If you want the most succulent, fall off the bone turkey legs, then you have to make this recipe. Bourbon Smoked Turkey Legs was so dang good, my family was mad I only made one for each of us. What I love most about smoking meats is that it only TASTES like you slaved over it all day. You really don’t have to do much, just prep it and set it in the smoker for several hours. It’s actually best to not open the lid at all.
I have a Traeger Smoker/Grill. If you don’t have a wood pellet smoker, you can still get the same kind of flavors out of a charcoal or propane. You can just put a few pieces of wood (hickory or apple) in a small smoker box on your grill. You just need a means to make sure the fire keeps going. The real key to smoking meats is low temperature for a longer period of time while being infused with wood smoke. Some people have even have success doing this inside of their ovens. My turkey legs were pretty hefty so I had to use 2 cast iron skillets, so as to keep them in a single layer.
If you cannot find Orange Flavored bourbon or whiskey, you can use a little orange liqueur or another two oranges (juiced and zested) in additional to regular bourbon or whiskey. You want to get the sweetness of the citrus into the meat to balance out the heavy smoke flavor. Poultry absorbs the smoke more than red meats, so you want to be careful not to over power with wood flavors.
I served this up with a Wild Rice Pilaf that was so tasty. I used a wild rice blend, orzo and some parmesan cheese to make a light but delicious accompaniment to the star of the show!
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!
Bourbon Smoked Turkey Legs
- Cast Iron Skillet(s)
- 6 Whole Turkey Legs
- 1 cup Orange Bourbon like Jim Beam
- 2 Navel Oranges zested and juiced
- 5 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 tbsp Rosemary
- 1 tbsp Thyme
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Dried Minced Onion
- Combine marinade ingredients (everything besides turkey legs). Put 3 legs each in 2 gallon sized zipper bags. Pour half of marinade into each bag. Let marinade at least 1 hour. (up to overnight).
- Preheat smoker to 250degF. In your largest cast iron skillet(s) arrange legs and pour marinade over top. Cover with foil and place in smoker. Use two skillets if needed to keep the legs in a single layer. Let smoke for 4 hours. Remove from smoker and leave foil on until ready to serve.
Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:
Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:
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