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.

Grill-friendly weather alert! It’s the perfect week to make brisket *weather forecast provided by
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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

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.

2 Reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Smoked turkey legs Better than my own recipe. Also used to spatchcock a half turkey
Date published: 2023-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing tacos! I really do love tacos. The fact that you can pretty much put any protein in them is awesome and this recipe was DELICIOUS! Ill definitely be making it again come Thanksgiving leftovers time lol.
Date published: 2023-07-24
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