How do you cook already smoked turkey legs? When it comes to making delicious dishes without spending too much time in the kitchen, nothing beats smoked turkey legs! Theyre a great addition to any family meal or holiday feast and can be cooked up in no time at all. If youve ever wondered how to cook already-smoked turkey legs, then this post is for you.
Well walk through the few simple steps needed to bring out the natural flavor of these tasty morsels and have them ready for your table in no time.
So grab those turkey legs from your smoker or grocery store, heat up some oil or butter, and follow along as we show you how easy it is to transform these pre-cooked treats into a savory delight youll love!
Keep on reading for how do you cook already smoked turkey legs.
Fresh Turkey Legs vs Smoked Turkey Legs: What are the Differences?
Before going to answer how do you cook already smoked turkey legs, check out the difference of the fresh and the store-bought ones.
For an unparalleled flavor, smoked turkey legs are the way to go. Cooked in a smoker designed for meats such as beef and pork, smoked turkey legs boast an aroma that you simply wont find with fresh ones.
Youll also notice the difference in color - pre-smoked turkey legs will be darker than their uncooked counterparts. And yes, this extra step does make them slightly more expensive; however its well worth it for that distinctive taste!
To avoid food poisoning, it is essential to cook fresh turkey legs thoroughly before consumption. These meals can contain potentially hazardous bacteria that may be detrimental if not cooked through entirely.
Do I Have to Cook Store-bought Smoked Turkey Legs?
Purchasing pre-smoked turkey legs from the store is a convenient way to enjoy this dish, as they are already cooked and only need reheating.
However, if not done carefully during reheating, these turkey legs can become dry or rubbery. Therefore, its important to warm them thoroughly while still keeping them juicy and tender!
Keep on reading for how do you cook already smoked turkey legs.
How To Select Smoked Turkey Legs?
#1 - When youre shopping in person, its easy to take a peek at the sell by date on the package. However, this may not be possible if you opt for online purchasing - lucky for us though, most online retailers sell these products frozen! This is why checking expiration dates prior isnt such an issue when buying from virtual stores.
Always keep in mind that sell by dates are solely there to inform the retailers of how long a product has been available. This label can be used as a reference, however it isnt an accurate marker for freshness.
In this specific case, checking the date will give you an understanding of when the turkey legs were smoked. If these have sat on store shelves for too extended of a period, their flavor wont be nearly as alluring anymore.
This is important to notice before you enter how do you cook already smoked turkey legs.
#2 - The turkey legs you choose should be full and have plenty of meat along the bone. Otherwise, it should range from bronze to an intense mahogany hue with some sheen; this is evidence that your desired leg still contains moisture.
As you browse the shelves, pay attention to the prices. Pre-smoked turkeys will be more expensive than fresh ones; however, it wouldnt be wise to opt for only whats most affordable as this might reflect in its quality and flavor.
#3 - Ultimately, examine the ingredients list before doing or learning how do you cook already smoked turkey legs. It should be composed of a few items you are familiar with - if theres an abundance of unknown words, that signals that the product is laden with preservatives, ultimately making it taste artificial.
As salt and sodium nitrate are natural ingredients, it is expected to be listed on the packaging. However, if you find that the sodium content of a product is too high, then these turkey legs might have an excessive salty flavor in your opinion-so keep this in mind when perusing through its constituents!
How do You Cook Already Smoked Turkey Legs On the Grill?
- Achieve a delicious, smoky flavor with your smoked turkey legs by warming them up on the grill or smoker! Start off by preheating to medium heat or 350 degrees if using a pellet smoker. Using a silicone brush, lightly coat each leg in neutral cooking oil for extra richness of taste.
- When ready, place directly onto the cooking grate and let it cook until attaining an internal temperature of 160°F - flipping every few minutes to prevent burning. This process should only require 15-20 minutes total!
- During the final moments of cooking, coat your turkey legs with a tangy Kansas City-style barbecue sauce for an indulgent balance between sweetness and smokiness.
- To complete your succulent creation, wrap them in foil once taken off heat to give the sauce time to seep into the meat - let sit for five minutes before serving!
- Allow the turkey legs to sit for 5 minutes, then unwrap and serve with a delicious side of sauce. Thats the first way of how do you cook already smoked turkey legs.
How Can I Cook Pre-Smoked Turkey Legs In the Oven?
Dont want to bother with grilling? Dont worry about how do you cook already smoked turkey legs with oven! The oven is an easy, great alternative. All you need are some turkey legs and a good supply of aluminum foil.
- First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees while getting your ingredients ready - thats when you set those turkey legs on one long piece of foil then sprinkle them with water or chicken stock before wrapping it all up tight in another sheet of sturdy aluminum foil if there isnt enough material for a complete seal initially. Ready? Lets go!
- Preheat your oven and place the package of turkey legs on a baking sheet or roasting pan.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
- To achieve delicious flavor, brush your favorite sauce over them in the last 5-10 minutes before cooking is complete. Once done, allow the turkey to rest for about 5 minutes then serve up!
In the Air Fryer, How do You Cook Already Smoked Turkey Legs?
If you need a snack in a jiffy, the air fryer is here to help with how do you cook already smoked turkey legs.
- Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees and carefully place your smoked turkey legs within its basket before cooking them for 10 minutes - dont forget to turn them around halfway!
- Once those tasty treats reach an internal temperature of 160°F, they are good-to-go without any resting time required.
