How to Cook Turkey Butts

Someone wrote in the other day asking how to cook Turkey butts. This reader wanted to know how to  cook pre-smoked turkey butts and what type of other foods do you serve with them? Although I was not shocked by the question, if you're like most people you've probably never heard or tried eating turkey butts also called turkey tails.

The turkey butt "aka" turkey tail is the crispiest, juiciest and most tasty part of the bird. For the most part of my childhood we would have fresh turkey for thanksgiving which meant the trail or butt was still attached to the bird. It's likely you want find the butt or trail attached to store bought frozen birds these days because all the major companies remove this part of the bird.

If you haven't tried this delicious part of the bird and are feeling adventurous you'd better give it a try.

What Our Visitors Have Said About Turkey Butts

Turkey tails are delicious and easy to cook. You can simply bake, broil or even cook them on a grill.

Jan 01, 2012 
Smoked turkey butts (by: Anonymous) 
For Christmas, my family cooked smoked turkey butts and smoked turkey legs on the grill. It was absolutely delicious! They are really cheap in Arkansas.

Nov 01, 2009 
Turkey Butts (by: Nicky) 
Thank you, can't wait to try and make my southern cookin' daddy proud.

Oct 31, 2009
Love Smoked Turkey Butts! (by: Anonymous) 
I love smoked Turkey Butts as a seasoning meat for greens. I usually let them boil in a pot of water with onions and Cajun seasoning. I add a couple of cloves of garlic, and course black pepper, and a 1/2 teas of red cider vinegar. I cover for about 45 min or until meat is tender, then I add my greens and let them cook slowly for about another hour. The meat should fall off the bone and the smoked turkey taste is infused throughout every forkful of greens. Serve with hot sauce to taste.

Turkey Butt (aka Tails) Recipe


  • 4-5 smoked turkey butts
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs finely minced garlic
  • 1 tbs finely minced ginger
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots thinly sliced
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sugar to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups broth
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce

Cooking Procedure:

  1. Simmer the turkey tails for about an hour. Drain and cool. Cut the meat into 1/2 inch slices. Place on an oven rack about an inch apart and season with salt and paper. Place a container underneath to catch the fat. Grill in the oven until well-browned. If necessary, turn over to brown the other side.
  2. While the turkey tails brown, prepare the stir fry.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a wok. Sauté the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add the sliced onion, carrot, celery and bell peppers. Stir fry for a few minutes. Season with salt, pepper and a little sugar. Disperse the starch in the broth. Stir in the oyster sauce.
  4. Drain the turkey tail slices on several layers of absorbent kitchen paper. Add to the cooked vegetables. Toss a few times. Serve at once.