Are Smoked Turkey Necks Already Cooked?

Are Smoked Turkey Necks Already Cooked?

While smoked turkey necks are a good option to be enjoyed with greens or beans, there is still confusion as to if they need to be cooked after picking them up from the store.

While some individuals have no problem eating them right from their pack, some people are still uncertain about this. Are our smoked turkey necks already cooked? If not, how do you cook them and how much time do they need?

Smoking itself is a cooking method, but there’s usually a need to ‘recook’ the smoked turkey necks because smoking makes the flesh of the turkey necks tough and you don’t get to enjoy them that way. Allowing the smoked turkey necks to simmer makes them tender and more desirable.

Did you just get some smoked turkey necks and you’re in a dilemma of deciding what to do next, wondering if you still need to cook them? You are reading the right article. We understand your skepticism about if they are already cooked, but the answer is yes.

 Keep reading to find out more reasons you need to cook smoked turkey necks again and how.

Why Should You Cook question Turkey Necks?

You can eat your smoked turkey necks the way you remove them from their pack, but it is a matter of preference. You can be good to go as long as you do not mind eating them tough and cold.

However, the question about why smoked turkey necks need to be cooked is a recurring one, and we’re here to do justice to it. There are three basic reasons you need to cook them again.

1. Smoking Makes The Turkey Necks Tough

The smoking process makes the turkey’s necks tough; making them lack the soft, sumptuous bite anyone would desire. Cooking them again on the stove or heating them in the oven makes them easy to cut through and tender enough for eating.

2. Some Smoked Turkey Necks Are Not Completely Cooked

You need to be aware that some smoked turkey necks you pick up from the store are not completely cooked like some others. Some turkey brands use a longer cooking time than others, and this causes uncertainties about if the turkey necks were perfectly smoked and best to be consumed directly.

This is an important point for consideration and a good reason you need to take them through the heat to ensure you’re eating perfectly cooked and healthy food.

3. Cold Smoked Turkey Necks Are Not Enjoyable

The smoked turkey necks you buy from the store are usually cold and are not enjoyed when eaten this way. Hot, oven-fresh smoked turkey necks slap differently and you don’t want to miss out on that feeling when eating your turkey necks.

smoked turkey
Image: @mikekhill via Twenty20

How Do You Cook Smoked Turkey Necks?

There are two ways to cook smoked turkey necks: boiling them on the stove or heating them in the oven. Each method has its unique effect, especially as regards considering if the smoked turkey necks were perfectly smoked or not.

1. How To Cook Your Smoked Turkey Necks In A Pot

Separate the neck bones from the meat itself and cut the meat into slices. Add them into the pot with your preferred veggies and onions under medium heat. Add water that covers up to the level of the turkey and veggies and allow it to simmer.

Ensure you cover the pot and it is well-placed so that the moisture doesn’t escape. This is because when the moisture is trapped the turkey necks become tender. Allow them to cook for a minimum of one hour.

To know if they are cooked, lower the heat, and use a fork on one of the pieces of turkey necks. If the fork can penetrate it easily, then your smoked turkey necks are ready to be eaten.

Tip: You would know the turkey necks are cooked when they begin to tear apart. In the case where the neck bones were not separated from the flesh, the flesh would begin to fall apart from the bones themselves. If this isn’t happening after an hour, allow it to simmer more for about thirty minutes, making a cooking time of 1hr 30mins in total. After this, try the fork test again until the smoked turkey necks have reached the level of tenderness you desire.

2. How To Cook Your Smoked Turkey Necks In The Oven

Slice up the turkey necks and place them on a baking sheet and cover it with aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to about 325F to 350F and place the baking pan afterward. Allow continuing baking until the temperature of the turkey necks has attained 145 to 155F. At this temperature, you can be sure it is thoroughly cooked from the inside out.

Tip: You can always tell the smoked turkey necks are cooked when they become brown on every side.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take To Cook Smoked Turkey Necks?

Depending on the method used, smoked turkey necks get cooked between 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. They will be ready in thirty minutes if you use the oven and in an hour if they’re cooked on the stove.

How Long Does It Take Smoked Turkey Neck bones To Cook?

Usually, smoked neck bones take longer to cook even when they undergo a similar process to the flesh part of the neck. The reason is not far-fetched; the neck bones are stronger than the other part of the neck. You need to cook them for a minimum of an additional 1hr 30mins (making the total cooking time 3 hours), depending on the size of the neck pieces. The bigger the neck bones, the longer the cooking time you need.

What’s The Best Method For Cooking Smoked Turkey Necks?

Smoked turkey necks become too tough when they are smoked which is why you need to cook them again. However, the best method of cooking them is boiling them in some cups of water that cover up to the level of the smoked turkey necks and your added veggies. This is because this method is more certain to retain water in the turkey necks as opposed to the reheat oven method where they can easily dry out, especially when an aluminum foil is not placed over them.

How Do You Reheat Smoked Turkey Necks Without It Drying Out?

Apart from placing an aluminum foil over the smoked turkey necks while they are being reheated, you ensure they don’t dry out by adding a small amount of water to the bottom of the baking pan to keep them moist and ensure tenderness.

Are Smoked Turkey Necks Good For Your Health?

Just like any other food, deciding if smoked turkey necks are good for you to depend on your health status. Generally, smoked turkey necks are a bunch of yummy and nutritious goodness because they contain a high level of minerals like iron, copper, and zinc and are very good for people suffering from anemia. Meanwhile, you need to re-think eating them if you are following a low-sodium diet because they have a high salt concentration.

Tip: If you don’t want your smoked turkey necks to dry out, ensure they don’t lack water.


You can consume smoked turkey necks the way you buy them, but they are best enjoyed freshly hot when their flesh falls off the bone. Unfortunately, the smoking process does not achieve this. This scenario is only achievable when you simmer them in a pot on low heat.

Never forget to cover the smoked turkey necks with aluminum foil before placing the baking pan into the oven. If you are cooking them in a pot, make sure you put the lid on. If you fail to ensure this, the moisture released while cooking the smoked turkey necks will escape and this will make them dry out.

You need the moisture to have a tender and yummy smoked turkey neck.

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