Nutrition Facts

Cranberry BBQ Turkey Thighs

cranberry bbq turkey thighs
Cooks in 25 minutes
Serves 2-3




Backyard Boss


Ray Lampe, Dr. BBQ


  • 2 whole turkey thighs, about 1 pound each
  • Olive oil
  • Dizzy Pig Mad Max Turkey Seasoning*
  • 1 c canned whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 c ketchup
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


Make the BBQ Sauce:

In a medium saucepan on the stovetop or smoker over medium low heat, combine the cranberry sauce and the ketchup. Bring to a low simmer.

Add the lime juice, brown sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne. Mix well and return to a low simmer.

Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.

Reserve 1/2 cup in a separate bowl for serving and set both aside. This can be made a few hours ahead and held at room temperature or a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator overnight.

Turkey Prep:

Prepare the grill to cook direct over medium-low heat, about 350° F.

Pull the skin off of the thighs and discard. With a sharp thin knife, cut along the sides of the bones to remove them leaving as much meat as possible intact. Discard the bones.

Cut a slash into the thick parts of the thighs to make the thickness as even as possible.

Rub the thighs on all sides with olive oil, then season them liberally with the Dizzy Pig Mad Max Turkey Seasoning.

Place them on the grill and cook, flipping occasionally until the thighs are about 140° F. This will take about 12-14 minutes.

Keep cooking and flipping, but start brushing the top with a heavy coating of the barbecue sauce at every turn until the thighs are nicely browned and cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165° F.

Discard any remaining sauce that has been used for brushing.

Remove the turkey thighs to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly and serve with the reserved barbecue sauce on the side.

*Dr. BBQ’s Pro Tip:

The Dizzy Pig Mad Max Turkey Seasoning is available at dizzypigbbq.com. If you don’t have it, substitute a savory barbecue rub or a poultry seasoning with a little salt and pepper added.

For more on Dr. BBQ’s Cranberry BBQ Turkey Thighs, watch his step-by-step video below!