Smoked Turkey Rub

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This barbecue turkey rub is really simple to prepare and precisely balanced to enhance the taste of smoked turkey.

It might be difficult to get the correct balance for everyone, but this turkey rub very well nails it.

Why I make my own rubs

Smoked Turkey Rub

I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with taste profiles while creating my own rubs. I then went through the process of purchasing commercial rubs.

I felt if these folks were winning dishes in contests, they must be excellent.

They are, but I also know that most, if not all, of the items they utilize are easily accessible in my own cupboard.

So what’s in this turkey rub?

This is an excellent basic rub that can be tailored to your preferences and used on a variety of proteins.

Smoked paprika, brown sugar, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, mustard powder, garlic powder, and onion powder are all combined.

Here are a few tips on how to tweak it:

  • This rub is great for both turkey and chicken; if you want to use it on pig, double the paprika and sugar amounts and add a little chile to taste, beginning with a teaspoon of cayenne at first.
  • If you like a kick in the pants sort of heat, you may add some chili to it; however, I recommend beginning small and working your way up. When it comes to chili, a little goes a long way.
  • If you don’t like the smoky flavor, use regular paprika instead, or sweet paprika for a little sweeter taste.
  • If you wish to use this on beef, leave out the sugar, increase the salt and pepper levels, and cut the paprika in half.

Using The Rub

I believe the most prevalent error made by folks new to smoking, as well as others who have been doing it for a time, is to rub on their dry rubs.

Don’t do that; a dry rub should be properly dusted from about 12 inches above the protein to ensure consistent and equal covering.

If you shake the rub before each use, you’ll receive the same flavor every time.

In practice, you should take the meat out of the fridge, cut it if necessary, and apply the rub while it is still cold, then let it aside to get to room temperature, which normally takes about an hour.

This gives the rub plenty of time to activate, sucking moisture from the protein’s outermost layer to aid in binding the rub to it.


I move any residual rub into an airtight container for storage since the sugar content typically cakes up and the whole rub turns into a spice brick; you can loosen this up with a fork but by storing it appropriately, you prevent the need to loosen it the next time you need it.

We have a great range of homemade rubs you can try

  • 7 delicious dry rubs for pulled pork and ribs
  • Homemade brisket rub
  • Homemade BBQ coffee rub


Should I season my turkey before smoking?

With a little spice, turkey tastes fantastic. To add some true BBQ flavor and complement the smoke from the grill, rub a simple Sweet Rub or Smoked bird Rub over the surface of your bird.

What do you put on turkey skin when smoking?

What is the best way to achieve crispy skin on smoked turkey?
Refrigerate the turkey for 24 hours to remove extra moisture from the skin. The less water there is in the skin, the crispier it will become.
To improve the crispiness of the turkey skin, rub it with butter or oil.
After the turkey has done smoking, do not cover it with foil.

What to use to keep turkey moist in smoker?

While smoking the turkey, baste or spritz it with chicken stock to keep it moist and crisp up the skin. This recipe’s butter will really make your skin crisp, thus the spritzing is more to protect it from drying out.

When should I rub my turkey?

Is it necessary to season my turkey before cooking it? Yes! You may season your turkey at any time, but it should be done before cooking. You may season the chicken shortly before putting it in the oven, or you can use a dry-brine approach and season it a few days ahead of time.

Should I rub oil on my turkey before smoking?

Before using it on your smoker or grill, just spray it with oil. If the turkey was wet brined, treat the dried body with oil before applying the dry rub. After seasoning the turkey, place your oven-safe wireless thermometer into the thickest section of the bird thigh.

Should I spray my turkey while smoking?

To prevent the meat from drying out, spray it every half hour to 45 minutes. It also creates a layer that helps the smoke to spread over and adhere to the meat.

Should I put rub under turkey skin?

Before roasting, rub the spices beneath the skin and on the exterior of the bird. This approach enables the spices to enter the meat while also encouraging fat rendering, resulting in excellent taste and texture.

How do you get rub to stick to turkey?

How should a rub be applied on a turkey? It’s quite simple. You just need your hands and a dry bird, and we recommend rubbing a little olive oil on the skin beforehand. This will help your seasoning adhere nicely.

Should I put a pan of water in my smoker for a turkey?

If you’re using a smoker, fill the water pan with 2-3 liters of water, beer, apple juice, or wine. To catch the drippings, place a drip pan with a splash of water on the bottom frying grate.

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