8 months ago

Smoked Turkey Legs (You Will Never Want Chicken Again)

​I hadn't tried smoked turkey legs until summer 2017. ​Since then I have given chicken legs the flick! ​Smoked turkey legs hold heaps more flavour and always come out real juicy (sometimes chicken tastes like I'm ​chewing on a hairbrush).

It could be the delicious brine that my wife created. I think that's what makes them so  tender, moist ​and  full of succulent flavor. Not mention these bad boys are also much healthier for the heart!

​Smoking turkey legs for 4 - 5 hours might seem like a long time, however​ it what gives you that crispy brown skin! The beautiful smell of the smoking turkey legs will be sure to get the neighbors around in no time.

​How to Smoke Turkey Legs 101


Smoked Turkey Legs Recipe

My family loves these smoked turkey legs. They are a great change from your everyday chicken drumsticks. The crispy skin and flavour from the cumin and paprika are to die for! 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Barbecue
Keyword Smoked Turkey, Turkey, Turkey Legs
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 6 hours
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 hours
Servings 8
Author Charlie


Brine Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 - 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 8 turkey legs

Rub Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil


  1. Aside from the turkey legs, in a large pan combine all your brine ingredients. Bring to a boil and let sit to come to room temperature. Once at room temperature add your turkey legs and place in the refrigerator to cool for 4 - 6 hours.

  2. Preheat your smoker to 240°F following your manufacturer's instructions. After the brine is well cooled remove from the refrigerator and pat dry with a paper towel. In a large bowl combine all the dry rub ingredients and mix well. Coat each turkey leg thoroughly all over with the rub. 

  3. lace your turkey legs into your preheated smoker. I like to use pecan wood for this recipe, however, feel free to use your favourite turkey wood. 

  4. Smoke at 225 - 240°F for 4 - 6 hours until the turkey legs have reached an internal temperature of 165°F. You are also looking for a nice golden crust on the outside of the turkey.

Charlies Hot Tips

​Hot Tip 1

It is imperative to let your meat rest for at least 20 minutes once it has finished up in the smoker. You will be left with a much better result. The meats juices will have time to rest and you will enjoy a juicer, more tender smoked turkey leg.

Hot Tip 2
Be sure to always brine with cool liquid. Its always a good idea to add in ice cubes to your pot to help with the cooling process and so the liquid penetrates the turkey legs better.

Hot Tip 3
Turkey legs can a little tough to cook if you don't have the right equipment. I also use my  Louisana Grill LG 900, I found it best at holding the heat and smoke needed to get these bad boys succulent and juicy! Not only that is it also apart of the ​best pellet smokers of the 2018!

How Long To Smoke Turkey Legs?

Smoking turkey legs is simple. However, the main thing that you need to remember is that smoking meat is all about temperature and timing. This recipe takes between 4 and 5 hours. It might seem like a long time, but you need to trust me on this one!

If your guests are late arriving I would suggest getting a faux cambro for your turkey legs. What is a cambro, you might asking yourself??

 Well it is essentially an cooler, that acts as a thermo to ensure your legs are cooked to perfection without being cold or overcooked (because no one likes a chewy leg!)

​Smoking Your Turkey Legs in An Electric Smoker?

​After a simple meal to please everyone? Sometimes on a lazy Saturday I throw the switch on my electric smoker, brine my legs and throw them in! I get started on some weekend chores, then around 2-3 pm the smoked turkey legs are good to go!

Charlies ​Tasty Tips!

​If your someone at your cookout doesn't like turkey why not try chicken? It's always safe bet ​and​ turns out awesome in the smoker!

My kids love when they know I will be smoking chicken wings! My wife also gets excited if she knows I will be smoking chicken breasts! They are super healthy and packed full of flavour!

Final Thoughts

Smoking turkey legs is as simple as that! You will find that due to the high temperature the turkey legs cook at you will HAVE find yourself the best silicone ​BBQ gloves you can find!

Turkey legs are a great healthier alternative to chicken and taste absolutely delicious. I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as me and my family.

Do you have a variation or any tips for this recipe? Or other smoked turkey leg recipes? I would love to hear from you!

Happy Smoking


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You will more often than not find me tinkering around in my backyard. I will have one hand tightly gripped around a can of beer and the other hand tightly gripped around my spatula. Not so long ago (almost 8 years now) I got obsessed with Grilling, smoking and BBQ-ing. I can't get enough of it.. and neither can my family!

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