Smoked Turkey Legs (You Will Never Want Chicken Again) [June 2021]

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 wet piece of cardboard).

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!

Want more of a show stopper than turkey legs? How about learning how to smoke a turkey in an electric smoker? Right enough chatting let’s find out how to smoke these properly!

How Long To Smoke Turkey Legs?

You need to smoke  turkey legs for 4 – 5 hours. This seem like a long time! But it ensure you don’t end up with chewy meat and that the skin is golden and crispy! The beautiful smell of the smoking turkey legs will be sure to get the neighbors around in no time.

To get high-quality turkey legs, I recommend you buy meat online. I have found that supermarkets and butchers sometimes sell turkey legs that come out a bit chewy!

“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.”

How to Cook Smoked Turkey Legs

Smoking turkey legs is simple (as long as you follow the steps below). 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!)

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

Smoked 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!

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! 
Prep Time6 hrs
Cook Time8 hrs
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time14 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Barbecue
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 144kcal
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


  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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.

Wrapping It Up

Smoking turkey legs is as simple as that! 

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


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking and getting out in nature with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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3 thoughts on “Smoked Turkey Legs (You Will Never Want Chicken Again) [June 2021]”

  1. the smoked turkey legs look yummy,what sauce would you recommend as an accompanying dish?Secondly I prefer them dried as you have shown on the pics.

  2. Dannie, Grab a bottle of store bought sauce like sweet baby Ray’s dump it into a sauce pan add about 1/2 cup of honey,a can of cranberries and about 3 table spoons of the rub you used on the legs! Bring up the heat let it simmer until all the ingredients combine!

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