Renaissance Fair Turkey Leg: A Culinary Journey Through Time

There aren’t many foods that divide people as much as turkey legs; you either love them or hate them. On one extreme of the spectrum, its devoted fans can’t get enough of the portable, heavily salted food that comes in large portions. However, those who despise it are skilled at disparaging it, pointing out its enormous, frequently hideous appearance as well as the incredible quantities of fat, calories, and who knows what else you’re consuming in one sitting. Haters gonna hate, right?.

The image of one has probably been ingrained in your memory for eternity, regardless of whether you have attempted one or were just a bystander. You just cant unsee the thing. The turkey leg has its place in many amusement parks, county fairs, and festivals across the country. Every year on National Turkey Lovers Day, its ardent supporters gather to celebrate the product (well, all turkey products really). On paper, it’s a snack made primarily of protein from the aforementioned animal, or a meal because, let’s be honest, it’s huge. So why does the bird receive so much heat? Come along on this fattening, enjoyable, and fair adventure with us! This is the untold truth of the turkey leg.

The Renaissance Fair Turkey Leg: A Culinary Tradition

The iconic Renaissance Fair turkey leg, a colossal, golden-brown shank, is a staple at festivals and fairs across the country. But what makes this dish so popular? Beyond its sheer size and novelty, the Renaissance Fair turkey leg boasts a unique flavor and texture that sets it apart from ordinary poultry.

Unveiling the Secrets of the Renaissance Fair Turkey Leg

The secret to the Renaissance Fair turkey leg’s allure lies in its preparation, a process steeped in history and culinary ingenuity Let’s delve into the steps that transform a humble turkey leg into a culinary masterpiece:

1 Wet-Curing: A Journey Through Flavor and Texture

The journey begins with a wet-curing process, immersing the turkey legs in a saltwater solution. This step not only seasons the meat but also ensures it stays moist during cooking. The high concentration of salt in the cure draws out moisture while breaking down muscle protein, resulting in a remarkably smooth and “hammy” texture.

2. Smoking: Infusing Flavor and Aroma

After curing, the turkey legs embark on a smoky adventure. Smoking not only imparts a signature aroma and depth of flavor but also creates a distinctive “smoke ring” just below the surface. This ring, formed by the reaction between nitric oxide and myoglobin, enhances the ham-like quality and adds a visually appealing golden-pink hue.

3. Baking: The Final Touch

The smoked turkey legs, now infused with flavor and aroma, are transported to the fair, where they are baked to perfection. This final step ensures the meat is cooked through while maintaining its juicy tenderness.

The Renaissance Fair Turkey Leg: More Than Just a Meal

The Renaissance Fair turkey leg is more than just a delicious treat; it’s an experience. From its colossal size to its unique flavor and preparation, the turkey leg embodies the spirit of the Renaissance Fair, transporting diners to a bygone era of merriment and culinary adventure.

A Culinary Legacy: From Renaissance Fairs to Your Kitchen

While the Renaissance Fair turkey leg may seem like a distant culinary experience, you can recreate the magic in your own kitchen. With a little patience and the right ingredients, you can savor the taste of the Renaissance Fair in the comfort of your home.

Renaissance Festival Turkey Legs Recipe: A Culinary Adventure Awaits

To embark on your own culinary journey, follow this Renaissance Festival Turkey Legs recipe:


  • 4 turkey legs (small to medium size)
  • 4 tablespoons barbecue seasoning (chicken blend)
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce


  1. Pat the turkey legs dry and remove the skin if desired.
  2. Combine 3 tablespoons of barbecue seasoning, vinegar, and water in a pan or bag. Marinate the turkey legs for 6 hours, turning once.
  3. Drain off half the liquid and lightly salt the legs with the remaining barbecue seasoning.
  4. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 40 minutes, turning the legs over at the 20-minute mark.
  5. Preheat your grill and transfer the turkey legs once the baking time is complete.
  6. Brush on the barbecue sauce during the last 7 minutes of grilling, turning the legs to coat both sides.
  7. Cook until the turkey legs reach a desirable brown color.

