Turkey for a Celebration!

by jerseygirl on October 29, 2008 · 49 comments

The Philadelphia Phillies have done it! They have won the world series! There was a lot of celebration going on here. My kids were still up at 10:30 on a school night. You could hear the clanging of pots and pans,cars driving around the neighborhood beeping and little voices screaming on their porches. You would have thought it was New Years Eve.

This past week was the perfect time to make giant smoked turkey legs. It was a great food to have for game time. We made enough of these bad boys to have for several games. After I had one at the PA Renaissance Faire, we had to make them.


I retrieved this recipe off smoker cooking. There is some work involved as the legs are soaked in brine then slow cooked on a smoker. But the work is well worth it. Thanks to my wonderful husband for doing most of the work. (I did the photography and the bossing around.) You can also use a regular grill with wood chips in a smoke box. Here are some tips to make them taste really good.

Make sure the full legs are covered with the brine. It looks a little like witches brew, right?


Make sure the legs are patted dry after coming out of the brine.


Use a mild wood such as cherry or apple.


Rub the legs with the rub and let them rest before cooking.


Walk around while eating them. You can pretend you’re walking around a fair or ballpark. Better yet, you could dress up as Fred Flinstone and eat one while trick or treating. Congratulations Phillies!


Super Smoked Turkey Legs

8 turkey drumsticks
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

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 onion powder
2 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tsp black pepper
1 Tsp cumin
1/2 Tsp sage
3 Tbs 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.

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

chefdruck October 30, 2008 at 12:00 am

Those look incredible! So fun! Perfect celebration food.

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Prudy October 30, 2008 at 12:58 am

That looks so yummy! Congrats to the Phillies and all their fans.

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Emily October 30, 2008 at 2:01 am

Okay you deserve the Commissioners trophy for taking the time and putting forth the effort to make these! They look fantastic! Congrats on your team winning!

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Jenny October 30, 2008 at 7:13 am

Oh my girl! These turkey legs are gorgeous!! Great game food for sure! Have a happy Halloween with the kids this weekend!

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Barbara Bakes October 30, 2008 at 7:27 am

I’m impressed! I’ve never seen anyone make these at home!

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Debbie October 30, 2008 at 7:32 am

I’ve seen these at fairs and my husband loves them. Yours look wonderful.

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Veronica October 30, 2008 at 7:44 am

Congrats on your Phillies! Sounds like great celebration food.

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Stacey Snacks October 30, 2008 at 8:32 am

Congrats on the Philly win Lisa!
Those turkey legs could turn me into a caveman! (or a cavewoman!).
Stacey

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Peter M October 30, 2008 at 8:56 am

Congrats to the Phillies…you’re champs and now you can forget about Mitch Williams!

I don’t have to tell you bring a turkey is the best way to go…look at the gorgeous result.

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Sara October 30, 2008 at 9:05 am

Your turkey legs look amazing! I’ve never smoked them before. Recently I’ve been using turkey legs for braises, it works out really well.

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Katherine Aucoin October 30, 2008 at 9:15 am

Those turkey legs looks so good! I think I can almost smell thewm cooking. Congrats on the Phillies win…that delay must have had you on pins and needles.

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Meg October 30, 2008 at 9:31 am

These look so juicy and full of flavor.

Yeah Phillies!

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Theresa October 30, 2008 at 9:45 am

Those turkey legs look awesome. Kuddos to you for taking the time and to the Philly’s! Even though I’m a Yankee fan.

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kat October 30, 2008 at 10:45 am

What a fun treat to make at home! Congrats on your team winning!

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Pam October 30, 2008 at 11:34 am

Congrats!!! The turkey legs look amazing. I’ve never smoked them before but will try it now.

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Kirsten October 30, 2008 at 11:41 am

I had one of those at Disney once…yum. Where did you buy the legs? I’ve never seen them that big at my normal grocery store. They look delicious.

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Mary October 30, 2008 at 11:50 am

These look so good. Have a good Halloween and bask in the glory of that win!

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nicole October 30, 2008 at 11:54 am

Those are some serious turkey legs. They look delicious.

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Patsyk October 30, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Wow, they look amazing! I’m going to mark this recipe to try as I’m still wanting to figure out how to make something wonderful with my smoker!

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Robin Sue October 30, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Too funny about eating one while trick or treating. I bet I would make everyone jealous! Or have the neighbor dogs follow me around. This is a really nice recipe. I do have a cooktop smoker so that would work!!

