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Smoked Turkey Tails Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

Last Updated on November 16, 2023

Smoked turkey tails are a delicious and savory choice for any meal. Perfect for appetizers, entrées, or as an accompaniment to vegetables, this succulent poultry cut’s smoky flavor is sure to tantalize your taste buds. This simple yet flavorful recipe will have you craving more!

Though I am not a big fan of turkey tail, I have tried this turkey tail recipe. This smoked turkey tail recipe is delicious and sure to be a hit with your guests.

In this article, we’ll share the smoked turkey tail recipe that you can make at home. From a simple marinade to a more complex glaze, this recipe has detailed instructions to help you achieve the perfect results from start to finish.

So give this smoked turkey tail recipe a try and enjoy the great flavors that this cut of poultry can bring to your table!

Smoked Turkey Tails

What are smoked turkey tails?

The turkey tail is the muscular area atop the back of a turkey that holds its iconic feathers. It can be found attached to a whole turkey when you purchase it for Thanksgiving or other occasions.

According to the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, this part of the bird has a dark meat taste and texture similar to that of the thigh and drumsticks.

However, it is much higher in fat content; a 4-ounce portion contains up to 36 grams of fat compared to only 10 grams found in the same amount of turkey thigh or 60 grams of pork belly.

Essentially, you can say that the turkey tail is like a poultry version of a pork belly.

What does it taste like?

Smoked turkey tails have a rich flavor with hints of garlic and honey. The smoky flavor of the meat is balanced out by the sweetness of the honey and the tanginess of the soy sauce and Dijon mustard. It’s a unique, delicious combination that will satisfy any palate.

How did I first get introduced to smoked turkey tails?

I first encountered smoked turkey tails when visiting my family in Georgia. My aunt served them as an appetizer at our Thanksgiving gathering, and I instantly fell in love with the flavor. Since then, I’ve experimented with different marinades and smoking techniques to get the perfect smoked turkey tails every time!

how to cook smoked turkey tails?

Making smoked turkey tails is surprisingly simple and it doesn’t take a lot of time to cook. The smoked turkey tails cooking time is around 30 minutes. All you need is a few ingredients, a smoker, and follow our recipe.

How to make smoked turkey tails?

Ingredients

  • 5 turkey tails
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tsp turkey rub divided
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced

Directions

Step 1: 

Examine the turkey tails closely. Utilize a paper towel to get a better grip and pull out any feather shafts you may find.

Step 2:

 Combine the soy sauce, honey, water, 2 teaspoons of turkey rub and garlic in a bowl. Stir until combined. Place the turkey tails in the bowl and make sure they are evenly coated with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.

Step 3: 

Drain the marinade from the turkey tails and pat them dry with paper towels. Combine 1 teaspoon of the turkey rub, dijon mustard, vinegar and garlic in a separate bowl. Place the turkey tails in a shallow dish or roasting pan and pour this mixture over top. Ensure that all of the turkey tails are evenly coated.

Step 4: 

Preheat your smoker to 225°F. Place the turkey tails on the top rack and cook for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160°F. Baste with remaining marinade halfway through cooking.

Step 5: 

When done, remove from heat and let cool before serving.

Tips

• Make sure the marinade mixture completely covers the turkey tails before refrigerating.

• For best results, use a grill thermometer to ensure the smoker is consistently at 225 degrees F (107C).

• The longer you smoke the turkey tails, the more tender and juicy they will be!

