Dinner Recipes

Smoked Turkey Tails

Smoked turkey tails, frequently disregarded in the culinary world, are rich and decadent, like pig belly. This distinctive fowl cut has a substantial texture and great flavor that enhances any dish. Smoked turkey tails provide richness and adaptability to a dish, making it a comfort food.

Overview of Ingredients

The simple but essential components for smoking turkey tails are:

Famous for their flavor and fat content, turkey tails are the meal’s main attraction.

Season the mix with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoky paprika to bring out the meaty flavors.

The tails taste smoky because they are cooked with applewood or hickory chips.

Overview of Ingredients

Chef’s Tips for Perfect Smoked Turkey Tails

Achieving the perfect smoked turkey tail involves more than time on the grill. Here are some pro tips to ensure your success:

Quality of meat: Always opt for fresh, well-sourced turkey tails for the best results.

Smoking technique: Maintain a consistent low heat to render the fat slowly and evenly, which keeps the tails moist and flavorful.

Low and Slow: Whether boiling or simmering on the stovetop, low and slow cooking is key to making your smoked turkey tails tender.

Check Often: Cooking times can change depending on their size and how tender you want them, so it’s good to check on them often.

Serve Hot: Smoked turkey tails taste best when they’re hot. Pair them with sides like rice, beans, or greens for a filling meal.

Learn more about new smoking technology to get better at smoking different kinds of meat.


Discover the versatility of different cuts of turkey and their uses in cooking.

How Long to Boil Smoked Turkey Tails

Boiling smoked turkey tails is a simple method that helps tenderize the meat while keeping it moist. Here’s how to do it:

Prepare the Pot:

Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the turkey tails completely.

Add aromatic ingredients like onions, garlic, bay leaves, or celery to infuse the turkey tails with extra flavor.

Bring to a Boil:

Place the turkey tails in the pot.

Bring the water to a boil over high heat.


Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid.

Let the turkey tails simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours. The goal is for them to become tender but not fall apart.

Check for Doneness:

When turkey tails are fork-tender, they are done. A meat thermometer may also be used to monitor the internal temperature; it should read 165°F (74°C) when cooked through.

smoked turkey

How to Cook Smoked Turkey Tails on the Stove Top

Cooking smoked turkey tails on the stovetop is similar to boiling but usually involves a bit more seasoning and sometimes a shorter cooking time, depending on whether you’re simmering them in a broth or sautéing.

Simmering in Broth:

Prep the Broth:

Use a mixture of broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable) and water to cover the turkey tails in a large pot.

Add seasonings like pepper, paprika, or a bouillon cube for enhanced flavor.


Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Cover and cook for 1 to 1.5 hours until the meat is tender.


Heat Oil:

Heat a small amount of oil over medium heat in a large skillet.

Brown the Turkey Tails:

Add the turkey tails and cook until they are browned on all sides, about 3–5 minutes per side.

Add liquid and simmer.

Pour in enough broth to cover the bottoms of the tails, cover the skillet, and reduce the heat.

Simmer for about 1 hour, checking periodically to ensure they do not dry out, and adding more broth as necessary.

Customizing Your Dish

Smoked turkey tails are versatile, allowing numerous variations to suit any palate.

For a less-fatty option, trim some of the excess fat before cooking.

Add a rub or marinade that includes elements like cayenne pepper or chipotle to spice things up.

What’s good with smoked turkey tails?

If you pair roasted turkey tails with the right sides, your meal will become a feast to remember. You might want to pair them with:

Cornbread: Soft, buttery cornbread soaks up the rich juices very well.

Collard greens are a traditional Southern side dish that goes well with smoked tastes.

Health Benefits

While indulgent, turkey tails also offer nutritional benefits, including:

It has a high protein content, essential for muscle repair and building.

Trace minerals such as zinc and iron are crucial for overall health.

Discover more about the health benefits of turkey and how to incorporate it into a balanced diet.

Explore the health benefits of turkey in more detail to better appreciate this ingredient.


Is smoking turkey tails difficult?

No, smoking turkey tails is straightforward if you maintain a stable temperature and smoke levels.

Can I make this recipe in the oven?

Although smoking is the preferred method, you can replicate the smoking process by roasting turkey tails at a low temperature in the oven.

What are the best seasonings for turkey tails?

Seasonings like salt, pepper, and garlic powder bring out the natural taste, but you can also try other herbs like rosemary or thyme for a different taste.

Are you ready to make smoked turkey tails? This one-of-a-kind dish brings the South into your kitchen and gives your cooking a tasty new twist. Get some turkey tails and turn on the grill. You’re about to taste something that might make them your new favorite cut of meat.


Smoked Turkey Tails

Discover how to perfectly smoke turkey tails with our comprehensive guide. Rich flavors and simple steps for a delicious Southern-style meal.

  • Author: Gabriela cardenas
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Southern/American


  • 4 turkey tails
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoky paprika
  • Wood chips (applewood or hickory) for smoking


  1. Preparation:
    • Rinse turkey tails and pat dry.
    • Season generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  2. Smoking:
    • Preheat your smoker and add wood chips.
    • Place turkey tails in the smoker and maintain a low, steady heat.
    • Smoke for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender and fully cooked.
  3. Serving:
    • Serve hot with sides like cornbread and collard greens.


  • For less fatty tails, trim excess fat before seasoning.
  • Experiment with different wood chips like cherry or mesquite for varied flavors.
  • Regularly check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches 165°F.

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