Smokey Spiced Grilled Turkey Legs - Carolina Country

Smokey Spiced Grilled Turkey Legs Grilling for Thanksgiving? You bet!

5.0/5 rating (3 votes)
Smokey Spiced Grilled Turkey Legs

Tired of ho-hum turkey? We do love to grill across North Carolina year-round, so have some fun and throw turkey legs on yours this Thanksgiving. Great for tailgating, too!


  • 5 or 6 medium turkey legs
  • 1½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup butter


  1. Combine all marinade ingredients. Place turkey legs into large container with lid. Pour marinade over legs, cover and shake to coat. Refrigerate (up to 2 days), shaking periodically to coat.

  2. To grill: Preheat grill to high heat. Oil grates and place legs onto grill. Sear on all sides several minutes, turning to get good grill marks. Reduce heat to low or move coals to sides (for indirect heat) and continue cooking, covered, for about 50–60 minutes. Turn every few minutes to prevent burning. 

  3. Melt butter in honey. Baste legs, turning often, the last few minutes of cooking. Remove legs when temperature reaches 165 degrees by thermometer.

  4. Place legs onto serving tray and pour remaining baste over legs.

Recipe courtesy of

Wendy Perry, a culinary adventurist specializing in N.C.-made food products and small N.C. farms

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5.0/5 rating (3 votes)

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Comments (4)

  • This recipe sounds wonderful but, I don’t have a grill. Is there a possibility Carolina Country will include cooking instructions for use of a grill and for conventional ovens in upcoming recipes? If you could send directions for this recipe when using an oven, I will be so appreciative.

    Judy Robinson |
    October 23, 2019 |

    • Hey Judy!
      I'm excited that you want to try our recipe. Although I haven't actually made them in my oven, you should be able to do that successfully. Here is what I recommend...

      Follow recipe as posted.
      Preheat oven to 375.
      I would recommend putting a (sprayed) baking rack onto your baking pan so the bottom side of the legs will roast nicely too. And put some water (or even apple cider or juice) in the pan... that will help keep them moist while roasting, and you can then use the flavorful drippings to make the BEST gravy!
      I always suggest using a thermometer to check temps, especially with poultry and pork. Without one, folks tend to overcook just to "make sure" it's done, which usually results in overdone, dried out poultry. It's vital to remove at preferred temp for the most perfectly cooked meat that safe, but not overcooked... and will be nice and moist.
      Cook the legs to 165. Remove and let cool just a little. Remember that as meats rest, they will continue to rise in temp just a bit.

      If you do not have a rack to put in baking pan, you can crumple up some foil to lay the legs on to accomplish the same thing. Just add the water or juice and the drippings will flow right down under the foil while cooking.
      Just baste several times while roasting.
      It is difficult to give you a precise time as not all legs will be the same size... so do get a thermometer if you don't have one. They should take about 1:15 give or take. And will cook a bit faster and more even if at room temp for about 30 minutes before putting into your preheated oven.

      Due to limited page space, it's not always possible to include oven instructions for grilled recipes. But please do come here if ever others like this one where I can help you with that! I'll be glad to do that here.

      wendy perry |
      October 24, 2019 |

      • Wendy, I do believe your response is the quickest I have ever received to a request. Thank you so much for the adaptions to the Smokey Spiced Grilled Turkey Legs recipe. I look forward to preparing them soon.

        Judy Robinson |
        October 25, 2019 |

        • Glad to help! Let me know how they turned out...

          wendy perry |
          October 25, 2019 |

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