Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Shari Mason
It’s common consensus that smoked turkey legs are an absolute delight. They are indeed flavorful. Their softness, succulence, and burst of taste make them a crowd pleaser, no matter what season of the year it is.
What’s more interesting is that cooking smoked turkey legs is easy. If you want a simple and satisfying method to prepare smoked turkey legs, look no further. With simple rules plus a little bit of patience, here’s how to cook smoked turkey legs in the oven.
7 Steps to Cook Smoked Turkey Legs in the Oven
1. Gather All The Ingredients
Before you begin, you need to collect all the ingredients.
- Smoked turkey legs
- Seasonings like paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder
- Brown sugar
- Sea salt
- Kosher salt
- Chicken Stock
But how do you remove the giblets from a frozen turkey?
2. Prepare The Turkey Legs
Next, brine the smoked turkey legs. Mix brown sugar, salts, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and the stock. Boil the mixed ingredients while you stir constantly until they’re dissolved completely. After dissolving the mix, add cool water to cool the brine.
Then, add the turkey legs to the brine and marinate it for about 4 to 24 hours in your fridge, depending on your preference. Once the marination is complete, rinse the turkey legs and make sure to dry them using paper towels.
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3. Preheat Oven
While you pat dry the turkey legs, preheat your oven to 275 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. But do you cook the whole turkey at 325 or 350 degrees?
4. Rub Spice Mixtures
While preheating, you can rub spice mixtures on the turkey legs to add flavors (like you usually do when you roast chicken or grill BBQ). The turkey legs will absorb the flavors as it cooks.
5. Wrap in a Foil
After rubbing, get the aluminum foil (make sure it is large enough) and wrap the turkey legs. Seal the turkey legs tightly by crimping the edges.
When you’re done wrapping the turkey legs, place them on your baking dish or any oven-safe dish or pan.
6. Cook in the Oven
The cooking process will now begin at this point. Put the dish in the preheated oven. Cook the smoked turkey legs for around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Or until the turkey legs reach an internal temperature of at least 165-167 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take note – the cooking time will still depend on the size and how many turkey legs you’re cooking. You can always adjust. Also, we suggest using a food thermometer  to measure the internal temperature and tell when the turkey legs are done.
7. Rest Before Serving
When the smoked turkey legs are cooked, carefully remove them from your oven. Let them sit for a while, like 5 minutes, to cool before serving.
After 5 minutes, you can now remove the turkey legs from the aluminum foil and serve. But can you cook two whole turkeys at the same time?
How Do You Know If It’s Done?
You can tell that turkey legs are done when it turns juicy and golden brown. But to make sure, insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the legs to check its internal temperature.
You can also tell the turkey legs are done when the thermometer registers 165-167 degrees Fahrenheit. Learn how to cook frozen diced potatoes in the oven here.
Tips for Cooking Smoked Turkey Legs in the Oven
- Increase the temp of your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for the last 30 minutes of cooking if you want the skin to be crispier.
- If you want the smoked turkey legs to taste good and healthy, always use fresh ingredients.
- Make sure to rub off spices on the turkey legs before cooking them to achieve better flavor.
- You can save time by preparing the brine mixture in advance and keeping it in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.
- Check the internal temperature so you won’t undercook or overcook the turkey legs.
Are pre-smoked turkey legs fully cooked?
Yes, pre-smoked turkey legs are fully cooked. So you only need to reheat it and spice it up according to your liking. Actually, you can eat it cold, if you like. But how long can you keep fresh turkey in the fridge?
How do you keep a smoked turkey moist?
The best way to keep your smoked turkey moist is to brine (or marinate) it overnight. Brining the turkey legs involves submerging them in water and salt overnight.
You can add spices like paprika, onion, and garlic powder to enhance flavor.
Let’s Sum It Up
As you can see, cooking smoked turkey legs in the oven is very easy. You can enjoy juicy and savory turkey legs in just seven simple steps regardless of the time and occasion. But you must be attentive to the cooking time and the temperature so you won’t overcook the turkey legs.
Also, don’t forget to consider the helpful tips mentioned above for successful turkey leg preparation.
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