when to put rub on turkey before smoking

Last Updated on: 28th May 2023, 10:49 pm

on enhance the flavor of the meat, rubs are applied on turkeys while they are being smoked.

These both improve the taste of the turkey and help us get a lovely, crispy bark.

However, there are a lot of myths about applying rub to turkeys.

When to use rubs when smoking is one of these myths.

Smoking is a delicate procedure, and even a small error can produce unpleasant flavor.

We will go through all the details of applying a rub to turkey in this post.

When is the optimum time to massage your turkey? does not have a straightforward answer.

varied pitmasters have varied perspectives on this, but in our view, the rubbing period when smoking a turkey may be anywhere between 10 minutes and 6 hours.

Being an enthusiastic pitmaster, I encounter these circumstances frequently.

When using a dry rub, I like to rub the turkey for between 10 minutes and two hours, and between two and six hours when using a wet rub.

Before choosing a rub time, you should rather consider the texture of the turkey.

Turkey rub time is a matter of personal preference.

There is no absolute law about this.

You should experiment with many options before choosing your favorite.

However, it’s preferable to first apply for a shorter period of time and then, if you want to, extend it.

To help the turkey thoroughly absorb the flavor, some people even prefer to massage it the night before smoking.

However, in our view, it is not necessary to massage the turkey for an entire night because, typically, the rubs seep into the pores of the bird when it is roasted.

Factors affecting rub time

Rub time is a hotly debated subject in the smoking industry, and many pitmasters have differing viewpoints on it.

The length of time that turkeys are rubbed before smoking depends on a number of factors.

Texture of the turkey and rub kind are often among these criteria.

If you are applying rub on a lean and soft turkey, then it’s better to apply rub for a shorter duration because applying rub for too long can affect the appearance of the turkey.

The quality of rub is as important as any other factor. you should make sure that your rub is not clumped when applying it onto the turkey. here is a complete guide on avoiding the clumping of rub.

Some even prefer to rub it on right before putting it in the smoker.

However, it’s best to give it some time so that the rub can thoroughly absorb into and adhere to the turkey’s surface.

Lean turkey may be rubbed for anything between 10 minutes and 6 hours.

It will give the rub enough time to absorb without compromising the turkey’s look.

The rub kind you intend to utilize should be taken into consideration when choosing the rub time.

Wet rubs and dry rubs are the two primary types of rubs used in smoking.

Both of these need various lengths of time to really sink in.

When to apply dry rub on turkey

Dry rub, as implied by the name, is dry and applied on the turkey to improve flavor and create a nice bark.

The typical duration of a dry massage might be anything from 10 minutes and 2 hours.

To allow the dry rub adequate time to soak in, some pitmasters choose to apply it for a longer period of time.

More time is not necessary, in our perspective, because the dry rub penetrates the turkey when it is roasted and the meat pores open.

The rub penetrates the turkey’s pores and adheres to its skin after doing so.

The turkey may turn crimson if dry rub is applied over an extended period of time.

Both the flavor and the look of the smoked turkey are significant.

Just before putting a lean, soft turkey into the smoker, you may give it a dry rub.

It’s recommended to wait at least 10 minutes before putting the meat into the smoker to ensure that the rub has a chance to thoroughly soak in.

It is challenging to put the dry rub to the tough turkey, though.

Because hard pieces of turkey are thick and dry rubs may remain on the surface, the deeper turkey may lose its flavor.

After the turkey has been smoked completely, you need to rest it for some time to allow rub and meat juices to sink in properly. Slicing it immediately will result in spilling out of meat juices. you can read our guide on how long you need to rest turkey for more information.

Therefore, it’s preferable to give the turkey a little more time so that the rub may adhere effectively and soak in as thoroughly as possible.

Applying dry rub on a hard turkey is best done while aggressively massaging the bird.

Consider making a fist out of your hand and striking the bird with your knuckles.

It will enable the turkey to absorb the rub.

The texture of a lean turkey can be damaged if you bang it with your knuckles while smoking it, therefore you should avoid doing so.

Applying olive oil to the turkey first could help if you are having trouble getting the rub to cling to the surface of the bird.

When to apply a wet rub

Wet rub is the second kind of rub that is most frequently employed while smoking hard turkey.

