Smoked Turkey Legs With Malcom Reed

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What if you could bring the experience of smoked turkey legs from festivals, fairs, and food trucks right to your own backyard?

Follow this recipe for delicious smoked BBQ turkey legs that will exceed the flavor of those food truck turkey legs and bring the family together for an eating experience like none other.

In the video above, Malcom Reed of the world-famous BBQ brand HowToBBQRight shares his proven method for cooking a smoker-load of turkey legs on a pellet grill.

Credits: The screenshots in this post were taken from the video above by HowToBBQRight. We've outlined the process in writing for easy reference and to help make this recipe a success on your first try.

For this cook, Malcom brines the turkey legs then seasons them with Killer Hogs The AP Seasoning and Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub. The only supplies needed in addition to the turkey and rubs are a few common ingredients and tools plus a good smoker or pellet grill.

All of these supplies are available in our specialty barbecue supply store and our online store. For more information on any of these products, you can visit our website using the links below.



7 Steps for Malcom Reed's Smoked Turkey Legs

Below is a simple outline of the video with the key steps needed to give you a platter full of juicy, flavorful BBQ smoked turkey legs.

Malcom Reed's Smoked Turkey Legs

Prep Time 6 hrs
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

Ingredients

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Killer Hogs The AP Seasoning
  • Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub
  • Killer Hogs The Vinegar BBQ Sauce

Brine Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Killer Hogs The AP Seasoning
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 quarts water

Instructions
 

Brine the Turkey Legs

  • Put all the brine ingredients along with two quarts of water in a large bowl or briner bucket.
  • Refrigerate overnight or at least six hours so the brine has time to work.
  • Remove the legs from the brine and dab dry.

Season the Turkey Legs

  • Spray the turkey legs with a light coat of olive oil.
  • Add equal parts of Killer Hogs The AP Seasoning and Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub to all sides of the legs.

Smoke and Glaze the Turkey Legs

  • Pre-heat your smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the turkey legs on the grate and let them smoker for around an hour and forty-five minutes or until they've reached 150 degrees Fahrenheit internally.
  • Glaze the turkey legs. To glaze the legs, dab on a light coating of Killer Hogs The Vinegar Sauce to one side, then top the sauce with a light sprinkle of Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, flip the legs and repeats the process on the opposite side.
  • Let the drumsticks cook for around 1/2 hour more until they've reached 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the turkey legs and enjoy!

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Step 1: Brine the Turkey Legs

Before cooking, Malcom brines the turkey legs overnight. The brine is made with a half cup of sugar, a quarter cup of Killer Hogs The AP Seasoning, three bay leaves, and two quarts of water. The legs should be in the brine overnight or at least six hours.

To make brining easier, get a brining bucket here.

Smoked Turkey Legs Brine

Smart Pellet Smokers

Are you looking for a convenient pellet smoker that cooks low and slow without the hassle of tending a fire? We offer pellet smokers from Yoder Smokers and Green Mountain Grills. No matter what your needs or budget is, we can help.

Explore Yoder Pellet Smokers
Pick Out a Green Mountain Grill

Step 2: Spray With Olive Oil

After removing the turkey legs from the brine, dab them dry with a cloth then spray them with a light coat of olive oil. These steps are essential for achieving a finished product that has tender, brown, bite-through skin.

Smoked Turkey Legs Oil

Step 3: Pre-Heat Smoker

For this cook, Malcom uses his pellet smoker fired with pecan pellets at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have a pellet smoker, you can use any other type of wood-fired smoker such as an offset smoker.

Smoked Turkey Legs Pellet Smoker

Step 4: Season the Turkey Legs

For seasoning, shake on a medium coat of Killer Hogs The AP Seasoning followed by a medium coat of Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub. This will give them a balanced, rich, barbecue flavor.

Smoked Turkey Legs Seasoning

Step 5: Cook to Around 150 Degrees Fahrenheit

After seasoning, add the turkey legs to your smoker leaving plenty of room around them for air circulation. Leave them in the smoker for around an hour and forty-five minutes until they've reached an internal temperature of around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, you will begin glazing the legs.

