We are combining some of the BEST dried herbs and spices to make our homemade smoked turkey seasoning! Perfect for the smoker, the oven, the grill, and an air fryer, our turkey dry rub contains the ideal blend of flavors to make your turkey dinner a WHOLE LOTTA YUM in under 10-minutes!
Smoked Turkey Rub
Ever since we purchased a Traeger for my husband a few years ago, he's been cooking up a storm and experimenting weekly with lots of incredible recipes. One of the keys to being able to create delicious smoker recipes on the fly is making our own seasoning rubs whether it be for turkey parts, chicken, pork, beef, or seafood. They're simple to customize and easy to use "turkey" rub for another cut of meat.
We love making homemade dry rubs for a variety of dinners in our home. Be sure to check out our chicken wing dry rub (that works for all cuts of chicken, not just wings) and our no sugar pork dry rub that will make your BBQ the absolute best!
Looking for ways to utilize this delicious homemade smoked turkey seasoning rub? How about making a bone-in smoked turkey breast or turkey legs, turkey wings, or turkey thighs? Our smoked turkey rub is perfect for all methods of cooking whether you are looking to air fry, grill, smoke, bake, or even deep fry a whole bird on the BIG day.
Why you'll love this Smoked Turkey Seasoning Rub
- Combine, shake, and season - making this homemade turkey dry rub is that easy!
- We are using some of the best herbs for poultry in our homemade smoked turkey rub including rosemary, thyme, and sage.
- Bringing in the smokey flavor, we have paprika, chili powder, and cayenne, the best trifecta for deep smokey flavor in any meat or poultry blend.
- If you are trying to follow a specific eating plan, making homemade smoked seasoning is one of the best ways to stay compliant! Our turkey dry rub works for gluten-free and dairy-free meal plans and can easily be adapted to fit a sugar-free, low-carb, or keto lifestyle (see diet adaptions below).
- Our no-cook dry rub seasoning for turkey is ready in just a few minutes!
Smoked Turkey Seasoning Recipe ingredients
For the best results, we do recommend that you make your smoked turkey seasoning dry rub with the freshest herbs and spices.
Oh, and if you are looking to save a little money when purchasing your herbs and spices, be sure to check out the bulk section (if your store has one). Often you can purchase much smaller quantities, especially helpful for items you may not use often.
- garlic powder
- ground onion powder
- smoked paprika
- chili powder
- fine sea salt
- course ground black pepper
- brown sugar
- cayenne pepper
- minced fresh (or dried) rosemary
- dried thyme
- dried sage
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact quantities **
- Sugar-Free - To make a sugar-free version, swap the brown sugar for golden erythritol, golden monk fruit, or coconut sugar.
- Keto/Low-Carb - To make your turkey rub low-carb and keto-friendly, swap the brown sugar for either golden erythritol, golden monk fruit, or coconut sugar.
How to make a seasoning for Smoked Turkey
Add the garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, sea salt, black pepper, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, dried rosemary, dried thyme, and dried sage in a small bowl.
Mix the smoked turkey dry rub until the ingredients are well combined.
For smoking a turkey we recommend making a turkey rub paste with a ratio of 1 tablespoon rub to 1 tablespoon olive oil. Brush under the skin, on top of the turkey, and on the underside too.
Store the rub in a small mason jar or another lidded container. You can store it for up to a year or until it starts to lose flavor.
The turkey dry rub recipe makes about 10 tablespoons of seasoning, which can be used for many recipes. Most recipes just call for a couple of tablespoons of rub.
Turkey Dry Rub recipe tips
- Do not swap table salt for sea salt or kosher salt. Table salt is much stronger and the recipe will taste too salty.
- You can easily increase or decrease the smokiness of your turkey dry rub by altering the amount of cayenne, chili powder, and paprika.
- The turkey seasoning dry rub recipe will work with any type of turkey parts. It will also work with chicken and pork ribs, too.
- Use our poultry dry rub for recipes cooked in the air fryer, oven, on the grill, or in the smoker.
- To save (a lot!) of money buying spices, get tiny quantities from the bulk section at the grocery store instead of purchasing entire bottles of each spice.
How to store Seasoning for Smoked Turkey
- Store: Keep your seasoning in an airtight container and place it in a cool, dark, and dry place, such as a pantry or cupboard for up to 6 months. Make sure to keep it away from heat sources like the stove or sunlight.
- Freeze: For longer storage, place leftover smoked turkey seasoning rub in an air tight container and freeze it for up to 1-2 years.
How long does homemade rub last?
When stored in an airtight container (like a mason jar) homemade dry rubs can last up to 2-3 years, however, the flavors will lessen over time.
Turkey Rub for Smoking FAQs
Turkey dry rubs use salt, pepper, and dried herbs like rosemary, sage, oregano, or thyme. To make your turkey dry seasoning smokey, include flavors like smoked paprika or earthy spices like cumin or chili powder. Brown sugar is commonly included in smokey dry rubs to add a touch of sweetness and balance out the flavors.
When smoking a turkey, some seasoning is encouraged for flavor but it is not essential. To add seasoning prior to smoking, use either a dry rub or make a turkey brine.
Apply the rub at a minimum 30-60 minutes before smoking. You can apply rub to your turkey 24 hours before you plan to smoke it, adding the rub the day before helps the seasoning to penetrate the meat and brings out the flavor. This allows the spices and herbs to penetrate the meat, enhancing its flavor.
Yes, applying turkey rub under the skin is highly recommended since it helps to infuse the meat with flavor and adds moisture during smoking. Gently loosen the skin from the meat and spread the rub between the skin and meat.
LIghtly coating the turkey with a little cooking oil before applying the rub helps the rub stick to the meat and it also helps promote even browning and crispness. You can also combine the rub with oil and spread it on the turkey like a paste.
To get the rub to stick to the turkey, first pat the turkey dry with paper towels to remove moisture. Lightly coat the turkey with oil which acts as a binder and helps the rub stick. Then, apply the rub generously, pressing it onto the skin and meat, plus under the skin too.
More Rub Recipes
Looking for more rub recipes?
More Turkey Recipes
Looking for more turkey recipes?
- Smoked turkey breast bone-in
- Air fryer turkey breast (bone in)
- Air fryer frozen turkey breast roast
- Air fryer turkey cutlets
- Breaded turkey cutlets with panko
- Air fryer turkey drumsticks
- Air fryer turkey wings