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Smoked Pork Leg Recipe
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Smoked Pork Leg Recipe

Cooking the tougher bottom cuts like the pork leg, and shoulder can be made tender by slowly cooking on low heat, in a smoker or on a grill. As you are cooking the leg of pork throughout the day, you will notice the fat burning away.

Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time12 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pork Leg
Servings: 4
Calories: 184kcal


  • A thermometer
  • Drip pan
  • Foil
  • A grill
  • A pair of barbecue gloves


Dry Rub

  • 1 cup of brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup of Kosher salt

  • 4 tablespoons of smoked paprika

  • 2 tablespoons of coarse black pepper

  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin

  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Herb Marinade for Pork

  • 1 lemon, zest grated

  • 3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced

  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • Kosher salt

  • freshly ground black pepper


  • Make sure you rinse your leg of pork under running water. 

  • Take some paper towels and dry it thoroughly.

  • The morning you are going to smoke your leg of pork, take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.

  • With a 14-pound leg of pork, it should take a good hour to come to room temperature.

  • You will need to remove any extra skin or fat from the pork before putting the pork leg in the brine.

  • Use a stainless-steel pan for your pork with the brine.

  • It will not react to any of the ingredients of your brine.

  • Keep your pork leg in the brine for about 16 hours.

  • Then pour out the brine liquid and put the pork leg back in the refrigerator.

  • Before you put your leg of pork on the grill, you will want to pat it dry with a paper towel.

  • Use the remaining spices that you have from brining and put them in the drip pan on the grill right below the meat.

  • This is why you need to buy a thermometer. You will want to check the temperature from time to time.

  • On the day you are smoking your pork leg, take it out of the refrigerator about an hour or so before you want it to go on the grill.

  • You will want to bring it down to room temperature.

  • Preparing your grill for indirect grilling and hot smoking is easy.

  • In the bottom of your grill, place two good sized wood pieces of oak, and dump the hot briquettes on top of the wood.

  • For some more flavoring, you could add some red wine and water to your drip pan.

  • To keep your smoked pork leg from drying out, place a stainless-steel pan full of water on top of the fire to act as a vaporizer. 

  • This will keep the gases in the Barbecue moist and decrease the drying out of the skin on your leg of pork.

  • You might need to also make a baffle out of folded aluminum foil and place it the length of the fire.

  • Now it is time to let your grill heat up to the right temperature.

  • It will take about ten or fifteen minutes for the temperature to rise enough to put the leg of pork on the grill.

  • With the temperature about 45F, you can put the leg of pork on the grill and the spices from the brine in the drip pan underneath.

  • You will want to close the vent holes to about ½ and make sure your thermometer is on the top inside of your barbecue.

  • The temperature will quickly rise to 296F.

  • When you open the lid, you will see that your smoked pork leg is turning a nice brown.

  • It will look like it has shrunk a little and it might even look a little rounder.

  • You might need to add more charcoal briquettes on top of the hot ones in the grill.

  • Check your vaporizer and make sure it still has plenty of water in it, and cover the thinner part of your smoked pork leg with some foil so it does not burn or overcook. Close the lid and let it cook.

  • When the temperature is at 264F, open the lid. 

  • The smoked pork leg should look golden brown and the skin should be retracting by now.

  • Add more charcoal briquettes and another chunk of oak smoke wood.

  • Place the wood on top of the hot briquettes.

  • Add water to the drip pan, and to the vaporizer bowl.

  • Clean the fire by shaking and taking out the ashes underneath.

  • It is easier to control a clean fire for your pork leg.

  • Make sure you turn your smoked pork leg and put the skin side up. Cover loosely with foil.

  • Shut the lid and open the vent holes fully.

  • When the temperature reaches 271F, the temperature of the inside of the fat part of the pork leg should now be 172F.

  • The cooking time is about 10 hours.

  • Your smoked pork leg can now be taken off the grill and put on a cutting board.

  • You should cover it with foil and let rest inside the house for about an hour.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 184kcal