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Get ready for carnival style turkey legs that you can make right at home!

These are easier to make at home than you think, but it takes time to make them the best they can be. However, mass producing these at the fair for thousands of hungry people requires short cuts that you may prefer to use at home instead. We will share with you a few different ways that you can make these turkey legs and they'll turn out delicious and moist every time! For our pasture-raised turkey legs we recommend using the brine method for the juiciest results. You can cut the brining time in half if you bake them as opposed to grilling them, and completely eliminate the brining time if you take the carnival short cut and boil your legs in the brine instead of soaking them. Enjoy your carnival style turkey legs all year long!!
John Henry's Turkey Drumsticks
1/2 Cup & 1 tsp
Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup
Onion Powder
2 Tbsp & 1 tsp
Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp & 1 tsp
Poultry Seasoning Blend
2 Tbsp, Chicken or Turkey
1 Gallon
Rancher Steak Rub or steak seasoning
2 tsp
2 tsp
Olive Oil or Honey
4-6 Tbsp
Brining & Grilling Method - 12 hours+
  • Combine 1/2 cup of salt, brown sugar, 2 Tbsp onion powder, 2 Tbsp garlic powder, poultry seasoning blend, and warm water into a large container with lid. Submerge the turkey legs so they are completely covered in brine, cover, and allow them to soak for about 12 hours. Rotate them occasionally to stir up the seasonings.
  • When ready, pre-heat your grill to 325 degrees F. 
  • In a smaller bowl, combine 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, steak rub and paprika for the dry rub. Remove the turkey legs from the brine and pat them dry. 
  • Drizzle the olive oil or honey over the turkey legs and sprinkle on the dry rub. Rub the mixtures to combine them together, coating the turkey legs. 
  • Grill over indirect heat for 45 minutes turning the legs frequently to cook evenly and encourage a sweet, crispy finish. 
  • Once the internal temperature of your legs reaches 155 degrees F, remove them from the grill and allow to rest. (The internal temp will continue to rise for the next 5-10 minutes even after removed from the heat. Removing at this point will encourage moisture.

Brining, Baking & Grilling Method - 6 hours+
  • Follow the first step to prepare your brine and submerge the turkey legs, only allowing them to soak for about 6 hours.
  • When ready, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F and apply your dry rub mixture.
  • Bake, covered, for about 40 minutes, rotating the legs halfway through, at 20 minutes. 
  • Uncover and bake for another 7-10 minutes until the skin has a nice golden finish. 

Carnival Boiling & Grilling Method - 45 minutes+
  • Follow the first step to prepare your brine and bring it to a medium boil in a large pot. 
  • Add the turkey legs and maintain a gentle boil for 30 minutes or until the turkey reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Pre-heat grill to medium-high and prepare your dry rub mixture. 
  • Coat the turkey legs in the dry-rub mixture and grill over medium heat for about 15 minutes, rotating occasionally for even cooking. 

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