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Turkey Rub Butter Recipe

This turkey rub butter is a sweet wet rub you can add to the skin for added flavor this year! Whether it’s smoked or baked it may become your new favorite. 

turkey rub butter

Ok so we made a pellet grill turkey the other day with this turkey rub butter on top! It added a nice sweet flavor atop our crispy skin which the kids loved. If you’re looking for a different wet turkey rub to use this year, give this a whirl!

I literally didn’t know quite what to call this as it isn’t a dry turkey rub, it’s a bit more like melted butter. Even though there isn’t any butter in it.

  • We’ve made a turkey with pats of butter and orange slices under the skin, that was yummy.
  • My mom always just threw it in a bag with some salt and pepper on the skin and into the oven. “Old fashioned” way but came out juicy nonetheless.
  • Our pressure cooker turkey uses onions and spices and comes out fall off the bone tender.

This time we wanted to try something different, and sweeter. A honey sauce of sorts is what we used here.

smoked turkey rub recipe 2

First you’ll want to rinse your turkey and get it ready to cook just for a bit to get the skin a bit crispy. We were smoking a turkey so we put it on our grate to do that.

Items you’ll need:

Turkey rub butter

  1. Honey
  2. Minced garlic
  3. Apple
  4. Salt
  5. Olive oil
  6. Brown sugar
  7. Cayenne pepper
  8. Onion
  9. Thyme
  10. Apple cider vinegar
smoked turkey rub recipe
pellet grill turkey

You can make this turkey rub after you pop your turkey on your grill or smoker to get the skin a bit crispy. That will take about an hour anyway.

  • Then you’re going to take it out and pour on your sauce like you see here. You want enough to coat the skin but not saturated where there is a ton laying on the bottom just sitting there.
  • If you use a turkey basting brush to ensure your honey rub is over every inch of skin it will allow you to get into every nook and cranny and not soak it.

Then you’re going to let the smoking or baking continue so the inside of your bird can reach a safe 165 degrees internally, and your skin is crispy.

Of course everyone has a different preference as to how crispy they like their skin. If the insides are done but you just want the skin to be crispier than throw it under your broiler for about 5 minutes to really focus on the skin. 😉

easy smoked turkey recipe

This is what ours looked like near the end of smoking a turkey but about an hour before we took it off. You see how the honey glaze is crisping up but not hard per say. It will stay a bit soft versus using a dry rub for turkey because of it’s ingredients. Let us know what you think when you try it!!

  • If you’d rather make a sheet pan turkey I would use your hands or your basting brush to apply a light coating on all sides of your bird after it’s been broken down.
  • Make sure to line your baking sheet with non stick aluminum foil for a quicker clean up.

Make sure your turkey is done before you carve it!

Where do you check temperature of a turkey?

  • See how long to cook a turkey here.
  • Stick an instant read thermometer in the meatiest part of the thigh.
    • This is a part of the turkey that cooks the slowest and is always the thickest.
  • Cooked turkey temperature should reach 180 degrees in the thigh and 165 degrees in the breast meat.
  • ALWAYS remove your bird from the heat source and then checking to get an accurate read!

This is how to make the best smoked turkey using this rub. Alternatively you can use our tri tip dry rub on the outside if you want something dry.

best smoked turkey
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Turkey Rub Butter

This turkey rub butter is a sweet wet rub you can add to the skin for added flavor this year! Whether it’s smoked or baked it may become your new favorite. 
Course Dip, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword butter, coating, rub, sauce, turkey
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 95kcal
Author The Typical Mom



  • In a sauce pan add all of your ingredients, stir. Allow to cook until apples break down. Then pour into a blender and pulse until mixed well but not completely pureed.
  • When smoking a turkey put in at 240 degrees for about 1 hour so skin gets slightly browned. Then remove and pour enough turkey butter over the top so skin is coated. (make sure you have a baking sheet underneath it lined with foil or it will get messy)
  • If smoking return it back, close lid and continue cooking until internal temp of meat is 165 degrees and outside skin with wet rub is as crispy as you'd like it. 30 minutes per pound is usually spot on for timing.
  • If making sheet pan turkey follow our directions in link above recipe card but rub this sauce on each piece before putting it on your baking sheet. Add just enough to coat skin but not saturated and dripping.


Nutrition Facts
Turkey Rub Butter
Amount Per Serving (1 oz)
Calories 95 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 731mg32%
Potassium 55mg2%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Sugar 14g16%
Vitamin A 100IU2%
Vitamin C 1.8mg2%
Calcium 12mg1%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating

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