Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Mar 27, 2012 06:51 AM

Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe - Calls for 6 Hours, I'm Gone for 8?


I work an 8 hour day but am trying to put a new meal on the table more frequently, so I'm using my Crock Pot slow cooker. This morning I decided to make this Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe for a slow cooker - source:

It says to cook it for 6 hours on low. My Crock Pot will automatically go to a "Warm" setting once the 6 hours are up and stay like that for about 2 hours I think. I'll be gone for probably 8 or 9 hours. Is this going to be a very dried out, overdone chicken meal? Should I try and rush home directly after 6 hours and ... put it in a dish to get cold and then reheat? Should I just try and pick 8 or 9 hour slow cooker recipes from now on? :-)

I guess from a fire safety standpoint I'm ok - I'm mostly worried about whether this is still going to be edible (or, even good!


Thanks from a slow-cooker novice!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Don't have a definite response for you, but seeing as the slow cooker is just going to set it at a "warm" setting, I highly doubt it will dry out. If anything the chicken might be a little too fall-off-the-bone, but you will not have any issues with it being too dry. Let us know how you make out.

    1. It depends on your crock pot and what part of the chicken you're using. I'd probably set mine for 5 hours and let it sit on warm which will continue to cook it for the remaining time. Thighs will fare much better than white meat.

      5 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        I used large boneless skinless chicken breasts, and the recipe uses quite a bit of salsa so there's liquid. (And seriously, these chicken breasts are huge and always require a little longer anyhow so that' giving me hope). I've since read that boneless skinless chicken doesn't do great in a slow cooker so we'll see.

        As crazy as it sounds, I can't recall what type of slow cooker/ crock pot I have. I just know it's medium size, digital programming, and you can take and carry. I told ya, I'm a noob! :-)

        Thank you for the replies so far!

        1. re: arowe77

          I'm always gone 8 to 10 hours so I do tend to look for recipes with longer times but a couple of thoughts for you. First, I've used frozen breasts, assembled the dish the night before, then take directly from the fridge to start cooking. The extra time needed to warm to room temp offsets the longer cooking time. Second, I have had fairly dismal results with boneless chicken breasts. Thighs and bone-in breasts fare better. If you used bone-in for this recipe, cooking time would increase.

          Good luck and have fun experimenting.

            1. re: tcamp

              +1 on the above advice. You just need to extend the time a little so you might just do the trick where tcamp describes putting it all in the fridge overnight.

            2. re: arowe77

              I'm not a fan of chicken breast in the crock pot. It doesn't have enough fat and ends up dry and stringy, even if there is a liquid like salsa. YMMV because there are people who do like it.

          1. I wouldn't worry about it. Live and learn as they say. If it works out just fine then terrific. I doubt it will be inedible if it doesn't work out.
            If it doesn't, perhaps try putting the thing on a timer. The kind you plug your lights into when you go on vacation. Have it start 2 or so hours after you leave for work.


            2 Replies
            1. re: Davwud

              NEVER thought about the timer idea! And I have/use one of those! Brilliant!

              And yes, I'm with ya on the live and learn. That's how I've learned a lot of what little I know in the kitchen. :-)

              1. re: Davwud

                However, do be careful and figure out the wattage limit of your timer and the wattage of your device. Usually it's designed for Christmas lights/table lamps which are closer to 60-100W, whereas the slow cooker is probably around 500W.

              2. Slow cookers are not an exact method of cooking anyway, so I view a recipe as merely a guideline, to be refined with experience with a particular dish in a particular cooker. My experience is that breasts will dry out i a slow cooker. I get a better result with thighs.