Pinterest pins are coming back to your web site!

  31. Kirstie says

    I got a recipe for chicken that is great, better then just plain Italian marinade and is so easy, i love it and i eat chicken about 10 times a week.

    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/2 cup oil (i always use olive but that’s me)
    1/2 cup red cooking wine (burgandy cooking wine is fine but us cooking wine not regular table wine)
    1 package of mesquite mix.

    Put into something so you can shake it up. Pour over chicken and marinade. Just got such a great flavor. You can use store brands not a problem. And i have even marinaded it for over 24 hours and it was fine..wasn’t to much like some can get if you forgot or life gets in the way and you can’t cook it that night. I normally grill it but can’t see why in the oven isn’t OK.

  32. Staci Bartlow says

    I made this for dinner last night and it was a hit! Even my picky eater liked it. I was hoping to have some leftovers to make a cold chicken and mayo sandwich, but that didn’t happen. It was pretty much gone. Thank you for the amazing recipe!

  33. Lacey says

    I’m trying this today! I’ve made whole chickens in the crock pot before, but never thought much about getting it out of the juices. Instead of using aluminum foil, I’m using my vegetable steamer basket. It fits in my crockpot perfect with the chicken. Excited to see the end result tonight!!


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