Barbeque Turkey Legs are a Crowd Favorite at Disney World

turkey-legsThose barbeque turkey legs at Disney are really good. We wanted to duplicate them so we experimented quite a bit to find the right brine and smoking conditions.

Follow these instructions and we think you’ll be very pleased with your turkey legs. By the way, you can also use this guide to barbeque turkey wings.

The key steps to ensure a very good cook is to make sure that you allow the skin to air dry. This should be done under refrigeration and, at the minimum, for one hour.

If you do this the skin will be crisp and not mushy from over saturation from the brine.

It’s also a good idea to check the temperature of the legs with an instant read thermometer to verify temperature before taking out of the smoker.

Ingredients for Brine

  • 1 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 Teaspoon dry sage
  • 1 Tablespoon juniper berries
  • 1/4 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 gallon water


  1. Bring the water to a boil
  2. Dissolve the sugar and salt in the water
  3. Put the sage, pepper flakes, peppercorns and juniper berries in a piece of cheesecloth and tie into a pouch
  4. Simmer the cheese cloth pouch for about an hour in the hot water
  5. Let the brine cool
  6. Submerge the turkey parts in the brine solution (put a weight on top to keep them submerged)
  7. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours
  8. Take the legs out of the brine, wash off and pat dry. Let the legs air dry under refrigeration for at least 2 hours. Rub the legs down with olive oil and season. You can season with simple salt and pepper or you can use a rub. There are several poultry rubs that make a tasty turkey legs.
  9. Prepare your smoker with lump charcoal and stabilize the temperature in the range between 230 to 250 degrees. It takes about 35 minutes per pound of turkey legs to cook to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
  10. As stated previously, apple or cherry wood are good smoking choices for turkey. You can also use hickory or oak for a heavier smoke flavor. I would avoid mesquite; it has a very strong flavor leaves a slightly bitter taste.
  11. You are going to need a good instant read meat thermometer to determine doneness of your turkey legs Be sure to check several locations and avoid touching bone.
  12. When done let the legs rest for 15 minutes before serving.Enjoy your barbeque turkey legs!

Return from Barbeque Turkey Legs page to Barbeque Turkey page
Return from Barbeque Turkey Legs page to Backyard Smoker Barbeque Chef home page