Author Topic: Turkey - To Rub or not to Rub?  (Read 610 times)

Offline Shark Bait

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Turkey - To Rub or not to Rub?
« on: November 27, 2016, 01:00:57 pm »
This thread is really to start a discussion of the benefits, if any, of using a rub when smoking a turkey.

While I normally use my Bradley for smoking beef, pork and Salmon, I have done a couple of turkeys over the years so my wife wanted me to smoke a couple of turkeys for Thanksgiving.  I decided to use Jan’s Rub http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=36695.0  on one and Slowpoke’s http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=37233.0 on the other. While both turkeys turned out great, neither of them had as much rub flavor as I expected so it got me to thinking – and that is dangerous.

As thick as turkey skin is I am wondering how much of the rub flavor gets down to the meat even when the turkey is coated inside and out.  Would using a spiced brine or injection be better?  Do most of you Turkey Experts normally use a rub?

So here is what I did. Bradley 6 rack digital modified with an 1100W fined heating element (details of my mod are here http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=31078.msg413226#msg4132), Auber PID, Apple smoke.  2 X 14# Butterball turkeys, thawed, blotted dry, rub applied (20 hours), Bradley pre-heated to 250F, OAT 20F to 25F, turkeys on racks 3 and 5, switched racks at 2 hrs, cabinet temperature was 195F to 219F during the 4 hr smoke. Removed turkeys after 4 hrs, internal breast temp was 146F, moved inside to an oven pre-heated to 350F. Finished cooking uncovered in the oven for 1 hr 23 Min, breast temp was 160F, removed, tented for 15 min and carved -both were tender and juicy.

So here is the question – To Rub or not to Rub? Is it really worth the time and effort to use a Rub?  :)


Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Turkey - To Rub or not to Rub?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 01:34:21 pm »
I always apply a rub on my turkey, even if it is as simple as salt, pepper and garlic powder. I get great flavor from applying a rub on a turkey. When it comes to turkey I'm not one for spicy rubs, and tend to use rubs that contain herbs. I apply the rub both under the skin, and over the top of the skin. I also apply some rub inside the cavity, and at times will loosely stuff the cavity with more herb, citrus and onion.

Brining does add flavor, if the turkey has not been brined already. Injection is a great way to add additional flavor.


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Offline Grouperman941

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Re: Turkey - To Rub or not to Rub?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 04:55:22 pm »
Habs beat me to it, but I suggest also rubbing beneath the skin.
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Offline Wildcat

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Re: Turkey - To Rub or not to Rub?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 05:04:26 pm »
I always rub as well. I use a GMG for smoking birds. Much better skin results.
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