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Turkey leg quarters

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by Roy Roop, May 18, 2018.

  1. Roy Roop

    Roy Roop Newbie

    First time smoking any turkey. Any pointers? Picked up 3 leg quarterprices. .
  2. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Well if you want crispy skin, your going to have to smoke them at around 325.
    We don't eat the skin, so 225-250 is fine. Smoke them to an internal meat temp of 175, and we like to use Montreal chicken seasoning as a rub.
    fullsmoke likes this.
  3. kawboy

    kawboy Smoking Fanatic

    Do you cook with skin on, then remove? or cook without skin? I've been wanting to do some turkey again.
  4. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi there and welcome!

    If you are trying to make them like the state fair or theme park smoked turkey drums/parts then you will need to brine them with some cure #1 for a while.

    If you are just smoking to eat then I would season up and smoke! Dark meat really doesn't need to be brined like breast meat or whole birds do.

    As Al mentioned, 325F or higher should get you edible skin rather than leather skin. With poultry if you don't cook high enough or finish on a hot grill/oven then you will likely end up with leather/rubber skin. It's just a quirk of poultry skin that you gotta know about :)
  5. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Those will be just awful so you better just send them to me!

    All good advice! I like higher temp poultry cooks as well. That being all dark meat makes it even more forgiving. A lot will depend on what kind of smoker/grill you plan to use. But some of the best methods I have learned is:

    1. Clean your poultry parts well before starting- Feathers and pin-hairs, etc. Pull off any extra fat that tends to hang on thighs. And for heavens sake... don't leave the kidneys in! I might get flamed my some nose-to-tail fans, but that is just gross in my opinion. A big pet-peeve of mine that kidneys should be removed with all the other guts at the plant!
    2. Don't let your parts soak in straight water. Unless you are brining (which is another great option).
    3. Dry the skin (parts)- Place them on a rack uncovered in a fridge (and fan maybe) at least a day before preferably 2 days. There are other tricks such as using baking powder, corn starch or vodka to aid in the drying prior to cooking.
    4. Season with preferred herbs and spices. Injecting with enhancers is also a nice option.
    5. There is no rule that says you cant use another grill, or your oven broiler to finish crisping the skin at the end of a low and slow smoke.
    6. Do not add any sauce (if that is your plan) until the very end and after skin is already completely crispy- And then, that is done quickly at high temp to set and slightly caramelize. Sugars will burn if applied to early.
    7. Mops, spritz's basting will generally produce soft (but edible) skin. (There are some exceptions to this such as oil or oil based glazes but not water or vinegar based).
    8. Don't use water in your smoker pan.
    9. Use a meat probe- Use an instant read or "leave in" type. I like to go to 170-175'F IT for dark meat.
    10. Don't wrap and rest poultry. It only steams the skin making it soggy.

    That ought to give you a few things to noodle on... Please come back and post progress and pics!
  6. Roy Roop

    Roy Roop Newbie

    Less than an hour in the smoker at 250゚ in their already reading a 140゚ is this right ?
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yep. Average weight of 4-5 lbs per quarter at 30 min per lb at 225-250 gives 2-2.5 hours cook time. Right on schedule...JJ
  8. Roy Roop

    Roy Roop Newbie

    These are less than 4 lbs a peice, maybe 2lbs. They are the drumstick and a portion of the thigh. These must be from small turkeys lol
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Guess you will be enjoying an early lunch......JJ
  10. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I cook them with the skin on, then remove it when it's done. I add it to the bones & scraps & boil it down for turkey broth.
  11. Roy Roop

    Roy Roop Newbie

    Pulled them off at 167* and Finished them under a broiler for about a minute. Fall off the bone and nice crispy skin.

    Attached Files:

    browneyesvictim, mike5051 and Smoke23 like this.
  12. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks like a success to me.

  13. Smoke23

    Smoke23 Smoking Fanatic

    Looks like thay came out great!
  14. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    great looking turkey!

  15. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice work!
    Yeah chicken and turkey cook fast. I always burn 2 rows of my AMNPS on poultry to get as much smoke flavor as I can in those quick smokes. I cook at 325F so they are done even faster than what you experienced but my skin is always edible :)