General Question

AshlynM's avatar

Is it absolutely necessary to remove the neck and giblets of a turkey before cooking it?

Asked by AshlynM (6157 points ) November 22nd, 2011

Can you just leave these or do they NEED to be removed?

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17 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

Are they tucked inside the cavity? Or are they still attached? In the former case, it’s not like anyone will die if you don’t remove them, it’s just easier to stuff the turk if the cavity is empty. Please tell me the bird has already been cleaned and dressed (like from the supermarket, not fresh and still having feet and feathers from the turkey farm…)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Remove them from inside the bird because many times they are tucked into a paper or some other bag you don’t want cooked up with the rest of the goodness. Once the giblets are freed then they can cook safely back inside the bird.

majorrich's avatar

they are in a paper bag. jus grab it and make gravy broth with ‘em.

AmWiser's avatar

Even if it’s not necessary, you would want to remove them to wash/rinse the turkey inside and out. The best thing to do is to remove them since they are usually sealed in paper (and wash/rinse them too). You could cook them with the turkey but it’s best to cook them separately to use for broth or gravy. Is this your first time cooking a turkey?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Best to remove them, so you can enjoy them as well. (Bite me ewww people)

bkcunningham's avatar

Remove them. Like @AmWiser said, you have to wash the bird inside and out before seasoning it for baking.

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filmfann's avatar

My sister once made a turkey, and when removing the dressing, found the neck and giblets still inside.
It had no effect on the taste of the turkey.

WestRiverrat's avatar

The neck and giblets themselves are not a problem. If they are packaged in something that can ruin a turkey if you don’t take them out first. Depending on the brand the giblets could be packaged in waxed paper, and while the wax won’t kill you if you eat it, it can affect the taste.

Just be glad most processors have quit using plastic bags for the giblets.

AshlynM's avatar

My second time. I don’t have a whole lot of experience baking whole turkeys. And yes, it is a pre packaged store bought turkey. Thanks for your replies!

wundayatta's avatar

Use them to make broth and giblets for gravy. Pop them in a small pot with onion, carrot, and celery and a few herbs, and cook for an hour or so. Then you take the meat off the neck and throw that in with the other parts and chop them up into little tiny pieces and use that to extend your gravy.

Sunny2's avatar

Just be glad you don’t have to remove all the innards yourself. That was S.O.P. in the olden days (like the 40’s and 50’s.) You may have to tweeze out a stray feather or two, but then, on occasion, it was the whole bird full of feathers.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I’ve heard that they may not cook properly inside the turkey, eliminating any potential contamination hazards. I think this issue has been brought up with stuffing, as well. I could be wrong, though. That happens sometimes.

cazzie's avatar

My mom took them out and cooked them. She added them and the liquid they were cooked in to the stuffing mix, being careful not to get any bones from the neck in the stuffing.

wilma's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf is right.
Take them out, follow @AmWiser ‘s advice and that of others here.
I can tell you from personal experience that it’s really gross to be cutting up a cooked turkey and find paper packages of giblets inside. (No I didn’t cook the turkey my mother-in-law did. She actually stuffed it with that stuff inside.)
I was gagging and really couldn’t eat anything she cooked after I found that mess.
You cannot properly wash or season the turkey unless you take those parts out.

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