How to Grill Turkey Legs: A Comprehensive Guide to Deliciousness

You’re in for a treat if you’ve never grilled turkey legs before because we’ll show you how to do it with moist, flavorful meat and crispy skin.

Ever craved the juicy, smoky goodness of a carnival-style turkey leg? Well, ditch the greasy fairgrounds and bring the magic home with this comprehensive guide to grilling turkey legs We’ll cover everything you need to know, from prepping the drumsticks to achieving that perfect crispy skin and juicy, flavorful meat

Prepping Your Turkey Legs for Grilling Glory

  • Brining: This crucial step involves soaking your drumsticks in a saltwater solution for 24-48 hours. Brining not only infuses the meat with extra moisture, preventing it from drying out on the grill, but also adds a depth of flavor and ensures the salt penetrates deep for maximum deliciousness. You can choose between wet brining (submerging the drumsticks in a saltwater bath) or dry brining (coating them with salt and refrigerating). Wet brining delivers the moistest results, while dry brining guarantees the most flavorful meat and crispy skin.

  • Seasoning: After brining and drying your turkey legs, it’s time to add some flavor For crispy skin, a dry rub is your best friend Mix salt, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and other spices to your liking. Alternatively, grab a pre-made dry rub. Before applying the rub, coat the legs with oil or butter for better adherence. If you prefer a wet rub, combine similar seasonings with oil, vinegar, or another liquid base. Let the legs marinate in the rub for at least an hour before grilling.

Grilling Techniques for Perfectly Cooked Turkey Legs

  • Preparing the Grill: Clean your grill grates with a moist cloth and apply a high-smoking point oil like canola or peanut oil to prevent sticking.

  • Lighting the Grill: Wipe off excess oil and light your grill. In the case of charcoal grills, allow the coals to burn for thirty minutes before moving them to one side and positioning a drip pan under the grill’s grates in the area devoid of coals. For gas grills, preheat half your grill to 350°F.

  • To achieve a beautiful sear, sear each side of the drumsticks for three minutes over hot coals or a lit portion of your gas grill.

  • Indirect Heat Grilling: Move the drumsticks to the unlit part of your gas grill or the side without coals in your charcoal grill This indirect heat method ensures the legs cook evenly and prevents them from burning on the outside while remaining raw inside,

  • Close the grill lid, then brush the drumsticks every 30 minutes with either your wet rub or a combination of dry rub and olive oil. Continue flipping and basting until a meat thermometer registers 165°F for the thickest part’s internal temperature.

  • Resting for Perfection: Remove the drumsticks from the grill when they reach 165°F, and then let them sit covered for five to ten minutes before serving. This makes it possible for the juices to redistribute, making the bite more flavorful and tender.

FAQs: Your Turkey Leg Grilling Questions Answered

  • The exact time required for grilling turkey legs varies depending on the temperature of the grill, the thickness of the drumsticks, and whether or not the meat was brined. An indirect heat grill set to 325° to 350°F will cook a brined medium-to-large turkey leg in 40 to 60 minutes. Remember, the USDA recommends an internal temperature of 165°F for safe consumption.

  • Is it necessary to wrap turkey legs in foil before grilling them? Doing so keeps the meat from sticking and from losing moisture, leaving the meat juicy? Wrapping too tightly, however, can prevent heat from circulating properly and result in uneven cooking. Additionally, remove the foil towards the end of cooking to achieve crispy skin.

  • How do I get crispy grilled turkey legs? For crispy skin, follow these tips:

    • Dry brine your drumsticks before grilling and avoid using a wet rub.
    • Pat the legs dry and coat them with oil or butter before applying a dry rub.
    • Sear the drumsticks over direct heat before grilling with indirect heat.
  • What’s the best way to reheat grilled turkey legs? Microwaving will dry out the meat. Instead, reheat them in the oven in a covered dish to retain moisture. Alternatively, reheat on the grill, coating them with high-smoking point oil and grilling uncovered for 20 minutes. Then, cover with foil and continue grilling until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Bonus: Exploring Turkey Leg Recipes

Now that you’re a grilling pro, explore these delicious turkey leg recipes:

  • Smoked Turkey Drumsticks: Take your grilling game to the next level with a smoker. This low-and-slow cooking method infuses the meat with a smoky flavor.

  • Slow Cooker Turkey Drumsticks: No grill? No problem! Your slow cooker can create amazing turkey legs.

  • Cranberry Slow-Cooked Turkey Drumsticks: Bring a taste of Thanksgiving to your table with this flavorful recipe.

Get Grilling and Enjoy!

With these tips and tricks, you’re ready to grill mouthwatering turkey legs that will impress your family and friends. So, fire up your grill, grab some drumsticks, and get ready to experience the magic of grilling at home!

Instructions for Perfectly-Grilled Turkey Drumsticks

After brining and seasoning your turkey drumsticks, it’s time to grill. You can use an electric, gas or charcoal grill. Many people prefer charcoal grills because the wood smoke adds more flavor, but gas grills are more user-friendly.

Regardless of the type of grill you have, follow these steps to grill your turkey legs to perfection:

  • To set up the grill, wipe the grill grates with a damp cloth. Grates should be coated with canola, peanut, or another high-smoke cooking oil after cleaning. If the grates are cleaned and oiled, the legs will not adhere to the grill.
  • Light the Grill: After removing any extra oil from the grates, light the grill. Once your charcoal grill is lit, allow it to burn for approximately thirty minutes, and then shift the hot coals to one side. Place a drip pan underneath the grates if there aren’t any coals there. Adjust one side of your gas grill’s temperature to 350°F.
  • Sear the Drumsticks: Place the turkey legs over hot coals or a lit area of your gas grill and sear each side of the drumsticks for three minutes.
  • Start grilling: When your turkey legs are seared, move them to the section of your charcoal grill that isn’t covered in coals or the section of your gas grill that isn’t lit. You can grill your drumsticks using indirect heat this way, which will help you avoid having turkey legs that are burnt on the outside but raw inside.
  • After 30 minutes, close the grill lid and bast the turkey drumsticks with your wet rub or a mixture of olive oil and dry rub. Maintain basting and rotating the drumsticks every 30 minutes until the internal temperature of the thickest portion of the meat reaches 165°F. You can verify the internal temperature with a meat thermometer.
  • Rest: After the drumsticks’ internal temperature reaches 165°F, take them off the grill and let them sit covered for five to ten minutes before eating.

Find Your Ideal Seasoning

After drying your wet brined turkey legs, you need to season them. A dry rub is your best choice if you want turkey legs with crispy skin. You can make a dry rub by mixing your favorite proportion of salt, brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and other spices. Alternatively, you can buy a pre-made dry rub. Before applying your dry rub, coat the legs with oil or butter. The oil or butter coating will help the dry rub adhere to the skin.

Although a wet rub contains many of the same seasonings as a dry rub, it also contains liquid bases like vinegar or oil. After applying your wet or dry rub, place the turkey legs in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the seasonings to seep in.

Turkey Legs On The Grill For Thanksgiving

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