How Long To Boil Turkey Necks On Stove

How Long to Boil Turkey Necks on Stove: Cooking Tips

Last Updated on May 19, 2024 by Shari Mason

My grandmother had a unique talent for turning simple ingredients into comforting dishes, and one of her noteworthy creations was turkey necks. The aroma that filled her kitchen from the simmering turkey necks on her stove is a memory that remains with me even to this day.

Those tender, flavorful bits were a treat we all looked forward to. If you’re considering boiling turkey necks but are unsure about the timing, I’ve got you covered.

Let’s dive into how long to boil turkey necks on the stove.

How Long Should Turkey Necks Boil On the Stove?

Boiling Turkey Necks

Turkey necks [1], rich in flavor and often used in soups and broths, require the right amount of boiling to achieve perfect tenderness. Typically, boiling them on the stove for about 45 minutes to 1 hour ensures they’re tender yet not overly soft, making them delicious and easy to eat. 

This duration strikes a balance, preventing them from becoming too mushy while guaranteeing that the meat is soft enough to pull away from the bone quickly. 

“My birthday is always around Thanksgiving, and I always had to have turkey on my birthday. My mom was always, ‘Let’s celebrate your birthday on Thanksgiving.’ My other siblings got to have special dinners they liked. I resented turkey. For a long time, I hated turkey. I’ve kind of gotten over it.”

– Joey Chestnut, American Competitive Eater

Individual preferences might vary, so it’s wise to check for your desired tenderness during the boiling process occasionally.


What Are Turkey Necks Good For?

  1. Broths and Stocks: They impart a deep, rich flavor to broths and form the base for many soups and stews.
  2. Gravy: Turkey necks can be simmered with herbs and veggies to create a flavorful turkey or chicken gravy base.
  3. Braising: When braised slowly, turkey necks become tender and can be eaten or added to dishes.
  4. Gumbo: A staple in Southern cooking, turkey necks are sometimes added to gumbo for extra flavor and meatiness.
  5. Barbecue: Some people enjoy grilling or barbecuing turkey necks as a unique and tasty treat.
  6. Pet Food: After adequately cooked, they can be a nutritious treat for pets, especially dogs.
  7. Gelatin Source: Turkey necks are rich in natural gelatin [2], which is good for the skin and joints.
  8. Smoking: Like other meats, turkey necks can be smoked to provide a distinct flavor.
  9. Pressure Cooking: In pressure cookers or instant pots, turkey necks can be cooked quickly while retaining flavor.
  10. Cultural Dishes: Turkey necks are integral to specific cultural recipes and traditional dishes worldwide.

Find out how to cook turkey necks for greens here.

Do I Need To Clean The Turkey Necks First?

It’s crucial to clean turkey necks before cooking. Begin by rinsing them under cold running water to remove any residue, blood, or small feathers that might still be attached. 

This ensures the purity of your dish and enhances the flavor, allowing the authentic taste of the turkey neck to shine through without any unintended flavors. 

Especially when dealing with poultry, handling and preparing it carefully to ensure both taste and safety in your meals is essential.

How Much Water Should I Use?

Boiling Turkey Necks on a Pot

When boiling turkey necks, the water ensures they’re cooked evenly and thoroughly.

Using a large pot and filling it with enough water is advisable to fully submerge the turkey necks with an additional inch or two of water above them. 

This ensures that the necks have ample room to cook and accounts for any water that might evaporate during the boiling process. 

“In the dance of boiling pots, turkey necks waltz to the rhythm of time and tenderness.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

Using the right amount of water helps extract the flavors from the turkey necks effectively and ensures they become tender throughout.

How Will I Know They’re Ready?

  1. Tenderness: The meat should be tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork.
  2. Pull-away: The meat should easily pull away from the bone when tugged lightly.
  3. Broth Color: The water in which you’re boiling the necks should take on a deeper, richer color as the flavors are released.
  4. Texture: The meat’s texture should change from a raw, squishy feel to a softer, cooked consistency.
  5. Taste: You can take a small piece, let it cool, and taste. The meat should be flavorful and not rubbery.
  6. Boiling Time: Keeping track of the boiling time can help. Typically, 45 minutes to 1 hour is a good range for turkey necks.
  7. Bone Exposure: As the meat cooks and shrinks, more bone might become exposed.
  8. Aroma: A pleasant, cooked poultry aroma should fill your kitchen, indicating the turkey necks are releasing their flavors.


u003cstrongu003eHow long do cooked turkey necks last?u003c/strongu003e

Cooked turkey necks can last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days when stored in an airtight container. If frozen, they can last up to 2-3 months.

u003cstrongu003eAre turkey necks healthy?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, turkey necks are a good source of protein and essential minerals, but can also be high in fat. Consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, they can be a healthy choice.

Final Thoughts

Boiling turkey necks to perfection on the stove combines timing and observation. 

They typically need about 45 minutes to 1 hour of boiling time to achieve that delightful tenderness and rich flavor. This duration ensures they’re both soft and tough enough. 

Whether used in soups broths or enjoyed standalone, properly boiled turkey necks can elevate a meal, offering a tasty and traditional treat that resonates with many culinary traditions. 

Always remember to prioritize safety and cleanliness in preparation, and when done right, the results are undoubtedly worth the wait.


Shari Mason

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *