The neck is the most neglected part of the whole turkey but can be a delicious addition to your meal when smoked low and slow with Apple Wood chips.
Smoked Turkey Necks
Smoked turkey necks can be paired with just about any side dish, though we treat them like turkey breasts and serve them with vegetables and some carbs. Your smoked turkey necks are going to be tender, juicy and have a sweet smokey flavour so you can experiment with the flavours of your favourite side dishes to compliment your meat.
Turkey necks can be deliciously tender and flavourful when prepared and cooked correctly. If you’re looking for budget recipes or new ways to use all parts of your seasonal bird, this recipe is the perfect way to experiment with flavours and textures.
For a smoked turkey neck recipe that will have your family drooling, read on:
How to Make Smoked Turkey Necks
Step 1 – Prepare Marinade
Mix the following marinade ingredients in a bowl, or a Ziplock bag: oil, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Combine thoroughly so as to form a marinade.
Step 2 – Marinate Meat
Seal the Ziplock bag or cover the mixing bowl and allow turkey necks to marinate in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Overnight is recommended, though if you’re short on time, a minimum of 1 hour will do too.
Step 3 – Preheat Smoker
Preheat the smoker to 275°F/135°C and prepare your Apple Wood chips. Apple Wood is great for this recipe as it adds a sweet yet mild smokey flavour without being too overpowering, though you’re welcome to use the wood chips of your choice.
Step 4 – Smoke Turkey Necks
Place your marinated turkey necks in the smoker, making sure that there is equal spacing between each cut of meat. This ensures that the meat cooks thoroughly on all sides and that the flavour will be distributed evenly.
Step 5 – Reduce Heat
After your turkey necks have been smoking for 30 minutes, reduce the heat of the smoker to 180°F/82°C. This long and slow method of smoking meat gives the smoke enough time to penetrate the meat to really add that smokey sweet flavor whilst keeping in the juices. Smoking on a higher heat throughout may mean that the meat will dry up quickly and lose the natural juices.
Step 6 – Rotate Turkey Necks
Although not entirely necessary as your turkey necks will be cooked throughout regardless, we recommend rotating the turkey necks every 30 minutes for a further 1.5 hours. This ensures all parts of the meat are cooked evenly and the flavors distributed.
Step 7 – Serve!
Using a meat thermometer, test the thickest part of a few of your turkey necks. When your meat reaches an internal temperature of 180°F/82°C, remove your turkey necks from heat & serve.
Smoked Turkey Necks FAQs
Can You Eat Smoked Turkey Necks?
Although often discarded, the turkey necks can be the most delicious part of the bird. Smoke your meat to an internal temperature of 180°F/82°C and they’re incredible and safe to eat!
What Can You Do With a Smoked Turkey Neck?
We love eating our smoked turkey necks as we would a turkey breast, though you can pair them with a huge variety of sides to compliment the sweet smokey flavour.
How Long Does It Take To Cook Turkey Necks?
If you’re smoking your turkey necks, it will take approximately 2 hours for your meat to reach the ideal internal temperature of 180°F/82°C. Other cooking methods may take more or less time, however.
How Do You Cook Frozen Turkey Necks?
It’s always best to fully thaw any meat you’re going to be eating before you cook it. Place the frozen turkey necks in cold water until it thaws fully. Change the water as often as needed.
How Long Do Turkey Necks Last?
After smoking your turkey necks, you can refrigerate them and they will last for up to four days. If you’re planning on freezing your smoked turkey necks, wrap tightly and they will last for up to three months.
Smoked Turkey Necks Recipe
- Ziplock bag or mixing bowl
- Measuring cups
- BBQ Tongs
- Meat Thermometer
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tbsp Malt Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 lb Turkey Necks
- Prepare marinade ingredients in a bowl and combine thoroughly.
- Allow turkey necks to marinate in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
- Preheat smoker to 275°F/135°C.
- Place turkey necks in the smoker, with equal spacing between each cut.
- After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 180°F/82°C.
- Rotate turkey necks every 30 minutes for a further 1.5 hours.
- Remove turkey necks from heat & serve!