How To Cook Butterball Turkey Breast In Crock Pot [COMPLETE GUIDE]

Turkey breast is a delectable and healthy choice for any meal, and cooking it in a crock pot yields tender, juicy results with minimal effort. Butterball turkey breast, known for its quality and flavor, is a popular choice for many home cooks. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn everything you need to know about cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot. From selecting the right turkey breast to troubleshooting common issues, this article will provide you with detailed instructions and tips to ensure your turkey breast turns out perfectly every time.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Butterball Turkey Breast In Crock Pot

Cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot is convenient and yields succulent results. The cooking time for a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot can vary based on the size of the turkey breast. As a general guide, a 3 to 4-pound turkey breast should be cooked on low for approximately 6 to 7 hours, while a 6 to 7-pound turkey breast may require 7 to 8 hours on low. It is crucial to use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the turkey breast reaches a minimum of 165°F (74°C) before consuming.

Selection

When selecting a Butterball turkey breast for cooking in a crock pot, it’s essential to consider the size and type of turkey breast. Butterball offers a variety of turkey breast options, including bone-in, boneless, and pre-seasoned varieties. When choosing a turkey breast for your recipe, keep in mind the number of servings you require and whether you prefer bone-in or boneless meat.

For smaller gatherings or individuals looking for convenience, a boneless Butterball turkey breast could be the ideal choice. This option is easy to carve and may require slightly less cooking time compared to bone-in varieties. On the other hand, a bone-in Butterball turkey breast is favored by those who appreciate the added flavor and moisture that the bone imparts during the cooking process. It’s worth noting that bone-in turkey breasts may take a little longer to cook in the crock pot due to the presence of the bone.

Preparation

Before starting the cooking process, it’s crucial to properly prepare the Butterball turkey breast for the crock pot. A few steps for preparation include thawing, seasoning, and trussing (if applicable).

Thawing

If your Butterball turkey breast is frozen, ensure that it is completely thawed before cooking. Thawing a turkey breast in the refrigerator is the safest method and should be done in its original packaging on a tray or in a container to catch any drips. As a general rule, allow 24 hours of thawing time for every 4 to 5 pounds of turkey. Once thawed, remove the packaging and pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels.

Seasoning

Seasoning the turkey breast is an important step that helps enhance its flavor. You can use a variety of seasonings such as salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, and spices to suit your taste preferences. Applying the seasonings both on and under the skin, if bone-in, ensures that the flavors penetrate the meat. Additionally, you can create a seasoning paste by mixing herbs and spices with olive oil or butter and rubbing it over the turkey breast.

Trussing

For bone-in Butterball turkey breasts, trussing is a technique that helps the turkey maintain its shape and cook evenly. To truss a turkey breast, use kitchen twine to tie the legs together and secure the wings close to the body. Trussing prevents the turkey breast from flopping around during cooking, which can lead to uneven cooking and a less appealing presentation.

Crock Pot Cooking Times For Butterball Turkey Breast

Cooking times for a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot can vary based on factors such as the size of the turkey breast, the specific model of crock pot, and the desired level of doneness. As a guideline, the following cooking times are recommended for different sizes of Butterball turkey breasts when cooked on low heat in a crock pot.

  • 3 to 4 Pounds: Cook on low for approximately 6 to 7 hours
  • 6 to 7 Pounds: Cook on low for approximately 7 to 8 hours

It’s important to keep in mind that these are approximate times, and using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature is the most accurate way to determine doneness.

How To Cook Butterball Turkey Breast In Crock Pot

Cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot is a straightforward process that yields tender, flavorful results. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a hassle-free cooking experience.

Ingredients

  • 1 Butterball turkey breast
  • Seasonings of your choice (e.g., salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, thyme)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil or melted butter
  • Optional aromatics (e.g., onion, garlic, herbs)

Instructions

1. Preparation

  • If your turkey breast is frozen, ensure it is completely thawed before proceeding with the recipe.
  • Remove the packaging from the turkey breast and pat it dry with paper towels.
  • Season the turkey breast generously with your chosen seasonings. Ensure to season both the exterior and, if bone-in, under the skin for maximum flavor.
  • Optionally, create a seasoning paste by mixing herbs and spices with olive oil or melted butter and rub it over the turkey breast for added flavor.

2. Crock Pot Setup

  • Place any optional aromatics, such as onion, garlic, or herbs, in the bottom of the crock pot to add flavor to the turkey breast and the cooking juices.
  • Place the seasoned turkey breast, skin side up, in the crock pot. If using a bone-in turkey breast, ensure it is trussed to maintain its shape during cooking.

3. Cooking

  • Set the crock pot to the "low" setting and cover with the lid.
  • Allow the turkey breast to cook for the recommended time based on its weight. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, ensuring it reaches at least 165°F (74°C) for food safety.
  • Avoid lifting the lid during the cooking process, as this can slow down the cooking time and release heat.
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4. Resting And Serving

  • Once the turkey breast reaches the desired temperature, carefully remove it from the crock pot and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute within the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender turkey breast.
  • Carve the turkey breast and serve with your favorite sides and garnishes.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot is relatively straightforward, there are some common issues that may arise during the cooking process. Understanding these issues and how to troubleshoot them can help ensure a successful outcome.

