Smoked Turkey Legs
Turkey legs, yard sticks, meat handles, turkey drums: whatever you call them, they are a meal in themselves. Turkey legs were a staple in our home growing up. Smoked or oven-baked, they’re delicious either way.
Using either our Smokin’ Sweetness, Rasta Rub, Cajun Red, Lemon Pepper, Fresh Catch, Tacos Everyday or H-Town AP, you’ll have a tasty hunk of handheld meat magic!
- Hook’s Smokin Sweetness, Rasta Rub, Cajun Red, Lemon Pepper, Tacos Everyday, Fresh Catch or H-Town AP Rub
- 6x Turkey Legs
- 12x Tbs Butter
- 1/4 Cup Salt
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- Olive Oil or Margarine Spray
- Optional: Thick Cut Bacon Strips (see step 5)
- ThermoWorks Instant Read Thermometer
- Sharp Knife
- Large Bowl
- Wire Whisk
- Aluminum Foil
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Plastic Wrap
- Paper Towels
- Cookie Sheet or 13x9 inch Pan
- Grill or Smoker
- Apple Wood Chunks
- Fill bowl large enough to hold turkey legs with about 2 quarts of water, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk until the seasoning melts. Add turkey to brine bowl. Let brine in fridge for 30 minutes - 4 hours.
PRO TIP: There’s a lot of brine recipes that call for you to boil the water and mix in the salt and sugar to have them melt, then cool the brine before adding the meat. Honestly it’s not necessary unless you have something that doesn’t melt well in cool water like honey, corn syrup or molasses. If you’re using these granulated ingredients, the cool water and whisk are all you need. Herbs and spices will not dissolve however, so this cool water method also applies to adding them to the brine.
- Heat smoker to 275 degrees using charcoal. Use offset smoker or indirect heat on grill.
- When the smoker comes to temperature, add wood chunks to lit coals & let catch fire to burn off any dirty smoke for a few minutes.
- While wood is smoldering, remove turkey legs and pat dry with paper towels. Spray legs with margarine spray or rub with olive oil.
- Season turkey leg liberally with Hook’s Smokin’ Sweetness rub all over. **You can also wrap the turkey legs with thick cut bacon, season, then proceed to the next step.**
- Place turkey legs on smoker with the thickest side pointing at the heat.
PRO TIP: If you know your hot & cool zones in your smoker, you’d want the thicker part of these turkey leg sitting right in between them so the meat doesn’t cook too fast or slow. This will also help the color develop the right way instead of over-smoking the meat.
- Smoke turkey legs for 45 minutes which should take them to about 140-150 degrees internal temperature when probed with an instant read thermometer.
- At 45 minutes, pull out a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap each leg in.
- Place a leg inside foil and top with 2x tbs of butter on top of the thicker part of each leg.
- Grab end of foil and roll legs in the foil making sure to fold over each end after the first roll and end with the butter pats on top. Repeat for each leg.
- Sit wrapped legs back in same spot on smoker and let it smoke for another 1 hour.
- After the additional hour, check temperature of each leg. You should be at or near 185-195 degrees. If you’re there, remove the leg, if not, let it smoke for another 15-30 minutes before checking again adjusting for how close each leg is to that temperature range.
- Let legs rest for 10 minutes before removing from foil to eat by hand.
PRO TIP: At sporting events, fairs and amusement parks they serve the smoked turkey legs in the foil. You can eat it this way but first, opening the larger end of the foil wrap on the leg, draining/pouring all the butter out and folding down the foil to act as a handle. Then get more paper towels because it’s gonna be messy!
- Cheers turkey legs with a family member or friend and enjoy the meat right off the bone!