Get an Instant-Read Thermometer

Step 6: Glaze the Turkey Legs

After the legs have reached 150 degrees Fahrenheit, it's time to add the glaze. For glaze, Malcom dabs on a light coating of Killer Hogs The Vinegar Sauce to one side, then tops the sauce with a light sprinkle of Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub and cooks for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes he flips the legs and repeats the process on the opposite side.

After adding the glaze, close the smoker and let it cook for around half an hour until the internal temperature of the legs has reached 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7: Remove the Smoked Turkey Legs and Enjoy!

After the legs have reached 175 degree Fahrenheit, remove and serve them. These tender, juicy, smoked turkey legs are bound to go quickly. Don't expect leftovers.

Are you looking for a pellet smoker?


Don't have the supplies you need?

You can find all the seasonings and supplies for this recipe here in our online store or visit our store in person for a full line of barbecue equipment and supplies.

Can't find what you need online? Visit our specialty barbecue store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, Pennsylvania to explore some of the best products available for anyone wanting to make delicious food outdoors. Our store hours are listed at the bottom of this page.

Cook Your Best Holiday Turkey: Supplies and Equipment Guide

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Are you getting ready to cook your first turkey? Or looking for ways to improve your smoked turkey technique? Here is a list of all the supplies and equipment we use to cook a turkey so you can get up and running quickly.

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

Purchase the Turkey

If you're cooking turkey only once a year, it only makes sense to invest a bit of extra effort into making it the best you can! The first step in cooking an incredible holiday turkey is by choosing a Nicholas (heritage breed) turkey from Fossil Farms.

  • These turkeys are humanely pasture-raised. 
  • They are 100% natural and were fed a vegetarian diet of farm-local corn, rye, oats, alfalfa and soybean meal.
  • They are raised to the specifications of the “Never Ever Program”, where antibiotics, hormones and steroids are never used. 
  • They are minimally processed, which means they are perfect for brining, putting you in control of how salty you make them.

In summary, these turkeys are not only exceptionally tender and juicy, but also clean, so you can be confident about the meat you serve around your holiday table. Our customers have shared rave reviews about these turkeys, and I'm confident you'll be blown away by the quality of these if you follow the method below.

Step 1: Order a Nicholas Heritage Breed Turkey

To purchase a Nicholas turkey, visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

Notice: We stock Nicholas turkeys seasonally. For more info, email Matt at matt2122@meadowcreekbbqsupply.com, call us at (717) 355-0779, or visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

Brine the Turkey

Brining is the best way to uniformly add moisture to the meat, which makes it easier to fully cook the turkey without making parts of it too dry. The easiest way to do a wet-brine is with the Briner Bucket. The dandy gadget has a height-adjustable lid for keeping the turkey submerged and the liquid contained.

We recommend Malcom's Bird Brine.

  • Malcom's Bird Brine - Turkey & Chicken Brine

    Malcom’s Bird Brine – Turkey & Chicken Brine

    $11.00
  • Turkey Tom Briner Buckets

    $22.25$38.95

Or Inject the Turkey

If you don't have time to brine or just prefer injecting, this is a good method for pumping flavor and moisture into the meat.

Butcher BBQ Bird Booster makes a delicious injection! Mix it according to the directions on the container and inject the meat with an injector such as the one listed below.

  • Butcher BBQ Bird Booster Honey Injection

    $18.95
  • Big Green Egg – Stainless Steel Injector

    $37.95

Season the Turkey

We recommend these two seasonings on turkey. Season the entire surface of the turkey and the cavity. Also loosen the skin over the breast meat and apply some seasoning under the skin.

  • Dizzy Pig Mad Max Turkey Rub

    $14.25
  • Meat Church Texas Sugar Rub

    $11.00

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Check out our Thanksgiving recipes library or visit our store for free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

Got a Smoker?

There are many types of smokers that work for cooking a turkey, including Big Green Eggs, offset smokers, pellet grills, drum smokers, electric smokers, and even gas grills. In case you don't already have a smoker, here are a few great choices. Visit our showroom for a wide selection of smokers on display.

  • Meadow Creek SQ36 Barbeque Smoker

    $2,595.00 (add-ons in photos not included)
  • Daniel Boone Choice With Wifi

    $599.00
  • Large Big Green Egg

    $923.00
  • YS640S Competition Pellet Grill

Fire the Smoker

We recommend smoking turkeys with pecan or cherry wood.

