How to Smoke a Turkey with Rex’s Turkey Rub

One of my favorite methods of cooking a turkey is on the smoker.  I find that the smoke adds some nice little notes that complement the turkey.  Traditionally, I use just salt and pepper.  However, I wanted to come up with a rub that would give me some mouth watering, super tasty turkey.  I think I may have done just that.

Smoked Turkey Rub

How to Smoke a Turkey with Rex’s Turkey Rub

You can smoke a turkey without brining, but it just doesn’t come out as good.  I suggest brining your turkey for at least 12 hours.  I have two great brines to choose from.  Both pack a punch and help deliver a super tender and juicy turkey.

  1. Turkey Brine
  2. Broth Turkey Brine

Broth Turkey Brine

Once you have your turkey brined, pat it dry with a paper towel.

Turkey Removed from the Brine

Preheat your grill or smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Time to add the rub

In a medium bowl, add brown sugar (I like dried brownulated sugar), kosher salt, paprika, cumin, sage, mustard, oregano, thyme, coriander, garlic and onion powder.

Turkey Rub

Mix well.  Place into a shaker or an old spice container.

Evenly Rubbed Turkey

Evenly coat the entire turkey with the rub.  Let sit while the smoker preheats.

Smoking the Turkey

Place the turkey in the smoker and cook until the internal temperature of the breast is 165 degrees.  I monitor the temperature with a leave-in probe thermometer.  That way I can always know the temperature.  Today I used the Thermoworks Smoke thermometer.  It senses the pit temperature and the turkey temperature.  Plus, it sends the temperature wirelessly to me.  They also have an attachment to send the temperature to your phone.  The thermoworks smoke gatewayis an add-on item but totally worth it.

Thermoworks Smoke

Once the turkey is on the smoker, close the lid and let it smoke for 2.5 hours.  At the four hour mark, check the turkey for color.  The turkey will not be cooked, but you want to check for the appearance. If the color is to your liking, cover the entire turkey in foil (look for a nice golden brown color).

Golden Brown

Close the lid and continue to cook until the temperature reaches 165 degrees in the breast.  This will take about 20 minutes a pound.  So, for a 14lb bird, it be roughly 4 hours and 40 minutes.  Remember: do not cook based on time!  Make sure to cook based on temperature.  Once the probe thermometerreaches 165 degrees, make sure to double check with an instant read thermometer.  I use a Thermapen, but you can use whatever you have available.

Perfectly Smoked Turkey

Now that the turkey is at temperature, remove from the smoker and let the turkey rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Carved Turkey

Once rested, carve and serve.

How to Smoke a Turkey with Rex's Turkey Rub
Author: 
Recipe type: BBQ
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 servings
 
The best turkey rub around! Use this rub and this method to be the hero this Thanksgiving!
Ingredients
Smoked Turkey
  • 1 12-18lb Turkey
  • Rex's Turkey Rub (see Recipe Below)
  • Turkey Brine - see website for links
  • Foil
Rex's Turkey Rub
  • 3 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
Instructions
  1. You can smoke a turkey without brining, but it just doesn't come out as good. So I suggest brining your turkey for at least 12 hours. I have two great brines to choose from. Both pack a punch and help deliver a super tender and juicy turkey. See Savoryreviews.com for brine recipes.
  2. Once you have your turkey brined, pat it dry with a paper towel.
  3. Preheat your grill or smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. In a medium bowl, add brown sugar (I like dried brownulated sugar), kosher salt, paprika, cumin, sage, mustard, oregano, thyme, coriander, garlic and onion powder.
  5. Mix well. Place into a shaker or old spice container.
  6. Evenly coat the entire turkey with the rub. Let sit while the smoker preheats.
  7. Place the turkey in the smoker and cook till the internal temperature of the breast is 165 degrees. I monitor the temperature with a leave-in probe thermometer. That way I can always know the temperature.
  8. Once the turkey is on the smoker. Close the lid and let it smoke for 2.5 hours. At the four hour mark check the turkey for color. The turkey will not be cooked but you want to check for the appearance. If the color is to your liking, cover the entire turkey in foil (look for a nice golden brown).
  9. Close the lid and continue to cook till the temperature reaches 165 degrees in the breast. This will take about 20 minutes a pound. So for a 14lb bird it be roughly 4 hours and 40 minutes. Remember do not cook based on time, make sure to cook based on temperature. Once the probe thermometer reaches 165 degrees make sure to double check with an instant read thermometer. I use a Thermapen, but you can use whatever you have available.
  10. Now that the turkey is at temperature, remove from the smoker and let the turkey rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
  11. Once rested, carve and serve.
Notes
Turkey Brine - http://www.savoryreviews.com/2010/11/15/how-to-brine-a-turkey/
Broth Turkey Brine - http://www.savoryreviews.com/2017/11/15/broth-based-turkey-brine/
Thermapen - http://www.savoryreviews.com/recommends/thermoworks-mk4/
Thermoworks Smoke -http://www.savoryreviews.com/recommends/smoke/
 

 

About Author

Rex

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

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