Air Fryer Turkey Legs

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There’s nothing like eating cooked turkey legs! In fact you’ll love how easy and simple it is to make Air Fryer Turkey Legs in your Air Fryer or Instant Pot Crisp Duo.. We love making turkey legs in the air fryer because they turn out perfectly every single time. The outer crust is crisp and the middle is tender and juicy. You’re never going to want to eat turkey legs any other way.

Air Fryer Turkey Legs

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick: Fried turkey legs are fast and simple to cook in the air fryer.
  • Tasty: You can cook Turkey thighs with have minimal prep work with maximum flavor.
  • Less Mess: Turkey legs are great to eat without making a huge mess of dishes!

Recipe Ingredients

Here are the ingredients to get tasty turkey legs with crispy skin:

  • Salt: Enhances the natural flavors of the turkey thighs, making them even more delicious.
  • Pepper: Adds a touch of heat and depth to the turkey thighs, complementing the other seasonings perfectly.
  • Chili Powder: Gives the turkey thighs a smoky, mildly spicy flavor that tantalizes your taste buds.
  • Garlic Powder: Infuses the turkey thighs with a rich, savory taste, adding another layer of flavor complexity.
  • Onion Powder: Contributes a subtle sweetness and an additional savory note, rounding out the overall flavor profile of the dish.
  • Cayenne Powder: Adds a kick of spiciness to the turkey thighs, offering an exciting contrast to the other flavors.
  • Cumin: Lends a warm, earthy flavor to the turkey thighs, enhancing their natural meatiness.
  • Turkey Legs: When cooked in the air fryer, they become irresistibly tender and juicy on the inside, while maintaining a wonderfully crispy exterior.
Ingredients for Turkey Thighs in Air Fryer.

How To Cook Air Fryer Turkey Legs

Here is a step-by-step guide how to air-fry turkey thighs or turkey legs.

Step 1: Prepare The Turkey Leg

Dry turkey leg and rub the seasoning all over the entire turkey leg. Preheat the air fryer setting at 380.

Step 2: Add Turkey To The Air Fryer

Place turkey thigh or legs in the preheated air fryer basket and spray with cooking spray. You might need to cook one leg at a time depending on the size of either the legs or the air fryer basket. Typically air fryer units can fit around 3-4 turkey thighs at a time. However this can vary depending on the size of your air fryer and air fryer basket.

adding the turkey leg to the air fryer

Step 3: Air Fry Turkey Legs

Cook the turkey legs on 380 for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature measures 165°f.

cooked turkey leg

Step 4: Serve Your Cripsy Turkey Thighs

Remove and cover your crispy air fryer turkey thighs to keep warm until you are ready to serve.

turkey leg cooked in the Air Fryer Turkey Thighs

Storage & Reheating Instructions

  • Storage: Once your air-fried turkey thighs have taken a bow, let them cool to room temperature, then transfer them to an airtight container or wrap them up like a gift with aluminum foil.
  • Freezing: Label the container with a hint of holiday cheer and the freezing date, then freeze those turkey thighs for up to 2-3 months. They’ll be the stars of a future feast.
  • Reheating: If your turkey thighs have been on ice, thaw them in the refrigerator and then reheat in the air fryer at 375°F (190°C) for about 8-10 minutes until they’re back to crispy perfection. Gobble up the deliciousness!

What To Serve With This Recipe?

There are so many delicious side dishes that you can serve with your air fryer turkey legs. Some of our favorites include:

  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy and flavorful, garlic mashed potatoes complement turkey legs perfectly.
  • Corn On The Cob: Sweet and juicy, corn on the cob adds a delightful crunch to your turkey legs feast.
  • Salad: A crisp salad balances the richness of turkey legs with vibrant flavors.
  • Coleslaw: Tangy coleslaw provides a refreshing contrast to the hearty turkey legs.
  • Mac And Cheese: Creamy mac and cheese is a classic side that pairs beautifully with turkey legs.
  • Hawaiian Rolls or flatbreads: Soft rolls or flatbreads are perfect for soaking up turkey leg juices.
  • Braised greens or Spanikopita: These flavorful sides add depth and variety to your meal.

FAQ’S

Is Turkey A Dark Meat?