  • Offset smokers: Log splits. Pecan log splits are hard to find around here so we often don't have it in stock, but we carry cherry and apple splits, which are both good choices for poultry.
  • Pellet smokers: 20-pound bags of BBQr's Delight pecan pellets or Cookin Pellets Black Cherry pellets
  • Kamado style smokers, such as Big Green Egg: Lump charcoal and wood chunks 
  • Small charcoal smokers: Charcoal (lump or 100% hardwood briquettes) and wood chunks
  • Gas or electric smokers: Wood chips or the A-MAZE-N Cold Smoker (see below) and pellets (we also carry 1-pound bags)
  • Gas grills: A-MAZE-N cold smoker (see below) with pellets

We also carry both briquettes and lump charcoal for you who own a charcoal smoker.

  • Royal Oak – Chef’s Select Charcoal Briquettes

    $26.49
  • Smoking Wood

    $20.00$185.00
  • Nature-Glo Lump Charcoal

    $24.99
  • BBQer’s Delight – Pecan Pellet Grill Fuel

    $5.49$18.99
  • Placeholder

    Pecan Smoking Wood Chunks

    $16.99
  • Placeholder

    Cherry Smoking Wood Chunks

    $16.99
  • Rockwood – Lump Charcoal

    $30.99
  • Cookin Pellets – Black Cherry

    $34.99

Smoke Generators

If you are smoking your turkey on a gas grill, use one of these. Or if you have a gas or electric smoker and want more smoke flavor than what the smoker produces, this is a great solution too.

  • A-maze-n 12-18″ Expanding Tube Smoker

    $36.99
  • A-maze-n 5×8 Maze Smoker

    $31.99

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Check out our Thanksgiving recipes library or visit our store for free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

Temperature Controllers

Are you running a charcoal smoker? These handy gadgets automate temperature control in the pit.

The Flame Boss can monitor up to three meats and can be connected to Wifi for recording and monitoring the cook. It gives you temperature alerts and graphs of past cooking logs. 

The Egg Genius is a Big Green Egg controller that connects wirelessly to a mobile app. It has similar functionality as the Flame Boss FB500 (in fact it uses the Flame Boss server), but is controlled completely from a mobile app or computer.

  • Flame Boss FB500 Wifi Kit

    $379.00$399.00
  • Big Green Egg – Genius

    $248.95

Thermometers

One of the keys to cooking your best turkey is to fully cook it without overcooking it. To read the internal temperature of the meat, you can either use a hand-held instant read thermometer (the Thermapen is an excellent choice) or a leave-in probe, such as the Thermoworks DOT or Smoke.

  • ThermoWorks Dot

  • ThermoWorks ThermoPop

  • ThermoWorks Smoke

  • ThermoWorks Classic Thermapen

Frying Your Turkey

If you prefer your turkey fried, we've got you covered too!


  • Backyard Pro – Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer Kit

    $205.99

Rotisserie Grilling

Do you love the magic of meat turning on a spit? Try the JoeTisserie on your Big Green Egg!

Making Gravy

Don't forget the gravy. This gadget makes it easy to remove the fat from the drippings.

  • Fox Run Gravy and Fat Separator

    $46.99

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

How to Smoke a Turkey Spatchcock Style

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If you’re getting ready to smoke your first Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, this turkey smoking guide will walk you through the steps for cooking a turkey with confidence, even if this is your first try.

Or if you have already smoked a few turkeys, but are struggling to perfect your technique, we’d be happy to help you gear up for smoking a turkey that your guests will still be talking about in a year from now!

Did you know we are much more than a BBQ store? One reason we open our doors each day is to help ordinary people cook the best barbecue they've ever tasted! Feel free to call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, Pennsylvania to talk with one of our knowledgeable staff who will be happy to help you with your outdoor cooking questions.

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

In this cook I am cooking a 16-pound heritage breed turkey from Fossil Farms. I am using my Yoder YS640s pellet smoker fired with pecan pellets. I spatchcocked, dry brined, and seasoned the turkey, then smoked it until it reached my target temperature. It’s too bad it wasn’t Thanksgiving day with the whole family gathered around, because it was certainly a wonderful-tasting turkey.

Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to help you smoke a turkey just like this.

