How Long Does It Take to Cook a Turkey in a Slow Cooker?


Turkey cooked slowly will always be juicy and tender. Even though I wish a slow cooker could magically produce a skin as crispy and golden browned, your broiler will take care of it for the final 10 to 20 minutes. This turkey needs to go all golden colored; 4-5 hours of cooking time, with most of that time spent without using the oven!

The cooking time for a stuffed turkey with a slow cooker is 15 minutes per pound at 350°F. It is also important to check the temperature of the stuffing. The internal temperature should be 165°F (75°C) when you insert the meat thermometer into the center.

Slow cookers are an interesting way to cook turkey, the whole technique, which requires time, low heat, and steam, take your raw, unseasoned, and bland turkey to a whole flavored meal. 

Can I Cook Turkey With a Slow Cooker?

You very certainly can! Remember to adjust the cooking time based on the weight of your turkey. Your turkey will be done when the juices run clear, and the thickest section of the meat reaches 75°C. The most precise way to ensure that it is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer to check this.

Also, remember that every time you lift the lid during cooking, the cooking time will increase by 30 minutes. If you’re unsure how long to cook turkey meat, we advise starting with a shorter cooking time and increasing it if necessary if it still isn’t done.

How Do I Cook Turkey in a Slow Cooker?

To be ready the following day, a turkey must be slowly roasted in the oven for at least 6 hours, often overnight. You must marinate the meat for at least 24 hours before roasting it.

Also, if you soak it in brine for too long, it will become overly salty; alternatively, if you use a less salty brine, you risk washing the turkey’s natural flavors into the water.

Recipe for Instant Pot Turkey

There are many ways to prepare a delicious turkey dinner; slow cookers are an interesting way to cook the turkey. Turkey cooked slowly is so delicious and sumptuous. This delicious turkey with simple steps could become a staple at the dinner table.

Ingredients:

  • Turkey
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Carrots
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil

Cooking Directions

In the slow cooker, you cannot cook a whole frozen turkey. It must be completely defrosted before cooking if you purchase a frozen turkey. Your turkey should be refrigerated (in its original packaging) for 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey to defrost it. 

  • Using cooking spray, coat the slow cooker.
  • Remove the turkey’s giblets, then rinse it and pat it dry.
  • Lift the turkey breast’s skin. The turkey’s skin should be covered with butter. Brush the turkey with oil all over.
  • Mix the ingredients for your seasoning in a small bowl. After liberally seasoning it on all sides and all over with oil, the turkey should be seasoned.
  • Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  • When the turkey is done, you can crisp up the skin by broiling the turkey. To do this, turn your oven to broil to preheat. Remove your turkey from the slow cooker. Be careful while doing it, as taking the turkey out of the slow cooker and using two tongs for a better grip might be awkward. Transfer the turkey to a baking sheet or a roasting pan. Slather the body of the turkey with the reserved butter. Broil the turkey for about 3-5 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden brown.
  • Allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes before cutting. This makes cutting easier and enables the liquids to be evenly distributed throughout the meat.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Turkey in a Slow Cooker?

While other meats, such as chicken breasts, can be placed in a slow cooker while still frozen, most store-bought turkeys include packages containing the gizzard, liver, heart, and giblets. Removing these packages off a turkey that is still frozen or largely frozen is impossible.

Make sure to search for these items under the flap of loose skin at the top of the turkey as well as inside the cavity of the bird. Check both of these areas because most retail turkeys have packages in each of them. I also advise drying the entire turkey with paper towels before seasoning it (including the inside).

To season the turkey for this simple slow cooker recipe, you can make the garlic butter the day before. It would be best if you seasoned your turkey according to the instructions, put everything in a slow cooker, and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

Check if the turkey you bought will fit your slow cooker.

The turkey must be served at the proper temperature when it is served, which brings up the final point. This recipe’s cook time is a suggestion, but before you serve it, you should double-check the temperature. For the thigh and breast, the temperature should be 180 and 170, respectively.

