How to Cook Organic Turkey Thighs? Help Please

Hey guys,

I´m frustrated, desperate and angry AF! Since a few weeks I try to cook dark turkey parts, mainly thighs without or with bone in. I tried many different methods like slow cooking in the oven with a dutch oven, slow cooking with the crookpot, roasting in the oven, cooking in water but NOTHING works. These fucking thighs are either dry or tough like a car tire, depending which cooking method I use.

Yesterday for example I did exactly this recipe, oven temperature 350, time 50min until internal temp to 175 (80) because 165 I tried the last time and it was also chewy and tough…

and the result: tough, chewy but at the same time “juicy”. The turkey is done but the juices during resting are red!?!?!

what am I doing wrong and how do I get juicy tender thighs?

HELP!!! Help please! I appreciate every tipp, suggestion etc.
Thank you very much

I have never cooked just thighs. Legs yes, thighs no. So, I am only guessing here.

Have you tried slicing/cutting them into smaller pieces before cooking? Like for stir fry or stew meat.

How long did you cook them in the slow cooker?

Professional Chef here - I understand your pain, and am happy to help.

You’re undercooking the meat. A lot of the temperature reccomendations for poultry aren’t for optimal cooking, but for safety reasons. People mix this up with cooking something like a steak that does need to be kept at a lower point.

Heat a pan with whatever oil you want to use until it’s shimmering, not smoking. Season your thigh and press in skin-side down. Cook until the skin is golden brown and delicious.
Then flip over and throw it in a 400/425 F oven until you hit 205 F. Maybe 20 minutes. Be bold.

Separate the thighs - they’ll cook better that way and you can portion them easier.

Bone-in or bone-out both work with this technique.

Happy times the gym and the kitchen!


Just a quick follow-up - I was re-reading the OP and wanted to say that juices and juicy can mean different things with food. The method I suggested makes the collagen in dark meat break down into gelatine, which provides a better mouthfeel, but will result in less liquid on the plate.

Also resting your meat (giggidy) is a really good habit.


I went through a period, years ago, when I was frequently screwing up different types of chuck roasts. I thought I was overcooking all of them because they kept turning out tough and chewy. Turns out they needed an extra hour - or two - to break down those collagen fibers - now all my stews are fall-apart tender. Jacques Pepin’s red wine beef stew is my go-to.

For OP - it’s not necessary, but an instant pot is foolproof. Listen to Brant though - dude has the best food porn pictures I’ve ever seen!


Googling now. Your food recommendations have always been on point.

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thanks for responding, I appreciate this.

no, I never tried slicing or cutting them, I always cook the thighs or drumsticks whole. In the slowcooker I cooked them anywhere from 3 to 8 hours and everything in between. Either they are tough or become tough the next day or they become dry and I mean really dry.

So many people swear by the “fall off the bone” method but when I cook the thighs or legs until they fall off the bone, they are dry in my opinion and not juicy at all!?

I also get my hands on whole legs. How do you cook them?

thank you very much for your help

thanks for responding Brant, I appreciate this a lot and I´m more than happy that a professional chef is willing to help me out!

I´m confused as fuck because the comments and suggestions are all over the place and one says I undercook the meat and one says I overcook the meat!?!?! What the hell?

I asked the same question on reddit and I the recommendations could not me more different:

can you explain this to me please what I said to ChickenLittle:
So many people swear by the “fall off the bone” method but when I cook the thighs or legs until they fall off the bone, they are dry in my opinion and not juicy at all!?

What method would you recommend without browning the thigh or drumstick beforehand in a pan? I live in very small appartment and my kitchen don´t have a window so I try to avoid pan´s as much as I can and use the oven, slowcooker etc.

I also have an Miele Steamer Oven with Sous-Vide setting!? Thoughts?

Thank you very much for your time and your help!
I appreciate this

@flappinit thank you very much for responding, I appreciate this. That´s interesting but in my experience, like I mentioned before, if I cook the thighs for example for hours on end, yes, they fall off the bone but they are dry!? not juicy!?

How do you cook you stews in the instant pot? How do you know what time and setting? Do you ever made organic/wild turkey thihgs or drumsticks or whole legs? I consider buying one.

BBQ/smoke them. Or bake them, strip the meat off and make turkey salad sandwiches.

Are you cooking organic thighs or wild turkey? Big difference.
Wild turkey is leaner and not injected with anything. The meat is naturally tougher because they are always moving, which makes the meat tougher to begin with. Nothing makes better broth for dressing or chicken fried turkey breast. Yummy.


ok, I think you might be right and I don´t understand what product I´m working with. I get the turkey parts from a “farm”. The turkeys are fed, not completely wild but they are free range (I hope thats the right term in the US). They are running around the whole day!? What do I have? Sorry it´s not my intention to confuse or annoy anyone. Thanks

I think It’s important to see it for what it is. It’s turkey thighs, not prime rib. Good source of protein but never going to be a premium cut of meat. Not sure you are going to find a “perfect” way to cook them.

Definitely could be the meat.

Regardless, I wholeheartedly support slow smoking! It’s very forgiving.

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Braising is a good option too

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