Buy the Turkey

Around Thanksgiving, some stores price turkey below their cost to get people into their stores. You can smoke an excellent turkey from Butterball or Honeysuckle, but there’s also a lot of value in going with a heritage breed or minimally-processed turkey. One of the advantages of cooking a turkey that hasn’t been injected with a solution is that you have more control over the level of saltiness in the meat.

Fossil Farms’ Nicholas Breed Turkeys are exceptionally juicy and tender, a delicious alternative to conventional turkeys raised on factory farms.

Why these turkeys are better:
  • Allowed to roam free for a happier and healthier life
  • Fed an all-vegetarian diet consisting of local corn, rye, oats, alfalfa, and soybean meal.
  • Raised by a network of 4th and 5th generation family farmers in Pennsylvania and humanely harvested in New Jersey.
  • 100% all-natural and free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and steroids.

Notice: We stock Nicholas turkeys seasonally. For more info, email Matt at matt2122@meadowcreekbbqsupply.com, call us at (717) 355-0779, or visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

What size turkey should I cook? I prefer turkeys in the 12-16 pound range for smoking. If you need more meat, cook multiple turkeys instead of getting a bigger one. Figure roughly one pound of raw weight per person unless you want leftovers or are feeding big eaters.

If you buy a frozen turkey, plan ahead so you won’t be stressed over thawing and prepping it in time. It takes approximately 24 hours for every 5 pounds to thaw a turkey in the fridge.

Here is the 16-pound heritage breed turkey I am cooking.

Trim the Turkey

Remove any packaging, including any pop-up thermometer, leg tie, or giblet bag. 

Cut off the wing tips.

Trim the neck skin back, being careful to leave enough skin to cover the meat. Turn the breast up for trimming, because this posture pulls the skin back.

Trim the flaps of skin and fat by the rear cavity and remove the tail.

Spatchcock the Turkey

I like to cook turkeys spatchcocked. This simply means you remove the backbone with shears and flatten the entire bird into a flat surface.

This method is supposed to cut down on the cooking time, making the meat more juicy. I am not quite sure what I think about that claim myself. I cooked another turkey whole at the same time on a different grill and it took the same amount of time, but I haven't done enough testing to know for sure.

However, I like having all the skin on one side and the turkey spread out more uniformly. You might also use this method if the spacing between your smoker shelves is too tight for an entire turkey or you want to split it in half to cook it on two different racks.

Side benefit to spatchcocking: This method also makes it easy to remove the leg quarters from the breast if one part gets done before the other, since it’s mostly skin that holds the two together once the backbone is removed. I will explain more about finishing temperatures below.

Set the turkey on a pan or cutting board with the spine facing up. Using a kitchen shears, cut the entire length of the backbone on both sides. I like to start it with a meat knife, but part of it will require a meat cutting shears.

Cut through the breast bone an inch or two until you can push the sides of the turkey into a flattened shape.

Brine the Turkey

Most turkeys from the grocery store have already been injected with a salt solution, so we don’t recommend brining those. If you are cooking one that is minimally processed, such as from Fossil Farms, a local butcher or a specialty grocery store (Whole Foods), brining is a real game changer. I won’t attempt to explain the science behind it, but it does tenderize the meat and make it more juicy.

You can either inject your turkey or brine it, and there are two methods of brining—wet brining and dry brining. As I said above, in this story, I’m dry brining the turkey.

For dry brining, sprinkle the entire surface of the turkey with kosher salt. It takes about 1 teaspoon per pound, but the amount is not critical if you make sure you have a decent coating over the skin. Don’t worry about working it under the skin the salt will pull through the skin without a problem.

Set the turkey in the fridge on a large pizza pan or anything with an edge to hold the liquid for 12 to 24 hours. If you are running out of time, you can shorten this step, but be aware that it might have less effect on the meat.

Season the Turkey

I am using Kosmos Q Dirty Bird to season this turkey. This is a delicious rub on turkey and any poultry. 

Season the entire bird with a moderate layer of the rub.

Carefully loosen some of the skin over the breast and uniformly work some of the seasoning directly onto the meat, being careful not to tear the skin.

