Smoked Turkey Legs

I had a request for this recipe not too long ago, and since everyone’s mind is on Turkey this time of year, I thought it was a perfect time to share it.

Smoked Turkey legs are quick and easy to prepare plus they’re inexpensive. You’ve probably seen them for sale at fairs, carnivals, or even sporting events because they make great vending food.

Some people are turned off by the dark meat on turkey, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it especially when it has been smoked. This isn’t your mommas turkey. The Legs take on a ton of flavor from the smoke and the meat looks a lot like ham when it’s done right. In fact I’ve had people ask me if it was ham. Guess they haven’t seen much turkey!

Here’s how I smoke Turkey Legs:

The first step in preparing Smoked Turkey Legs is to make a brine. I want the legs to come out moist and packed with flavor, and soaking them in a brine is the best way to achieve this.

To make the brine start with 64oz of water in a stock pot over medium high heat. Add 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of Tony’s Creole Seasoning. The Tony’s is mainly salt but it has plenty of cayenne pepper and other spices that give the turkey a kick. Once the sugar and spices are dissolved in the water remove it from the heat and add a quart jar of ice cubes to chill the brine.

Place the Turkey legs in a 2.5 gal zip top storage bag and pour the brine over them. I would suggest placing the bag in a large bowl just in case the bag leaks (speaking from experience here).

Place the whole thing in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

After the soak, remove the legs from the brine and allow them to drip dry. Spray each leg with cooking spray and season with The BBQ Rub.

Let the legs come to room temp for about 15-20 minutes while you’re firing up the smoker.

Turkey Legs on Smoker

For Turkey I run the pit in the 250-275 range with cherry and apple wood for flavoring. There’s not much work after this point; just let the smoker do its’ job.

After 2 hours it’s time to give them a quick coating of cooking spray and a touch more dry rub. You can spritz with apple juice or any baste you like, but cooking spray not only helps the rub stick on poultry ,it also gives it color.

Let the legs smoke for another hour and check the internal temperature. Once it hits 175 degrees they’re done.

The Smoked Legs are ready to eat straight off the cooker, or they can be wrapped individually in foil and stored in a dry cooler or cambro for a few hours. They can also be chilled then reheated which works out great for vending events.

About Malcolm (the Author)

For over a decade now Malcom Reed has been competing in barbecue competitions... and it didn't take long for this hobby to develop into a full-blown addiction. After being inspired by the comradery and brotherhood of the sport, Malcom developed, a website devoted to sharing BBQ techniques and promoting the Competition BBQ Lifestyle. Through his cooking team, The Killer Hogs, and his barbecue business, Malcom is a constant student of 'Que... and his goal is to and his goal is to share his knowledge and passion with everyone.