Whether you are looking for something quick and easy or trying something different for Thanksgiving, this smoked turkey legs recipe is the way to go. The ingredients are basic and the smoke is relatively quick. You will enjoy adding this to your rotation of smoked meals.
Ingredients Needed For Smoked Turkey Legs Recipe
This recipe to smoke turkey legs is quick and easy. We avoid using any brine, which makes this prep super simple. For starters I usually do this recipe on my Weber Kettle. We are going to do this with a hot and fast method of smoking. The reason being, we want to get some nice crispy skin on the turkey legs. Anytime you do poultry low and slow you are often and very likely going to get a rubbery texture to the skin.
Some recipes call for brining the turkey legs, I did not go that route as I felt the turkey meat came out very tender and juicy, without having to add that step to the process.
First thing we are going to do is to coat the skin and then under the skin with some olive oil. Pull the skin up as much as you can, without removing it, coat with the olive oil and then replace the skin back over the meat.
After you have done that you can put some rub on it. The olive oil will act as a binder for the dry rub so you should get some good coverage on it. For these I used Kosmos Killer Honey Bee, which give this that sweet honey flavor with the legs. I also frequently use an SPG rub, Kinder’s SPG, which you can get at your local Costco. If you do not have access to that SPG rub, its easy enough to make it on your own. Simply do equals portions of kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder. Once you have your rub on the turkey legs you should be ready to go.
How To Make Smoked Turkey Legs
As mentioned above, I did this smoked turkey legs recipe on my Weber Kettle charcoal grill. The Kettle is perfect for these smaller, quicker smokes. Now if you have a Traeger pellet grill or electric smoker, this recipe should still work, you may just need to make some minor adjustments. We are looking for a hot and fast method here. We want a nice crispy skin on the legs. I used B&B char logs, along with a couple of chunks of apple wood. My preference is always wood chunks but if you are more comfortable with wood chips, by all means that works too.
The goal temperature we are looking for is about 400°. As soon as you have the smoker up to to temp, you can go ahead and place the turkey legs on the smoker. Once on the smoker, I used my ThermoPro TP20 to track the internal temperature of the turkey legs as they smoked. While it is on there, just once, you will want to baste with some butter. This will help crisp up that skin and just ensure it maintains the moisture during the smoke. You can apply the baste at an IT of about 120°.
Once you they are on, at a high temperature this should only take about an hour to get them to an internal temperature of at least 165°. The legs have a bit more of a tolerance for high heat so you could go as high as 180° but I pulled these legs at 175°. Once pulled these are ready to serve. They make for a great snack or can certainly be a full meal as well.
Other Recipes You Might Like
Thanks for being here and checking out this Smoked Turkey Legs Recipe. I hope you enjoy it! If you enjoyed this recipe, we always appreciate comments, 5 star recipe rating and social media shares. As always, keep that smoke rolling!
Here are some other recipes you may be interested in trying:
- Old Bay Potato Wedges
- Smoked Drip Chili
- Smoked Pulled Chicken Breasts
- Smoked Boneless Turkey Breasts
- Smoked Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
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- 1.5 lbs of turkey legs
- Kinder's SPG dry rub
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil
- 1 tbsp. of butter for baste
- Prep smoker for a temperature of 400°
- Coat the turkey leg with olive oil, on the skin and under. Replace the skin as much as you can when done
- Place dry rub on the turkey legs
- Put the turkey legs on the smoker
- When you hit a temperate of about 120°baste with some melted butter
- Keep legs on the smoker until you reach a minimum IT of 165° but can go as high as about 175°
- Remove and serve
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 781Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 424mgSodium: 427mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 96g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 7/18/2022