Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by Shari Mason
I used to overlook turkey necks until a close friend shared her slow-cooked recipe. The next time they were on sale, I grabbed a bunch and threw them into my trusty crock pot. The result? Melt-in-your-mouth tender meat that became an instant hit in my household.
If you’ve got some turkey necks and a crock pot on hand, you’re on the cusp of a delicious, effortless meal. Let me show you the ropes on how to cook turkey necks in a crock pot.
Steps On How To Cook Turkey Necks Using A Crock Pot
- Gather Ingredients and Tools:
- Turkey necks  (as many as you need or can fit comfortably in your crock pot)
- Seasonings (like salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder)
- Liquid (chicken or turkey broth or water)
- A crock pot or slow cooker
- Prepare the Turkey Necks:
- Rinse the turkey necks under cold water.
- Pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle your chosen seasonings over the necks, making sure they’re well-coated.
- Layer in Crock Pot:
- Place a layer of vegetables at the bottom of the crock pot if you’re using vegetables.
- Lay the seasoned turkey necks on top of the vegetables.
- Add Liquid:
- Pour the broth or water into the crock pot, covering at least half the turkey necks. You don’t want them submerged entirely, just enough to keep them moist.
- Set and Cook:
- Cover the crock pot with its lid.
- Set the temperature to low.
- Cook the turkey necks for 6-8 hours. This slow cooking ensures they become tender and flavorful.
- Check for Doneness:
- After 6-8 hours, check the turkey necks. The meat should be tender and quickly come off the bone.
- Serve and Enjoy:
- Carefully remove the turkey necks (and vegetables if you added them) from the crock pot.
- Place them on a serving plate or bowl.
- Serve with your favorite side dish, or enjoy them as they are.
“Mom cooked a lot of turkey when I was growing up. Turkey meatloaf, turkey burgers, ground turkey shepherd’s pie – my childhood was the Bubba Gump of turkey. You’d think I would be sick of it, but when I find gems like Gwyneth Paltrow’s turkey meatball recipe, it’s as though the fowl is no longer foul to me.”– Meghan Markle, American Actress
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Why Choose Turkey Necks?
- Rich Flavor: Turkey necks have a deep, meaty taste that enhances broths and stews.
- Budget-Friendly: They are often more affordable than other cuts, giving great value for money.
- Collagen Boost: They’re packed with collagen, which is good for skin, hair, and joints.
- Tender When Slow-Cooked: In a slow cooker, they become super tender and fall off the bone.
- Versatile: Turkey necks can be used in various dishes, from soups to grilled.
Can I Add Vegetables To My Turkey Neck In A Crock Pot?
Yes. Adding vegetables to your turkey necks in the crock pot provides extra flavor and boosts your dish’s nutritional value. Common choices include carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes.
As the turkey necks slow-cook, the juices and flavors from the meat mix with the vegetables, creating a delightful blend of tastes. This combination makes for a delicious, wholesome, hearty, well-rounded meal.
“In the dance of flavors, turkey necks slow-cooked in a crock pot lead with grace and deep-rooted tradition.”– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice
How Do I Serve Them?
- As a Main Dish: Place a couple of turkey necks on a plate, drizzle some of the flavorful juices from the crock pot, and serve with mashed potatoes  or rice.
- In a Soup: Cut the meat off the turkey necks, add it to a broth with your favorite vegetables, and serve hot. The rich taste of the turkey will make the soup extra special.
- With Vegetables: If you add veggies to your crock pot, serve the turkey necks alongside these veggies. The combination offers a balanced meal.
- As a Sandwich: Shred the meat from the turkey necks and layer it onto a sandwich with some lettuce, tomato, and your favorite sauce.
- Over Pasta: Shred the turkey neck meat and mix it with some pasta and sauce. The turkey adds a unique twist to traditional pasta dishes.
- With Gravy: Make a gravy using the juices left in the crock pot. Pour this over the turkey necks for an extra layer of flavor.
- With a Dip: Serve the turkey neck with barbecue sauce, hot sauce, or any dip you prefer. This is especially good if you’ve slow-cooked them until they’re tender enough to be pulled apart easily.
How do you clean turkey necks?
Cleaning turkey necks is simple. Start by placing them under cold running water. This helps wash away any surface impurities.
As you rinse, gently pull off any excess skin or fat. Also, look out for and remove any small loose bones or unwanted bits. Once they’re cleaned, pat them dry using paper towels.
Will meat cook in a slow cooker if not covered in liquid?
Yes, meat will cook in a slow cooker even if it’s not covered in liquid.
The slow cooker traps moisture, which creates steam, allowing the meat to stay moist and cook thoroughly. Just ensure the lid is on tight to keep the steam inside.
Cooking turkey necks in a crock pot is a simple yet flavorful way to prepare this often-overlooked delicacy.
Slow-cooking them makes the necks tender and infused with the rich flavors of any added seasonings and vegetables.
Whether new to this dish or a seasoned pro, the crock pot method ensures a delicious outcome.
Remember, it’s not just about the main event; sometimes, hidden gems like turkey necks can steal the show at your dinner table.
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