How to Remove a Turkey Neck & Giblets

Updated February 21, 2017

When preparing to roast a turkey, you must remove the neck and giblets before cooking it. If the turkey is frozen and does not include the giblet package, you can cook it from the frozen state. However, most frozen turkeys sold do include these parts, so you will need to thaw the turkey in order to remove them from the bird.

Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator for approximately one day for every four pounds of turkey. For instance, a frozen 12-pound bird would take three days to thaw. You can also soak the bird in cold water for four hours for every two pounds of turkey.

Remove the wrapping from the turkey. Unhook the legs from the plastic or metal retainer holding them in place.

Reach inside the turkey and remove the neck. It will be loose inside the cavity if the bird is completely thawed. Set the neck aside to cook separately.

Locate the giblet package inside either the main cavity of the bird or in the neck cavity, located between the wings of the turkey. Set it aside with the neck to open and cook separately. This package will include the liver, gizzard and heart.

Rinse the inside of the bird with cold running water. Cook the turkey as planned. You can cook the neck and giblets in a small saucepan of boiling water or throw them away.


You can also save the neck and giblets to cook with the carcase of the turkey later for soup stock. Cook giblets and add them to the stuffing mix, either for inside the turkey or to be baked separately.

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