Copycat Disneyland Smoked Turkey Legs Recipe

This smoked turkey legs recipe is a favorite snack at Disneyland, so Chef Tips decided to make their own using a simple brine and delicious dry rub. If you want the style of Disneyland’s smoked turkey legs, be sure to ask your butcher for Tom turkey legs. The ones used at the park are 1 1/2 pound legs from 40-50 pound turkeys! The park sells over a million and a half of their Disneyland smoked turkey legs every year. Wow!


  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup (scant) seasoned meat tenderizer
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tablespoon red Hawaiian clay sea salt (or regular kosher or sea salt)
  • 1/4 cup soft brown sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Peppercorns, as desired
  • 8 cups cold water


Mix together all of the brine ingredients, add the 8 cups of cold water last. Put two turkey legs each in a large Ziploc bag and cover with the brine. You will have enough brine to make about 6 turkey legs.

Zip tight and place in a large casserole dish and let sit overnight in the refrigerator, up to 12 hours or so. Be sure the brine is touching the legs, and you can turn them around once in a while during the brining stage to ensure complete coverage.

The next day, set your smoker to about 220 F. Drain the legs from the brine, rinse the legs lightly under cool running water, and pat dry. Season with your favorite dry rub.

Smoke for about 4 hours at 225 F. Bring it down to 180F for the last hour, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160 F. When you remove the turkey legs, it will continue to cook up to the proper 165 F.

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