Barbecue Turkey Legs

Close-Up Of Turkey Legs On Barbeque Grill
Daniel Kaesler / EyeEm / Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 6 servings

These tasty turkey legs are slow-grilled to perfection and basted in a classic tomato-based barbecue sauce. Cooked over medium heat on the grill, these are reminiscent of the delicious turkey legs you get at the fair or festivals. You know they're done when the legs reach an internal temperature of 180 to 185 F.

Enjoy them with mashed potatoes, veggies, and your favorite side dishes. They are great for family dinners or any occasion. 


  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the Turkey Legs:
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 turkey legs

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cook the onion and celery in butter over medium heat until soft, about 7 to 10 minutes. The object is to sweat the vegetables, not sauté them. They should have a glossier appearance rather than browning.

  3. Add the remaining sauce ingredients to the pot. Simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add more brown sugar to make the sauce sweeter. Remove from heat and allow sauce to cool to room temperature.

  4. Preheat the grill. Combine salt and black pepper and season the turkey legs.

  5. Place turkey legs on the grill and cook over medium heat. Grill, covered for about 30 to 45 minutes or until nearly done. Turn occasionally.

  6. Begin basting with sauce during the last 15 to 20 minutes of cook time. Watch out for burning. Reduce heat or move turkey legs to indirect portion of the grill to finish cooking. Once legs reach an internal temperature of 180 to 185 F, they're done. 

  7. Remove from heat and loosely tent with aluminum foil. Let legs rest for 10 minutes before serving.

  8. If you want to serve some of the sauce on the side, simply divide the sauce using one portion for basting and warming the reserved portion for serving. You can also double the sauce recipe if you really want to have quite a bit. The choice is all yours.

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