Last Updated on October 5, 2023 by Shari Mason
Picture a cozy kitchen where the rich, smoky aroma of turkey necks fills the air. Once, I found myself with these flavorful treats, already smoked to perfection.
But how do you cook already smoked turkey necks?
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, this guide will walk you through preparing and cooking already-smoked turkey necks for a satisfying and savory dish.
Steps On How To Cook Already Smoked Turkey Necks
- Already smoked turkey necks
- Water or broth
- Seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, bay leaves, thyme, or any of your favorite seasonings)
- Olive oil or cooking spray (optional)
- Thaw and Rinse: If the turkey necks  are frozen, thaw them in the refrigerator or cold water. Once thawed, rinse them under cold running water to remove any ice crystals or freezer burn.
- Season: Season the turkey necks generously with your preferred seasonings. You can use a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and other spices you like. Rub the seasonings all over the turkey necks, ensuring they are well coated.
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) if you prefer roasting.
- Choose Your Cooking Method:
- Simmering: Place the turkey necks in a pot and cover them with water or broth. Add some bay leaves and thyme for extra flavor. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bones.
- Roasting: If you want a crispy exterior, roast the turkey necks in the oven. Place them on a baking sheet lined with foil. You can lightly brush them with olive oil or use cooking spray to help with browning. Roast for about 30-40 minutes or until they achieve your desired level of crispiness.
- Slow Cooking: Another option is to cook the turkey necks in a slow cooker. Please place them in the slow cooker and add water, broth, and seasonings. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender.
- Check for Doneness: To ensure they are fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey necks. It should reach 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.
- Serve: Remove the turkey necks from the heat source once cooked to perfection. Let them rest for a few minutes before serving. You can serve them with your favorite side dishes, such as rice, greens, or potatoes.
“We have had the exact same meal for Thanksgiving and Christmas since I can ever remember, and it’s so simple. It’s just turkey and mashed potatoes and green beans and stuffing. Just the basics, but it’s so good.”– Brandi Cyrus, American Actress & DJ
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How Can I Add Flavor to Smoked Turkey Necks?
Begin by generously seasoning them with a blend of herbs and spices like salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, and bay leaves.
You can also enhance the flavor by simmering the necks in a broth made with aromatic vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery.
If you prefer a slightly sweet note, consider adding a touch of brown sugar or honey to your seasoning mix.
A dash of hot sauce or red pepper flakes can work wonders for a bit of heat.
Experiment with different combinations until you achieve the taste that satisfies your palate, and remember that the longer you simmer or roast, the more the flavors will meld together, resulting in a rich and aromatic dish.
“Cooking already smoked turkey necks is like unlocking a treasure chest of smoky flavor. Simmer, roast, or slow-cook them, and watch these humble necks transform into culinary gold, enriching your dishes with a touch of Southern comfort and savory delight.”– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice
Find out how to cook turkey necks for greens here.
What Are Some Serving Suggestions for Cooked Smoked Turkey Necks?
- Southern-Style Greens: Add smoked turkey necks to a pot of collard, turnip greens, or mustard greens for a flavorful and comforting Southern side dish.
- Beans and Peas: Smoked turkey necks can infuse great taste into pinto, black-eyed peas, or navy beans. The smoky flavor complements the earthy taste of legumes.
- Gumbo or Jambalaya: Incorporate smoked turkey necks into these classic Louisiana dishes for extra flavor and richness.
- Rice and Gravy: Serve smoked turkey necks with a hearty rice and gravy dish for a satisfying meal.
- Cornbread Stuffing: Use smoked turkey neck meat in your Thanksgiving or holiday cornbread  stuffing for a unique twist on a classic.
- Soul Food Platter: Create a traditional soul food platter by pairing smoked turkey necks with macaroni and cheese, yams, and cornbread.
- Soup or Stew: Add smoked turkey necks to a pot of soup or stew to infuse it with a smoky, savory taste.
- Red Beans and Rice: Combine smoked turkey necks with red beans and rice for a comforting and flavorful Creole-inspired meal.
- Sandwich: Shred the meat from the necks and use it to make a smoky turkey neck sandwich with your favorite condiments.
- Collard Wraps: Use large collard green leaves to wrap smoked turkey necks with vegetables and your preferred sauce for a low-carb alternative to tortilla wraps.
Are smoked turkey necks already cooked?
Yes, smoked turkey necks are typically already cooked during the smoking process.
They are smoked to enhance flavor and preserve them, making them ready to use in various recipes without additional cooking.
However, they are often simmered or roasted further in recipes to infuse them with additional flavors and tenderness.
Can you fry an already-smoked turkey?
Frying an already-smoked turkey is possible, but it’s not a standard method.
The smoking process adds flavor and partially cooks the turkey, so frying it afterward may result in overcooking and a drier texture.
If you choose to fry, monitor the temperature carefully to avoid overcooking, or consider reheating the smoked turkey using other methods like roasting or simmering to preserve its flavor and moisture.
Cooking already-smoked turkey necks is a flavorful and versatile endeavor. Whether you choose to simmer, roast, or slow-cook them, these necks can be transformed into a delicious addition to various dishes.
The key is to season them well, add aromatic ingredients, and allow them to simmer until tender and infused with smoky goodness.
With the proper cooking method and some creativity, you can turn already smoked turkey necks into a satisfying meal or a flavorful ingredient to elevate your recipes.
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