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smoked turkey legs garnished over greens with sauce

Smoked Turkey Legs

Tender, juicy, and flavor-packed Smoked Turkey Leg is an easy dish you can prepare even if it isn’t the holidays. Easily pair this dish with any side or simply enjoy it as it is. You don’t have to wait for the holidays to taste the best turkey drumsticks.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southern, thanksgiving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Author Imma


  • smoker


  • 4 pounds turkey legs
  • salt and pepper for light seasoning
  • seasoning Creole, Italian, Poultry, or your choice of seasoning


Seasoning the Turkey Legs

  • Season the turkey - Lightly season the legs all over.
  • Rub the turkey - Rub the legs with your choice of seasoning and make sure to rub all over.

Smoking the Turkey

  • Pre-heat – Pre-smoke the smoker to 250-275 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher the temperature, the faster the turkey would cook.
  • Start Smoking - Place the turkey in the smoker and brush every 1-2 hours. Smoke until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the leg reaches 165 - 170 degrees F. The bird will continue to cook even after you take it out of the smoker.
  • Rotate - Rotate turkey legs halfway through for even browning.
  • Remove, Rest and, Serve - Remove the turkey from the smoker and allow it to sit, covered with foil, for 10 minutes before serving


  • Don’t wash the turkey: Bacteria in the water can develop into harmful pathogens. You don’t want that.
  • Temperature not jiggle: Whether it jiggles or wiggles after cooking if its internal temperature doesn’t reach at least 165 F, it isn’t done yet. You can actually take it out of the smoker once it reaches 160 F and it’ll continue to cook outside.
  • Use within 2 days: Once you thaw out the turkey legs you bought from the grocery, it’s ideal to use it within two days. This helps ensure the quality and freshness of the poultry.
  • Buy frozen: Frozen poultry usually means that the quality is preserved. Freezing meats also often kills off harmful bacteria that could make your meat go bad easily.
  • Check the texture: If you’ve left it somewhere warm for a few hours and it thaws out. Chances are it decomposes. A sign of decomposition is a slimy film on the surface of the meat. avoid meats like this at all cost.
  • Get a good sniff of it: As with most raw food, it shouldn’t smell like anything at all. So if you get a hint of rotten eggs or sulfur, steer away from that.
  • I suggest taking out the poultry about 5 Degrees before your target internal temperature. it continues to cook for a few more minutes after you take it out of the heat.
  • For a crispier turkey: Let it air dry in the fridge for up to 24 hours. 
  • Rule of thumb: Let the turkey sit for an hour per pound.
  • Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.