Crock Pot Turkey Recipe

Did you know you can cook an entire turkey in the Crock Pot?  I usually do this a few times a year and the turkey comes out perfectly cooked and juicy every time.  (Or so I am told since I am a vegetarian.)  This won’t give you crispy skin on your bird but for a quick dinner you really can’t beat this.

I find a turkey dinner to be incredibly comforting in the fall and the nice thing is that turkey is so reasonably priced right now.  Plus it tends to go on clearance after the holidays so why not have roasted turkey for a regular dinner.  I got a 9lb turkey for $5.99 recently- so that was enough for a full dinner plus several lunches during the week.

The only trick here is that you want to make sure you get a turkey that will fit in your Crock Pot.  I have a great big crock pot so we just did a 9lb turkey recently and it was just fine.  I tend to prefer the smaller ones though because those are easier to cook.

Here is what you need to do:

  • The best thing is to let the turkey defrost in your fridge.  I gave mine 2 full days to defrost by placing it in a large dish (to catch the juices) and just putting it in the fridge.   (Rule of thumb is 24 hrs for every 5lbs)
  • My turkey was 9lbs and it took about 6 hours on high in the crock pot. This time will vary depending on how big your bird- a 5lb turkey would probably be about 8 hours on low.
  • I used a turkey marinade but you can use a cup of chicken or vegetable broth (or 2 cups for a larger bird) and rub the turkey down with some butter, salt and pepper.  Pop him in the crock and that is that.  Some people like to use Lipton Onion Mix as a dry rub so that is another option or any herbed sea salt would be easy.  You can toss fresh herbs in with him and lemon too if that floats your boat.
  • It is important to use a meat thermometer and make sure he gets to 180 °.  That is when you know you are done.

Pick up him and let rest for just a few minutes.  The meat really almost falls off the bone.  You will still have roasting juices at the bottom of the crock to make your gravy.

Here are some other fun things you can make in a crock pot:




  1. lizzy says

    What size is your slow cooker? I just bought one 6-8 qt (not sure since it was in the thrift store and they didnt have the paper stuff and the slow cooker doesnt say either) and one 4 qt at sears. This will be my first year cooking a turkey so Im thinking that cooking it in a slow cooker is a great idea.

  2. jamie says

    We do our big turkeys (16lb) in the roasters you can get at Target, Walmart, etc. They are basically a giant crock pot. They arent too expensive (usually on special this time of year) and it allows you to cook a big turkey and keep the oven free for other goodies. Also, like the crockpot, it is closed so the turkey stays super jucy and yummy!

  3. Carli says

    How long did you cook yours, Charlene? On low or high? This sounds great! Thanks :)

  4. Charlene says


    I had a big boy that was 9lbs. I bought it early Friday and he sat in the fridge until Sunday afternoon and I cooked him on high for 6 hours. I was thinking it would be 4 hours but he took longer.

  5. Ellie says

    So I’m big on Thanksgiving. Scratch that, I’m big on Thanksgiving turkey. I think I’ll try your recipe this year: I love your blog and it just sounds so. Crackin. Good. And because I’m me I look all over the place for the best dishes and recipes and I think you might like this cranberry sauce comparison I got my hands on. Certainly helps if you don’t have time to make your own:

  6. Emily says

    This is probably a very stupid question but do you take the insides out of the turkey before putting it in the crockpot? I’ve never cooked a turkey so please don’t laugh!

  7. Charlene says

    Emily, I am only giggling because you should have seen my first Thanksgiving! I don’t eat meat so prepping meat is literally a horror to me :). I had industrial stregnth gloves on and my Dad on the speaker phone and I was nearly gagging at removing that nasty stuff from the inside. Blech!

    Yes get that stuff out before you cook. It is like the neck or the bird’s intestines or something equally horrible so get rid of it. If you are not squeamish, it is really nice to shove other things up there for more flavor like sprigs of rosemary or slices of lemon. Personally I don’t need to get to know my bird that well so I make my husband do that part.

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