Dark meat fans rejoice because this smoked turkey legs is a must this Thanksgiving! De-ice your barbecue and get loads of hickory, applewood, or cherry wood to get these turkey legs loaded with flavor.
For these smoked turkey legs, I’m using a rub similar to my pork butt rub along with butter as a binder.
To get as much flavor into these as I can, I’m combining the rub with butter. Then apply a layer under, and over the skin, similar to my smoked chicken recipe.
If you caught my roasted turkey breast recipe, these legs and wings are from whats left over that bird.
So if you’re into having turkey prepared two ways for Thanksgiving, you’ll want to print off both of these ones!
But if you’re into roasting an entire bird check out my spatchcock turkey. You can roast it in the oven, or even smoked it!
Now the question is to brine or not to brine and I chose to brine. If you don’t feel like throwing together the brine seasonings, there’s so many good ones you can get from the store.
I froze all the smoked leg meat directly in the freezer since my family isn’t big on dark meat. But it will go great in other dishes like turkey chili, or a turkey pozole.
There’s even a turkey fried rice that I just found at ATBBQ.
Smoked Turkey Legs
- 1 gallon water
- 1 1/2 cups salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 head garlic halved
- 4 bay leaves
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 10 leaves fresh sage leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 4 lbs ice
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup coarse grind black pepper
- 1/3 cup paprika
- 2 tbsp granulated garlic
- 2 tbsp granulated onion
- 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 8 pieces turkey leg meat can mix with wings too
- 2 sticks butter optional
- in large pot bring water to a boil. Add in everything in the brine ingredients except for ice and turn off heat. let steep for about 20 minutes. Add ice to bring temperature of brine down and add more volume to the brine solution.
- Add brine and turkey leg meat into a brine bag or bucket. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight; about 12 hours.
- Remove leg meats from brine solution. Rinse then pat dry. Combine rub ingredients. Use butter as a binder (optional) And ad liberal coating of run under and on top of skin.
- Set smoker temperature to 275F. Use your favorite wood for poultry and smoke until internal temperature is 165; about 4-6 hours.