Are you looking for a new and exciting recipe to try on your smoker or pellet grill? Look no further! This smoked turkey necks recipe will leave you craving for more. Whether you want to pair it with rice, collard greens, cornbread, or any of your favorite side dishes, this dish is sure to impress.
When it comes to turkey, many people focus on the more popular cuts like the breast or legs. But have you ever tried turkey necks? They are a hidden gem that can elevate your dishes to a whole new level.
What Are Turkey Necks?
Turkey necks are the small pieces at the bottom made up of bones and meat. They can be used to make soups, stews, broth, or roasted to enjoy as an amazing main dish. Usually sold in packs of three or more, turkey necks are feather-free and can be found either cut into pieces or as a full neck at your local grocery store.
Where to Find Them
You can easily find turkey necks at your local grocery store. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also check out specialty markets or even some Asian grocery stores for a wider selection.
What Type of Wood/Pellets to Use
When it comes to smoking turkey necks, I personally love to use apple wood for its sweet and mild flavor. However, you can also experiment with other types of wood such as Traeger Signature blend, cherry, pecan, oak, peach, or alder to add different dimensions of taste to your dish.
How to Make Smoked Turkey Necks
Making smoked turkey necks is easier than you might think. Here’s a quick overview:
Pat the turkey necks dry and drizzle both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle your favorite spices onto both sides as well.
Add the seasoned turkey necks to the smoker and let them smoke.
For tender, fall-off-the-bone turkey necks, you can pressure cook or bake them.
Smoker Temperature and Cook Time
To achieve the best results, smoke the necks at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2-3 hours until they are cooked through. This will ensure that the smoky flavor permeates the meat while keeping it tender and juicy.
How to Tell When the Turkey is Done
To ensure that your turkey necks are cooked to perfection, use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the neck and make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, as recommended by the USDA.
Your total cook time may vary depending on your desired level of tenderness. If you prefer tender turkey necks that fall off the bone, you can finish them off in a pressure cooker/Instant Pot or in the oven after smoking. Remember, patience is key to achieving that perfect texture you crave.
Can You Use Turkey Legs or Turkey Wings?
If you’re interested in exploring other turkey cuts, make sure to check out my Smoked Turkey Wings recipe for another mouthwatering option.
How to Store Them
Once cooked, the leftover turkey necks can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered, for 3-4 days. This way, you can enjoy the deliciousness of this dish even beyond the day it’s cooked.
If you have more turkey necks than you can eat in a few days, don’t worry! You can freeze them tightly covered and sealed. They will last up to 3 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, simply defrost the turkey necks overnight in the fridge and reheat them.
Pair With These Side Dishes
To complete your meal, I highly recommend pairing your smoked turkey necks with these mouthwatering side dishes: Southern Soul Food Baked Mac and Cheese, Ranch Mashed Potatoes, Southern Green Beans, Southern Collard Greens, Baked Corn on the Cob, Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes, Slow Cooker Crockpot Neck Bones, Tender Juicy Oxtail recipe, and Thanksgiving Chicken.
More Turkey Recipes
If you’re craving more turkey recipes, here are some delicious options for you to explore: Baked Turkey Wings, Smothered Turkey Wings, Air Fryer Turkey Wings, Smoked Turkey Wings, Traeger Smoked Turkey, Crockpot Slow Cooker Bone-in Turkey Breast, Traeger Smoked Cornish Hens, and Slow Cooker Crockpot Boneless Turkey Breast.
So, why wait? Try this fantastic smoked turkey necks recipe and elevate your culinary experience to new heights. For more delicious recipes and cooking inspiration, visit Ekilove, where we strive to bring you the best in food and flavor. Happy cooking!