How To Cook Turkey Necks In Crock Pot [COMPLETE GUIDE]

Cooking turkey necks in a crock pot is a fantastic way to prepare this often underappreciated part of the bird. Slow cooking turkey necks in a crock pot results in tender, flavorful meat that can be enjoyed on its own or used to enhance soups, stews, and gravies. This article will provide a detailed guide on selecting, preparing, and cooking turkey necks in a crock pot to ensure the best results.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Turkey Necks In Crock Pot

When cooking turkey necks in a crock pot, it is recommended to cook them on low heat for 7-8 hours, or on high heat for 3-4 hours. The extended cooking time on low heat allows the meat to become tender and juicy, making it easier to separate from the bone and maximizing the flavor infusion from seasonings and aromatics.

Selection

When selecting turkey necks for the crock pot, it’s essential to choose fresh, high-quality cuts. Look for turkey necks that have a healthy pink color and moist appearance. Avoid any with an off-putting odor or discoloration. If purchasing frozen turkey necks, ensure that they are properly thawed before cooking.

Preparation

Before placing the turkey necks in the crock pot, it’s important to prepare them properly. Begin by rinsing the turkey necks under cold water to remove any remaining bone fragments, blood, or excess fat. Pat them dry with paper towels. Season the turkey necks with herbs and spices according to your preference, and consider marinating them for a few hours to enhance the flavor.

Crock Pot Cooking Times For Turkey Necks

The cooking time for turkey necks in a crock pot depends on the temperature setting used. As mentioned earlier, on low heat, the turkey necks should cook for 7-8 hours, while on high heat, they require 3-4 hours. The longer cook time on low heat allows the collagen in the necks to break down, resulting in a more tender and succulent meat.

How To Cook Turkey Necks In Crock Pot

Step 1: Seasoning And Marinating

  • Rinse the turkey necks under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Season the turkey necks with desired herbs, spices, and salt. For example, a simple seasoning blend could include salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and thyme.
  • Optionally, place the seasoned turkey necks in a resealable plastic bag with additional aromatics such as onions, garlic, and fresh herbs. Allow the turkey necks to marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours, or preferably overnight, to enhance the flavor.

Step 2: Preparing The Crock Pot

  • Spray the inside of the crock pot with non-stick cooking spray or line it with a slow cooker liner for easier cleanup.
  • Alternatively, add a layer of sliced onions, carrots, and celery to the bottom of the crock pot to serve as a flavorful base for the turkey necks.

Step 3: Cooking The Turkey Necks

  • Place the turkey necks in the crock pot, arranging them evenly in a single layer.
  • Add any additional vegetables or aromatics around the turkey necks if desired, such as quartered onions, sliced carrots, and whole garlic cloves.
  • Pour in chicken or turkey broth until the turkey necks are partially submerged. This will help keep the meat moist during the cooking process.
  • Cover the crock pot with its lid and select the appropriate cooking temperature (low or high) based on your schedule. Allow the turkey necks to cook undisturbed for the recommended time.

Step 4: Testing For Doneness

  • After the recommended cooking time, carefully remove a turkey neck from the crock pot and check for doneness. The meat should be tender and easily pull away from the bone.
  • If the meat is not yet tender, return the turkey necks to the crock pot and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes to an hour, checking for tenderness periodically.

Step 5: Serving

  • Once the turkey necks are tender, carefully remove them from the crock pot using tongs or a slotted spoon.
  • Serve the turkey necks as is for a flavorful and comforting meal, or use the tender meat in other recipes, such as soups, stews, or casseroles.
  • Strain and reserve the cooking liquid from the crock pot to use in sauces or gravies for added flavor.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Turkey Necks Are Tough

If the turkey necks are still tough after the recommended cooking time, they may require additional cooking. Return them to the crock pot and continue cooking on low heat for another 30 minutes to an hour, or until the meat becomes tender.

Meat Is Dry

To prevent the turkey necks from becoming dry, ensure that there is enough liquid in the crock pot during the cooking process. Additionally, basting the turkey necks halfway through the cooking time with the cooking liquid can help maintain moisture.

