Last Updated on March 21, 2023
This homemade smoked turkey rub recipe is better than any rub you’ll find in the grocery store. It’s the perfect combination of fresh herbs and spices and it take just 5 minutes to put together. This dry rub works well with any cooking method such as a charcoal smoker, a pellet grill, or the oven. It’s also great on chicken!
Grocery stores sell dozens of pre-made rubs and seasonings, and some of them are pretty tasty. But none of them are as good as mine.
I’ve smoked more birds than I can count and I’ve been tinkering with my rub recipe for years. A little more salt, a little more garlic, a touch more brown sugar. Through trial and error I’ve finally found what I consider the best smoked turkey rub recipe in the world.
Plus it’s all natural, made with 11 fresh herbs and spices that you probably already have in your kitchen. With the pre-bottled stuff you never know what kind of preservatives they add to it.
When you make it yourself you know exactly what’s in it. And it’s cheaper to make your own too!
Eleven basic herbs and spices combine to make a smoked turkey seasoning that will have your mouth watering.
- Brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Black Pepper
- Celery Seed
Just combine all ingredients in a bowl and use a fork to mix it well. Make sure you break up any chunks of brown sugar as that has a tendency to clump together.
You can use it immediately or store or make it ahead of time so it will be ready to go when you’re ready for it.
Store it in an airtight container and keep it in a cool, dark place like a cupboard or spice drawer. If stored properly it will last up to 6 months before it starts lose its flavor.
A glass mason jar is a good option for storing your dry rub. Personally I like to use these plastic storage containers I picked up on Amazon. They’re sturdy, they can go in both the freezer and microwave, and they stack neatly in the fridge. I use them for everything!
I think this dry rub recipe is perfect just the way it is and it will take your smoked turkey to another level. But here are a couple variations that you might want to try.
Spicy – Add some extra kick to your rub by adding a tablespoon of chili powder or cayenne pepper.
Sweet – If you prefer a little sweetness, add an additional tablespoon of brown sugar or a tablespoon of turbinado sugar
Frequently Asked Questions
What herbs go best with turkey?
Herbs that traditionally go with turkey are rosemary, thyme, and sage. Other popular options include oregano, basil, marjoram, and parsley.
Do you put seasoning under turkey skin?
Rub your turkey seasoning all over the outside of the bird and under the skin. This allows the seasonings to better penetrate the meat and provides the best possible flavor.
How do you get rub to stick to turkey?
Rub a tablespoon of olive oil or mustard all over the turkey and then liberally sprinkle with the rub and be sure to get some rub under the skin. The oil or mustard acts as a binder and gives the rub something to stick to so it doesn’t just fall off.
How long do homemade rubs last?
Stored properly, homemade dry rubs will last up to 6 months. Rubs should be stored in an airtight container and in a cool, dry place away from direct heat and sunlight. A dark pantry or cupboard is the best place to store dry rubs.
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl and use a fork to mix until combined. Make sure the brown sugar is broken up so it's not in big chunks.
- Use the rub immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
If you want to give your smoked turkey some extra kick add a teaspoon or chili powder or cayenne pepper.
For added sweetness, add an extra tablespoon of brown sugar.
You can make this rub ahead of time and store in an airtight container like this one until you're ready to use it.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 45Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1894mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g