Smoked Turkey Legs (You Will Never Want Chicken Again) [October 2019]

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!

Turkey legs can a little tough to cook if you don’t have the right equipment. I also use the best gas smoker or the best pellet smoker for the money which I think is the Louisana Grill LG 900, I found it best at holding the heat and smoke needed to get these bad boys succulent and juicy!

You need to smoke  turkey legs for 4 – 5 hours. This 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.

“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!)

Charlies Hot Tip

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!

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 doing my smoked 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!

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 Time6 hrs
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time12 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Barbecue
Servings: 8
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.

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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1 thought on “Smoked Turkey Legs (You Will Never Want Chicken Again) [October 2019]”

  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.

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