Smoked Turkey Legs are delicious and easy to make. The turkey legs turn out juicy, tender and with the perfect crispy skin.
Smoked Turkey Legs Recipe:
We have recently starting using our smoker more and these turkey legs turned out so delicious. The smoked turkey drumsticks are brushed with melted butter and then seasoned with a simple dry rub.
I was amazed how easy they were to prepare and they came out so delicious with the perfect crispy skin. If you love getting turkey legs at Disney Theme Parks or at the fair, then you are going to love this homemade recipe.
If you are looking for an easy recipe to make in your smoker, make these turkey legs. The seasonings are simple and the results are tender and juicy turkey legs that will be a family favorite.
- Turkey Legs
- Butter (melted)
For the Rub:
- Dried Thyme Leaves
- Black Pepper
- Brown Sugar
- Garlic Powder
- Dried Oregano
- Onion Powder
How to Cook Smoked Turkey Legs:
- Step 1 – Heat Smoker – Preheat a smoker with a water pan to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 2 – Mix Rub Ingredients – Mix the rub ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Step 3 – Dry Turkey Legs – Pat the turkey legs dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture from the turkey.
- Step 4 – Rub with Melted Butter – Rub the melted butter on all sides of the turkey legs.
- Step 5 – Season the Turkey Legs – Season the turkey legs with the rub mixture by rubbing the mixture into the sides of the turkey legs with your hands.
- Step 6 – Place Turkey Legs in Smoker – Then place the turkey legs directly on the grates in the smoker. Close the lid of the smoker to begin cooking.
- Step 7 – Smoke Turkey Legs – Cook the turkey for 1 ½ to 2 hours until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Step 8 – Serve and Enjoy – Remove the turkey legs from the smoker. Let them sit for 20-30 minutes (so that the juices can settle) and then the turkey legs are ready to serve and enjoy.
How Long to Smoke Turkey Legs:
Once you have placed the turkey legs in the smoker, it takes about 2 hours to smoke the turkey legs.
Use an instant-read meat thermometer to make sure that the turkey is cooked to a safe temperature. The temperature should reach 165 before removing it from the smoker.
Can you Bake Turkey Legs?
Yes, you can bake turkey legs. This is a great way to enjoy turkey legs if you do not have a smoker.
- Prepare the turkey legs as directed in the recipe.
- Rub the turkey legs with the dry rub and place in a deep roasting pan.
- Add a little water to the bottom to prevent any of the drippings from burning.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in a preheated oven at 325 degrees. Place turkey legs in the oven.
- Cook the turkey legs for about an hour. You may need to cook longer, depending on the size of the turkey legs.
- Once they have cooked, remove the foil and turn your oven to broil. Check the internal temperature of the turkey legs.
- Broil the drumsticks for a few minutes to create a golden brown, crispy skin.
- Instead of broiling the drumsticks you can place on a gas or charcoal grill to finish cooking.
How to Get a Crispy Turkey Skin:
My favorite part of making these turkey legs in the smoker, is the crispy skin. The smoker really helps to achieve a crispy skin because of the drying effect. The brown sugar in the dry helps also to achieve the crispy texture on the skin.
Make sure to maintain the correct temperature in the smoker to achieve the perfect crispy skin on the turkey legs.
Is a Smoked Turkey Leg fully Cooked?
It is important that a smoked turkey is cooked to at least 165 degrees to be fully cooked. We like using a meat thermometer to check the status so the turkey legs do not over cook.
Make sure to control the temperature on the smoker to ensure the turkey gets fully cooked.
- Wood Chips – Make sure to add chips to the smoker every 15 minutes if your smoker does not have an automatic feature.
- Before Cooking Turkey Legs – Before placing the turkey legs in the smoker, make sure they are at room temperature.
- Rest Turkey Legs – After remove the turkey legs from the smoker, allow them to rest for about 30 minutes before serving.
- Pre Smoked Turkey Legs – If you have pre smoked turkey legs, simply rub with olive oil and place on grill. Grill on medium heat and make sure the thickest part of the leg reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. You can also place in the oven, air fryer, or slow cooker.
- Brine Turkey Legs – Brining turkey legs is not necessary in this recipe. But if you prefer you can brine them with salt and cold water for 24 hours.
- Seasoning the Turkey Legs – When adding the dry rub to the turkey legs, make sure it fully covers the drumsticks.
Smoked Turkey Leg Variations:
- Seasoning – Feel free to change the seasoning to what you prefer. You can also just drizzle oil if you prefer.
- BBQ Sauce – Once the turkey legs are finished cooking, baste it with BBQ Sauce.
Can you Freeze Smoked Turkey Legs:
Yes, you can freeze smoked turkey drumsticks. Place the turkey legs in a freezer safe container and freeze. If stored properly, you can freeze up to 3 months.
Once we ready to enjoy, thaw overnight and place in the air fryer or oven to reheat.
How to Store Leftovers:
Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. These turkey legs is delicious leftover. We have even removed the turkey from the bones and serve with rice and roasted vegetables.
Print Recipe for Smoked Turkey Legs:
Smoked Turkey Legs
- 6 Turkey Legs
- 2 Tablespoons Butter melted
For the Rub:
- ½ teaspoon Dried Thyme Leaves
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- Preheat a smoker with a water pan to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix the rub ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Pat the turkey legs dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture from the turkey.
- Rub the melted butter on all sides of the turkey legs.
- Season the turkey legs with the rub mixture by rubbing the mixture into the sides of the turkey legs with your hands.
- Then place the turkey legs directly on the grates in the smoker.
- Cook the turkey for 1 ½ to 2 hours until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Remove the turkey legs from the smoker. Let them sit for 20-30 minutes (so that the juices can settle) and then the turkey legs are ready to serve and enjoy!
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