Dry Turkey Breast

If the turkey breast turns out dry after cooking, it may be due to overcooking or not enough moisture during the cooking process. To prevent dryness, consider the following:

  • Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature and remove the turkey breast from the crock pot as soon as it reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • Add a small amount of broth, stock, or even water to the bottom of the crock pot before placing the turkey breast in. This helps create steam and moisture during cooking, resulting in a juicier turkey breast.

Uneven Cooking

Uneven cooking can occur, especially with larger bone-in turkey breasts. To address this issue:

  • Ensure the turkey breast is trussed before placing it in the crock pot. Trussing helps the turkey maintain its shape and promotes even cooking.
  • If possible, rotate the turkey breast once or twice during the cooking process to expose different parts to the heat evenly.

Lack Of Flavor

If the turkey breast lacks flavor, it may be a result of insufficient seasoning or the absence of aromatics. To enhance the flavor:

  • Season the turkey breast generously with a blend of your favorite herbs, spices, and aromatics to create a flavorful crust.
  • Consider adding aromatics such as onion, garlic, or herbs to the bottom of the crock pot before placing the turkey breast in. This infuses the meat with additional flavor during the cooking process.

Cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot is a convenient and delicious way to prepare a flavorful and tender meal. By selecting the right turkey breast, properly preparing it, and following the recommended cooking times, you can achieve succulent and juicy results with minimal effort. As with any cooking method, using a meat thermometer to ensure food safety and monitoring the cooking process are essential for a successful outcome. With the tips and guidelines provided in this comprehensive guide, you are equipped to create a mouthwatering Butterball turkey breast in your crock pot, perfect for any occasion.

Achieving Perfect Texture

Cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot is a fantastic way to prepare a moist, tender, and flavorful turkey dinner with minimal effort. A crock pot, also known as a slow cooker, allows for slow and steady cooking, ensuring the turkey breast remains juicy and succulent. This method is particularly convenient, as it frees up your oven for other dishes and requires minimal supervision.

In order to achieve a perfect texture when cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot, it is crucial to pay attention to the cooking time and temperature.

  1. Thawing: Begin by ensuring that your turkey breast is fully thawed. Thawing in the refrigerator is the safest method and should be done well in advance, allowing approximately 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey breast.

  2. Seasoning: Before placing the turkey breast in the crock pot, season it generously with your desired herbs, spices, and seasonings. This will enhance the flavor of the turkey and create a mouthwatering aroma.

  3. Cooking Time: When cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot, it is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cooking times. As a general rule of thumb, cook the turkey breast on low heat for 4-6 hours per 2-3 pounds of turkey. This slow cooking process allows the turkey breast to become tender and juicy.

  4. Internal Temperature: To ensure the turkey breast is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The USDA recommends that poultry should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to be safe to consume. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey breast to get an accurate reading.

Flavor Infusion

One of the advantages of cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot is the ability to infuse delightful flavors into the meat. Here are a few techniques to achieve flavor infusion:

  1. Brining: Brining the turkey breast before cooking can enhance its juiciness and flavor. To brine, simply submerge the turkey breast in a solution of water, salt, sugar, and your preferred herbs and spices for several hours or overnight. This process allows the turkey to absorb the flavors of the brine, resulting in a more flavorful final product.

  2. Stuffing: Another way to infuse flavor into the turkey breast is by stuffing it with a flavorful mixture. You can use a combination of ingredients such as vegetables, herbs, fruits, and nuts to create a delicious stuffing. Ensure that the stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to maintain food safety.

  3. Aromatic Vegetables: Adding aromatic vegetables like onions, garlic, and herbs to the crock pot can enhance the flavor of the turkey breast as it cooks. These vegetables release their own flavors while imparting them into the meat, creating a deliciously seasoned turkey.

Aroma

The aroma that fills your kitchen as the Butterball turkey breast cooks in the crock pot is one of the many enticing aspects of this cooking method. Here are a few tips to maximize the aroma:

  1. Herbs and Spices: Choose aromatic herbs and spices to season the turkey breast, such as thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, and onion powder. These ingredients will not only enhance the flavor but also fill your kitchen with a tantalizing aroma.

  2. Citrus Fruits: Adding slices of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes to the crock pot will release their natural oils as they cook. These oils waft through the air, infusing the turkey breast with a delightful and refreshing aroma.

  3. Aromatic Vegetables: As mentioned before, adding aromatic vegetables like onions and garlic to the crock pot will contribute to the overall aroma. These vegetables release their fragrances as they cook, creating a tantalizing atmosphere in your kitchen.