The turkey is immersed in the liquid rub, as implied by the name, to allow the rub to properly penetrate the bird.

Additionally, it enhances the flavor of turkey.

Although it is typically used to make turkeys more delicate, it has little impact on the texture of bark.

Therefore, the seasoning needs longer time to penetrate the turkey and enhance its moisture.

Because the hard turkey might dry out when smoked for a long period, a moist rub is typically applied to it.

Because it takes longer for the wet rub to penetrate and adhere to the turkey, the ideal wet rub cooking time might be anything between 2 and 6 hours.

Do you put rub on both sides of the ribs?

Because everyone wants the same flavor in every bite of the turkey, the simple and straightforward answer is always yes.

Even if you mistakenly leave a piece of turkey without rub , it may feel tasteless when it goes into your mouth.

But you should not restrict yourself to two sides of turkey because some chunks of thick turkey can have more than two sides .

So you will have to apply the rub all around to smoke the turkey with the same flavor in every bit.

Lean turkey doesn’t involve much complexity because it has less surface area and you can easily rub it to get a better flavor.

The real problem is faced when rubbing a hard turkey because it can have multiple sides and the rub may not seep in.

You need to rub and smoke turkey effectively to make sure it has a mouth watering flavor and odor. when the temperature of turkey will increase over time, it will absorb less smoke. here is a more detailed guide on at what temperature does turkey stop taking smoke.

The best method to apply rub on thick turkey is by massaging it with your knuckles .

It will allow the rub to seep into the deeper portion of the turkey and provide consistent flavor throughout the chunk.

You should make sure to not leave any side dry and without rubbing.

Can you leave wet rub on turkey overnight?

Since many pitmasters disagree on the ideal amount of time to leave the rub on the turkey, there is no clear-cut solution to this dilemma.
However, using the rub overnight might provide a flavorful effect.
Rub time on turkey is an individual preference.
Consider experimenting with various rub times and selecting the one that works best for you.
It is possible that overnighting the rub will increase its flavor while decreasing the flavor of the turkey.
Personally, I don’t think it makes much of a difference to the flavor of the turkey to leave the rub on overnight.
When the turkey is roasted and the turkey pours are opened, the rub really seeps in.
If you can’t smoke straight immediately, you can depart for the night.
On firm, thick meat, rubs are often applied overnight since the flesh needs time to absorb the flavoring.
Brisket and pig butt are examples of such meats, and they are frequently massaged overnight to improve taste.
But we need to use caution when it comes to turkeys.
Brisket takes longer to cook than a turkey, whose flesh is lean and tender.
Therefore, there is no drying issue while smoking turkeys.
The turkey is typically given a dry rub to enhance the flavor and create a nice, crispy bark.
Therefore, we don’t have to wait to apply it the next day.
Dry rub actually remains on the surface of the meat rather than slowly soaking in; it only sinks in when cooked.
In addition, putting the rub on the turkey overnight can Turkeys’ look is impacted by this.

Can you leave the dry rub on the turkey overnight?

Because dry rub is used to get nice bark and typically remains on the surface of the turkey, leaving it overnight has no advantages when applying it.
The look might become more reddish by using dry rub for a longer period of time.
A dry rub is usually used while smoking turkey because it helps us enhance the flavor of the meat and get a good bark on the turkey.

But it often requires less time than wet rub because we don’t have to wait for it to seep into the meat texture.
you also need to keep in mind the clumping of rub . you read our guide on How do I keep my rub from clumping? for more information.

You can apply dry rub as soon as you place the turkey into the smoker,but to make sure that the rub sticks to the surface of the meat,you should considerably apply it for at least 10 minutes.

If you want a more intense flavor, then you can go for about 2 hours.

Final Verdict

When to rub turkey before smoking is not a matter of correct or wrong timing.

If you want to, you may massage for anything between 10 minutes and six hours.

Ideally, you should experiment with various rub times on your own before choosing one.

You should be aware that massaging the turkey the night before will not improve its flavor.

According to our observations, the flavor of a turkey that has been massaged for a few hours or overnight is same.

However, rubbing overnight doesn’t also harm the taste.

Which one you choose to use is entirely up to you.

Jakob miller