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Slow Cooker Whole Turkey

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

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This crockpot turkey is so easy to put together and what I love most about it is you free up your oven for sides and desserts! You'll love how easy it and tasty is it is to cook a whole turkey in a slow cooker!

Every year, at a company that I worked at for 8 years, we had a Thanksgiving luncheon. Everyone signed up to bring different things. Since there were so many of us, five to six people signed up for the stuffing, different veggies, the pie, and so on. We even had many turkeys! My former boss, BJ, always cooked his turkey in the slow cooker. He said his mom cooked it that way when he was growing up. The turkey always turned out moist.

I emailed him the other day because this year, we decided to cook our Thanksgiving dinner early- we enjoyed it on Sunday night and I wanted to try my hand at cooking the turkey in the slow cooker. He told me you can leave it in longer than the 6 to 8 hours but it starts to fall apart, which is totally fine! Just make sure the turkey you buy will fit in your slow cooker!

If you're running low on oven space or just want a low maintenance way to cook a turkey- the slow cooker is the way to go! This turkey version is a modified version of my popular crockpot whole chicken recipe that we LOVE to make all the time!

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

Prep the dry ingredients.

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from thelittlekitchen.netSlow Cooker Whole Turkey from thelittlekitchen.netSlow Cooker Whole Turkey from thelittlekitchen.netSlow Cooker Whole Turkey from thelittlekitchen.netSlow Cooker Whole Turkey from thelittlekitchen.netSlow Cooker Whole Turkey from

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

Cut up the vegetables and add them to the crockpot.

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

Pat the turkey dry.

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

Fold back the wings and rub the turkey with garlic.

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

Add the rub to the inside of the turkey and all over it.

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

All ready to go into the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

I put one of the garlic cloves and the rest of the dry ingredients I didn't use on top of the veggies.

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

Place the turkey on top of the vegetables and cover the crockpot. Cook for 6 to 8 hours.

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

Remove the turkey and place on an oven-safe baking dish. Broil the skin in your oven broiler for 4 to 5 minutes, watching it carefully so it doesn't burn. Allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Skim the fat from the broth and save it for another recipe! I'm thinking turkey ramen noodle soup are in order for this week!

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

Once you carve the turkey, add some broth to the turkey to keep the meat moist.

We loved this and it made it less stressful in the kitchen since I was able to do all of my sides in the oven without them having to compete with the turkey. We'll definitely do this again!

Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving and hoping that you have a lot to be thankful for! I know I do! Huge hugs!

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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

Whole Turkey in a Slow Cooker Recipe


Rub Ingredients for the Turkey
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Crockpot
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed, no need to peel, chopped in halves or thirds
  • 2 celery stalks, cut in thirds
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 whole lemon, quartered
  • 8 to 9-pound turkey


  1. Combine salt, paprika, onion powder, dried thyme, white pepper, garlic powder and black pepper in a small bowl and set aside. Prep the vegetables and place inside the slow cooker (I use a 7 quart that's oval shaped but this one is an 8-Quart or this one).
  2. Remove turkey from packaging and remove neck and pouch with organs. Discard or save for use in another recipe. Optionally, rinse turkey with water. Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Fold back the wings. Rub smashed garlic all over outside of the turkey. Put one garlic in the slow cooker and the rest inside the turkey. Put the rub all over the outside and inside the turkey. Add the quartered lemon to the inside of the turkey. Tie the legs with kitchen twine.
  4. Place turkey on top of the vegetables, you may need to move the veggies around depending on the size of your slow cooker. Cover slow cooker and cook turkey on low for 6-8 hours. (I used a 9.82-pound turkey, it took about 6 1/2 hours. The time will depend on the size of the turkey and your slow cooker.)
  5. Remove turkey and place in a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish. Place baking dish in the oven under the broiler for about 4-5 minutes but watch it carefully. It may take less time or a little longer, depending on the temperature of the broiler in your oven, you don’t want to burn your turkey.
  6. Allow turkey to rest after removing it from the broiler for 25 to 30 minutes.