Cooking Techniques

When cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot, there are a few key techniques to ensure the best results:

  1. Searing: Although a crock pot does not provide the opportunity for browning, you can achieve a beautiful golden color and enhanced flavor by searing the turkey breast before placing it in the crock pot. Heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and sear the turkey breast on all sides until it develops a rich golden crust. This step will add depth to the overall flavor profile of the turkey.

  2. Layering: If you wish to cook additional ingredients alongside the turkey breast, such as vegetables or potatoes, consider layering them in the crock pot. Begin with a layer of vegetables at the bottom, followed by the turkey breast, and then top it off with another layer of vegetables. This allows all the ingredients to cook together, with the juices from the turkey breast enriching the flavors of the accompanying vegetables.

  3. Basting: While basting is a traditional technique used in oven roasting, it can also be applied to cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot. Basting involves spooning the juices that collect at the bottom of the crock pot over the turkey breast periodically. This helps to keep the turkey moist and infuses it with additional flavors throughout the cooking process.

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Crock Pot Tips For Butterball Turkey Breast

To ensure a successful and stress-free cooking experience, here are some valuable tips when cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot:

  1. Size of Crock Pot: Choose a crock pot that comfortably accommodates the size of your Butterball turkey breast. It should allow enough space for the turkey and any additional ingredients you wish to cook alongside it. A crock pot that is too small may result in uneven cooking or overcrowding, while a crock pot that is too large can lead to excessive moisture loss.

  2. Crock Pot Liner: Consider using a crock pot liner to make cleanup easier. These disposable liners prevent food from sticking to the sides of the crock pot and eliminate the need for scrubbing after cooking.

  3. Even Temperature Distribution: Place the turkey breast on top of a layer of vegetables or a rack to elevate it slightly from the bottom of the crock pot. This promotes even heat distribution and prevents the turkey from sticking to the bottom.

  4. Avoid Overcooking: It’s important not to overcook the Butterball turkey breast in the crock pot, as it can result in dry and tough meat. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and remove it from the crock pot promptly.

  5. Resting Time: Allow the turkey breast to rest for 10-15 minutes after removing it from the crock pot. This allows the juices to redistribute within the meat, resulting in a more succulent and flavorful final product.

Creative Crock Pot Butterball Turkey Breast Recipes

Now, let’s explore some creative and delicious recipes to inspire you as you cook a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot:

  1. Herb-Roasted Butterball Turkey Breast: Season the turkey breast with a mixture of herbs such as thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, and onion powder. Sear the turkey breast in a skillet before placing it in the crock pot. Add a layer of aromatic vegetables like onions and garlic to the bottom of the crock pot. Cook on low heat for approximately 4-6 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Serve with roasted vegetables for a complete and flavorful meal.

  2. Cranberry-Glazed Butterball Turkey Breast: Create a glaze by combining cranberry sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and a splash of orange juice. Place the turkey breast in the crock pot and pour the cranberry glaze over it. Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). The cranberry glaze will add a tangy and sweet flavor to the turkey, making it perfect for a festive holiday meal.

  3. Asian-Inspired Butterball Turkey Breast: Create an Asian-inspired marinade by combining soy sauce, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Marinate the turkey breast in the mixture for at least 2 hours, overnight if possible, in the refrigerator. Place the turkey breast and the marinade in the crock pot and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Serve with steamed vegetables and rice for a flavorful and satisfying meal.

Conclusion

Cooking a Butterball turkey breast in a crock pot offers many advantages, including a moist and tender texture, infused flavors, and an inviting aroma. By following the recommended cooking techniques, seasoning options, and tips provided in this article, you can confidently prepare a delicious turkey dinner with minimal effort. Whether you choose a traditional herb-roasted turkey breast or experiment with unique flavor combinations, your crock pot will help you achieve a mouthwatering outcome every time.

FAQS

Can I Cook A Frozen Butterball Turkey Breast In A Crock Pot?

No, it is not recommended. For food safety reasons, it is important to thaw the turkey breast first before cooking. Thawing can be done in the refrigerator, under cool running water, or in the microwave.

How Long Should I Cook A Butterball Turkey Breast In A Crock Pot?

The cooking time will depend on the size of the turkey breast and the model of your crock pot. Generally, it takes about 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low for a 3-4 pound turkey breast. For a larger turkey breast, adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Do I Need To Add Liquid To The Crock Pot When Cooking A Butterball Turkey Breast?

Yes, it is recommended to add 1/2 to 1 cup of liquid such as chicken broth or water to the crock pot before cooking. This will keep the meat moist and tender. You can also add spices and herbs to the liquid for added flavor.

Should I Brown The Butterball Turkey Breast Before Cooking In The Crock Pot?

It is not necessary, but it can enhance the flavor and appearance of the turkey breast. To brown the turkey breast, heat some oil in a skillet and cook the turkey breast for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Then, transfer the turkey breast to the crock pot to continue cooking.

How Do I Know When The Butterball Turkey Breast Is Fully Cooked?

The internal temperature of the turkey breast should reach 165°F (74°C) for it to be safe to eat. You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature during the last hour of cooking. The meat should also be tender and easily separated from the bone when fully cooked.