Flip the turkey over and do the same on the inside of the legs. Carefully loosen the skin between the edge of the rear cavity and the leg, then shake a little bit of seasoning into the cavity you just opened. Be careful not to add too much and use your fingers to spread the seasoning around.

This is what the turkey should look like at this point:

Cook the Turkey

Fire your smoker at 325 degrees F. Turkey doesn’t benefit from low and slow cooking, and the higher temperature will give you a more crispy skin.

In this cook I’m using my Yoder YS640s Pellet Smoker and have it fired with BBQr’s Delight Pecan Pellets. I also inserted one of the food temperature probes from the control panel into the thickest part of the breast so I could monitor it on my phone.

The USDA minimum recommended temperature for turkey and chicken is 165 degrees F. You can safely cook the turkey breast until it reaches 160 degrees and let carryover cooking take it up the rest of the way. Breast meat is very lean, so if you take the breast meat higher than that, it will not become better, but start drying out instead.

We prefer cooking the dark meat (legs and thighs) to at least 180 degrees for a better texture and appearance. It’s okay to remove it from the smoker once the thickest part of the thigh reaches the recommended temperature, but you’ll find that, while the meat is safe to eat, it will usually still be clinging tightly to the bone.

One of the keys to cooking the ultimate turkey is to not overcook it. Yet, the white and dark meat are two different types of meat and they probably won’t both reach their ideal temperature at the same time. So how can we hope to cook the perfect turkey?

Most articles on smoking a turkey don't address this problem, but here are some tips and tricks to help you overcome it:

  • The easiest way to cook a turkey with perfectly predictable results is to separate the two meats and cook them independently to the ideal target temperature.
  • Brining widens the window of perfection, so the meat is more forgiving, whether you are cooking the turkey whole or in parts.
  • To give the legs a head-start during the cook, you can take the bird out of the fridge one hour before cooking and put a bag of ice over the breast. The thighs will start warming up a bit, and the breasts will stay cold. This sounds odd, but it works!

In this recipe we are cooking it all together, but we've brined the meat, so we're aiming to get the whole thing done without overcooking any part of it.

Here is an example of how you can use a hot spot in your smoker to your advantage—turn the legs toward the hottest part of the smoker. In my pellet smoker, the hottest area is directly over the burner so I positioned the turkey with the breast facing the opposite side of the smoker. 

How long does it take to smoke a turkey? Cooking at 325 degrees F, it will take around 10 minutes per pound. My 16-pound turkey took 2 hours and 45 minutes, almost exactly 10 minutes per pound. This time estimate should hold out for different size turkeys, but remember that it could take longer, so try to keep the serving time a bit flexible.

In this cook, the dark meat rose above the temperature I was looking for, but the brine helped to keep everything juicy. I could have 1) rotated it partway through the cook to help balance it out or 2) removed the leg quarters at a lower temp, but sometimes it’s better not to overthink stuff and just have fun, so that's what I did, and it was awesome, even though the dark meat got hotter than it should have.

Serve the Turkey

As soon as the turkey was transferred to a platter, I had to sample it—pitmaster privilege, you know. 

The skin was crispy, and the meat was tender, juicy, and flavorful — in other words, it was fabulously amazing!

Are you looking forward to cooking a turkey that will get great reviews from everyone around your holiday table? It’s not rocket science, and if you put some effort into planning your cook, it just could be the best turkey you've ever cooked!

Did you know we are much more than a BBQ store?

One reason we open our doors in the morning is to help ordinary people discover how to cook amazing barbecue! Feel free to call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, Pennsylvania to talk with one of our knowledgeable staff who will be happy to help you with your outdoor cooking questions.

Also, if you haven’t yet, make sure you check out our supplies and equipment guide for cooking a turkey here.

