Slow Cooker Turkey Wings: The Ultimate Guide to Juicy, Fall-Off-the-Bone Perfection

Are you craving a delicious, hassle-free way to enjoy turkey without roasting an entire bird? Look no further than slow cooker turkey wings! This ingenious cooking method transforms often-overlooked turkey wings into a mouthwatering, tender masterpiece. With minimal effort and a few simple ingredients, you can achieve juicy, fall-off-the-bone turkey wings that will have your taste buds dancing. Get ready to elevate your next meal with this foolproof guide!

Why Choose Slow Cooker Turkey Wings?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of cooking times and techniques, let’s explore why slow cooker turkey wings are a game-changer:

  • Convenience: Unlike roasting a whole turkey, slow cooker turkey wings require minimal hands-on time, freeing you up to tackle other tasks or simply relax.
  • Flavor Explosion: The slow, gentle cooking process allows the natural flavors of the turkey to intensify, resulting in a depth of taste that will leave you craving more.
  • Tender Perfection: The low and slow cooking method breaks down the connective tissues in the wings, rendering them incredibly tender and easy to pull off the bone.
  • Versatility: Slow cooker turkey wings can be seasoned with your favorite spices or sauces, making them a versatile canvas for exploring different flavor profiles.

Choosing the Right Turkey Wings

Before you fire up your slow cooker, it’s essential to select high-quality turkey wings. Here’s what to look for:

  • Fresh or Frozen: Both fresh and frozen turkey wings will work beautifully in the slow cooker. If using frozen wings, be sure to thaw them completely before cooking.
  • Whole or Split: You can choose to cook whole turkey wings or split them into drumettes and flats. Split wings may cook a bit faster and more evenly, but whole wings offer a rustic appeal.
  • Size Matters: Opt for turkey wings that are similar in size to ensure even cooking. Larger wings may require slightly longer cooking times.

The Perfect Slow Cooker Turkey Wing Recipe

Now, let’s get to the good stuff – the recipe! Here’s a delicious and foolproof way to make slow cooker turkey wings:


  • 3-4 lbs turkey wings (whole or split)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken or turkey broth


  1. Pat the turkey wings dry with paper towels and place them in the slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil (or melted butter), smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
  3. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the turkey wings, making sure to coat them evenly.
  4. Pour the chicken or turkey broth into the bottom of the slow cooker, being careful not to wash off the seasoning.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  6. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the turkey wings reaches 165°F (74°C).
  7. Carefully remove the turkey wings from the slow cooker and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  8. (Optional) For crispy skin, you can place the cooked turkey wings under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until the skin is nicely browned and crispy.

Cooking Times and Tips

While the recipe above provides a general guideline for cooking times, it’s essential to consider a few factors that can affect the overall cooking duration:

  • Size of the Turkey Wings: Larger wings may require additional cooking time, while smaller wings may cook faster.
  • Slow Cooker Size and Model: Different slow cookers can vary in their heating capabilities, which can impact cooking times.
  • Desired Doneness: If you prefer your turkey wings to be extra tender and falling off the bone, you may want to add an extra hour or two to the cooking time.

Here are some additional tips to help you achieve perfectly cooked slow cooker turkey wings:

  • Use a Meat Thermometer: Don’t rely solely on cooking times. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the turkey wings reaches 165°F (74°C) for food safety.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Slow Cooker: Arrange the turkey wings in a single layer, leaving some space between them to allow for even cooking.
  • Add Aromatics (Optional): For extra flavor, you can add sliced onions, garlic cloves, or fresh herbs to the slow cooker before cooking.
  • Baste (Optional): If you want to add extra moisture and flavor, you can baste the turkey wings with the cooking liquid every couple of hours.

Delicious Serving Suggestions

Once your slow cooker turkey wings are cooked to perfection, the possibilities for serving them are endless! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Smothered Turkey Wings: Make a rich gravy from the cooking liquid and smother the wings in it for a comforting, soul-satisfying meal.
  • Turkey Wing Sandwiches: Shred the meat from the bones and pile it high on toasted buns with your favorite toppings for a delicious sandwich.
  • Turkey Wing Salad: Chop up the meat and toss it with fresh greens, vegetables, and your favorite dressing for a protein-packed salad.
  • Turkey Wing Tacos or Nachos: Shred the meat and use it as a flavorful filling for tacos or as a topping for loaded nachos.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about cooking turkey wings in the slow cooker? We’ve got you covered!

Q: Can I use turkey drumsticks instead of wings?
A: Absolutely! Turkey drumsticks work beautifully in the slow cooker and can be cooked using the same method and cooking times.

Q: Should I brown the turkey wings before adding them to the slow cooker?
A: Browning the turkey wings is not necessary, but it can add an extra layer of flavor and crispy texture to the finished dish. If you choose to brown them, do so in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker.

Q: Can I cook frozen turkey wings in the slow cooker?
A: While it is possible to cook frozen turkey wings in the slow cooker, it’s recommended to thaw them completely first. Cooking from frozen can result in uneven cooking and potential food safety issues.

Q: How long will leftovers keep in the refrigerator?
A: Properly stored, cooked turkey wings will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave, oven, or on the stovetop until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

With this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped with the knowledge and skills to create tender, juicy, and flavorful slow cooker turkey wings that will elevate any meal. Embrace the convenience and deliciousness of this cooking method, and enjoy fall-off-the-bone turkey without the hassle of roasting an entire bird. Happy slow cooking!

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