Notes: I know you're going to ask and no, you don't need any water in the crockpot! The turkey creates a broth while cooking!

from The Little Kitchen

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Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

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  1. Can I use this recipe on just the turkey breast? Would it be the same cooking time ? 

  2. Can I sub white pepper with black pepper? I don’t want to buy something I won’t use again/don’t need.

  3. do i need to bribe prior to this? looks like you just thaw and go for it.

  4.  Can you stuff a turkey that you cook in the slow cooker? 

  5. Pingback: The Best Way to Cook Your Thanksgiving Turkey | of Iron & Oak

  6. beautiful bird!

  7. I cannot wait to try these tips! Maybe not this year, but soon! Cooking whole fowl intimidates me! Thank you for sharing your tips and recipe.

  8. This looks absolutely delicious! I wish I had “smelo-vision”

  9. maybe I need to get a bigger slow cooker, a whole turkey won’t fit in mine

  10. Really? I’ve never heard of this before, but I’ve got to try it.

  11. I’ve never thought of making a turkey in the slower cooker.

  12. Interesting, I haven’t thought of slow-cooking turkeys, great for thanksgiving, cheers.

  13. Love how simple this is! Thank you!

  14. Love this blog, you always post the best food. Thanks!

  15. This looks like an amazing turkey!

  16. So delicious !! Thanks for the tips.

  17. This turkey looks delicious it’s such a great recipe 

  18. It looks amazing!

  19. Omg this looks delicious! I’ll have to make this

  20. I’ve never thought to use a slow cooker. We done the dry brine, wet brine and even deep-fried one year.

  21. Wow! that looks amazing! thanks so much for sharing!

  22. I love slow cook Turkey like this. is much juicer.

  23. This is a great way to save space in your oven for the other side dishes!

  24. Can you stuff a turkey that you cook in the slow cooker?

  25. I love my slow cooker. I often make a turkey breast in it but I’ve never done a whole turkey–mainly because I’ve got a six-quart crock pot and I like to cook a pretty big turkey–it wouldn’t fit.

  26. I am so going to try this! Frees up the oven for everything else!

  27. Thank you for this amazingness! I wipl have to try this!

  28. Love using a slow cooker. Cooking made simple.

  29. Perfect timing- I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year and these tips come at the perfect time!

  30. never used a slow cooker for turkey interesting

  31. Will be trying this recipe for my turkey

  32. These pics make me hungry! Can’t wait til Thursday!

  33. I never thought about cooking it this way! For sure it would be nice and tender!

  34. i never thought about putting turkey in slow cooker but i can see that it works from this article. it also looks so good

  35. Oh yeah! An easy way to make yummy moist turkey! Ill be trying this.

  36. we usually need to do a much bigger turkey at Thanksgiving, but this looks like a great idea for a smaller gathering

  37. Your turkey looks a lot prettier than mine and I have been using a crock pot for the last few years. I will definitely be using your step by step process this year. Thanks!

  38. Seriously?!?! My Grandmother used to tell me that she could cook ANYTHING in a CrockPot/SlowCooker! I’ve heard of deep-frying a Turkey, but Never heard of making it in a SlowCooker! I’ve never even attempted to cook a whole turkey, because I’m quite intimidated by it all… But after reading this Blog… I’m DEFINITELY going to give it as try! I mean, IDK if I’m brave enough to serve it as a msin-dish for my Family’s Large Thanksgiving Feast… But I’ll certainly be picking up a turkey (that’ll fit inside at least one of the three cookers I have) the day after Thanksgiving… When they usually go on-sale! Places around here (Like Wal-Mart, Bi-Lo & FoodLion) mark all their turkeys down
    to 50% to 75% off, the Friday after Thanksgiving! Thanks for the idea! If it works out, I might offer to cook the Turkey(s) next year!

  39. This turkey looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  40. Unfortunately my family is too big to do thid, but it sure would be nice.

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