Have you ever tasted a dish that was so delicious it made you yearn for more? Well, that’s exactly how I feel about smoked turkey necks! These finger-lickin’ good morsels not only add a ton of flavor to any recipe but also have a surprising amount of meat on them. In my opinion, turkey necks are a fabulous gem in Southern cooking that deserve more attention. So, let’s dive into the world of smoked turkey necks and get cooking, my friend! 👩🍳
Reasons to Fall in Love with Smoked Turkey Necks
The number one reason why I adore smoked turkey necks is their delectable flavor. They add a unique and mouthwatering taste to any dish you prepare. But that’s not all! These necks are also nutritious and offer more meat than chicken or pork neck bones. They truly are a treasure in Southern cuisine.
To embark on this savory journey, you’ll need a package of turkey necks weighing a couple of pounds. In addition, gather some oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning, brown sugar, and good old salt and pepper to make a tantalizing marinade for the necks.
How to Smoke Turkey Necks
Prep the Turkey Necks
- Start by removing the turkey necks from their packaging and patting them dry with a clean paper towel to remove excess liquid.
- Mix the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to create the marinade.
- Pour the marinade over the turkey necks, ensuring they are fully coated. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the necks marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Smoke the Turkey Necks
- Preheat your smoker to 250℉/120℃ by adding your preferred wood or pellets.
- Place the marinated turkey necks directly on the smoker racks.
- Cover and smoke the necks for two to four hours, moving them around occasionally for even cooking. Smoke until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165℉/74℃.
- Once cooked, let the turkey necks rest for about five minutes, then serve and enjoy!
While smoking turkey necks is my personal favorite, you can also roast them in the oven or cook them in an Instant Pot or slow cooker. Cooking times may vary depending on the chosen method. Moreover, feel free to customize the marinade with your preferred seasonings to suit your taste.
Tips and Tricks
- Every smoker has its hot spots, so remember to rotate the necks occasionally for even cooking.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure the necks reach the ideal internal temperature of 165℉/75℃.
- Turkey necks are usually sold whole, but you can cut them into smaller pieces before marinating or keep them whole—whichever you prefer.
For optimal flavor, I recommend marinating the turkey necks for 24 hours before smoking them. Once marinated, your prep work is complete, and you can smoke them according to your desired schedule. However, if you prefer, you can make them a few days in advance and refrigerate them. Alternatively, you can freeze the marinated turkey necks for up to three months if you want to plan ahead.
Serving and Storage Instructions
After removing the smoked turkey necks from the smoker, allow them to rest for about five minutes before serving them warm. Pair them with your favorite Southern sides, and don’t forget to add some hot sauce for an extra kick!
To store any leftovers, place the turkey necks in an airtight container. Refrigerate them for 3-5 days or freeze them for up to three months. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, reheat the turkey necks in the microwave or air fryer until heated through. You can also add them to soups or stews, allowing their incredible flavor to infuse your dish.
What Goes Well with Smoked Turkey Necks?
I love serving smoked turkey necks alongside collard greens, garlic mashed potatoes, and gravy. It’s the ultimate down-home meal that never disappoints! If you’re feeling creative, you can also enhance other dishes like Brunswick stew, turnip greens, or Southern mustard greens with the flavorful essence of smoked turkey necks. 😋
More Delectable Turkey Recipes to Try
If you have a palate for turkey, why not explore these other tantalizing turkey recipes:
- Baked Turkey Wings
- Smoked Turkey Breast
- Thanksgiving Turkey
- Slow-Cooker Turkey
- Giblet Gravy
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of how to smoke turkey necks, it’s time to unleash your culinary skills and indulge in a soulful treat. Have you ever made a whole meal out of just turkey necks? If you have any experiences or insights to share, let me know in the comments below. And if you love this recipe as much as I do, go ahead and give it a five-star rating! 😉
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