Smoked Turkey Legs


Remember those smoked turkey legs at Disney? This is the closest recipe I have found.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
4 hrs 5 mins
Additional Time:
6 hrs 40 mins
Total Time:
11 hrs
2 turkey legs



  • 1 gallon water

  • 1 cup kosher salt

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon rubbed dried sage leaves

  • 2 turkey legs

Spice Rub:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons onion powder

  • 2 tablespoons ground paprika

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon rubbed dried sage leaves


  1. Combine water, kosher salt, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, pepper, cumin, and sage for brine in a large pot. Bring to boil, making sure salt is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, cover, and let cool to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes. Pour into a container and refrigerate brine until cold, or to 35 to 40 degrees F (2 to 4 degrees C).

  2. Rinse turkey legs in cold water and pat dry. Place legs into cold brine, cover and refrigerate, 4 to 6 hours.

  3. Remove legs from the brine, rinse well in cold water, and dry with paper towels. Discard brine.

  4. Combine oil, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, cumin, and sage for spice rub in a small bowl; mix with a fork until well combined. Generously rub legs with spice rub until covered. Let legs sit on a cooling rack for about 1 hour.

  5. Preheat a smoker to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C).

  6. Place turkey legs, unstacked, onto wire racks. Place the racks into the preheated smoker. Smoke until meat is falling off of the bone, 4 to 6 hours. Remove from smoker and let rest, 20 to 30 minutes.

Editor's Notes:

Always brine foods in a food-grade, nonreactive container such as a stainless steel or enameled stockpot, a brining bag, or a food-grade plastic bucket.

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of brine ingredients. The actual amount of brine consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

476 Calories
19g Fat
41g Carbs
39g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 476
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 89mg 30%
Sodium 22933mg 997%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 30g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 129mg 10%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 660mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.