Getting a Leg Up - Gobble Gobble Gobble
This recipe includes both brining and smoking turkey legs. The brining process is very important and I highly recommend that you do it. Don’t let the unfamiliar word scare you. It is simply a solution of salt and other flavoring that the turkey legs soak in for a few hours - The brine enhances the flavor and gets into the meat of the turkey to make them out of this world delicious.
So with that said.. let’s get started brining our turkey!
Brining Turkey Legs
1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt ( For larger amounts, the water to salt ratio = 16 to 1 )
1 cup brown sugar
2 TBS garlic powder
2 TBS onion powder
2 TBS red pepper flakes
3 TBS Coarse Ground Black Pepper
2 TBS Cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere’s)
2 TBS Tabasco hot sauce
Place gallon of water and all dry ingredients (except black pepper) into a very large pot and bring to a boil.
Once boiling occurs turn off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
Once brine has cooled place in fridge for further cooling.
The brine must reach 40 degrees F before adding meat to brine.
Add 4-6 turkey legs to brine. Leave turkey legs in brine for 6-8 hours - Like overnight
Getting Turkey Legs Ready to Smoke
Coat the turkey legs with olive oil and sprinkle on a little cajun seasoning and the fresh coarse ground black pepper. Once you are finished, get the smoker ready. I use mesquite or other fruit wood just depending on what I am in the mood for and what I have on hand.
Smoking the Turkey Legs
Get the smoker temperature at 240 degrees F or so, get the turkey legs and place them right on the grate leaving about 1 inch between them to allow the smoke to be able to flow freely all around the meat.
InDirect Cooking / Smoking is highly recomended.
Occasionally.. about once every hour or so, brush on some olive oil to keep them moist and help to crisp the skin while they smoke. Smoke the turkey legs about 3-4 hours to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Remove the turkey drumsticks from the smoker once they are at temperature and wrap them individually in heavy duty foil. Then place back on grill, or in the oven at a temperature of 175 Deg. for 3-4 hours. This will soften them up for "fall off the bone" tendermess
How to Re-Heat
They heat up really well.. just pop the legs, foil and all into the oven at about 275-300 degrees for 30 minutes.
The smoked turkey legs at the fair or at Disney world do not hold a candle to these babies.