Crispy Skin Slow Cooker Turkey is THE MOST succulent Turkey, WITHOUT brining OR marinading! Rubbed with a buttery, garlicky herb mixture, and slow cooked until tender and juicy, this Turkey will have EVERYONE talking!
Fill your ovens with other important things this Thanksgiving and let your slow cooker take on most of the work! This Turkey couldn’t be ANY EASIER, JUCIER, and I’m going to say it — MOIST.
Just LOOK AT THAT SKIN! ↓
Slow cooking turkey GUARANTEES juicy and succulent meat! Now, while I WISH that a slow cooker can magically create a crispy, golden browned skin like this one, your broiler will take care of that for the last 10-20 minutes this turkey needs to get all golden browned. All up? 4-5 hours cooking time with your oven freed up for a good chunk of that time!
Usually, a turkey needs a good 6 or more hours slow roasting in your oven, sometimes leaving it in there all night to have it ready for the next day. Am I right?
Most times you need to brine it for a good 24 hours before even roasting it. Plus, if you leave it too long in brine, it will get too salty, OR if you use a less salty brine, you run the risk of washing out the natural turkey flavours into the water.
Ah the DILEMMA. You need a bucket, a long list of brine ingredients, plus time.
Throw in a silky smooth homemade gravy filled with all of those amazing Turkey flavours!
HOW TO MAKE Slow Cooker Turkey
- You’re going to need a small 8-10 pound turkey, or 4-5 kilo. This is to ensure it fits into your slow cooker bowl. This one was 8 pounds.
- Please remember to divide your herb butter in half and refrigerate that half. You are going to use the reserved butter later before broiling to add even MORE flavour to your turkey, and get that skin golden browned.
- I love using thyme and rosemary to slow cook our turkey, but you can use sage leaves, oregano, parsley, whatever herbs YOU like!
HOW TO GET A CRISPY SKIN
- Pat your turkey dry with one or two sheets of paper towel, and remove any rogue feathers that have been left behind.
- Smother and slather it with the herb butter ALL OVER.
- Place it in your cooker bowl and season it generously with salt and pepper. I didn’t measure since salt and pepper is something I usually eyeball, but it should be about 1 tablespoon of sea salt and maybe 1/2 tablespoon of pepper.
- For the purpose of having this turkey done fast, I cook it on HIGH heat setting. You CAN cook it on low if you wish! I’m impatient.
THE BEST PART
- Turn on your oven in the last 15 minutes of slow cooking to get your broiler nice and hot.
- Place roasting pan right next to your slow cooker. You will need to use TWO long tongs or carving forks, insert them into both ends of the turkey and lift it out of your slow cooker and into the pan. It won’t fall apart since the bird is whole, but just in case, do this slowly.
- Then, remember that reserved butter? Yeah, THAT herb butter is going all over the breast and legs of your turkey, melting as soon as you spread it on with the back of your spoon or knife.
- Get your bird into the oven and crisp away! THAT’S IT! I had ours under our broiler for a good 10 minutes on medium-high heat (our oven has adjustable heat settings for broiling). If yours doesn’t just keep your eye on it.
- Your oven shelf should be on the lower half of your oven to make sure your turkey isn’t too close to the heating element.
I then changed the oven settings from broiler back to oven to get it MORE golden without burning it, for about 15 minutes.
ALL of the flavours from the slow cooker bowl make this gravy up, and let me tell you. You guys will be licking your plates clean!
Made exactly like white sauce, using the left over juices out of the slow cooker instead of milk, butter and flour, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce for added flavour. So easy!
Want to try different turkey recipes? Try this Crispy Beer Turkey OR this One Pan Juicy Herb Roasted Turkey & Potatoes With Gravy!
Crispy Skin Slow Cooker Turkey (& Homemade Gravy)
- 8-10 pound 4-5 kg whole turkey, skin on
- 2 heads garlic cut in half horizontally
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 1 slice lemon
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- Cracked Pepper
- 2 cups Turkey broth from the slow cooker
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper, only if needed
- Combine the Herb Butter ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Reserve half of the Herb Butter in the refrigerator for later.
- Arrange the garlic cut-side down in the bottom of the slow cooker bowl. Add the sprigs of thyme and rosemary, and slice of lemon.
- Using paper towels, pat the turkey dry as much as you can. Rub all over with the remaining herb butter, season generously with salt and pepper all over, then place the turkey on top of the garlic and herbs in the slow cooker bowl.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours, or LOW for 8 hours.
- (About half an hour before the end of cooking time, arrange oven shelf to the lower half of your oven. Preheat your oven broiler/or grill in Australia to crisp the skin.)
- Carefully transfer turkey to a roasting tray by inserting tongs on either side of the turkey into the carcass; lifting and placing straight into the roasting tray (have your tray sitting right next to the slow cooker for an easy transition). Remove 2 cups of the liquid from the slow cooker bowl, strain and reserve for your gravy. Pour any remaining juices over your turkey.
Crisp the Skin
- Using the reserved herb butter, use a spoon to spread it over the top of your turkey for extra flavour (the turkey will be hot and the butter will melt nicely over the skin). Broil for about 10 minutes, OR until the skin is crispy and golden browned all over. Leave it longer if needed, but if you see it start to burn, turn the broiler off and turn the oven on to 420°F | 220°C, and continue roasting until the turkey is golden browned (about 15 minutes).
- Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before carving and serving.
- Melt the butter in a small pot over low-medium heat. Whisk in the flour until combined. Allow to cook for about a minute, while whisking occasionally. Pour in 1/2 cup of the Turkey liquid and whisk until it forms a paste. Add remaining liquid in 1/2 cup increments, whisking in between, until the gravy is smooth. Allow to simmer over medium heat until thickened. Take off heat and mix in the Worcestershire sauce. The gravy will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Season with salt and pepper, only if needed.