Divine Dinner Party

Smokin' Smoked Turkey Legs Recipe Ideas

This smoked turkey legs recipe collection really is, well, smokin'. Why do I brag so? Because all of these recipes are great-tasting, and cover a whole range of meat-smoking tools and abilities (smoking meats can get complicated!).

Smoked Turkey Legs in Smoker So if you want the perfect turkey leg recipe for your smoker, it's here. Don’t have a smoker, or even a grill? We've also got a smoked turkey legs recipe that you can make in the oven-- no wood, no fire required.

See? We earned the right to brag.

If you've never had a smoked turkey drumstick (like the ones they sell at Disneyland and some Renaissance fairs), you're in for a treat. The deep smokiness is the perfect accompaniment to the flavor of dark turkey meat, and these recipes make for tender, juicy legs that will make you want to forego a fork and just rip right in-- and you should. They taste best that way. Just don't forego a napkin.

Not looking for a smoked turkey legs recipe? Check out our great barbecue turkey legs recipe page!

Smoked Turkey Legs Recipe for a Meat Smoker

This smoked turkey legs recipe comes with a wonderful brine and spice-rub that fill these turkey drumsticks with flavor. You'll need to have a meat-smoker handy to get the full, smokey flavor you're looking for.

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8 turkey legs

1 gallon water
1 C. kosher salt
1/2 C. sugar
2 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp ground pepper
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp ground cumin

Turkey Drumstick Spice Rub:
3 Tbsp onion powder
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
3 Tbsp vegetable or light olive oil

Instructions: Rinse turkey legs in cold water, pat dry. For brine, combine brine ingredients in large pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let cool to room temperature. Pour into container (a large, clean bucket works well) and refrigerate brine until cold (approximately 35-40 degrees F).

Place the turkey legs into brine. Let soak four to six hours. Remove legs, rinse well, and discard brine. Dry drumsticks well with paper towels.

In small bowl, combine spice rub ingredients with fork til well mixed. Rub onto turkey legs. Let drumsticks sit out for about one hour. Place turkey legs into smoker at 225 degrees F. A light-flavored wood is best for turkey.

Smoke legs for four to six hours, til meat is nearly falling off the bone. Remove legs from smoker, and let rest for half an hour. Devour greedily.

Simple-but-Scrumptious Oven- Smoked Turkey Legs Recipe

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1 C. Morton Tender Quick salt
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. liquid smoke
1/2 gallon water (or as needed)
8 turkey legs

Instructions: In large bowl or pan, combine the water, quick salt, brown sugar, and liquid smoke. When salt and sugar have dissolved, pour mixture over turkey legs.

Cover and refrigerate for 24 to 72 hours. Drain brine from turkey legs and discard used brine. Gently pat turkey dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place drumsticks in lightly greased roasting pan and bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

Turn oven temperature up to 500 degrees F and roast turkey legs until they reach a deep, dark brown color. Flip drumsticks and roast other side til equally browned.

Note: DO NOT substitute regular or kosher salt for the tender quick salt (which is a mix of salt, sugar, and other curing agents), or you will end up with a too-salty, inedible mess. If you can't find the tender quick salt, look for a curing salt. If in doubt, ask your butcher.

Grilled Smoked Turkey Legs

Easy Grill-Smoked Turkey Legs Recipe

6 lg turkey legs
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. kosher salt
6 tsp. liquid smoke
water, as needed to cover

Instructions: Rinse turkey legs and place in a large pot or non-reactive bowl. In separate bowl, dissolve brown sugar in about three cups of water. Pour over drumsticks. In same bowl, dissolve salt in another three cups of water. Pour over drumsticks. Add water to pan, using just enough to cover drumsticks. Remove drumsticks. Add liquid smoke. Stir brine til well combined.

Return turkey legs to pan and cover. Let sit in brine overnight in refrigerator.

To grill, spray cold rack with vegetable oil spray (make sure rack is not over flame). Place used brine in grill-safe pan, and place pan on a rack between the charcoal (or the flame is using a gas grill) and the rack with the drumsticks. If you don't have an extra rack, place the pan with brine on the rack alongside the drumsticks. This will help to keep turkey moist while grilling. Grill drumsticks about seven minutes per side, til lightly browned. Turning often, grill about 1 hour more, or until tender. Add more water to brine pan as needed.

Go from Smoked Turkey Legs Recipe back to our Ultimate Holiday Turkey Guide

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Cooking a Whole Turkey
or Some Drumsticks?

Free Holiday Turkey Recipe Guide to How to Cook a Turkey

If it's a fat bird with a beard (no, I don't mean your Aunt Marjorie), we can help you cook it. Click on the icon above or click here to get started with recipes and tips on how to cook a turkey for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any time of year.


Smoked BBQ Drumsticks with Sweet-Spicy Glaze


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