Perfectly Smoked Turkey Necks Recipe

Smoked Turkey Necks

Turkey necks are normally made in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, but have you ever thought of making a smoked turkey neck? Well if you haven’t, get prepared for your new favorite dish! This smoked turkey necks recipe is going to be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or whenever you want to show-stopping meal for your dinner guests.

The neck is the most neglected–or rejected– part of the whole turkey. But the key to being an awesome BBQer is the ability to take any cut of protein and turn it into a masterpiece, and this turkey necks recipe will do just that for you. It will elevate you to expert status.

What do you serve with your smoked turkey necks? We recommend trying our Smoked Sweet Potatoes, Smoked Cauliflower, and Smoked Mac And Cheese recipes.

Simple Marinade for Turkey Necks

Marinating turkey necks adds a ton of flavor and juiciness. Don’t skip this step! It is necessary to create the tender texture you’re craving. The marinade only takes a few minutes to mix together, while you’ll want your protein to sit for about 12 hours or, ideally, overnight.

Here’s how you marinate your turkey necks before smoking:

  1. Ensure your turkey necks are fresh or fully thawed.
  2. Mix together the marinade ingredients below and place your meat in a Ziploc bag.
  3. Place the sealed bag back in the fridge for 12 hours, or overnight, until you’re ready to grill.
  4. Remove the marinated turkey necks from the fridge about 30 minutes before grilling.

That’s it! A super simple marinade process that anyone can do. Now, let’s get onto the actual smoking process.

How to make Smoked Turkey Necks

The first step towards making a smoked turkey neck would be to source your fresh meat. You could purchase a whole turkey as the neck would be tucked inside the body cavity. Or, ask your local butcher if they have any turkey necks for sale or at a discounted rate. The second step is to step out of your comfort zone. This may not be your traditional piece of protein, but trust us when we say it’s worth trying. The end result is so mouthwatering and delicious; you’ll feel like you have a secret go-to dish that everyone will talk about and crave.

Recipe Overview

  • Prep Time: 12 Hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Wood Flavor: Apple
  • Cooking Temperature: 275 ºF
  • Servings: 6

Tools Required

  • Smoker of your choice (Pellet Grill / Smoker, a Charcoal Grill or Electric Grill)
  • Grill gloves
  • Grill rack
  • Wood pellets
  • Meat claws

Turkey Neck Marinade

  • 1/3 cups olive oil
  • 1/4 Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Tony Chacheres More Spice seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Smoking Turkey Necks

  1. The night before your meals, prepare the marinade by mixing all the ingredients and combining well. Place marinade in a Ziploc bag, add the turkey necks and ensure the meat is well coated with the marinade.
  2. Marinate for at least 12 hours, ideally leaving it until it’s time to cook.
  3. When it’s time to grill, preheat your smoker to 275°F.
  4. Place the turkey necks in the smoker so they all get an equal amount of smoke.
  5. Smoke it for 30 mins and then reduce the temperature of the smoker to 180°F. Easiest way to do this is simply to open the lid of the smoker halfway.
  6. Check the meat every 30 mins until you reach a maximum smoking time of 2 hours.
  7. Serve. Eat. Be amazed!

BBQ Hero Tip: If you want to have a stronger smoke flavor in the turkey necks, add more wood chips. You either use the soaked wood chips or you can use the dry ones as well, that all depends on how much smoke do you want. The best wood chips for this recipe are apple wood.

Detailed Cooking Instructions

1) Prepare the marinade

To make the marinade add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl and combine well. together really

2) Marinate the turkey necks

Make sure you prepare the marinade the night before cooking. Put the marinade and the necks into a Ziploc bag, seal it, and place in the fridge. Let them stay there overnight.

3) Preheat the smoker

Heat your smoker at 275°F before cooking the necks.

4) Smoke your meat

Take the turkey necks out of the marinade and pat dry them using paper towels. Put the necks on a roasting pan and place that pan into the smoker. Make sure you arrange the necks in a way that all of them get an equal amount of smoke. Cook the necks for 30 minutes. Then open the vent halfway to reduce the heat of the smoker to 180°F. While the necks cook on medium heat keep a close watch on the timer, check the necks after every 30 minutes to make sure they are cooking evenly. Do not smoke them longer than 2 hours.

5) Serve your smoked turkey necks

This smoked turkey neck recipe is definitely going to be the star of the night. Prepare yourself for lots of high-fives.

Smoked Turkey Necks FAQs

Can you eat smoked turkey necks?

Yes, they are absolutely safe to eat as long as the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

What can you do with a smoked turkey neck?

The two best options for eating a smoked turkey neck is to either eat it as you would a piece of turkey breast or (our favorite) is you can use them instead of the sausages.

How long does it take to cook turkey neck?

Smoking the meat takes no longer than 2 hours. However, other cooking methods will change this cooking time.

How do you cook frozen turkey necks?

It’s always best to fully thaw any meat you’re preparing before you cook it. Place the frozen turkey neck in cold water until it thaws. Change the water as often as needed.

How long do frozen necks last?

If preserved well, a turkey neck can last years in the freezer. The trick is to ensure there is no air around inside the package containing the meat.

Dad Joke: A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store for Thanksgiving, but couldn’t find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, “Do these turkeys get any bigger?”….“No, ma’am. They’re dead.”

Other Great Smoked Poultry Options

If you’re looking to try other smoked poultry recipes, then you must give a try to our Smoked Chicken Breast, Easy Smoked Chicken Quarters, or Smoked Chicken Dragon Egg.

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