Smoked Turkey Tails

Smoked Turkey Tails

Turkey tails are the bird’s tastiest (and most underrated) part. Unfortunately, many have not had the pleasure of eating turkey tails, especially smoked turkey tails. The tails are dark meat which means they’re loaded with flavor, plus they have a considerable amount of fat, making them comparable to pork belly.
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes


  • Z Grills 700D4E Wood Pellet Grill
  • Z Grills Apple Wood Pellets
  • Large Bowl
  • Tongs


  • 8 turkey tails
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika


  • Inspect the turkey tails. If you see any feather shafts, use a paper towel to grip them. Then pull them out and discard them.
  • Rinse the turkey tails under cool water and pat them dry.
  • Transfer them to a large bowl or sheet pan.
  • Combine the seasonings in a small bowl. Mix well.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the turkey tails and toss to coat them evenly.
  • Preheat your Z-Grills (preferably with branded wood pellets) or other wood pellet grill to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Transfer the turkey tails to the grates skin-side up, close the lid, and smoke for 4 hours or until the turkey tails are evenly brown and crisp with an internal temperature of at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit. A low and slow cook is key to rendering fat and crisping up the skin.
  • Remove the smoked turkey tails from the grill and set them aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve as desired and enjoy.


For less heat, reduce the amount of cayenne or replace the cayenne and paprika with your favorite dried herbs.
Calories: 400kcal
Cost: 15
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoked, Thanksgiving

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Z Grills

Z Grills is a grill manufacturer with over 30 years of experience within the industry. With over 650,000 pellet grills sold and 85 million cooks made, trust us.

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