Feel free to add sauce if thats what youre craving then get ready for an enjoyable bite as each bit will be steaming hot - just remember not too dig in straight away - wait a few moments first!
In the Slow Cooker, How Can I Cook Already Smoked Turkey Legs?
While this technique when it comes to how do you cook already smoked turkey legs - takes the most time and doesnt offer much in terms of flavor, it is a surefire way to ensure that your turkey legs remain moist.
- To begin, place the turkey legs into your slow cooker and pour enough chicken stock or other liquids such as beer, apple juice, cider or plain water to cover them completely.
- Close the lid tightly before setting on low heat for 45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted into its thickest part; be mindful not to touch any bones during testing!
How to Know My Smoked Turkey Legs are Done Cooked?
The best way to ensure that your smoked turkey legs are fully cooked is by using a meat thermometer. When inserted into the thickest part of the leg, it should read at least 160°F for doneness.
If you dont own one, then look for signs of how done it is - if the juices run clear and there is no pink near the bone, youll know its finished cooking.
Pro Tips to Cook Already Smoked Turkey Legs
- Always preheat your oven or air fryer before inserting the turkey legs.
- For extra flavor and juiciness, brush some oil or butter over the smoked turkey leg before cooking!
- Baste the legs with your favorite sauce during their last few minutes of cooking for added flavor.
- Make sure to rest the turkey legs for 5-10 minutes after cooking before serving.
- Use an instant-read thermometer for the most accurate reading of how done your turkey legs are!
Thats all for the question: how do you cook already smoked turkey legs. Wrapping this up with a quick FAQs section.
Check out for another turkey cooking method with convection oven.
FAQs for Cooking Already Smoked Turkey Legs
How long do I need to cook smoked turkey legs?
Smoking times vary from grill to grill. I use a Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill, and it takes me about 120 minutes to completely cook. In the end, you want to check the internal temperature and make sure an instant read thermometer registers to 165°F.
How should pre-smoked turkey legs be prepared?
It only takes a few minutes to grill pre-smoked turkey legs on medium heat with a light olive oil coating until the thickest part of the leg reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F. Additionally, smoked turkey legs can be prepared in the oven, air fryer, or slow cooker.
What is the best way to cook pre smoked turkey legs in the oven?
A sheet of aluminum foil big enough to wrap around the turkey legs should be placed on top of them. Add a little water or chicken broth, then tightly wrap the foil around the legs. Place in the preheated oven on a baking sheet or in a dish that is oven-safe. 30 minutes or until heated through in the oven
How long to cook smoked turkey legs?
Cook times may differ depending on the grill type. For my grill, it takes me around 120 minutes to finish grilling. When you are done, remember to always use an instant read thermometer and be sure that the internal temperature has reached 165°F before serving!
Can smoked turkey legs be overcooked?
At 250 degrees Fahrenheit, it will take 2 to 3 hours to smoke a turkey leg. Using a probe thermometer, such as the one on a Traeger, is the best way to ensure that you dont overcook your food. When the internal temperature of the turkey leg reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, as determined by your Traeger probe, the bird is ready to eat.
Before cooking, should I wash the smoked turkey?
As a result, on Thanksgiving Day you wont need to wash your turkey but you will need a food thermometer. To ensure that the turkey is free of bacteria that can cause illness, remember to check the temperature in the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh, and the wing.
How do you reheat store bought smoked turkey legs?
The best oven temperature for reheating smoked turkey legs is 325 degrees. This is what? The turkey legs should be heated through for about 15-20 minutes after being placed on a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with foil. Enjoy your mouthwatering, hot meal!
Why is the cooked turkey meat still pink?
Smoked meat has a distinct blush color, even when correctly cooked. Typically it will feature a pinkish outer layer and a deeper reddish-pink center. When the internal temperature reaches 165°F or more, then you can confidently enjoy your meal!
Is it good for my children to eat store-bought smoked turkey legs?
Yes, as long as the turkey legs have been cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F. Store-bought smoked turkey legs should be labeled with how they were prepared and how many minutes they need to cook for in order to achieve a safe temperature according to USDA guidelines.
When using any store-bought product, it is always best to double-check the label and use a food thermometer to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly.
Is it good for health if we consume pre-smoked turkey legs?
Yes, pre-smoked turkey legs are a great source of protein and can be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet. However, pre-smoked products should always be cooked to 165°F for food safety reasons before consuming.
Why should we eat turkey legs instead of pork legs?
Turkey legs are lower in fat and calories when compared to pork legs, making them a healthier choice for those looking to maintain a balanced diet. Turkey is also very rich in Vitamin B3, which helps convert food into energy and plays an important role in our metabolism.
Should we rinse pre-smoked turkey legs before cooking?
No, its not necessary to rinse pre-smoked turkey legs before cooking. The process of smoking and curing the meat eliminates any bacteria that might be present, so there is no need for additional cleaning or rinsing.
Now that you know how do you cook already smoked turkey legs, its time to get into the kitchen and show your holiday guests what youre made of. The best part about cooking already smoked turkey legs is that they require very little effort on your part.
Simply follow the instructions above and enjoy a delicious Christmas feast with your friends and family. And if you need any help along the way, be sure to visit our website at thebluestove.com for stunning cooking and baking recipes. With our help, youll be serving up mouth-watering dishes in no time!
I also wrote a blog about the timing for a spatchcock turkey right here.