How to sous vide a whole turkey

I looked everywhere only to find a way to sous vide a whole turkey. Nothing! The recipes either recommended taking the turkey apart (not compatible with a traditional Thanksgiving), or getting a very small turkey (about 10 lbs). So this is the way I did it (and it turned out awesome).

I purchased a large brining bag (states it can hold up to a 25 lbs turkey). I followed a brining recipe (any brining recipe will do), but instead of brining the turkey in the fridge for 24 hours, I cooked it in the sous vide, in the brine.

Here is the recipe I followed.


3 quarts of organic chicken stock
3/4 cup Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon dry rosemary
1 Tablespoon dry thyme
1 Tablespoon dry savory
1 Tablespoon dry sage

I then placed the turkey in the large brining bag, and filled it with the brine. I then placed the whole thing in a 5 gallon pot, and squeezed the air out of the bag by pushing the bag slowly under the water before sealing the zip bag. You want to remove as much air as possible, so it doesn’t float. Make sure to fill the cavity with the brine. I then attached my Anova to the edge of the 5 gallon pot, wrapped it in a towel for insulation, and covered the whole thing with plastic wrap to reduce evaporation. I then cooked the turket at 132 degrees for 18 hours (and up to 24 hours).
I know most recipes call for a higher temperature. But then again, most recipes give you dry, cardboard-like, meat. 132 degrees is fine, as you are still pasteurizing the entire turkey.

Once done, the turkey is removed from the bag, and placed in an oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes (just enough to give it a nice browning.

Et voila! A wonderfully soft and tender turkey! Even the kids said “This is not turkey, it’s too tender!”.

Let me konw if you try it, and if you make any variations on the above.

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