How To Catch Turkey Drippings In A Smoker? [Is It Possible]

Smoked turkey is one of the most popular meats that many families enjoy. If you smoke turkey a lot, you know how valuable the smoked turkey drippings are, but you might not know how to catch these drippings. So, let’s go through how to catch your smoked turkey drippings successfully!

Smoked turkey drippings are referred to as liquid gold as they are rich in flavor and can be used for many things. Most smokers nowadays come with a built-in dripping catcher, but if yours doesn’t, you can place an aluminum pan underneath the rack where the turkey goes to catch them. 

how to catch turkey drippings in a smoker

What can your use smoked turkey drippings for? How do you store smoked turkey drippings correctly? This article will examine everything you need to know about smoked turkey drippings, so keep reading!

Is it Possible To Catch Turkey Drippings In A Smoker?

Having a smoked turkey is the highlight of any meal, and smoked turkeys can be served any time, not just at Thanksgiving. Smoked turkeys are a favorite among many families and are generally considered a treat. 

When smoking a turkey, you want to use every part of the animal, including the juices. The drippings from smoked meat are liquid gold due to their rich and lovely flavor. 

So, can you catch the drippings from your turkey while smoking it to ensure you have this liquid gold to enhance the food? 

It is possible to catch turkey drippings while you are smoking the turkey. 

The process is relatively easy and will ensure you have all the turkey drippings you could need. 

How To Catch Turkey Drippings In A Smoker

So, you can catch the turkey drippings while smoking your turkey, but how do you do this? Most modern-day smokers have a built-in drippings catcher that you can use to your advantage. 

Each smoker brand will have a different mechanism to catch the drippings, so you will need to read the manual for your particular smoker to see if it has one and, if it does, how it works. 

If you don’t have the instruction manual, you can contact the manufacturer and ask them about any possible dripping catcher on your smoker model. 

Place An Aluminum Pan Under The Turkey 

If your smoker doesn’t have a built-in drippings catcher, this doesn’t mean you cannot catch the liquid gold you want for other recipes. 

In this case, you must get your own equipment to catch the turkey drippings. 

What You Need

All you will need is a disposable aluminum pan, water, chicken stock, or wine. When you are prepared to smoke your turkey, place the aluminum pan under the rack in your smoker and place some water, wine, or chicken stock into the aluminum pan, enough to cover the bottom of the pan. 

You can then place the rack back and your turkey on the rack. 

Smoke your turkey as usual. When the turkey is done, you should have some lovely drippings in the pan under the turkey. 

You might need to refill the water, wine, or stock throughout the smoking process to help prevent the drippings from burning.

What To Do With Turkey Drippings From The Smoker?

You might already have a recipe in mind where you can use your smoked turkey drippings, which is why you want to catch the drippings in the first place, but there are other uses for the smoked turkey drippings that you may not know about. 

So, if you have leftover smoked turkey drippings, there are plenty of recipes you can use the drippings in; there is no need to waste this liquid gold. 

Let’s go through a few of the options you have to use up your smoked turkey drippings. 

Make Turkey Gravy

The first thing you can do with your smoked turkey drippings is to make smoked turkey gravy. This is a delicious gravy, but it can be an acquired taste, as it has a robust smoky flavor. 

So, don’t make too much of it until you know you and your family enjoy it. 

You can serve this gravy with your smoked turkey to enhance the flavor, or you can serve it with another meal later, like roast chicken and vegetables. 

Substitute The Drippings For Chicken Stock In Recipes

Another way you can use your smoked turkey drippings is to substitute the chicken stock needed in a recipe for the drippings. 

This method uses the drippings that not many people think of. The juice will add a lovely smoky flavor to your meal and enhance the food’s flavor. 

You will need to use less smoked turkey drippings than the chicken stock required for the recipe, as it’s easy to overdo it and make the food too smoky for some people. 

So, add in small amounts until you are satisfied with the flavor. 

How To Store Turkey Drippings 

If you have made your smoked turkey gravy to enjoy with your smoked turkey and you have excess drippings that you want to use some other time, you need to ensure you store the drippings correctly to ensure they last until you use them again. 

There are two ways you can store smoked turkey drippings; the one you should use will depend on when you want to use the turkey drippings again. First, let’s go through how you can store your turkey drippings correctly. 

Store Turkey Drippings In The Fridge 

The first way you can store your smoked turkey drippings is by keeping them in your fridge. You will need to place the drippings in an airtight container or jar to ensure the drippings stay fresh and bacteria or mold-free. 

You can then place the drippings into the middle of your fridge until you need them again. 

Do not store the smoked turkey drippings in the fridge door, as this location will not keep the drippings cold enough, and the drippings will go off. However, you can keep the drippings in your fridge for up to one week.

Store Turkey Drippings In The Freezer

If you want to store your smoked turkey drippings for longer than one week, you will need to freeze them, or they will go off and not be safe to consume. You can portion the drippings out into an ice tray and freeze them. 

Then once the drippings are frozen, you can remove them from the ice tray and place the cubes in a freezer bag that can be sealed well. Next, place the drippings into the middle of your freezer to help prevent freezer burn. 

You need to use your frozen drippings within three months. 

Final Word

Smoked turkey is a favorite among many families. Several people smoke turkeys regularly, not just on the holidays. One of the best things you can receive from your smoked turkey is the turkey drippings. 

The drippings can enhance the flavor of the food in several recipes.

Thankfully, collecting the turkey drippings is easy and can be done with minimal equipment. 

If you follow all the information in this article, you should have plenty of smoked turkey drippings at hand whenever you need them. 

Good luck catching your turkey drippings!

Related Articles


Skip to content