What Are the Best Tips for Roasting Turkey Legs?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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Some of the best tips for roasting turkey legs focus on purchase and preparation. It is imperative that the legs be of similar size, trimmed and cleaned and sufficiently browned on all sides prior to roasting. Other tips that can be helpful when roasting turkey legs concerns properly heating the oven, removing the legs from the oven at the proper time and preparing a gravy by incorporating the pan drippings. Another tip that will help to ensure the best results when roasting turkey legs is to purchase only fresh and never frozen turkey legs to roast.

Unlike whole turkeys, the drumsticks or legs are often sold as fresh poultry and not frozen. One of the most important tips to follow when roasting turkey legs is to purchase legs that are similar in size. By choosing similarly-sized legs, the turkey will roast evenly instead of one leg cooking faster than the other. It is often wise to choose packages of legs that can be matched with other packages to achieve the proper sizing. It is also beneficial to allow all of the turkey legs to come to the same temperature before roasting to make sure the legs all cook evenly.


The turkey legs should be cleaned and trimmed of all loose skin and fat prior to roasting. When roasting turkey legs, all pin feathers should be removed while trimming the unwanted materials from the legs. For proper browning when roasting turkey legs, it it best to lightly coat the legs in a seasoned flour mixture and place the legs into a skillet containing hot oil. The legs can be turned to brown all sides in the hot oil prior to placing the drumsticks into a roasting pan and roasting the turkey legs. Preheating the oven is also a good tip that will help to provide even cooking while roasting turkey legs.

Roasting tips include heating the covered turkey in a foil-covered roasting pan for two to three hours or until soft in a medium-hot oven. The legs should be removed just prior to being done and allowed to finish cooking while resting on the counter. Smaller legs will cook sooner, while larger legs will cook a little slower, as will legs that were not allowed to come up to room temperature prior to roasting. To prepare a pan gravy, it is best to brown onion and celery in the pan drippings before adding flour, salt and pepper, and chicken stock into the mixture and bringing it to a boil.


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