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Buttery Maple Glazed Smoked Turkey Legs

Here's my go to recipe for smoky, slightly sweet and savory turkey legs that will bring out the carnivore in just about anyone.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine Barbecue, Hot Smoking
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 40 minutes


  • 4-6 each turkey legs
  • 1 gallon Basic brine mixture ((recipe below))
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise ((I recommend Duke's but use your favorite))
  • 1/2 cup Jeff's original rub
  • 1 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 stick Butter (melted)


Step 1: Wet Brine

  • Make a brine mixture using 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of coarse kosher salt and 1 cup of brown sugar (light or dark).
  • Place the turkey legs in a plastic or glass container and pour the brine mixture over them to cover. Chill in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours.
  • Rinse turkey legs when they are finished brining.

Step 2: Seasoning

  • Make together 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1/4 cup of rub.
  • Apply mixture to all of the turkey legs getting it under the skin wherever possible.

Step 3: Smoke Time

  • Set up smoker for cooking at 225-250 degrees F using indirect heat.
  • Place turkey legs on smoker grate to cook.

Step 4: Glazing

  • When the turkey reaches about 160 degrees F, glaze the turkey with a mixture of 1 cup maple syrup, 1 stick of butter and 1/4 cup Jeff's origiinal rub.
  • Glaze again in about 15 minutes.

Step 5: Finish and Serve

  • When the turkey reaches 180 degrees in the thickest part, it is finished and can be removed from the heat.
  • Serve immediately.


For pellet smokers, you will most definitely get more smoke at lower temperatures and less smoke as you crank up the heat. Keep the heat low in pellet smokers for the best smoke flavor.
Turkey skin can benefit from cooking at temperatures of 250 to 275°F if your smoker is capable of higher temperatures. This will cut the time down to 1 to 1.5 hours.
To crank up the heat on a pellet smoker, cook the legs for 1 hour at very low heat to get that good smoke flavor then crank up the heat to finish.