Wild turkey is a culinary treat, but many have had poor experiences cooking it because they try to cook it like something else. On this episode I talk about the unique aspects of wild turkey meat and how you need adjust your cooking methods to bring out the best.
- Most people try to cook wild turkey like store bought chicken without realizing it. That doesn’t work.
- Lots of people try to roast a gobbler just like they would a store bought turkey and that doesn’t usually work well either.
- Wild turkey needs different cooking methods for the breasts and the legs. To get the most out of these birds you have to cook them differently than anything else you know how to cook.
- You cannot just nonchalantly grill turkey breasts and expect great results. You need to know what to do.
- You absolutely cannot grill turkey legs and expect good results. But there are GREAT ways to cook them.
- Learn the basics by listening to this episode.
Again and again, I am blown away by how well you can cook wild turkey, particularly the legs. I have known long time turkey hunters to just leave the legs on the carcass and discard them. They claim the legs are not good to eat, but they are trying to cook them like chicken and not getting the same results.
You are not going to get great results if you pluck a whole turkey and try to roast it like a chicken or store-bought turkey. The bird is going to try out. The legs will become jerky before the breasts are cooked through. These are not farm raised birds that spend their lives being groomed for the dinner table.
The truth is, wild turkey is its own meat and cannot be cooked like any other bird. Turkey legs can be amazing, but they need a low, slow, and moist cooking method to be at their best. I have found great success making BBQ pulled turkey legs into sandwiches and tacos, or just eating it with a fork. You can also cook the legs until tender and pull them apart to make an excellent turkey soup from them.
The bottom line is that wild turkeys need to be treated for what they are, a completely unique game animal with excellent potential just waiting to be unlocked by the right cooking method.
Listen to the podcast episode to hear the rest!