I did it. A whole turkey in the crock.
I am officially turkeyed out.
I was able to fit a 9.5 lb turkey into a 6.5 quart crockpot. It was a tight squeeze, and this is the absolute largest turkey you should attempt to cook----even if you have a 7 quart crockpot. The meat needs to reach 140 degrees after 3 hours of cooking on high to keep it in the "safe zone" for consumption.
"hey Steph, how'd you learn that?"
I was hoping you'd ask! I learned this by participating in a live webchat hosted by Butterball, and their trained Turkey-Talk Bloggers. Chris Jordan, from Notes from the Trenches, and Susan Wagner, from Friday Playdate are fresh out of Turkey U. and are eager to help families with their burning (simmering) turkey questions.
You can ask anything turkey. Chris only slightly snickered when I asked where the thigh is. (guess what? it's not on the drumstick at all---it's the part where the drumstick connects to the bird. huh.) There is another chat scheduled for November 25, or you can call 1-800-BUTTERBALL.
--turkey (9.5 lbs is the MAXIMUM to fit in a 6.5 quart crockpot)
--apple (I used yellow)
--meat thermometer (necessity, not a luxury. go get one if you need it)
Your turkey must be completely and totally thawed. Seriously. Call the Butterball hotline if you don't know how to do this safely.
I took a lot of the skin off. You don't have to, the skin seems to magically brown a bit in the crock, but I have weird skin issues.
Remove the neck and the bag of stuff they put inside the turkey. If you're going to use it to make stuffing or something, do that, but please don't tell me.
Pat the turkey with paper towels to dry it off. Rub a handful of olive oil all over the bird, inside and out. Sprinkle salt, pepper, dried parsley, and garlic powder all over and in it, and rub it around. If you have a secret family concoction of herbs, by all means, use it.
Peel an onion, quarter it, and shove inside. Core an apple and do the same.
Lower the bird into your crockpot. I wanted to put it in breast-side down, but Chris and Mary (from Butterball) said not to. So I put it right-side up.
Cover. Cook on high for 3 hours, then check the internal temperature. You need the turkey to register at least 140 degrees.
Cover again and cook on high for another few hours. I needed to leave the house, and this turkey cooked on high for a bit over 5 hours. Check the internal temp again in a few places. It should be 170 degrees or higher. You can certainly cook it longer if needed, or keep it on warm until you are ready to carve.
CAREFULLY remove turkey from crockpot. The edges will have browned nicely. If you'd like, you can broil the top for a few minutes in the oven--put the turkey in a roasting pan, don't use the crock. I tried this, and was pleased with how the turkey looked afterwards. I broiled for about 7 minutes.
Let sit for 15-20 minutes before carving.
I'm so happy this worked. I feel.... relieved. Like my shoulders have lost a lot of tension, which is weird, but I must have been worrying about this sub-consciously for a while or something.
My kids didn't eat it. They had no interest. I gave them frozen corn and barbecued beans from a can.
My parents ate a bunch, and so did Adam.
I had a turkey sandwich around 9pm.
CrockPot Turkey Breast Recipe
CrockPot Creamed Corn
CrockPot Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese and Sour Cream
CrockPot Cornbread Stuffing
CrockPot Traditional Stuffing
lots more CrockPot Holiday(ish) Food