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Jeni October 30, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Looks delish! I did a similar dish earlier this week but with a whole chicken. Brining is DEFINITELY the secret to scrumptiously juicy poultry! If my grill worked, I’d be right on the grilling! I was voting for the Phillies too! Yahoo!! Now it’s on to screaming for the RSL team Saturday. Happy Halloween!!

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Michele October 30, 2008 at 1:38 pm

baseball and turkey legs…sounds like a new tradition to me! :-)

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Maria October 30, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Yeah for your team!! What a great way to celebrate!

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Aggie October 30, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Oh YUM! Those look great Lisa!
Congrats to your team! Tampa apparently didn’t have a chance!

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Birdie October 30, 2008 at 3:19 pm

The series was quite interesting in our house this year. My husband was born and raised in Philly and I was raised in Florida. Olur living room was quite lively. The turkey legs look great!

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The Food Hunter October 30, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Yeah Phillies! Those turkey legs look awesome.

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Dawn October 30, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Oy that’s a lot of work. You have patience for sure, I don’t know if I would have.
I have to say ditto to what emily (above) said….you get an award for sure on this one.
Awesome job here!

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Proud Italian Cook October 30, 2008 at 5:05 pm

You could sell these out at any fair in 5 min’s! I’d be happy to walk around with one of these!
Beautious!!

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Mrs. L October 30, 2008 at 6:55 pm

My husband buys cooked turkey legs from a local grocery store but these look so much better1
And congrats on the Phillys win.

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Bunny October 30, 2008 at 8:28 pm

These look fantastic! A great way to have turkey breast. hey somebody has to be the boss right!! LOL!!

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Psychgrad October 30, 2008 at 9:16 pm

I need to drive to soak my turkey in brine. The colour on the end result looks beautiful.

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noble pig October 30, 2008 at 10:40 pm

These look so, so awesome and yeah to Philly fans.

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Marc @ NoRecipes October 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Now that’s turkey legs done right! I could eat me 2 or 3 of them right now.

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That Girl October 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm

There’s something so Flinstone-y about turkey legs.

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Emiline October 31, 2008 at 4:57 am

They have these giant turkey legs at a theme park nearby, at Christmas time. I have always wanted to try them.

I think I could just make them though. Someday soon. They look scumptious! I would like to gnaw on one.

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1215656559s20768 October 31, 2008 at 9:00 am

I am seriously going to have to try these. We love smoked turkey.

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alexandra's kitchen October 31, 2008 at 9:19 am

Phillies!! These turkey legs look awesome.

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Lucy October 31, 2008 at 9:32 am

Those legs look awesome and must have tasted great as well!!!

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Yasmeen October 31, 2008 at 11:04 am

Stunning legs!,with smoked flavor must be flavorful in every bite:)
Congrats to the winning team!

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*Priscilla* October 31, 2008 at 1:28 pm

that chicken looks delicious!! congrats on your phillies win, next year it will be champs of 2009:chicago cubs. maybe??:)

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Allie October 31, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Wow those look so good. Hot legs you got there! :)

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HoneyB October 31, 2008 at 2:09 pm

I thought of you when I heard they had won! Yay for your team! The turkey legs look yummy!

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Lisa magicsprinkles October 31, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Nice legs.
Congrats on the big win!

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Clumbsy Cookie October 31, 2008 at 3:29 pm

What a wonderful way to cook turkey legs! I would totaly eat that right now! And well done Phillies!!!

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Sharon October 31, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Lisa, congrats! I’m a Cards fan and I remember how glorious it is to have your team with the World Series! These turkey legs look amazing; great photos.

By the way, you’re the winner of my cookbook giveaway! Send me a message with your contact info :)
newlywedcook at gmail dot com

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Tanya October 31, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Trust me, anything slow cooked is DELICIOUS! Great recipe!!

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Paula November 1, 2008 at 2:58 am

Wow, those look terrific! That’s quite a job preparing those! I was thinking about making some extra turkey legs at Thanksgiving to get some more dark meat. I love your spiced brine! That rub sounds great, too! YUM!

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The Inexperienced Foodie November 2, 2008 at 5:06 pm

yum yum yum i wish i had a grill

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melissa November 9, 2008 at 12:17 am

My husband saw these and said if I want to make him the happiest husband ever I could make these for him one day. Heh.

I don’t have a smoker; however, I appreciate your post in putting the idea in my head. Maybe for his birthday… ;)

P.S. Belated congrats to the Phillies!

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