An American Story

The history of grilling at Kingsford is a classic American story. It all started in 1919 when Edward G. Kingsford helped Henry Ford procure a stretch of timberland to supply wood for his auto plants.

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Kingsford® Preserve the Pit

Kingsford remains committed to celebrating Black barbecue culture by launching the second year of Preserve the Pit and doubling the investment in aspiring barbecue professionals.

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American Pride

An American-made company founded over 100 years ago, Kingsford has a lot to be proud of. Our employees have been continuing the family tradition in backyards across the nation.

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Smoked Turkey Leg Birria Tacos

Take a new approach to Taco Tuesday — charcoal grilling and braised turkey leg meat bring traditional tacos to a new level of deliciousness.

Cooking for 4 people


  • 6 turkey legs
  • chili powder or BBQ sauce
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 lime, cut into 4–6 wedges

Braising Mixture

  • 1 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 32 oz. chicken stock
  • 0.25 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 0.25 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into large chunks
  • 4 red tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, quartered
  • 1 chipotle pepper
  • 4 dried ancho chiles (seeds removed)
  • 4 dried guajillo chiles (seeds removed)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp. marjoram
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole
  • salt, to taste

1 Food Prep

  • First, season the turkey legs with barbecue rub or chili powder. 

  • Next, in a large, aluminum tray, combine the ingredients for the braising mixture. Stir and mix together until well incorporated.

2 Grill Prep

  • Fuel: First, season the turkey legs with barbecue rub or chili powder.n 
    Next, in a large, aluminum tray, combine the ingredients for the braising mixture. Stir and mix together until well incorporated.
  • Method: Direct-Heat Grillingn
    Two-Zone Fire: Parallel Configuration
  • Temp: 400°F (Medium Heat) 300°F (Low Heat) 350°F (Medium Heat)

3 The Cook

  • When you’re at temp, put cooking oil on a folded paper towel. Grab the oiled paper towel with long-handled tongs and oil the grate thoroughly.
  • Grill the seasoned turkey legs hot and fast on all sides, but still raw in the middle, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove turkey legs and reduce the grill temp to 300°F.
  • Safely remove the grill grate, and spread the coals along either side of the grill, leaving an empty space down the center to set the tray.
  • Add the grilled legs to the braising mixture, making sure the legs are as submerged as possible.
  • Using long-handled tongs, put the tray on the grill, between the coals.
  • Smoke at 300°F for about 2–3 hours, until the meat easily pulls from the bone and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F on a digital meat thermometer.
  • Remove the tray from the grill and allow the legs to cool, until they can be easily worked with, then pull the meat from the legs and shred.
  • Increase the grill temperature to 350°F. 
  • Strain the braising liquid into a heat-safe pot. Place the pot directly on the grates and reduce liquid by half, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Pour a small amount of liquid into the shredded turkey and set aside.
  • Add a cast iron pan or skillet onto the grill. Dip a corn tortilla into the braising liquid and add directly to the cast iron pan or skillet.
  • Scatter the shredded cheddar cheese over the entire tortilla, then assemble turkey meat, cilantro and white onion on one side of the taco, and fold the tortilla over.
  • Crisp on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes, then remove from your grill to  a plate.
  • Garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges and a side of braising liquid for dipping.
Recipe created by Jean-Paul Bourgeois on behalf of Kingsford® Charcoal and Masterbuilt.

For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.

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