Renaissance Fair Turkey Leg: A Culinary Masterpiece

With its unique flavor, texture, and historical significance, the Renaissance Fair turkey leg is a culinary masterpiece that continues to captivate food lovers. Whether you’re enjoying it at a festival or recreating it in your kitchen, the Renaissance Fair turkey leg offers a delicious journey through time and taste.

Interested in celebrating your love of turkey legs with merchandise? You’re in luck

Fanatical carnivores rejoice! The loyal following of the turkey leg has spawned a slew of poultry themed merchandise and it is of no surprise that the Disney corporation was the first to get in on this money grabbing gimmick. It all started in 2010 when they began selling playful merchandise — including hats, pins, and t-shirts — that featured a cartoon-like of the snack along with the slogan “Nice & Juicy.” Want to envelop your car in the heavenly aromas of smoked fat and sodium? They even went as far as selling turkey leg air fresheners. Too far? We think not.

This inspired many other fashionistas to hop on board. All over Etsy and other small business-forward sites you can find the good stuff emblazoned on a shirt — including “I am just here for the turkey legs” and a delightful spin on a workout shirt saying “Its leg day.”

Disney parks sell millions each and every year

Theme parks seem like the perfect locale to be ingesting something that contains 1,093 calories, 15 grams of saturated fat, 54 grams of fat, and over 5,000 milligrams of sodium. How else would you replenish the body after the thousands of steps you are putting in each day during your vacation? According to Delish, great minds think alike and more than two million turkey legs are sold each year at Disney Worlds four theme parks and Disneylands two theme parks.

If you do the math, that is a staggering amount of calories that could be attributed back to the concession stand favorite. The secret behind its success? Disney actually does things a little differently than your standard smoked turkey. Similar to a wet cured ham, the turkey legs served at Disney Parks are injected with a special curing solution containing salt and sugar before it is smoked. This accounts for that pink color you may have noticed and a similar flavor profile to ham. Walt Disney would be oh so proud.

Festival-Style Smoked Turkey Legs


Did medieval times ever serve turkey legs?

Sorry to say, but no, our ancestors were absolutely not chowing down on a drumstick full of turkey meat. Nevertheless, these Medieval celebrations are the first time the people got their grubby hands on the now infamous food.

What is the festival with mead and turkey legs?

As regulars now, it’s that time of year when people take in that annual celebration of turkey legs, mead, and other Elizabethan-era stuff known as the Texas Renaissance Festival, starting this weekend. Now in its 48th year, the festival will be loaded with nostalgia.

Is smoked turkey leg healthy?

Eating smoked turkey can help you meet your daily goals for protein, which your body requires for muscle development, hormone production and energy, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Smoked turkey isn’t particularly high in any other vitamins or minerals, besides sodium, per the USDA.

How to cook a turkey leg for a Renaissance Festival?

To cook a turkey leg for a Renaissance festival, you will need: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Rinse the turkey leg and pat it dry. 3. Rub the turkey leg with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. 4. Place the turkey leg in a roasting pan and pour the chicken broth over it.

Is the Ohio Renaissance Festival home to the largest turkey legs?

According to Dayton Daily News, the Ohio Renaissance Festival may be home to the largest turkey legs out of any such festival of its kind in the United States. The festival’s food and beverage director, Chris Cavender, claims he won’t even entertain the thought of anything under 2 pounds when sourcing for the event.

How much does a turkey leg cost at a Renaissance Festival?

A: The price of a turkey leg at a Renaissance festival can vary depending on the festival, but it typically costs between $10 and $15. Q: Where can I find turkey legs at a Renaissance festival?

Are turkey legs a mainstay at Renaissance Pleasure Faire?

But turkey legs have always been a mainstay. Turkey legs the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. When the former turkey-leg vendor bowed out of the festival, the Rinaldos stepped in. Now they’re the only ones serving the iconic treat.

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