Turkey Tools

Here is a list of products we recommend for cooking your turkey:

  • Royal Oak – Chef’s Select Charcoal Briquettes

    $26.49
  • Malcom's Bird Brine - Turkey & Chicken Brine

    Malcom’s Bird Brine – Turkey & Chicken Brine

    $11.00
  • Smoking Wood

    $20.00$185.00
  • Nature-Glo Lump Charcoal

    $24.99
  • Meadow Creek SQ36 Barbeque Smoker

    $2,595.00 (add-ons in photos not included)
  • Turkey Tom Briner Buckets

    $22.25$38.95
  • BBQer’s Delight – Pecan Pellet Grill Fuel

    $5.49$18.99
  • Dizzy Pig Mad Max Turkey Rub

    $14.25
  • Butcher BBQ Bird Booster Honey Injection

    $18.95
  • Daniel Boone Choice With Wifi

    $599.00
  • A-maze-n 12-18″ Expanding Tube Smoker

    $36.99
  • The Traditional Turkey Recipe

    $64.20
  • Placeholder

    Pecan Smoking Wood Chunks

    $16.99
  • Flame Boss FB500 Wifi Kit

    $379.00$399.00
  • YS640S Pellet Grill

  • A-maze-n 5×8 Maze Smoker

    $31.99
  • Large Big Green Egg

    $923.00
  • Placeholder

    Cherry Smoking Wood Chunks

    $16.99
  • Kamado Joe – JoeTisserie

    $299.99$349.99
  • Big Green Egg – Stainless Steel Injector

    $37.95
  • Rockwood – Lump Charcoal

    $30.99
  • Meat Church Texas Sugar Rub

    $11.00
  • Proctor Silex 18 Quart Turkey Roaster Oven

    $64.95
  • Big Green Egg – Stainless Steel Rib & Roast Rack

    $31.95$44.95
  • The BBQ Turkey Recipe

    $82.93
  • Thermoworks Thermapen ONE

  • Cookin Pellets – Black Cherry

    $34.99
  • Fox Run Gravy and Fat Separator

    $46.99
  • Backyard Pro – Stainless Steel Turkey Fryer Kit

    $205.99
  • Big Green Egg – Genius

    $248.95
  • ThermoWorks Dot

  • ThermoWorks ThermoPop

  • ThermoWorks Smoke

  • ThermoWorks Classic Thermapen

Do you need help cooking your holiday turkey? We believe amazing barbecue is not just for celebrities. Visit our store for everything you need to cook outdoors, including free and friendly advice from fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Call us at (717) 355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.


Thanksgiving Recipe Library


About the author: Lavern Gingerich is a writer and the digital marketing manager for Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply.

Turkey Stuffing Recipe

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Do you need a tried-and-true turkey stuffing recipe to complete your holiday dinner? Here's a traditional Amish favorite you can't miss!


While the turkey is the centerpiece of a memorable Thanksgiving dinner, a delicious stuffing is also an important part of your meal. Here, we're sharing a generations-old recipe for stuffing traditionally served at Amish weddings... and no, we are not apologizing that it includes real lard!

Ingredients

  • 16 cups bread cubes
  • 1-1/4 sticks salted butter
  • 1/4 cup lard
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups celery (finely chopped in food processor)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the lard. Stir over low heat until the lard is fully melted, then remove it from the heat.
  3. Put the bread cubes in a bowl, then pour about half of the lard mixture over the bread cubes. Gently mix them with a spatula until thoroughly combined.
  4. Beat the eggs well and add the salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the bread cubes and stir the mixture thoroughly.
  5. Add the celery to the saucepan containing the remaining lard mixture. Put the saucepan back over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the celery is hot.
  6. Let the celery cool, then stir it into the bread mixture.
  7. Cook the stuffing at 350° in a covered baking dish, stirring occasionally, until it’s hot throughout (about 30–45 minutes).
  8. Gut essa, mein Freund! (Eat well, my friends!)
  9. Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Serves 10–12 adults.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this delicious turkey stuffing! Check out the list of posts below for more resources to help you with your holiday cooking.

Nicholas Breed Turkeys Available

Fossil Farms’ Nicholas Breed Turkeys are exceptionally juicy and tender, a delicious alternative to conventional turkeys raised on factory farms.

Why these turkeys are better:

  • Allowed to roam free for a happier and healthier life
  • Fed an all-vegetarian diet consisting of local corn, rye, oats, alfalfa, and soybean meal.
  • Raised by a network of 4th and 5th generation family farmers in Pennsylvania and humanely harvested in New Jersey.
  • 100% all-natural and free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and steroids.

TNotice: We stock Nicholas turkeys seasonally. For more info, email Matt at matt2122@meadowcreekbbqsupply.com, call us at (717) 355-0779, or visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

Thanksgiving Recipe Library

How to Make Smoked Turkey Gravy

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A smoked turkey gravy is the final ingredient in a Thanksgiving feast your guests will never forget.

