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Slow Cooker Whole Turkey

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

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!

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If you're looking to make turkey but want to make something smaller, you can always make my slow cooker turkey breast recipe!

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
Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from
Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from
Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from
Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from
Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from
Slow Cooker Whole Turkey from

Cut up the vegetables and add them to the crockpot.

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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!



5 2 votes

Whole Turkey in a Slow Cooker Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes


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 whole turkey (fresh, if frozen then defrosted)


  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: No need to add water to the slow cooker. The turkey creates a broth while cooking.

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I love this idea. I am disabled and can no longer cook very much. I would love to feel like my old self and prepare such a wonderful meal for my family.

Wow! Never would have believed you could do a turkey in a crockpot! I will have to try this.

saves the oven, so you can cook something else while cooking the turkey

This is great but now I need a bigger slow cooker!

Bring on the turkey!

This looks good, but I would have to find a small turkey!

This looks delicious! I never would have thought of cooking a turkey in the slow cooker!

We’re fond of the Julia Child method however this is a good low effort choice.

Wow, I would have never thought to do the turkey in the slow cooker but it definitely makes sense since I make chicken in there all the time. I’ll have to give it a try sometime.

It all looks amazing!!!

looks simple enough…thanks

I like the idea of cooking the turkey with the vegetables. I think I can handle this method.

Looks delicious – and so easy!

Sounds like a great recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

Looks easy & tasty!

Never even thought about this! But what about stuffing?

I have copied this recipe and I have shared this recipe with others!

Recipe is easy for anyone. Sounds like this would be the best way to go without babysitting the turkey.

Great tips I have never made a turkey in a slow cooker! 

I would have never thought of putting my turkey in the crockpot! It looks delicious!!

I’m always excited to try something in the slow cooker that I haven’t yet. I want to try this, as I am not fond of dry turkey. Great idea from your former boss.

looks so yummy!

I’ve never thought of cooking a turkey in the crock pot. This looks easy and delish! 

Omg Imma have to do this recipe. Thank you

Love this idea for Turkey! Can’t wait to try it!!

Great idea. Turkey in a crock pot

This is a new concept to me. What’s great idea!

Sounds great and so easy

Sounds interesting. never tried cooking turkey in a crockpot before, I will have to try it

wow I bet the meat just falls off of the bone after slow cooking it! Is it hard to remove after it is done? I have had chicken before that feel off of the bone and I had a terrible time getting it all out of the pot, but it was sooooooooo yummy.

This would have been so handy back when I had large family gatherings.

We love slow cooker recipes but have never done a turkey!

I love the smaller turkey! Printed this. Thanks

What’s so funny is that me and my sister was just discussing if it’s possible to cook a turkey in a slow cooker. I call her the slow cooker queen because she cooks everything in her slow cooker. I can’t wait to send her this recipe so she can cook a turkey for us both. 

Next Thanksgiving we will have to try this one. 

I am so doing this for Thanksgiving.Thanks????

I am doing a second turkey this year and this sounds like the perfect solution! Thanks!!

I’ve never cooked a turkey in the slow cooker. But I a going to try this.

I don’t think I would make a turkey in the slow cooker, but I am checking out the chicken recipe you have!

That looks amazing! Cannot wait to try it!!