Smoked Glazed Turkey Drumsticks

By ohioeggs  

June 20, 2023

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Your cookout crowd will absolutely love these tender and flavorful turkey drumsticks. Recipe prepared by Dr. Michael Cressman and Lizz Share, co-professors of the Bar-B-Que Science Class at The Ohio State University.

  • Prep: 5 hrs
  • Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • 5 hrs

    2 hrs 30 mins

    7 hrs 30 mins

  • Yields: 4-6 servings


4 (large) or 6 (small) turkey drumsticks (We used Bowman & Landes ).

Olive oil


1 gal water

½ c salt

½ sugar


Your favorite barbecue or grilling rub that compliments pork and poultry


¾ c maple syrup

½ c bourbon

¼ c ketchup

¼ brown sugar

3 Tbs brown mustard

1 tsp hot sauce

4 tsp apple cider vinegar

4 tsp of your favorite barbecue or grilling rub


Prepare the glaze ahead of time by combining all ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until mixture begins to thicken. Store in a jar or bowl until needed.

Combine the brine ingredients and stir until completely dissolved. Place turkey drumsticks in the brine solution and store in refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Rinse off drumsticks when removed from brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Lightly oil the drumsticks and apply barbecue rub.

Fill a charcoal chimney ¾ full of hardwood charcoal briquettes. Light chimney and wait 15-20 minutes.

Set charcoal baskets on opposite sides of the grill. Carefully dump equal amounts of lit charcoal into each charcoal basket.

Top each charcoal basket off with a chunk of your preferred hardwood. Place cooking grate above charcoal and close the lid of your grill. Adjust lid vent so that cooking chamber is 275-300⁰F.

Place turkey drumsticks on the center of the cooking grate (indirect cook). Allow turkey drumsticks to cook and smoke for approximately 2.5 hours. Anticipate adding 1-2 hardwood chunks every 45-60 minutes during the cook.

Begin glazing the drumsticks once they reach 145⁰F internal, applying 2 to 3 applications, until they reach 175⁰F.

Equipment needed: instant-read thermometer; 22.5-inch Weber charcoal kettle grill with charcoal baskets; charcoal; hardwood chunks


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