Add almost any vegetable you enjoy to the slow cooker along with the turkey.

How to Cook a Turkey for Shredded Turkey Sandwiches

by Jordan Whitehouse

The key to a good shredded turkey sandwich is the moisture content in the meat. Moisture ensures the flavors in the seasonings penetrate the turkey and are distributed evenly. One way to get a whole turkey juicy enough for a delicious shredded turkey sandwich is to braise it in a slow cooker. With the right liquids and seasonings, and a little time, you'll have one tasty turkey perfect for shredding.

1 Defrost the whole turkey in the refrigerator before beginning the cooking process. This should take about 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of turkey.

2 Lay the turkey on a clean cutting board, douse it with olive oil and season it with salt, pepper and any other spices you enjoy with turkey.

3 Cut the turkey into separate pieces. Divide it by wings, breast, back and legs.

4 Place the turkey pieces in a slow cooker and turn it on to low.

5 Add whatever diced, raw vegetables you enjoy to the slow cooker; onion, garlic, carrots and parsnips are good options for the long cooking process.

6 Add a liquid to the slow cooker that complements turkey. Beer, broth, vegetable juice or some combination of the three are common. For Southern-style turkey, add homemade or store-bought barbecue sauce to the slow cooker. Pour about 1 to 2 inches of liquid into the bottom of the slow cooker.

7 Stir the mixture in the slow cooker and douse the turkey pieces with it.

8 Cook the turkey on low until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Test it by inserting a meat thermometer into the middle of a breast. Cooking times will vary based on the slow cooker and the size of the turkey, but a general rule is 7 to 9 hours.

Items you will need

  • Cutting board
  • 9.5-lb. turkey (maximum)
  • 7-quart slow cooker (maximum)
  • Meat thermometer


  • If you don't have a slow cooker, add a half-inch of the liquid and the vegetables to the bottom of a roasting pan, place the turkey pieces in the pan and braise at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 degrees.

Photo Credits

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