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Turkey Legs

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I want to remove the legs from my 23lb bird and smoke them.

I have only smoked twice.
Bone in pork chops. Yum
20lbs of pork butt. Double Yum.

Can someone guide me on how to smoke the legs?

Every year we cook them in the roaster, and throw them away because no one will eat them...... I want to try smokin' them so they won't go to waste.

Thanks for your help!
post #2 of 10
Laura, I smoked some turkey legs a couple months back. Not too hard. Use a good wood, say hickory or mesquite, smoke at 225-240 degress. Smoke until the thickest part of the leg reads around 170 on your thermometer. If your keeping the skin on, then once it hits 170, jack those temps up to 325-350 and crisp the skin. 180 degrees internal and they are done but if the skin is crisp as say 175 or so, pull them off and wrap in foil as they will continue to cook.

Others will chime in here and as well give you their method. If you can, take some pics of your smoke, we would like to see.
post #3 of 10
Turkey legs are awsome smoked! I buy just the legs only at the grocers - I use apple or cherry to smoke and spritz with apple juice during the cook.

Family loves them and they are great to snack on cold.
post #4 of 10
One of my all time favorite things to smoke has always been turkey legs.

If you're gonna toss the legs I would happily take them off your hands, makes me feel more in touch with my primal side chewing on a big hunk of meat I can just hold in my hand.

Thought I had more posts about turkey legs but could only find a couple so here are a few of mine and one from GrueLurks as well.




Whether you want to eat the skin on them or not will determine your smoking temp, if you want it crispy then shoot for 275-325 but the higher end works better, if you don't care about the skin and rip it off then 225-250 is fine.
They normally ran me about 2 1/2-3 hours to get to 165-170 but be sure to probe them and not hit the bone for an accurate temp.
Brining or seasoning above and under the skin are also great ways to add flavor. Some of the tendons in the legs can become rather hard which is one reason turkey legs benefit so much from low and slow, helps keep those tendons more on the soft side but you will still have to eat around a few of them.
Hope any of this helps, if you have any more questions please feel free to ask.
post #5 of 10
Laura, you don't mention what kind of smoker you have so it's generalized advice we can give.

All the advice above is great and will serve you well. With a turkey that big, I'd go ahead and remove the thighs also and smoke the legs and thighs (separated) too. Smoked thighs, since they are all tender meat, will be much better recieved by those folks who think they only like white meat. Once they try smoked thighs...watch out!

When we smoke legs and thighs over here, we use the meat for turkey pot pie and it is incredible. 'Course you have to be an expert in making pie-crust like Mrs Rivet is.....you make them like I do and you end up with hardened dough that'll either break a tooth or your fork icon_redface.gif

I'm working on it though!

Good luck on your smoke and don't forget to post pics of your masterpieces. PDT_Armataz_01_01.gif
post #6 of 10
I love turkey legs! I will usually brine them for a few hours, up to eight, and them smoke them for a couple hours at the 225*, wrap in foil for an hour with a bit of juice, and then un-wrap them and ramp up the temp to crisp up the skin a bit. Did some big ones once, 1 1/2 pounds apiece, using the 3-2-1 method. Worked great.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
My smoker is a Perfect Flame.

I have hickory chips, is this the right chip for the job?

Should I rub them down, and what is a good rub recipe?

Is there a book out there that is a great cook book / reference guide to smoking??

Thanks so very much

PS I will take photos!!!
post #8 of 10
Hickory is fine, I would just go light on it...
Apple or Pecan is good also...

Here are a couple of great books by Paul Kirk "The Baron of BBQ", you can order direct from him but could probably get a better price on Amazon...


Chef Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue:
BBQ Your Way to Greatness with 575 Lip-Smackin’
Recipes from the Baron of Barbecue

Chef Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces:
175 Make-Your-Own Sauces, Marinades, Dry Rubs, Wet Rubs, Mops, and Salsa
post #9 of 10
I just smoked some turkey legs this past week and I did a little test with myself. I cut the legs, thighes, and wings off a bird and then rubbed one with a rub from Dude Adidas and the other set I rubbed with some tender quick and other spices ( then let it cure for 4 hours) and smoked them both with some apple and alittle hickory and they were rially good both of them but I think that I liked the cured legs better itseemed to add alittle kick to them but overall they were really good tasting.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #10 of 10
There are a few post around about turkey legs including a couple I have made. My searching skills stink, I get sidetracked too easilyPDT_Armataz_01_04.gif

I like to deep brine mine in a true float an egg brine based on teryaki sause, garlic, brown surgar, poultry seasoning and whatever else I might have in the pantry. Brine overnight and the meat will almost end up tasting like a ham, in fact I guess it is actually a turkey ham anyways.

I smoke low and slow until done, eat a couple for dinner and then let the rest smoke a little longer and use them in beans or freeze to use in beans later like ham hocks
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