At What Temperature Should I Cook Turkey in a Slow Cooker?

Over several hours, the slow cooker runs on low heat, around 165 to 280 degrees Fahrenheit. Combining heat, steam, and the time to cook your turkey eliminates bacteria. But you want to ensure not to cook around 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit, as this allows bacteria to fester and grow.

Asides from cooking on low heat for the recommended time, your turkey must also reach a uniform internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can check this by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey, usually the breast.

What Is the Doneness Level for Turkey Cooked in a Slow Cooker?

The doneness levels of slow cooker turkey vary depending on your recipe. Generally, the turkey should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Achieving this typically takes 3-4 hours on the high setting or 6-8 hours on the low setting.

When the turkey is done, it should be golden brown, and the juices should run clear. If unsure, you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.

TURKEY WEIGHTCOOKING TIME
10 to 12 lb2.5 to 3 hours
12 to 14 lb3 to 3.5 hours
15 to 18 lb3.5 to 4 hours
18 to 20 lb4 to 4.5 hours
20 to 22 lb4.5 to 5 hours
23 to 24 lb5 to 5.5 hours

Is slow-cooking a turkey better than fast cooking?

Go low and go slow! You get the most tender, juicy turkey this way. A turkey cooked slowly will also cook in its juices. Talk about a taste explosion! In addition to the olive oil and seasonings, you are welcome to prepare your turkey with herb and garlic butter for even more taste.

Is it safe to leave your slow cooker on overnight?

Leaving your slow cooker on overnight is not recommended as it may be a fire hazard. It is recommended to unplug your slow cooker after it has finished cooking.

Why can’t I put Frozen Turkey in my slow cooker?

Aside from the bland taste at the end, putting the frozen turkey in your slow cooker would make your turkey spend longer in the danger zone (between 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit). This would allow bacterial organisms to grow and act on the meat.

Do I need to stir while cooking in my slow cooker?

Most recipes involving the slow cooker do not require stirring. When you open the lid of a slow cooker, the heat that took a long time to build and accumulate evaporates instantly, especially while you stir. There are some recipes, though, that permit and instruct you to stir while using the slow cooker.

Those recipes have included heat loss and have adjusted the cooking time to cook the dish fully. So, except if you are instructed by a recipe to stir, do not attempt. Even when clear instructions are given to stir, open, stir, and close the lid immediately. 

How Do I Cook Turkey in a Slow Cooker?

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Materials

  • Turkey
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Carrots
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  • Using cooking spray, coat the slow cooker.
  • Remove the turkey’s giblets, then rinse it and pat it dry.
  • Lift the turkey breast’s skin. The turkey’s skin should be covered with butter. Brush the turkey with oil all over.
  • Mix the ingredients for your seasoning in a small bowl. After liberally seasoning it on all sides and all over with oil, the turkey should be seasoned.
  • Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  • When the turkey is done, you can crisp up the skin by broiling the turkey. To do this, turn your oven to broil to preheat. Remove your turkey from the slow cooker. Be careful while doing it, as taking the turkey out of the slow cooker and using two tongs for a better grip might be awkward.
  • Transfer the turkey to a baking sheet or a roasting pan. Slather the body of the turkey with the reserved butter. Broil the turkey for about 3-5 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden brown.
  • Allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes before cutting. This makes cutting easier and enables the liquids to be evenly distributed throughout the meat.

Video

Notes

In the slow cooker, you cannot cook a whole frozen turkey. It must be completely defrosted before cooking if you purchase a frozen turkey. Your turkey should be refrigerated (in its original packaging) for 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey to defrost it. 

Conclusion

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and for many of us, that means it’s time to start thinking about how to cook the perfect turkey. While many people opt for the traditional oven-roasted bird, another option can save you time and hassle: cooking your turkey in a slow cooker.

Not only does this method require less attention and space than a traditional oven, but it can also produce a succulent, tender turkey packed with flavor.

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