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Epic sous vide whole turkey in a tiny kitchen

Epic Sous Vide Whole Turkey Recipe from a Tiny Kitchen

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9-20 hours
  • Total Time: 20 hours
  • Yield: 10-12 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Sous Vide
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Stunning sous vide whole turkey with crispy skin and ultra-tender meat made in a tiny kitchen!


  • 1 14-16 lb whole turkey, giblets removed
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, and/or sage
  • Melted butter or olive oil

Optional seasonings and herbs: 

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander


  1. Break down the turkey: Use a good pair of kitchen scissors and/or a knife to cut and remove the backbone including the neck. (Save it for turkey stock.) Divide the turkey into four parts: two breasts with drumettes and wingettes plus two legs including thighs and drumsticks. Rinse the parts clean. 
  2. Loosen up the skin: Pat the bird dry with paper towels. Gently separate the skin from the breast and drumsticks by inserting your fingers and slowly pushing between the skin and the meat. Be careful not to break the skin.
  3. Dry brine the turkey: Combine salt and the optional spices and herbs in a small bowl. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the turkey parts as well as under the skin. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. 
  4. Bag the turkey: Cut four cut-to-size vacuum-sealer bags from a vacuum-sealer roll. Put each part of the turkey into each bag, and add fresh herbs if you like. Vacuum-seal the bags. Keep them in the fridge until ready to cook. 
  5. Sous vide white meat: Preheat water to 140°F (60°C) using a sous vide cooker. Once the water is ready, submerge the bags with the breasts under the water and set the timer for 3-8 hours according to what works for you. Once the timer goes off, drop the white meat directly into an ice-water bath to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Sous vide dark meat: Increase the water temperature to 150°F (66°C). Once the water is ready, submerge the bags with the leg parts under the water and set the timer for 6-12 hours. Once the timer goes off, immediately drop them into an ice-water bath to chill for at least 30 minutes. 
  7. Finish the turkey: Heat oven to 500°F (260°C). Open the bags, remove the herbs, and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Brush melted butter or olive oil on the skin. Place the turkey parts on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes until the skin is golden brown and crispy. (Do it in batches if you have a small toaster oven like mine.) 
  8. Serve: Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes, carve, garnish with fresh herbs, and serve.  


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 880
  • Sugar: 2.8g
  • Sodium: 1299.1mg
  • Fat: 34.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.1g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Protein: 131.1g
  • Cholesterol: 435.2mg
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