Smoked Turkey Rub

November 1, 2019

This Smoked Turkey Rub is the perfect combination of BBQ flavors and herbs. It was created specifically to compliment the flavor of smoked turkey, so you better believe that it’s the best of the best.

smoked turkey rub on sliced smoked turkey

Best Turkey Rub for Smoking

I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the absolute best turkey rub for smoking. It was developed with smoked turkey in mind, so I married traditional BBQ flavors with good, earthy herbs.

Whenever my husband Todd and I are out of town, I get smoked turkey every chance I get. Consider this recipe my homage to the delicious smoked turkeys that you can get in restaurant joints. Since I love them so much, I decided it was time to make my own turkey rub to share with the world so you can make and enjoy your own delicious smoked turkey at home.

Dry Rub for Smoked Turkey

This dry rub is perfect for smoked turkey because it’s MADE for smoked turkey. When creating this rub, I wanted it to be versatile enough for the holidays, while keeping traditional holiday flavors in mind. The holidays make me think of all the herbs, and this one combines sage, rosemary and thyme to give you that delicious holiday turkey flavor.

Now, even though I created this rub for smoked turkey, don’t let me stop you from using it on other turkey as well. If you want to roast your turkey, this rub will add some killer flavor to your bird.

Spoonful of smoked turkey rub over a wooden bowl of smoked turkey rub

Ingredients for 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.

First up, we begin with the BBQ Basics:

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

After that, we add in some delicious herbs to help round out this turkey seasoning:

  • Crushed Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Rubbed Sage
  • Celery Salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, using a fork to break up any chunks. This seasoning is ready to be used immediately, or if you’re big into prepping for Thanksgiving like I am, I like to make this seasoning ahead of time so it’s one less thing to worry about on the holiday.

You can store this turkey seasoning in any airtight glass container you have on hand. Personally, I like to store all my homemade seasonings and rubs in these glass spice containers. They are able to mingle with my other spices, and I can keep track of everything I make (and believe me, I make A LOT of homemade seasonings).

Assuming you have any turkey seasoning leftover, you can store any remaining seasoning in an airtight glass container for up to 1 month.

smoked turkey dry rub on turkey breast

More Meat Rub and Seasoning Recipes

I know grocery stores sell a plethora of pre-made rubs and seasonings, but I gotta say, it only takes a few minutes to mix up your own, and the ones you make at home are often 1000 times better.

Whether you’re planning on smoking up a brisket this weekend, or you just need a quick seasoning for some steak you’re tossing on the grill this afternoon, Hey Grill Hey has all the rubs and seasonings you could ever need. Check out a few below:

Brisket Rub
Best Dry Rub for Ribs
Steak Seasoning

Smoked Turkey Rub Recipe

Making some epic BBQ should be easy, and Hey Grill Hey is here to help! I’m all about helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. If you want to see more of my recipes, tips, and behind the scenes action, follow along on my social channels. You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube!

Creating a holiday dinner for your family should be stress-free, and Hey Grill Hey is here to help! Over at Patio Provisions, we have sauces, rubs, and more to help you make the most of your holiday planning. Check it out today!

Spoonful of turkey rub resting on the edge of a wooden bowl full of the same rub.

Smoked Turkey Rub

Smoked Turkey Rub is the perfect combination of BBQ flavors and herbs. It was made to compliment the flavor of smoked turkey so you can prepare your holiday feast knowing your turkey will come out tasting amazing.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time : 5 mins
Total Time : 5 mins
Servings : 65
Calories : 3.78kcal



  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Combine all ingredients for the smoked turkey rub in a medium bowl. Use a fork to combine and break up the sugar.
  • Use immediately or store in a airtight container for up to 1 month.


