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Smoked Wild Turkey Leg
Photo by Larry White

Smoked wild turkey legs are a real treat if they are made properly. The problem that most people run into when trying to tackle them, is that the simply throw them in the smoker and call it a day.

But in order to yield deliciously tender turkey legs from your smoker, a little work needs to be done ahead of time. The easiest technique is to first braise them in a flavorful stock until they are fork tender. You can then smoke them right away after this, but there's room for improvement.

If you have an hour or two to spare, dry them off and then place them in your refrigerator uncovered to let them dry and become somewhat tacky. This will allow for more smoke adhesion to the legs.

I like to smoke mine between 200 and 215 degrees F. for about 1.5 hours. You can smoke them more than that, but just keep in mind that you're at risk for drying the meat out. If you're using sauce, you can add this on right away, or wait until the last 30 minutes of your smoke. I prefer to glaze mine with sorghum that's been thinned out with a little apple cider vinegar. I then will dip them in my sauce of choice. The sauce that I prefer for all smoked birds is Alabama white sauce (here's my recipe).


  • 2-4 turkey legs or wings

  • light turkey or chicken stock (enough to cover meat)

  • 1/2 of an onion, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • salt as needed (to season the stock)

  • BBQ of choice (here's my Alabama white sauce recipe)


  1. Add all of the ingredients except the turkey to a large pot. Season the stock with salt to your liking. Add the turkey and bring to a simmer. Cook them until they are fork tender (this can take between 1 to 3 hours). Remove them from the pot and set them aside to chill or dry them off and place in the refrigerator for an hour or so as stated above.

  2. Heat your smoker between 200 and 215 degrees F. Glaze the wings with your favorite bbq sauce now or wait until the last 30 minutes of smoking. Smoke the turkey legs for about 1.5 hours.

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