The Best Smoked Turkey Legs

Nothing satisfies the hunger like a couple of smoked turkey legs and an ice cold drink. Whenever I buy the turkey, I also grab a half dozen legs to keep the big bird company as it smokes.

The legs go in the cooler of brine right along with the turkey. They don't need nearly the length of brining time as a turkey does, though.

Four to six hours is about right, depending on the size of the legs and the intensity of saltiness you desire.  I remove the legs and refrigerate them in a freezer bag until it's time to smoke.

If you're just making smoked turkey legs, you'll need one gallon of brine for every six or eight legs, depending upon their size.

Here's a recipe I've used with great success.

Super Smoked Turkey Legs

8 turkey legs
1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs black pepper
1 tsp sage
1 tsp cumin

For More Turkey Info...

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey

Smoked Turkey Breast

Smoked Wild Turkey

Wet or Dry Turkey Rub

Turkey Brine Recipes

Making Turkey Brine

How to Smoke Turkey

Rinse and drain the turkey legs. Add the remaining ingredients to a large pan and bring to a boil. Take off heat, cover, and allow to cool to room temperature. Pour the brine into your brining container and place it in the fridge to cool. The brine needs to be between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit in order to safely and effectively brine the drumsticks.

Drop the legs into the brine, and soak them for four to six hours. Remove them, rinse well, and drain. Dry them off with paper towels to ready them for the wet rub.
Here's the Wet Rub Recipe

Turkey Leg Rub

3 Tbs
2 Tbs
1 Tbs
1 Tsp
1 Tsp
1/2 Tsp
3 Tbs
onion powder
garlic powder
black pepper
vegetable oil

Rub this mixture onto the turkey legs, and allow them to rest in it for an hour or so.  Put them into the smoker at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, using a light flavored wood.  Apple, pear, or cherry are good choices for a mellow smokey flavor.

Figure on four to six hours in the smoker. You want these to be fall-apart tender. The more connective tissue that melts, the more luscious these become. Remove them when done and let them rest and cool for half an hour. If any are left over, shred the meat for sandwiches.

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