Smoked Turkey Legs (You Will Never Want Chicken Again)

I hadn’t tried smoked turkey legs until summer 2017 at Disneyland. Since then I have given chicken legs the flick!

Smoked turkey legs hold heaps more flavor and always come out real juicy 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 to 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!

Peters Epic Smoked Turkey Legs!

Smoked Turkey Legs?

Smoking turkey legs takes between 4 and 5 hours. It is a simple meat smoking recipe 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. 4 to 5 hours, might seem like a long time, but you need to trust me on this one! The connective tissue needs time to break down into that delicious gelatin.

Note: If you have pre-smoked turkey and want to know how to heat a smoked turkey leg ensure you use the oven and add some liquid to the pan.

What You Need

Turkey legs

Olive Oil

Ground pepper

Ground cumin

Garlic powder

Paprika

Onion powder

Light olive oil

Sugar

Ground cumin

Dry Mustard

Sweet Paprika

Brown Sugar

Celery Salt

Cayenne

All Spice


How to Smoke Turkey Legs

Step 1: Brine The Turkey Legs

Combine all the all the brine ingredients and stir until all the sugar us dissolved. Place the turkey legs in a bag and pour in the curing liquid, then place the bag in the fridge for 24 hour.

Step 2: Apply Rub and Preheat The Smoker

Prep your vegetables and place them in the foil tray. Then preheat your smoker to 225°F. Remove the the turkey legs from the brine and pat dry. Then applying a binder to the turkey legs, you can use the olive oil or mustard, then give then a rub with the turkey rub. You can make your own or use a store brought rub.

Note: If you don’t have turkey legs you can smoke turkey wings instead.

rubbing skin of turkey legs for flavor

Turkey Rub Recipe

1tbs dry mustard
1tbs sweet paprika 
1tbs dark brown sugar
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp onion powder 
1.5 tsp celery salt 
1 tsp cayenne pepper
0.5 tsp allspice

vegetable in foil tray for smoked turkey
smoker temp for my smoked turkey cookout

Step 3: Place Turkey Legs in The Smoker

When your smoker reaches 225°F place then on the grill smoke for 20- 30 minutes, with the foil tray underneath.

turkey legs on the grill using wood chips

Step 4: Turn The Legs and Cover With Foil

After 30 minutes cover with foil and cook for another 60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 175°F. Remove the foil tray from the smoker. Allow the turkey legs to rest for at least 30 minutes. Then enjoy!

turkey legs on the charcoal grill

How Long To Smoke Turkey Legs?

You need to smoke turkey legs for 1.5 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 175°F This seems like a long time! But it ensures you don’t end up with chewy meat and that the skin is golden and crispy!

These are perfect for a cookout (no plates needed). So you can just sit and enjoy a few beers and the delicious smell of the smoking turkey legs.

crispy skin on turkey legs after using rub and foil

What Temperature to Smoke Turkey Legs At?

Turkey legs are done when they reach an internal temperature of 175°F. Use a probe thermometer and insert it in the thickest part of the leg. Ensure you don’t touch any bone or gristle.

Have Some Leftovers?

Its always good to cook more than you need. Leftovers are a fantastic way to eat during the week, but make sure you know how long does smoked turkey last in the fridge. That way you can eat your turkey safely

Wondering What to Serve With Turkey Legs?

Looking for some delicious sides for your turkey legs?

See some of our favorite things to serve with turkey legs here.

Unsure what time you’ll want to eat.
I would suggest start cooking early and get a faux cambro to hold your cooked turkey legs.

What is a cambro, you might ask yourself?? 

Well it is essentially a cooler, that acts like a thermos 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 redistribute and you will enjoy a juicer, more tender smoked turkey leg. 

tukrey legs that have been brined and smoked in a pellet smoker
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

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 flavor from the cumin and paprika are to die for! 
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Resting Time10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 55 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Barbecue, bbq, grill
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 426kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 14

Ingredients

  • 8 whole turkey legs

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

Rub

  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 tbs dry mustard
  • 1 tbs sweet paprika
  • 1 tbs dark brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 1.5 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 0.5 tsp allspice

Instructions

  • Combine all the all the brine ingredients and stir until all the sugar us dissolved. Place the turkey legs in a bag and pour in the curing liquid, then place the bag in the fridge for 24 hour.
  • Prep your vegetables and place them in the foil tray. Then preheat your smoker to 225°F. Remove the the turkey legs from the brine and pat dry.
  • Then applying a binder to the turkey legs, you can use the olive oil or mustard, then give then a rub with the turkey rub. You can make your own or use a store brought rub.
  • When your smoker reaches 225°F place then on the grill smoke for 20- 30 minutes, with the foil tray underneath.
  • After 30 minutes cover with foil and cook for another 60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 175°F. Remove the foil tray from the smoker. Allow the turkey legs to rest for at least 30 minutes. Then enjoy!

Want to do Smoked Turkey Legs in An Electric Smoker?

Above we had our recipe for turkey legs smoked on a charcoal smoker. If you’re using an electric smoker it’s the exact same temps and timing but you will need to pick up some wood chips. I would suggest applewood or cheery wood for turkey.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

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 recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

Hungry For More?

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

  1. 5 stars
    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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