Calories: 3.78kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.91g | Protein: 0.07g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 233.03mg | Potassium: 9.4mg | Fiber: 0.13g | Sugar: 0.57g | Vitamin A: 110.75IU | Vitamin C: 0.07mg | Calcium: 1.78mg | Iron: 0.07mg
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39 thoughts on “Smoked Turkey Rub

    1. Excellent rub!!! The flavor is perfect. Added some of the left over rub to the butter I used to baste my turkey. To finish off the turkey added some honey to the butter & rub to creat a glaze.

  1. New to smoking. made the turkey rub, and it was great. problem is top of the turkey (most of the breast) cooked fine, but lower part of turkey (Thighs, legs, lower part of breast) were still near raw after 7 hrs of smoking at 225 deg. Wouldn’t have wanted the breast any more done. Put it in the smoker in a tin roasting pan, could that be the problem? There were also almost no juice drippings from the turkey. It was a 13lb turkey. Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. for an even smoke Spatchcock your bird, butterfly it. Cut the backbone out and lay it flat, it might take a little convincing. The bird has a more even thickness and gets smoke on all the surfaces. it cuts the cook time in half as well.

  2. In case anybody else is wondering how far this rub will go, I made this and one batch according to the recipe was good coverage for a 20 lb. whole bone-in turkey.

  3. Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme – Fresh or dried?

    Hi – this is awesome and I’m 100% in. I just need to understand if the sage, rosemary, and thyme we are to add – are those fresh herbs or dried?


  4. Hi Suzie. I love your recipes and your videos. I watch them all on FB and your website. On this turkey rub you are not putting softened butter under the skin as you did in the one that Todd likes with salt and pepper. Should I do the same on this one? Dont want to over do it. I love all of your recipes. I am hinting for a membership to your grill squad for Christmas. Thanks Art from Kissimmee Fl.

    1. You can adapt any of my recipes for the oven. Juat follow the time and temperature guidelines and make sure you have a pan under the turkey so you don’t get drippings in your oven.

      1. Thank you so much I think I will just grill this nice 10 pound turkey I bought lol it was supposed to be inexpensive but cant wait to give this a try also a friend if my dads says thyme is not supposed to be used on a turkey I hope to prove her wrong with this

      2. Hi I made a mistake and washed the turkey with dishwashing soap and water I know huge mistake LOL I’m fixing that right now but wanted to know if that would make the turkey more sour, also I was told to use three spoons of formented balsamic vinager. I generally dont like vinager because I just dont like it but I would like to know if this would change a thing I’m not a chef but was told by one to do this after I rinse the turkey really good and then fill a large thing with water and add the three spoons

  5. Thats what I was doing then my dads friend was saying oh thats not gonna work you have to do this and that now it became an argument because she was saying that you should not mix rosemary and thyme together which I did anyways in order to follow the recipe, and she was like I’m going to take the plate away from anyone you offered a piece of that Turkey to anyways I added a little hispanic spin to it, some powdered chicken stock with powdered cilantro and onion from Maggi the package reads Doble gusto it’s in Spanish but it says claro de pollo capa de cilantro y cebolla, powdered chicken stock with a cap of powdered cilantro and onion powder and also used premixed BBQ burger mix to add more of that BBQ flavor I hope it works out since I could not find all of the ingredients I needed, I hope the best for everyone 2020 has hit us all hard but we have to remember to keep going,

  6. Used this on our Thanksgiving turkey today on the smoker and it turned out amazing. Started with a basic two day brine, used this rub, and smoked at 350 for about 3.5 hours. Outstanding.

  7. This was delicious!! It was my first time smoking a turkey by myself and this rub was a great hit! I rolled pats of butter in it and then placed them under the skin of the breast meat. So yummy!!

  8. It was amazing I butterflied the turkey it took an hour and ten minutes to cook turned off the oven and just in case it was not all theroughly cooked I left it in the oven to cook the rest of the way with the heat and be for placing it in the oven I insisted in not using any mustard on it and it stayed juicy, the turkey leg I had was a little dry but the breast was juicy I got to try to see how the turkey neck came out thats for sure and also added some BBQ sauce onto it while baking, thank you so much.

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