It’s that time of year – watch out turkeys! Hands-down, our favorite way to eat turkey is smoked on the Big Green Egg. And here’s our yummy recipe for a whole bird. But when you’re not in the mood for a whole bird because of the size of your crowd or the time it takes to make, give turkey legs a try! Personally, I find their flavor profile superior to turkey breast and who doesn’t love gnawing the meat off the bone theme park style?! Turkey legs are easy to find at this time of year but your butcher should be able to special order them for you if you’re craving them outside of the holiday season.
We chose the following recipe from Simplymeatsmoking.com because unlike others, it doesn’t use Tender Quick, which I had a hard time finding locally.
Brining the Turkey Legs
If you’d like to eat the smoked turkey legs for dinner, follow our lead and prepare the brine the prior night. In a large pot, combine the following ingredients, bring the mix to a boil, and allow the brine to cool to room temperature over night.
1 gallon water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 – 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
The following morning, add the turkey legs to the room temperature brine and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Remove the legs from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels.
Rub for Smoked Turkey Legs
Combine the following spices in a bowl and rub the turkey legs with the mixture.
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons onion powder
3 tablespoons light olive oil
Side note from us: We ran out of onion powder after making the brine so we upped the garlic powder. Turned out great so don’t worry if your measurements aren’t super precise when you make the rub.
Smoking Turkey Legs on The Big Green Egg
EGGnite your Big Green Egg and set it up for indirect temperature at 240F. Add wood chips to the fire. We like pecan or hickory but it’s fun to experiment with the different varieties you can find at our store. Place the turkey legs on your Egg’s grate and smoke at 225-240F for 3-6 hours until they reach an internal temperature of 165F. Pardon the wide range – it all depends on the size of your turkey legs and the Big Green Egg’s temperature. The original recipe suggests 4-6 hours. However, we smoked ours at 225 for 3.5 hours and they were done so definitely monitor the temperature!
Remove the turkey legs from the Big Green Egg and allow them to rest under foil for 10-30 minutes. Then, grab one by the bone and take a big bite out of it. So delicious!