Smoked Turkey Rub: The Ultimate Guide to Flavorful Turkey

The ideal combination of savory and sweet ingredients creates this smoked turkey rub recipe, which results in the most succulent, juicy, and flavorful smoked turkey. A quick and easy spice mix that takes just minutes to put together.

I make a delicious smoked turkey every year for the holidays using homemade smoked turkey rub and turkey brine. For a full feast, add some side dishes like sautéed cabbage, mashed potatoes, and cornbread dressing!

A smoked turkey has become an annual Thanksgiving tradition in my house. It’s really very easy to make, tastes great, and the best part is that using a smoker clears out oven space for all those other baked Thanksgiving recipes. This dry rub is a must-have for the best possible holiday bird.

Ah, Thanksgiving. A time for family, friends, and of course, the star of the show: the turkey. But before you can baste and roast your bird to golden perfection, you need to make sure you have the right ingredients to make it taste amazing. That’s where the Smoked Turkey Rub comes in.

This rub is the perfect combination of BBQ flavors and herbs, specifically created to compliment the flavor of smoked turkey. It’s the best of the best, and it’s guaranteed to make your turkey taste incredible.

Why This Smoked Turkey Rub is the Best:

  • Developed with smoked turkey in mind: This rub is not just a generic turkey rub. It was created specifically for smoked turkey, so you can be sure that the flavors will be perfectly balanced and delicious.
  • Traditional BBQ flavors with a touch of herbs: This rub combines the classic BBQ flavors you know and love with the earthy goodness of herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage. This gives it a unique and delicious flavor that will have everyone asking for seconds.
  • Versatile enough for any occasion: This rub is perfect for Thanksgiving, but it’s also great for any other time you want to smoke a turkey. It’s also great for roasting turkey, so you can use it year-round.

Ingredients for the Smoked Turkey Rub:

This rub combines 7 classic BBQ seasonings with 4 tasty herbs to make it the most well-rounded and palate-pleasing turkey rub around.

The BBQ Basics:

  • Brown Sugar
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper

The Delicious Herbs:

  • Crushed Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Rubbed Sage
  • Celery Salt

How to Make the Smoked Turkey Rub:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, using a fork to break up any chunks.
  2. You can use the rub immediately, or store it in an airtight glass container for up to 1 month.

Tips for Using the Smoked Turkey Rub:

  • Use this rub on any type of turkey, whether you’re smoking it, roasting it, or grilling it.
  • If you’re using the rub on a smoked turkey, apply it to the turkey before you smoke it.
  • If you’re roasting the turkey, apply the rub to the turkey before you put it in the oven.
  • For grilling, apply the rub to the turkey just before you put it on the grill.

No matter how you use it, this Smoked Turkey Rub is sure to make your turkey taste amazing. So fire up the smoker, grill, or oven, and get ready to enjoy the best turkey you’ve ever had!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Additional Resources:

How Do You Make Smoked Turkey Rub?

Place all the ingredients in a small bowl, then stir until well combined. Transfer the rub to a jar or airtight container and store until you’re ready to use it.

smoked turkey rub after brine

Smoked Turkey Rub Ingredients

smoked turkey rub after brine

The ingredients for this rub can be found at all major grocery stores.

  • Brown Sugar: This recipe calls for light brown sugar. To ensure that the sugar blends well with all the spices, make sure it is not lumpy before adding it to the bowl.
  • Sweet Paprika: Spice rub calls for two types of paprika. Often simply labeled “paprika,” sweet paprika is distinguished from hot and smoked paprika by using the sweet designation.
  • Smoked Paprika: In the spice section, smoked paprika can be found with regular paprika. Its rich, nuanced flavor perfectly complements the turkey.
  • Black pepper: To get that traditional savory flavor profile, pepper is a need in any spice blend.
  • Kosher salt: For all of my cooking, I use Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt. It doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste like regular table salt occasionally does.
  • Onion Powder: With a flavor that is both savory and sweet, onion powder gives depth.
  • Garlic Powder: When it comes to using garlic, you can never go wrong. This time, garlic powder is the best option because it won’t burn over an extended cooking period.
  • Mustard Powder: To bring out the flavor of the meat, mustard is frequently used in smoked and barbecue recipes.
  • Although cayenne pepper is hot, very little of it is used in this recipe; it adds flavor without being overly spicy. To make the rub more spicy, you can add one teaspoon of cayenne.

Brined Smoked Turkey Recipe – How To Brine and Smoke A Whole Turkey


What to do after brining turkey for smoking?

Rinsing Off Turkey Remove it from the brine and rinse it extremely well in your sink on all sides including the cavity. You want to make sure it’s seasoned, not a salt lick so take the time to do this. Next, pat it dry and let it sit for 45 minutes at room temperature before smoking it.

Do you season a brined turkey?

After brining, remove from liquid and discard remaining brine. Rinse and pat your bird dry. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and generously seasoning the outside and cavity with salt and pepper.

How long to dry turkey after brining before smoking?

You will need to brine your turkey for at least 12 hours (though 24 is better). Then, once you remove it from the brine, you want to let it air dry for the crispiest skin, so plan for at least another 12 hours of drying or, better, another 24 hours.

Should I put rub on turkey the night before?

Yes! It doesn’t so much matter when you season your bird—whether it’s just before popping it in the oven or several days in advance for a dry-brine technique—as long as you season it before it gets cooked.

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