Just in time for your Christmas or Thanksgiving preparations, I’ve got the best way to cook your turkey for no hassle at all – in the slow cooker! My slow cooker turkey crown is a delicious way to cook your turkey and avoid the dreaded dry meat you can get through roasting.
The turkey crown (if you aren’t familiar with this term it is a double turkey breast on the bone which is common in the UK for Christmas) is prepared with a rub made with olive oil, smoked paprika and herbs.
You can also follow the same method for a single large turkey breast or a turkey. Just make sure if it is a whole turkey that it will fit in your slow cooker. We don’t want any Christmas food disasters!
How to cook a turkey breast or crown
The turkey crown shown was 2 kg / 4 pounds and was cooked in my 5.7 litre slow cooker with plenty of space to spare.
Step 1. After rubbing on the spice mix, I popped the defrosted turkey crown straight in the slow cooker on top of a couple of halved onions to lift it up out of the cooking juices.
Step 2. Put on the lid, then cook. During cooking, baste a few times with the cooking juices.
The cooking time for a 2 kg / 4 pound turkey crown was 5 hours on high.
See the notes in the recipe card for cooking other weights.
Use a cooking thermometer to check the turkey is cooked through – see my Turkey Tips below.
Step 3. Baste with melted butter seasoned with salt and pepper and paprika before serving, for a nice shine.
Step4. Optional additional step. If you’d like to have crispy skin on your turkey crown, remove the turkey crown carefully from the slow cooker pot once cooked through, transfer to a roasting tin and put it in a hot oven to brown for approx 10-15 minutes (at 180°C / 350°F).
You could also lay slices of bacon across it before putting it in the oven.
What to serve with turkey crown or breast
Serve your slow cooker turkey crown with your traditional Christmas sides – roast potatoes, sage and onion stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce, red cabbage, roast parsnips (cooked in the slow cooker!), glazed carrots and Brussels sprouts if you are in the UK, followed by Christmas pudding.
If you are in the USA and cooking for Thanksgiving, your sides might well be mashed potato, glazed squash, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, stuffing or dressing, green bean casserole, and pumpkin or pecan pie for dessert!
I know that cooking a turkey or turkey crown is something which brings lots of pressure as we want to get it right and make sure we cook it safely and thoroughly. I’ve added some tips below which I think might be useful.
How to defrost a turkey
Follow the directions on the packaging to defrost your turkey or crown, ensuring you know how much it weighs.
You can defrost in the fridge (takes longer, around 8-12 hours per kilo), a cold room (takes a bit less time, around 4 hours per kilo) or at room temperature which takes 2 hours per kilo.
Always follow a reliable source – in the UK I like this guide from the Food Standards Agency.
How to check your turkey is defrosted
Remove all the packaging, look for ice crystals on the underneath of the crown where the bones are. If any remain, leave it to defrost for longer until they have gone.
Use a sharp knife or skewer and pierce the turkey breast to see if it feels frozen still. If it does, leave to defrost for longer until it no longer feels frozen inside the breast.
After cooking, how to check the turkey is cooked through
This so when I turn to my trusty Thermapen electronic meat thermometer. This put the guesswork away as I know exactly what temperature the turkey has reached.
To be safely cooked through the turkey must reach 74 degrees C in the thickest part of the meat.
Using my slow cooker on high, and testing with my Thermapen after cooking, I found my turkey had reached over 90 degrees C so I knew it was fully cooked.
Baste with melted butter seasoned with salt and pepper and paprika before serving. It gives your turkey crown an extra shine and looks great on serving.
Whether you are serving your turkey crown for Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day to Thanksgiving, this will make a great centrepiece to your festive table.
More slow cooker Christmas recipes
If you are using your slow cooker this Christmas, you might also like:
- slow cooker roast parsnips
- slow cooker red cabbage
- slow cooker glazed gammon
- slow cooker Baileys chocolate cake
- slow cooker amaretto fudge
- slow cooker gingerbread pudding, an alternative to Christmas pudding
- slow cooker Christmas cake
- slow cooker thick and creamy hot chocolate
Make sure you also check out my Christmas slow cooker roundup full of edible gifts, sweet treats, Christmas dinner recipes and more, all made in your slow cooker!
For more slow cooker roast recipes make sure you take a look at my guide to making a roast dinner in your slow cooker.
Pin this slow cooker turkey crown recipe for later
Slow Cooker Turkey Crown
- 2 kg turkey crown or breast defrosted completely
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions halved
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
For the glaze:
- 50 g butter
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix the oil, paprika, garlic, rosemary and salt and pepper in a small bowl.2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp dried rosemary, salt and pepper to taste
- Rub it over the turkey crown.2 kg turkey crown or breast
- Halve two onions and place them in the base of the slow cooker pot.2 onions
- Put the prepared turkey crown on top of the onions.
- Put on the lid and cook on high for 5 hours (or on low for 8 hours if cooking overnight).
- During cooking, baste occasionally with the cooking liquids which will collect under the turkey crown.
- Before serving, melt the butter, mix with smoked paprika, salt and pepper and pour it over the turkey crown to glaze.50 g butter, 2 tsp smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste
- Optional. If you'd like to have crispy skin on your turkey crown, remove the turkey crown carefully from the slow cooker pot once cooked through, transfer to a roasting tin and put it in a hot oven to brown for approx 10-15 minutes (at 180°C/350°F). You could also lay slices of bacon across it before putting it in the oven.
- For a 1 kg / 2 pound turkey crown or breast - 4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low
- For a 2 kg / 4 pound turkey crown or breast - 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low
- For a 3 kg / 6 pound turkey crown or breast - 6 hours on high or 9-10 hours on low