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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. This is how to make the best smoked turkey using this rub.

butter turkey rub

Ok so we made a pellet grill turkey the other day with this butter rub for turkey drizzle! 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! (affiliate links present)

Turkey Butter Recipe

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. You can put it on any pound of turkey really. Just whisk it up in a small bowl and pat dry. Use on your roasted turkey or on your smoker. Add fresh herbs diced up if you like.

  • 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. If you don’t have time for brining a turkey overnight this is the second best thing. As with all types of rubs you want a few paper towels to dry the outside. Dry skin means a crispy skin which is ideal.

smoked turkey rub recipe 2

First you’ll want to rinse your thawed 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. There are many other ways to cook a moist turkey though. The items you’ll need:

  • Small saucepan
  • Blender
  • If you’re curious about our handy turkey stand, you need one too for smoking. Or use a roasting rack for the oven.
  • A basting brush is helpful
  • Thermometer to check temp in the thickest part

Turkey rub butter

If all you have ever done is remove the neck and giblets and rubbed softened butter under the skin this is way better. You could do that as well though if you just thought that needed to be done too since this is added later on. If using this on top of your Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast I would cut this in half since it is smaller.

  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

Herb butter recipe for 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 to an hour and 30 minutes 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. 😉 Always always allow turkey to rest before slicing or you lose all of those wonderful juices.

easy smoked turkey recipe

How to Season a Thanksgiving Turkey

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! While it is resting for at least 15 minutes you should cover it with a piece of foil so it stays warm but has time to just sit and rest.

Where do you check temperature of a turkey?

In a Turkey Crown you want to insert into the thickest part of one of the breasts.

  • See how long to cook a turkey here.
  • Stick an instant read thermometer in the meatiest part of the thigh or turkey breast.
    • 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!

Alternatively you can use our tri tip dry rub on the outside if you want something dry.

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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


  • 1 blender



  • 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.
turkey rub butter
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