Why You Shouldn't Make Boneless Chicken Breasts In A Slow Cooker

Boneless chicken breasts are practically a kitchen staple because they're so easy to pull out and whip up for dinner. You can freeze them for months and always have something on hand for a meal, and it's simple to make them taste different every time with spices and marinades. Boneless chicken breasts can also adapt to a variety of cooking methods like baking, pan-searing, grilling, pressure cooking, and frying. However, there's one cooking technique you might want to avoid with boneless chicken breasts: slow cooking.

According to Delish, boneless chicken breasts are lean and prone to drying out if they're cooked for too long, so hours in a slow cooker (even at low heat) might leave you with a less-than-delicious dinner. Instead, quicker methods like grilling or sauteing are better for boneless breasts. However, if you buy bone-in chicken breasts, they might fare a little better in the slow cooker as long as you remove the skin before cooking. CNET also recommends steering clear of boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker because they already cook so quickly. Chicken thighs are another replacement you can try since they usually have a longer cook time and don't dry out as easily as the breasts.

The best way to cook chicken so it's juicy and delicious

A slow cooker probably won't give you perfectly juicy boneless chicken breasts, but there are other ways to cook this popular protein that are quicker and ultimately tastier. The Kitchn has one method that's held up to years of testing and a variety of boneless chicken breast sizes and thicknesses. Rather than slow cooking or sauteing the breast, you sear both sides, then allow it to poach in its own juices. No matter what method you end up using to cook chicken, it always helps to pound the breasts before you cook them. This helps make each one an even thickness so they'll cook in about the same amount of time, and you don't end up with any over- or undercooked chicken.

No matter how you end up cooking boneless chicken breasts, stick to methods that will cook the meat relatively quickly. You'll be less likely to accidentally overcook it until it's dry if you avoid lengthy cooking techniques like slow cooking, and you'll be a lot happier with the final result. If you're new to cooking chicken, it might also help to use a meat thermometer, which can tell you when it's finished cooking.