Smoked Turkey Tails

Smoked Turkey Tails

Smoked turkey tails are a delicious and savory choice for any meal. Perfect for appetizers, entrées, or as an accompaniment to vegetables, this succulent poultry cut’s smoky flavor is sure to tantalize your taste buds. This simple yet flavorful recipe will have you craving more!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: turkey
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 839kcal

Equipment

  • paper towel
  • pot
  • knife

Ingredients

  • 8 teaspoons of turkey rub divided, imparting a blend of aromatic herbs and spices, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the dish.
  • 1 cup of honey offering a sweet and sticky glaze, creating a caramelized and mouthwatering coating on the turkey tails.
  • 10 cloves of garlic minced, adding a pungent and aromatic note, infusing the turkey tails with a rich and savory taste.
  • 10 turkey tails providing succulent and flavorful meat, perfect for a hearty and delicious dish.
  • 3 cups of white vinegar adding a tangy and acidic element, contributing to the overall flavor balance and tenderizing the meat.
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced, adding an additional layer of pungent and aromatic flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce adding a savory and umami flavor to the marinade, enhancing the taste of the turkey tails.
  • 4 tablespoons of Dijon mustard bringing a tangy and sharp flavor, complementing the sweetness of the honey and balancing the richness of the dish.
  • 3 cups of water providing moisture and creating a flavorful base for the cooking process.

Instructions

  • Examine the turkey tails closely. Utilize a paper towel to get a better grip and pull out any feather shafts you may find.
  • Combine the soy sauce, honey, water, 2 teaspoons of turkey rub and garlic in a bowl. Stir until combined. Place the turkey tails in the bowl and make sure they are evenly coated with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.
  • Drain the marinade from the turkey tails and pat them dry with paper towels. Combine 1 teaspoon of the turkey rub, dijon mustard, vinegar and garlic in a separate bowl. Place the turkey tails in a shallow dish or roasting pan and pour this mixture over top. Ensure that all of the turkey tails are evenly coated.
  • Preheat your smoker to 225°F. Place the turkey tails on the top rack and cook for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160°F. Baste with remaining marinade halfway through cooking.
  • When done, remove from heat and let cool before serving.

Notes

• Make sure the marinade mixture completely covers the turkey tails before refrigerating.
• For best results, use a grill thermometer to ensure the smoker is consistently at 225 degrees F (107C).
• The longer you smoke the turkey tails, the more tender and juicy they will be!
Keyword: Smoked Turkey, Smoked Turkey Tails

Nutrition Information

Protein: 25g, Fat: 65g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g,Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 854 mg, Potassium: 71mg, Fibre: 1g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 47 IU, Vitamin C: 2mg , Calcium: 38 mg, Iron: 1mg , Calories: 820 kcal ,Carbohydrates: 31g

What to serve with smoked turkey tails?

Smoked turkey tails make a great main course for any meal. Serve them with your favorite side dishes like mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, mac and cheese, or coleslaw.

How to store leftover smoked turkey tails?

Once cooled, store leftover smoked turkey tails in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can pregnant women eat this?

Yes, as long as the turkey tails have been cooked to an internal temperature of 165F (75C). Pregnant women should also consult their doctor or healthcare provider before consuming smoked turkey tails.

FAQs 

What is the best way to season smoked turkey tails?

Turkey rub is the perfect seasoning for smoked turkey tails. You can also use a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.

are smoked turkey tails healthy?

Smoked turkey tails are high in fat and calories, but they are also an excellent source of protein. If consumed in moderation, they can be part of a healthy diet.

how long do you cook smoked turkey tails?

I cook turkey tails for around 30-35 minutes on medium heat. I usually check the temperature of the meat to make sure it is cooked through. To ensure that the turkey tails are cooked properly, I use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the turkey tails. The internal temperature should be 165°F (75°C).

Wrapping Up

Smoked turkey tails are a delicious and flavorful way to enjoy this classic dish. Serve with your favorite sides, or use the leftovers to make soups, salads, or sandwiches.

With their rich flavor, smoked turkey tails will surely be a hit at any gathering! So give it a try and let us know what you think.

Please share your experience in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy Cooking!

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My name is Lori Walker. I’m a registered dietitian, food blogger and food enthusiast. I share easy healthy, delicious recipes on my blog and review necessary kitchen items. The recipes I share take less… Read more

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