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Slow Cooker Whole Turkey is a no mess way to cook your holiday turkey. The results are a tender and juicy with a crispy skin turkey.

Close up image of whole turkey in the slow cooker
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Being a mom of 8, I have made a lot of turkeys for our holiday dinners. I have made turkey in a bag, roasted a turkey, and grilled turkey. But this crock pot turkey has to be the easiest way to make our favorite Thanksgiving Turkey.

If you are looking to save time while making all your Thanksgiving Recipes, then this is the recipe to make. This gives you plenty of time make sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, and roasted green beans.

Why Make this Recipe:

When I started hosting all the holiday dinners, cooking the whole turkey was the most stressful part of the menu. But now, I let the slow cooker do all the week for a stress free holiday season. Plus, there is no need to bastes the turkey while cooking the crock pot.

This allows you to save oven space for all the delicious casseroles, rolls, and desserts.

Ingredients: 

Slow Cooker Whole Turkey ingredients - whole turkey, butter, garlic powder, salt, pepper, Italian Seasoning, paprika, water
  • Whole Turkey fully thawed
  • Butter, softened
  • Garlic Powder 
  • Salt 
  • Black Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning 
  • Paprika 
  • Water 

For the full list of ingredients and recipe, scroll to the bottom for the recipe card.

Variations:

  • Seasoning – We love to mix the garlic butter with simple seasoning. Feel free to change to what you prefer. Feel free to add in onion powder or make a fresh herbs butter with rosemary, thyme and sage.
  • Stuffing – For added flavor, feel free to feel the turkey cavity with your favorite veggies. You can also just add in potatoes, carrots and celery to the slow cooker.

Step by Step Instructions: 

Combining the seasoning in a bowl with a wooden spoon

Step 1 – Mix together the garlic powder, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and paprika in a small bowl. 

Rubbing the seasoning over the turkey on a baking sheet

Step 2 – Rub the softened butter under and on top of the turkey skin. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the turkey on top of the butter.  

Placing the whole turkey in the slow cooker

Step 3 – Cover and cook on low for a total time of 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Make sure to check the internal temperature of the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Insert the thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the turkey. 

Cooked whole turkey on a roasting pan

Step 4 – Carefully remove the turkey from the crock pot and place it on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Melt the remaining butter mixture and use a basting brush to brush it on the outside of the turkey. Broil the turkey for 5-10 minutes to brown the turkey.  The serve and enjoy.

  

Recipe Tips:

  • Use Meat Thermometer – Use a meat thermometer to make sure that the turkey is cooked through. Before removing it from the crock pot. Cooking time will vary based on the size of your turkey and your slow cooker.
  • Cover and Cook – If your turkey is to large to completely cover the turkey in the slow cooker, cover with aluminum foil. This ensures that the heat stays in while the turkey cooks.
  • Rest Turkey – After cooking the turkey, make sure it rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing. This helps to lock in the juices for the best flavor.
  • Turkey GravyMake sure to use the turkey drippings to make the best homemade turkey gravy.
Close up image of whole turkey in the slow cooker

What Size of Turkey fits in Slow Cooker?

We cooked a 8 lb turkey in a 6-quart slow cooker when making this crockpot turkey recipe. Depending on the size of your slow cooker, but usually 8 lbs to a 9 lb turkey fits perfectly.

This is the perfect recipe if you are cooking for a smaller crowd.

Whole Turkey on a platter

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it safe to Slow-Cook a Turkey?

Yes, it is very safe to cook your turkey in the slow cooker. We like to periodically check the turkey temperature to make sure it increases as it cooks.

Will the Skin be Crispy?

To achieve a crispy skin after slow cooking your turkey, we recommend placing in the oven under the broil setting. Watch it closely it usually only takes about 5 minutes to brown the turkey.

How to Store Leftovers:

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5-6 days.

Close up image whole turkey in the slow cooker with fresh herbs

More Easy Turkey Recipe:

We love hearing from you. If you make this Slow Cooker Turkey Recipe, make sure to leave us a comment.

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Slow Cooker Whole Turkey

5 from 5 votes
Slow Cooker Whole Turkey is a no mess way to cook your holiday turkey. The results are a tender and juicy with a crispy skin turkey.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours 5 minutes
Let Rest 15 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 35 minutes
Servings 8
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 561

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Mix together the garlic powder, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and paprika in a small bowl. 
  • Rub the softened butter under and on top of the turkey skin.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the turkey on top of the butter.  
  • Pour the water into the crock pot and place the turkey in the crock pot.
  • Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F when the thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the turkey.
  • Carefully remove the turkey from the crock pot and place it on a baking sheet or roasting pan.
  • Melt the remaining butter mixture and use a basting brush to brush it on the outside of the turkey.
  • Broil the turkey for 5-10 minutes to brown the turkey.
  • Remove from the oven.  Let the turkey rest for 10-15 minutes and then it’s ready to slice, serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Use a meat thermometer to make sure that the turkey is cooked through before removing it from the crock pot. 
Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5-6 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 561kcal, Carbohydrates 1g, Protein 70g, Fat 30g, Saturated Fat 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat 5g, Monounsaturated Fat 9g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 262mg, Sodium 1326mg, Potassium 754mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 0.3g, Vitamin A 792IU, Vitamin C 0.02mg, Calcium 51mg, Iron 3mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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