Cooking turkey necks in a crock pot is a simple and convenient way to prepare this flavorful cut of meat. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can achieve tender, succulent turkey necks that can be enjoyed on their own as a comforting meal or used to enhance a variety of dishes. Remember to select high-quality turkey necks, season them well, and allow for ample cooking time to achieve the best results. With a little patience and attention to detail, you can create delicious and satisfying meals using turkey necks in your crock pot.

Crock Pot Cook Time For Frozen Turkey Necks

Turkey necks are a flavorful and succulent part of the bird that often gets overlooked. However, when cooked properly, they can be transformed into a melt-in-your-mouth delicacy. One of the best ways to achieve tender and juicy turkey necks is by using a crock pot. Crock pots, also known as slow cookers, allow the meat to cook low and slow, resulting in a moist and flavorful dish.

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When cooking turkey necks in a crock pot, it is essential to determine the appropriate cook time. The cooking time for frozen turkey necks in a crock pot can vary depending on the model and settings of your crock pot, as well as the quantity and size of the turkey necks.

As a general guideline, cooking frozen turkey necks in a crock pot on the low setting can take approximately 6 to 8 hours. It is advisable to check the internal temperature of the cooked turkey necks using a meat thermometer to ensure they reach a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). This temperature is important to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present in the meat.

It is important to note that the meat near the bone may take a little longer to cook thoroughly. To ensure even cooking, it is recommended to thaw the frozen turkey necks before placing them in the crock pot. Thawing allows the meat to cook more evenly, reducing the risk of undercooked portions.

Achieving Perfect Texture

Cooking turkey necks in a crock pot offers the advantage of achieving a tender and juicy texture. However, a few additional steps can help further enhance the tenderness and succulence of the meat.

  1. Brown the turkey necks: Before placing the turkey necks in the crock pot, consider browning them in a skillet. This step adds depth of flavor and can help seal in the moisture, resulting in more succulent meat.

  2. Marinate the turkey necks: You can marinate the turkey necks in a flavorful marinade before cooking them in the crock pot. This step allows the meat to absorb the flavors and spices, enhancing the overall taste and tenderness.

  3. Add a liquid: When cooking turkey necks in a crock pot, it is important to add a liquid to keep the meat moist. You can choose to use water, broth, stock, or a combination of these. The liquid will also help prevent the turkey necks from drying out during the cooking process.

  4. Cook on low heat: The low heat setting on a crock pot is ideal for cooking turkey necks. It allows the meat to cook slowly, resulting in a tender and juicy texture. The low heat also helps to break down the collagen in the turkey necks, making them more tender.

  5. Basting: To further enhance the flavor and tenderness of the turkey necks, consider basting them with the cooking liquid during the cooking process. Basting helps to distribute the flavors and keep the meat moist.

Flavor Infusion

One of the great advantages of using a crock pot to cook turkey necks is the ability to infuse them with a variety of flavors. The slow cooking process allows the meat to absorb and develop rich and complex flavors. Here are some ways to infuse flavor into your crock pot turkey necks:

  1. Seasonings: Use a combination of herbs, spices, and seasonings to add flavor to your turkey necks. Common herbs and spices that work well with turkey necks include thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic, onion, paprika, and black pepper. Experiment with different combinations to create a flavor profile that suits your taste.

  2. Aromatics: Add aromatic ingredients such as onions, garlic, and celery to the crock pot along with the turkey necks. These ingredients release their flavors during the slow cooking process, infusing the meat with their delicious aromas.

  3. Citrus: Squeeze fresh citrus juice, such as lemon or orange, over the turkey necks before cooking. The acidity of the citrus helps to tenderize the meat while imparting a refreshing and zesty flavor.

  4. Liquid Seasonings: Enhance the flavor of your turkey necks by adding liquid seasonings like Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, or balsamic vinegar. These ingredients provide a depth of flavor and can help balance the richness of the meat.

Cooking Techniques

While the crock pot provides a convenient and reliable cooking method for turkey necks, there are a few techniques you can employ to ensure a delicious and well-cooked dish:

  1. Searing: As mentioned earlier, searing the turkey necks before placing them in the crock pot can help enhance the flavor. Heat a skillet with a small amount of oil over medium-high heat and brown the turkey necks on all sides. This step adds color and depth to the meat.