Yes, turkey is considered dark meat because of its higher fat content and richer flavor. This makes it the perfect choice for slow cooking or air frying in an air fryer since both methods help to keep the meat juicy and tender.

Air Fryer or Duo Crisp?

You can use a regular air fryer to cook these air fryer turkey thighs or you can place them into your Instant Pot and cook using the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid. Both methods have the same cooking time of 15 minutes.

What Temperature Should a Turkey Leg Be Cooked?

For a turkey leg to be considered cooked all the way, it needs to have an internal temperature of 180 degrees. The best way to check the temperature is to use an Instant meat thermometer.

An Instant read thermometer is ideal for accurately checking the temperature of your turkey legs.
Once cooked, you can enjoy delicious turkey legs hot from the air fryer with your favorite sides and condiments!

Why Cover Turkey Until Served?

It is important to cover your cooked Turkey legs until serving to keep them warm and juicy. This prevents moisture loss, which can cause the meat to become dry and tough.

Can I Use Air Fryer For A Full Roast Turkey Dinner?

Absolutely! You can use the air fryer to cook all of your Thanksgiving or holiday turkey dinners. Just be sure to adjust cooking times based on the size and cut of your turkey.

For example, a whole roast turkey will require a much longer cooking time than individual legs or thighs. Once you master using the air fryer for turkey, you can cook up any type of turkey recipe with ease!

It also depends on the size of your air fryer. It may be better to cook Turkey legs or a Turkey breast (check out this Turkey Breast recipe), as a whole turkey will most likely be too big for your air fryer basket.

You can cook a full turkey roast dinner in your air fryer including the stuffing, veggies and trimmings.

What If My Turkey Is Dry?

Is your turkey dry? If your turkey legs come out dry, there are a few things you can try to help fix this.
First, make sure that you are cooking the turkey long enough to fully cook all of the way through. You may also want to experiment with different cooking times and temperatures until you find the optimal settings for your air fryer.

Additionally, you can always try bringing your turkey legs before cooking to help keep them extra juicy and tender.

How Do I Cook Turkey Legs in the Oven?

To cook turkey legs in the oven, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and place the turkey legs on a roasting pan.
Make a seasoned butter rub in a small bowl and rub butter onto the turkey legs before you place the turkey thigh into the oven.

If you don’t fancy a butter rub try smoked paprika, olive oil and kosher salt or rub thighs with an Italian dry rub and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted registers 165 degrees F.

Can I Slow Cook Turkey Legs?

Yes, you can slow-cook turkey legs in a slow cooker or in the Instant Pot using the slow cooker setting. Simply season your turkey legs with salt, pepper, and any herbs or spices you love, then add them to your slow cooker along with a little chicken broth or stock.

Slow cooking your turkey will give it a delicious, tender texture that is perfect for serving with mashed potatoes or over a bed of pasta.

So whether you are looking for an easy and healthy weeknight meal, or want to wow your friends and family at your next holiday gathering, air fryer turkey legs are sure to be a crowd-pleasing favorite!

Turkey Legs vs Turkey Thighs

Turkey legs are also known as turkey thighs are pretty much the same thing. A Turkey leg consists of the thigh and the drumstick leg. Hence the word Turkey thighs and turkey legs are often used to refer to the same cut of turkey meat.

air fryer turkey leg on a plate

Air Fryer Turkey Legs

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

There’s nothing like eating cooked turkey legs! In fact you'll love how easy and simple it is to make Air Fryer Turkey Thighs in your Air Fryer.

Ingredients

  • · 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • · 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • · 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • · 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • · 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • · 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • · 1 teaspoon cumin

Instructions

  1. Dry turkey leg and rub the seasoning all over the entire turkey leg. Preheat the air fryer setting at 380.
  2. Place turkey thigh or legs in the preheated air fryer basket and spray with cooking spray. You might need to cook one leg at a time depending on the size of either the legs or the air fryer basket. Typically air fryer units can fit around 3-4 turkey thighs at a time. However, this can vary depending on the size of your air fryer and air fryer basket.
  3. Cook the turkey legs on 380 for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature measures 165°f.
  4. Remove and cover your crispy air fryer turkey thighs to keep warm until you are ready to serve.

Notes

It is important to cover your cooked turkey legs until serving to keep them warm and juicy. This prevents moisture loss, which can cause the meat to become dry and tough.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 44Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 651mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

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