Smoked Turkey Legs

The first time I picked up a smoked turkey leg was at a Renaissance Faire outside of Baltimore, Maryland. The turkey had these great ham-like texture and flavor that I could not get enough of. And I thought it was cool to walk around with a huge turkey leg like a good heathen might do. At every Renaissance Faire I’ve ever been to, the smoked turkey leg booth is always the first place I stop.

Smoked Turkey Legs

Making smoked turkey legs at home is easy. I found fresh legs in the poultry section of our grocery store, but you might have to look into the frozen section if you can’t find them fresh. I found super duper big turkey legs, and I found more manageable ones (which is what I went with). Either will do just fine, just keep in mind that the really big ones take more space on your smoker.

I made my smoked turkey legs with the skin on. I think it keeps the legs a bit more moist during the smoking process. The skin does not get super crispy (you’re not smoking them at a high temperature) so feel to remove it before or even after cooking if you wish.

Any leftover turkey leg meat I had went into a delicious smoked turkey noodle soup. Yum!

Smoked Turkey Legs

The first time I picked up a smoked turkey leg was at a Renaissance Faire outside of Baltimore, Maryland. The turkey had these great ham-like texture and flavor that I could not get enough of.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 5 hours
Servings 6 legs
Calories 1046kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 gallons water divided
  • 4 cups ice
  • 1 cup your favorite rub I used Albukirky Seasoning's Red Chile Rub
  • 1/2 cup pink curing salt
  • 1/2 cup Sugar in the Raw or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 6 turkey legs skin removed, if desired

Instructions

  • Place 1 gallon of water into a large stockpot over high heat. Add the rub, curing salt, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves and liquid smoke. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the salt. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Add the remaining water and the ice. Add the turkey legs. If the legs are not submerged cover them with a heavy plate or pot lid to keep them under the water. Transfer to the fridge overnight.
  • Remove the pot from the fridge and drain. Rinse the turkey legs with cold water, removing any pieces of peppercorns or other spices that may be stuck. Pat dry.
  • Fire up your smoker for 250 F. I used hickory but you can use whatever your favorite wood is.
  • Add legs to the smoker and smoke for 4-5 hours or until the meat reaches 165 F as measured in the thickest parts of the legs.
  • Remove and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 1046kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 133g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 481mg | Sodium: 561mg | Potassium: 1876mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 31IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 12mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Fiery Mushroom Burgers

“Absolutely fantastic”. We both agree, these fiery mushroom burgers were absolutely fantastic. The flavor of the mushrooms is so savory, deep, fantastic…. all with just the right amount of spiciness. Originally, the recipe for the mushrooms (from a 2021 issue of Louisiana Kitchen and Culture magazine, a long-time favorite of mine) was meant as a topping for steak. But I immediately thought of it on burgers. And they definitely did not disappoint.

Fiery Mushroom Burgers

This recipe is one of those that goes into my ‘go-to’ folder of keepers. Destined to be made again and again. These fiery mushroom burgers hit the spot. I don’t ever see myself even tweaking the recipe, changing this or that. Nope. This is it right here. And any time I need mushrooms (and boy would these be great on Salisbury steak), I’m making these.

Also try my blue cheese burgers with caramelized onions.

Fiery Mushroom Burgers

This recipe is one of those that goes into my 'go-to' folder of keepers. Destined to be made again and again.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 486kcal

Ingredients

For the fiery mushrooms

  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy saice
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 small jalapeno stemmed, sliced then
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms sliced thin. Any mushroom will do, I prefer mini portabellas
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic minced

For the burgers

  • 4 burger patties
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns

Instructions

For the fiery mushrooms

  • In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, fish sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar until the brown sugar has dissolved.
  • Stir in the jalapeno slices.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms. Saute 8-10 minutes or until they have released their liquid.
  • Increase the heat to high. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms turn golden brown, 5-7 minutes.
  • increate heat to high, add garlic and cook stirring, until mushrooms golden brown 5-7 more

For the burgers

  • Season the burger patties with salt and pepper and cook as desired.
  • Top with Swiss cheese.
  • Toast the buns as desired.
  • Place cooked patties on the buns. Top with plenty of fiery mushrooms and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 486kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 456mg | Potassium: 754mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 311IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 226mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Peel and Eat Grilled Shrimp

Talk about just up-and-disappearing, these peel and eat grilled shrimp were so dang good they didn’t stick around long enough to even cool off. The spice mixture that coats the shrimp is spot-on, with hints of sweetness and a warm earthiness. Seems odd, perhaps, but they were fantastic. So fantastic that I made them two nights in a row.

Peel and Eat Grilled Shrimp

My motto has always been: The messier the dish, the tastier it is. Well, maybe that’s part of why I loved these peel and eat grill shrimp so much. They are messy. Very messy. I tried them once with shell-on (but deveined) shrimp and once using peeled (but still tail-on) shrimp. Both were fantastic, but I preferred the shell-on shrimp. They’re messier. You get to peel them. And you get to lick your fingers even more it seems.

Also try my marinated grilled shrimp.

Peel and Eat Grilled Shrimp

My motto has always been: The messier the dish, the tastier it is. Well, maybe that's part of why I loved these peel and eat grill shrimp so much.
Course Appetizer or Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 247kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup paprika used smoked paprika if cooking indoors to add that 'just grilled' flavor
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds large shrimp 20-24 count, deveined, shell on if desired
  • 1/2 cup green onion sliced thin

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill for high-heat direct cooking. You can use skewers, a grill pan, griddle or cook the shrimp directly on the grates. Alternatively, you can cook the shrimp in a large skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat.
  • Whisk together the paprika, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, garlic, vegetable oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Add the shrimp and use spatula to turn and coat well. I actually prefer to use my hands to make sure that the shrimp get fully coated, but the paprika does make your fingers turn red. It just dawned on my that food-safe gloves would've been a smart idea!
  • Transfer the shrimp to the grill. Skewer first if using skewers. Make sure that the shrimp lay flat on the grill and do not overlap. If cooking indoors, add a splash of oil to the skillet before adding the shrimp, also keeping them in one layer. You might have to cook them in batches so they don't overlap.
  • Cook for 2 minutes per side, flipping once.
  • Transfer shrimp to a serving platter or bowl and toss with the green onion before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 381mg | Sodium: 1998mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1079IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 251mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional values are approximate.