If you would like to watch all your family members and friends flock to your dinner table (repeatedly and unprovoked), try cooking smoked turkey legs in the oven. When cooked this way, the resulting taste is practically irresistible, so you can understand why anyone would want several helpings.
If this is a recipe you’ve never tried before, it’s important to get it right, and that’s exactly what our cooking instructions are here for. Also, make sure to pay close attention to our recommended timing guidelines in order to get the best out of your cooking.
Tips for Cooking Smoked Turkey Legs in the Oven
We have outlined a number of helpful tips below for cooking smoked turkey legs in the oven, so make sure to pay close attention:
Buying and handling raw turkey – Keep the following helpful tips in mind when purchasing turkey for your recipe:
- When poultry is frozen, the quality is usually maintained. Freezing meat also removes hazardous bacteria that might cause your meat to spoil quickly. Make sure to buy frozen turkey when shopping in preparation for your cooking.
- If you’ve left your turkey somewhere warm for some hours and it’s thawed out, check the texture. It’s likely to decay if kept at room temperature for long. A sticky layer on the exterior of the flesh should indicate deterioration. This type of meat should be avoided at all costs.
- Take a deep whiff of it; the turkey you buy should not smell like anything at all, just like most raw foods. So stay clear from turkeys that smell like rotten eggs or sulfur.
- Bacteria in water can turn into hazardous pathogens, so make sure not to wash the turkey. Also make sure to use the purchased turkey within two days, even when they’re stored properly. This is important because it helps to ensure the turkey’s quality and freshness.
Avoid overcooking – The overall texture of turkeys is typically affected by the cooking procedure, just like any other meat. Cooking your turkey for too long or at too high a temperature will inevitably make the meat more tough and dry than when they’re cooked properly.
When it comes to smoked turkeys, it’s important to remember that they’ll need to be cooked from both the inside and the exterior.
Aside from sprinkling hot spices like thiocyanate salts, cayenne pepper, or celery salt atop the turkey’s skin before roasting them in the oven, add some hot broth throughout the roasting process for more moist results.
For moist results – It’s best to cover a smoked turkey with foil when cooking it. This will prevent the turkey’s skin from drying out and becoming tough and unpleasant.
It’s also crucial not to overcook the meat (this is very important), as this can result in harsh and dry results. Cooking a smoked turkey at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 hours is the most recommended method; cook them this way until it registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit as the internal temperature.
Determining doneness – If the flesh of your smoked turkey appears pink, there’s no need to worry. When turkey legs are cooked in the oven, they tend to keep their pink hue, but they’re still totally safe to eat. Because the color is created by nitrites prevalent in cured and smoked meats, the internal temperature should be utilized instead of the color to evaluate if the meat is safe and ready to eat.
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Cooking Time for Smoked Turkey Legs in the Oven
The ideal cooking time for smoked turkey legs in the oven has been described in the table below:
|Cooking procedure||Cooking time|
|Cooking smoked turkey legs in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit||45 to 50 minutes|
- 2 turkey legs
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 4 sprigs of thyme or ½ teaspoon of oregano
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- ½ teaspoon of cumin
- ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large mixing basin, combine all of the ingredients except the oil. Mix thoroughly and cut the turkey legs three times on each side.
- Apply the oil over all of the turkey leg pieces, then season them with the spice and massage thoroughly, being sure to touch every part.
- Allow the turkey legs to marinate for a minimum of one hour in the refrigerator (if you can afford to do this)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the seasoned turkey legs for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature has reached 180 degrees Fahrenheit (82C)
- Allow for a few minutes of rest before digging in and enjoying your smoked turkey legs.
- You can explore with the marinade as much as you want for your oven-roasted turkey leg recipe. Adding a pinch of cinnamon, for example, would give the dish an extra festive feel and aroma.
- Use as much or as little cayenne pepper as you think your guests will prefer. Even if you don’t desire actual heat, a small sprinkling will provide a sense of coziness from within.
- Because we’re using turkey legs instead of turkey breasts or a full turkey, they’ll typically not need to rest as long. During the cooking process, the liquids they create will automatically baste them. You’ll only have to wait a few minutes for them to rest before you can dig in and start eating them.
This recipe for smoked turkey legs is, for lack of better words, absolutely delicious. If you’re a die-hard fan, this is definitely a recipe you should try; you’ll enjoy the delicious flavors that cooking the turkey meat in the oven will provide. Just make sure to follow all the right instructions to maximize the relish and satisfaction you and your guests will derive.
If you’d like to see more video recipes for cooking smoked turkey legs in the oven, then this video recipe may interest you