  2. Layering: If you are cooking a large quantity of turkey necks, it is best to layer them in the crock pot. Start by placing a layer of turkey necks at the bottom of the crock pot, then add seasonings, aromatics, and liquid as desired. Repeat the process until all the turkey necks are layered, ensuring that each layer is well-seasoned.

  3. Stirring: Once the turkey necks are in the crock pot, it is important to stir them periodically to ensure even cooking. This step helps to distribute the flavors and ensures that all parts of the turkey necks cook evenly.

  4. Resting: After the turkey necks have finished cooking, it is advisable to let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute within the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and juicy final product.

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Crock Pot Tips For Turkey Necks

To ensure the best results when cooking turkey necks in a crock pot, follow these additional tips:

  1. Trim excess fat: Before cooking the turkey necks, trim any excess fat. While some fat is desirable for flavor and moisture, too much can result in a greasy dish.

  2. Use a meat thermometer: To ensure that your turkey necks reach a safe internal temperature, use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, to get an accurate reading.

  3. Don’t overcrowd: Avoid overcrowding the crock pot with too many turkey necks. This can prevent even cooking and result in a longer cook time. If you have a large quantity to cook, it is better to do it in batches or use a larger crock pot.

  4. Adjust the seasonings: Taste your turkey necks before serving and adjust the seasonings if needed. Add salt, spices, or herbs according to your preference. Remember that flavors can mellow and develop during the slow cooking process, so it’s always better to start with less and add more if necessary.

  5. Save the cooking liquid: After cooking the turkey necks in the crock pot, strain and save the cooking liquid. This flavorful liquid can be used as a base for soups, stews, or gravies, adding depth and richness to your recipes.

Creative Crock Pot Turkey Necks Recipes

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge to cook tender and flavorful turkey necks in a crock pot, here are a few creative recipes to inspire you:

Recipe 1: Crock Pot Turkey Neck Stew

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 turkey necks
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 celery stalks, sliced
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and brown the turkey necks on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  2. In the crock pot, layer the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and potatoes.
  3. Place the browned turkey necks on top of the vegetables.
  4. In a bowl, combine the broth, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the turkey necks and vegetables.
  5. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the turkey necks are tender and cooked through.
  6. Before serving, taste the stew and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Recipe 2: Slow Cooker BBQ Turkey Necks

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 turkey necks
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, combine the BBQ sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Place the turkey necks in the crock pot and pour the BBQ sauce mixture over them, ensuring they are evenly coated.
  3. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the turkey necks are tender and the flavors have melded together.
  4. Serve the BBQ turkey necks with extra sauce for dipping, if desired.

Conclusion

Cooking turkey necks in a crock pot is a fantastic way to create tender, flavorful, and juicy meat. By following the tips and techniques discussed in this article, you can elevate this often-underappreciated cut of meat into a delicious and memorable dish. Experiment with different flavors, seasonings, and cooking methods to discover your own signature crock pot turkey neck recipe. Whether you prefer a hearty stew or tangy BBQ, the slow-cooking process of the crock pot will help you achieve the perfect texture and flavor infusion every time.

FAQS

How Long Should I Cook Turkey Necks In The Crock Pot?

It is best to cook turkey necks in the crock pot for at least 6-7 hours on low heat or 3-4 hours on high heat to ensure they are fully cooked and tender.

Should I Add Liquid To The Crock Pot When Cooking Turkey Necks?

Yes, it is recommended to add at least 1 cup of liquid, such as chicken broth or water, to the crock pot when cooking turkey necks. This will help keep the meat moist and flavorful.

Can I Season Turkey Necks Before Cooking Them In The Crock Pot?

Yes, you can season turkey necks with your preferred spices and herbs before adding them to the crock pot. This will enhance the flavor of the meat and make it more delicious.

How Can I Make Gravy From The Juices Leftover After Cooking Turkey Necks In The Crock Pot?

To make gravy, strain the juices from the crock pot and separate any fat layer that forms on top. Heat the juice in a saucepan until boiling, whisk in some flour or cornstarch as a thickener, and cook until it thickens. Season with salt, pepper, and any other ingredients you like.

Can I Use Turkey Necks Cooked In The Crock Pot In Other Dishes?

Yes, you can remove the meat from the bones and use it in soups, stews, casseroles, or as a filling for tacos or sandwiches. The juice leftover in the crock pot can be used as a base for various sauces and gravies.