Spicy Smoked Pulled Turkey Legs Recipe


  • 6 turkey legs
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Rub Ingredients

For the rub, you’ll need 2 Tbsp. paprika, 1 Tbsp. pickling Salt (For this recipe I chose to use pickling salt, instead of Kosher. It has a finer grain, mixes well with the other ingredients of the rub, and during dusting it adhered better to the turkey legs). Add 1 Tbsp each chili powder, dried oregano, garlic powder and ground cumin. Then 2 tsp. cayenne pepper and 2- 3 tsp. fresh ground black pepper.

Vaunted Vinegar Sauce Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar (Nakano™ rice vinegar will give it a much sweeter taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey (reduce amount if you use Nakano™ rice vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper (or 1 tsp. of rub mixture)


  1. In a medium bowl, mix vinegar, honey, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Cover, leave at room temperature, and let set for at least 1 hour, so that flavours meld.
  3. Combine olive oil and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl and mix well.
  4. In another bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pull the skin of the turkey legs back to expose the meat, and then coat the meat with the oil and Worcestershire sauce. Do not remove the skin completely.
  6. Next, coat the meat with the rub mixture, making sure you cover the entire leg with the rub (this will use up about half the rub).
  7. Push the skin back over the meat.
  8. Place legs in a gallon Ziploc™ bag, refrigerate and let set for at least four hours, overnight is better.
  9. Approximately 45 minute to an hour prior to smoking, remove the turkey legs from the refrigerator, and let them warm up to room temperature.

Smoking Time

  1. Preheat your smoker to 210-225°F.
  2. Place legs in the smoker and apply smoke for the first 3 hours (I used apple).
  3. Smoke until they reach an internal temperature of 165°degrees F. The total cooking time will be approximately 4 – 5 hours.
  4. When the turkey legs are done, FTC them – wrap them in aluminum foil, then wrap in a dry towel, and place in a cooler. Before sealing the aluminum foil, add 1/4 cup of vaunted vinegar sauce.
  5. After two hours, remove from the cooler. Remove turkey legs from the foil, being sure to reserve all juices.
  6. When the turkey legs are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and discard.
  7. Next, begin pulling the meat off the bone. You may need a knife to shred the meat smaller. Any dry pieces of turkey should be shredded much finer, and mixed in well with the other meat.
  8. Place the pulled meat in a bowl and add any juices that you reserved.
  9. Mix in some of the vaunted vinegar, to taste. I suggest starting with 1/4 cup, then add 1 – 2 tablespoon at a time until you get the flavour you want.