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Turkey leg advise

 
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jbelson
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14 16 8:55 am    Post subject: Turkey leg advise Reply with quote

So I'm doing a fundraiser for my kids school and cooking probably 100 turkey legs to sell at our school fair. We get a sizeable crowd and food always goes over well.

I'm sourcing the turkey legs now (my wife is great at that stuff), but need some advise as far as the cook goes.

I've been experimenting on a couple legs here and there at home and haven't come up with ones that I really like yet. I've brined them and found it to be too salty. 2 different brining times both yielded the same results. Thinking of maybe just marinateing? any thoughts?

Also, since I'm cooking a lot, and cook times can be a little long I'm also looking for suggestions. I figure I can pre cook some and heat up at the event. Also start some cooking early, and do a batch while I'm there.
Thoughts or suggestions?

I can get about 20 on my traeger at a time.

Also, I hate the skin on the smoked leg. It's chewy and not appetising. Any suggestions on how to crispen it up? Should I try skinless legs?

How about any flavor ideas? I'll have probably 2 more test cooks before the event.

When I do them on my traeger they've been done in about 2 hours at 250 which seems pretty quick compared to the recipies that I've seen. Do I need a longer smoke with legs to get them more tender or juicy?

My reputation at school is riding on this so I don't wanna mess it up too bad.

Thanks for your help.
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Tim_Abrahamson
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14 16 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is how I do T-Legs.

I do brine 1/2 c salt, 1/4 c sugar, 1 tbsp mustard seed, 5 bay leaves, 6 cracked all spice pods, 2 tbsp pepper corns and 3 gal water. Simmer until down a quart and then cool with lots of Ice. (I brine overnight.)

it will not be too salty.

I cook in an offset stick burner... the key is rinse off your Turkey legs and DRY them well. Once dry a little evoo to make the rub stick and then they go on the heat.

When I do Turkey I cook them skin on at 350... the lower temps will make the skin rubbery so I avoid low and slow with these.

I cook to an internal temp of 170.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14 16 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you thought about buying cases of pre-smoked turkey legs and heating them on the smoker?
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castrovillecowboy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14 16 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jbelson,
I am with Tim on the high temp. I inject my turkey, legs or otherwise, so I don't brine - just my method. But I always sear up the outside on a hot grill. Once the skin is set, I smoke 'em for another couple of hours. I do T-wings the same way.

Your not talking about really thick meaty parts, so smoke penetration isn't a long process.
Again, JM2CW

Good luck
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jbelson
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15 16 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm definately a for the higher cook temp and quicker cook. But mine were cooking pretty quick at 250 I felt. What kinds of temp and cook times you talking about?
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15 16 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IF you have a turkey fryer setup....The best legs I have ever done was to brine in a mild brine similar to Tim's , rub and smoke them, hot hold, then when ordered, deep fry for 2 min or so just to crisp the skin back up! To die for!! The deep frying will not only crisp the skin, but add moisture.
Make some fries in the oil after.... Wink Very Happy
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castrovillecowboy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15 16 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbelson wrote:
I'm definately a for the higher cook temp and quicker cook. But mine were cooking pretty quick at 250 I felt. What kinds of temp and cook times you talking about?


For me, about 15 min of high, if that, I sear 'em really well and then smoke for 2 hours at about 225-250. You get a decent ring but internal has that "done" grayish colour and no one complains the leg is raw - confusing a really deep smokering for rare.

My first that I just smoked for hours, I had to probe them to prove they were done. To much pink from the smoke for friends that didn't know better.
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castrovillecowboy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15 16 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbelson wrote:
I'm definately a for the higher cook temp and quicker cook. But mine were cooking pretty quick at 250 I felt. What kinds of temp and cook times you talking about?


For me, about 15 min of high, if that, I sear 'em really well and then smoke for 2 hours at about 225-250. You get a decent ring but internal has that "done" grayish colour and no one complains the leg is raw - confusing a really deep smokering for rare.

My first that I just smoked for hours, I had to probe them to prove they were done. To much pink from the smoke for friends that didn't know better.

Liking Mr Tony' s idea with the fryer though.
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jbelson
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16 16 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the fryer idea too.

I think my problem before was that I didn't rinse the brine off the legs.

May try putting legs on hot gas grill to get skins crispy before smoke too.
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jbelson
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PostPosted: Tue May 10 16 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update:
Still have 2 weeks till the fundraiser, but have been test cooking some legs.

My best results so far have been marinating them over night in a criollo mojo marinade (citrus and garlic mixture), then cooking at 325 for about an hour. They came out flavorful and juicy. I used some sweet baby rays BBQ sauce on one of them, brushed on 20 mins before they were done, and found it to be a great compliment. Will experiment with different rub this week, but feeling confident that they will be a hit.
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biker.chef
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PostPosted: Mon May 16 16 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds great. I hope you raise lots of $$$

I've never heard of a Mojo Criollo Marinade.
Is there a brand you use or is this from scratch
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jbelson
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PostPosted: Tue May 17 16 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using Goya brand. Typically found in the latin food section of the market.

It's my kind of flavor profile, garlic and peppery. I'm also gonna do a rub before smoking to give the skin some pop, a montreal chicken rub. I had used sweet baby rays honey bbq sauce which really complimented nicely, but just bought a bunch of regular by mistake, so I'll probably add some honey to it at home.
The school wants to price them at $5 because someone else is doing a sandwich at a similar price point with slaw and they think the value isn't there for just one item like a leg. But these things are huge. Just picked them up and they're like a fore arm. so meaty.
I got 90 lbs, about 2lbs. per leg, so maybe 50-60. I'm sure they'll sell out quick.
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