Slow Cooker Whole Turkey

Slow cooker whole turkey recipes

Video Slow cooker whole turkey recipes

Slow cooking whole turkey is a foolproof holiday recipe. Making a whole turkey in the slow cooker produces tender, succulent turkey meat with minimal preparation work. Free your oven this holiday season!

Ingredients for

    Crockpot Whole

  • Turkey Whole Turkey
  • Butter
  • Seasoning

  • : I used my homemade seasoning that includes salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne and oregano.

whole turkey ingredient collage

How to cook a whole turkey in the slow cooker

Cooking a whole turkey is pretty foolproof when you use a slow cooker

! Spray


  1. slow cooker with cooking spray
  2. .

  3. Remove the entrails of the turkey. Rinse and dry the turkey.
  4. Loosen the skin of the turkey breast. Place the ghee/butter under the skin of the turkey. Rub the oil over the turkey.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the homemade spices for seasonings. Rub the oil all over the turkey and then season the turkey generously all around.
  6. Cook HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 6-8.


it comes to choosing turkey size for your holiday dinner, the rule of thumb is that you’ll need about a pound of turkey per adult. That said, if you’re using a slow cooker, the rules go out the window. Find a whole turkey that fits in your slow cooker. I used an 8-quart extra-large slow cooker and a 12-pound turkey that I had to change for the lid to fit properly. Couldn’t have fit a bigger turkey in the slow cooker. In general, a standard 6-quart slow cooker should fit a whole turkey up to 8 pounds. But keep in mind that all turkeys have a different shape. What fits in an oval-shaped slow cooker might not fit in the same quarter-gallon-sized rectangular-shaped slow cooker or vice versa. If you find that your turkey won’t fit in your appliance, you can always cut it into pieces. Or, instead of cooking a whole turkey, you may need to get a turkey breast instead. Turkey breasts are readily available in smaller sizes.

Fresh vs. frozen

You can’t cook a frozen whole turkey in the slow cooker. If you buy a frozen turkey, you will need to thaw it completely before cooking. I don’t know about you, but all the turkeys I’ve cooked have had to be thawed in my fridge first. To thaw your turkey, place it in a large skillet to roast in the refrigerator (in its original packaging) for 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey. My 10 pound turkey took 2 days in the fridge to thaw.

Homemade seasoning

To keep things simple, I modified the homemade grill seasonings from my Slow Cooker whole roast chicken recipe and used it here. Of course, you can always use your preferred seasoning for this whole turkey recipe. But if you’re looking for homemade seasoning for grills, mine is in the recipe box. This is enough for an 8-10 pound turkey without having to make any adjustments to the measurements. Anything bigger you want to use more seasonings. Again, if you have a mixture of seasonings and/or butter that you like to use on your turkey, use it of course.

close-up of cooked and sliced whole turkey


Turkey breast

  • Turkey loin Turkey legs

  • Turkey

  • fryer

  • Air

  • fryer Turkey breast Sirloin

close-up of cooked and sliced whole turkey

Crunchy The skin

To roast or not to roast? That is the question. If you want your turkey to have crispy skin, you’ll need to remove it from the slow cooker and place it in your oven under the spit for a few minutes. This is an optional step. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. If you’re not worried about your skin, skip it. But if so, carefully remove the turkey from the slow cooker when you’re done cooking. Use tweezers, it will be very hot and very tender. So tender that you shouldn’t be surprised if the turkey falls apart on you as you lift it. Place the turkey on a large baking sheet and STEREO it in your oven for 3-5 minutes or until the skin is crispy to your liking.

whole turkey aerial drink cooked with the correct breast cut

FAQ and tips

  • If your lid is slightly ajar when it starts cooking due to the size of the turkey, this is fine. The turkey will shrink slightly in size as it is cooked.
  • It is not necessary to add any liquid to the slow cooker. I understand that that makes some people uncomfortable, so if you want to add broth you can. It won’t ruin the dish but you’ll have plenty of liquid when you’re done cooking.
  • Store leftover turkey in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months
  • .

  • I used a large 8-quart slow cooker for this recipe.

Leftover turkey soup recipes


This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive money if you make a purchase using one of the links. For more information on my disclosure policy, see here: <

img src=”×1400-6.png” alt=”Slow Cooker Whole Turkey” /> Culinary specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

Related Posts