What makes our smoked turkey gravy unique is the Asian-style homemade stock we use for the base. The drippings from the turkey and the subtle hint of wood smoke will redefine everything you thought you knew about gravy!

Smoked Turkey Gravy

Yields about 2–3 cups

Ingredients

Instructions 

  1. Warm the stock in a saucepan.
  2. Pour stock into a pan to a depth of about one inch (too much stock in the drip pan can slow down your cooking time through evaporative cooling). The pan should have sides several inches high and be large enough to catch all of the drippings while the turkey is smoking. Do not use a copper pan, as it might react to the acids and salt in the stock and drippings. If you don’t have time to make stock, use a store-bought unsalted chicken stock or broth. You will sacrifice the exceptional flavor of a homemade stock, but the outcome will still be delicious.
  3. Crumble the bay leaves and add them to the pan. Set the pan into the smoker.
  4. The best setup is to use a sturdy pan, lay a wire rack across the top, and set the turkey on the wire rack. If you’re smoking the turkey on a smoker with multiple cooking grates, you can set the pan on a grate below the grate holding the turkey (make sure the grate holding the turkey is cleaned well before starting to prevent black grease from dripping into the pan). If neither of these is an option for you, set a V-rack in the pan and put the turkey in the V-rack. We don’t recommend this method because the turkey is much closer to the stock and the stock will be cooler than the air temperature in the smoker, which results in a slightly longer cook time. This affects the thighs much more than the breasts, making it harder to cook both to perfection.
  5. In the meantime, keep the remaining chicken stock warmed in the saucepan. If the level of liquid in the drip pan drops below 50%, add more stock to maintain the original depth.
  6. When the turkey is within ten degrees of its target internal temperature, carefully pour the drippings from the cavity of the turkey into the drip pan and remove the drip pan from the smoker.
  7. If you used a V-rack, transfer the turkey directly onto the cooking grate and keep smoking the turkey until it’s done.
  8. Strain the contents of the drip pan into a fat separator. Set the strained gravy into the freezer for ten minutes to speed up the fat separation.
  9. Pour the gravy into the saucepan containing the remaining stock (discard the fat that has risen to the top of the fat separator). If the gravy is too thin for your preference, bring it to a boil, stirring it briskly to keep it from burning. When it has reduced to your liking, turn the heat to low.
  10. Sample the gravy. It should have a rich and savory flavor. Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring it well. Be careful not to over-season it!
  11. Keep the gravy over low heat, stirring it occasionally, until ready to serve.
  12. Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Should you thicken a turkey gravy?

We do not recommend thickening a gravy with flour or cornstarch. Thickening a smoked turkey gravy like this muddies the incredible flavor profile you’ve worked hard to create. Besides, a thin gravy will soak into the turkey meat a bit, but a thickened, starchy gravy just sits on top of the meat. If your gravy is too thin for your preference, you can boil it down as explained above.

Check out our step-by-step instructions for making a homemade Asian-style stock with a depth of flavor that will amaze you:

Still have questions? Visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA or call us at (717) 355-0779 for help with your outdoor cooking questions. We carry everything you need to cook outdoors, but more importantly, we have personal experience in smoking and grilling and are happy to help you overcome your cooking challenges free of charge.

Nicholas Breed Turkeys Available

Fossil Farms’ Nicholas Breed Turkeys are exceptionally juicy and tender, a delicious alternative to conventional turkeys raised on factory farms.

Why these turkeys are better:

  • Allowed to roam free for a happier and healthier life
  • Fed an all-vegetarian diet consisting of local corn, rye, oats, alfalfa, and soybean meal.
  • Raised by a network of 4th and 5th generation family farmers in Pennsylvania and humanely harvested in New Jersey.
  • 100% all-natural and free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and steroids.

Notice: We stock Nicholas turkeys seasonally. For more info, email Matt at matt2122@meadowcreekbbqsupply.com, call us at (717) 355-0779, or visit our store at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA.

About the author: Matt Miller is an employee at Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply and avid student of all things barbecue. He enjoys developing recipes, trying new seasonings, and helping customers with their smoking and grilling questions.