7 Best Smoked Turkey Rubs

Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: September 05, 2023
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Everyone might be into pork, beef and chicken and then there’s you who’s a turkey fanatic always exploring different recipes.

Yes, turkey is dry and bland, but deep down, you know it’s sweet. And you always make it sweeter with new turkey rub recipes.

If you look online, you’ll get lots of recipes you can explore to get the right taste that suits your needs, whether you want to give your turkey a crunchy taste or make it wet using wine vinegar or oil.

Of course, some of the recipes require different ingredients, and we’ll discuss them in this guide.

The good thing is that the turkey rub is not meant for turkey alone. You can add to different types of meats like beef to enhance the taste. Experts say you’ll rely mostly on seasoning to add the deep flavors to your meat. You should get a good seasoning rub like the Madison Park Foods with zero artificial flavors and preservatives. It adds an extra taste to your smoked and deep-fried turkey.

So, let’s quickly cover everything about turkey rub recipes.

How to use a rub when smoking turkey?

7 Best Smoked Turkey Rubs

Knowing how to use the turkey rub is very important before you start focusing on the ingredients.

You’ll greatly improve the overall taste of your turkey.

–        So first, start by separating your turkey’s breast from the skin and be extra cautious not to tear it. You may use a knife to skin the breastbone and separate the meat.

–        Use a spoon to season your turkey cavity (dry rub). Next, season the legs, thighs, and breasts using vinegar or wine together with the rub paste. It’s okay to pull back the flesh after you’re done seasoning the flesh.

–        If you have a few wet rubs left, you can smear it on the exterior surface of your turkey.

It’s that simple.

Our favorite smoked turkey rub recipes

Like we mentioned, we have different smoke recipes rubs that you can explore at home or in restaurants.

Of course, people have different needs, and that’s not an exception when it comes to food. Just ensure you get everything ready from your grill to spice containers. If you need a good spice container, you can check out Aozita 24 pc glass jars. They’re designed from top-notch lead-free glass for you to have a clear look at your spices.

So, in this section, we will look at all the recipes you can start experimenting with now.

The Cajun smoked turkey rub

Well, Cajun roasted turkey is just like the old way of roasting turkey, but the difference comes in the ton of flavors and heats you’ll introduce.

Its recipe is simple. You’ll have to mashup spices with the butter that is often channeled under the turkey’s skin.

Rubbing is very vital when it comes to making Cajun roasted turkey.

Some of the ingredients you’ll need here include paprika and cayenne. Paprika is responsible for the red color in the rub while cayenne introduces heat.

First, mix your spices until they fully blend. Next spread Cajun butter between the meat and skin to introduce some moisture to your meat.

If you don’t prefer to use Cajun butter, mix all these spices to create a dry rub you’ll spread over your turkey. Slowly, rub them outside your turkey until everything is well seasoned. If possible, add oil or vinegar.

Citrus and herb smoked turkey rub

Citrus and herbs is a common way of preparing sweet turkey.

They’re both easy to mashup and blend with turkey meat.

Normally, most people who prepare the citrus and herb-roasted turkey do it on most holidays though it suits several occasions.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

–        ½ tsp salt

–        ½ tsp black pepper

–        1 lemon

–        1 navel orange

–        ½ cup of butter

–        3 tbsp fresh thyme

–        3 tbsp fresh Rosemary

–        4 tbsp chopped fresh sage

Here are the instructions:

–        Mix the ingredients, stir gently then set your bowl aside.

–        Put your turkey on a flat surface like a roasting pan.

–        Using your hands or paper towels, pat dry all over the turkey. Loosen your turkey skin then rub the butter over and below the turkey skin.

–        Sprinkle the paper and salt on your turkey

–        Roast your turkey for at least 3 hours

–        Leave it to cool for 30 minutes before you start carving.

Easy smoked turkey rub

The turkey rub is not only good for turkey, but you can try it on chickens and pork alike.

You can add chili or paprika to give it a slightly sweet and bitter taste.

Mix your rub well and allow it to sit on your meat for say like 20 to 30 minutes so that it activates the exterior parts of your meat.

For the best results, we recommend adding the dry rub when your meat is cold.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

–        1 tbsp onion powder

–        1 tbsp garlic powder

–        4 tbsp smoked paprika

–        3 tbsp brown sugar

–        3 tbsp salt

–        2 tbsp ground black pepper

–        1 tbsp ground cumin

After you’ve got your ingredients ready, stick to these instructions:

–        Mix your ingredients and transfer to your shaker.

–        Rub your meat evenly. Ensure you don’t tear it in the process.

–        Let the rub sit there for a while

Jerked Smoked Turkey Rub

With this method, you’ll introduce scotch bonnet peppers which are very hot but doesn’t alter your turkey’s taste.

First, you’ll begin by making your jerk marinade in a food processor. The ingredients you’ll need include garlic, scotch bonnet peppers, fresh thyme, salt, pepper, crushed allspice. Put them in a food processor and blend.

Next, spatchcock your turkey. If your turkey is large, remove its back and hold down its breast to flatten it. Start rubbing your turkey using your jerk marinade.

You can choose to save your turkey for later or grill it immediately though we recommend you fire it up instantly.

It’s time to smoke your turkey. Balance placing your turkey between the hot and cooler sides of your smoker. You can baste it using oil so that it doesn’t dry up.

Garlic butter rub

With the garlic butter rub method, you’ll follow two steps; dry brine your meat and use the garlic butter rub to add flavor.

Dry brining involves spreading salt over your turkey and refrigerating it for a few days to suck out all the moisture from your turkey. It will also make your meat tender so that you can season it with ease.

It’s a simple process.

7 Best Smoked Turkey Rubs

All you’ll have to do is to spread the brine over your turkey using your hands or paper towel.

After that place your turkey in a container and let it sit in your refrigerator for a maximum of 48 hours. Next, open the lid and let it stay outside for another 24 hours. After that, you can introduce your garlic butter rub evenly below the breast’s skin.

The best-fried turkey rub

The final look of any deep-fried turkey is amazing.

You’ll use the rub and injection formula to introduce flavor to your turkey.

The flavors you’ll need here include butter, lemon, herbs, chili, garlic or paprika. Grind them into a paste then inject it on your meat using an injector.

You should also master the process of injecting meat and deep frying it before trying this process.

Magic Dust Seasoning

The magic dust seasoning was invented by Mike Mills.

It uses a combo of sugar, dry mustard, garlic powder, chili powder, and cayenne.

But the only shortcoming is you’ll have to store the mixtures in a jar for a minimum of one year.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need in details:

–        ½ cup paprika

–        2 tbsp black pepper

–        2 tbsp cayenne

–        ¼ granulated garlic

–        2 tbsp mustard powder

–        ¼ cup sugar

Here are the steps:

–        Mix your ingredients and store them in a tight jar

–        Add some of your ingredients in a shaker

–        Start seasoning your turkey on a table. Dry rub It on the meat.

–       Depending on your needs, you can add some black pepper or mustard to make your meat spicy.

Final thoughts

Smoked turkey rub is yummy, and the good thing is we’ve covered several recipes you can count on to give your turkey a different taste.

And like you’ve seen; some require some special ingredients and equipment you’ll have to get to make the process a success.

Others are simple, and you’ll make your meal within a few hours of sticking to the process.

You can play around with the recipes to get that perfect one you’ll be making for your friends and family during special occasions. And surprise them some days by breaking the monotony of using a single flavor.

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