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Citrus-Rosemary Turkey Rub

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This versatile citrus-rosemary turkey rub offers a bright and fresh flavor to the turkey. The beauty of this homemade turkey rub is that it works for several cooking methods, including grilling, rotisserie, or baking. This rub recipe makes enough for one 16-18 pound bird. Reduce the recipe by half if you plan on cooking a smaller turkey or the breast only.

Citrus-Rosemary Turkey Rub

Hands down, this is one of my favorite rubs to use on rotisserie turkey. If you’ve ever wanted to try rotisserie drip pan potatoes, the buttery goodness mixed with the deliciousness of the citrus-rosemary turkey rub adds amazing flavor! 

Why use a butter rub on turkey?

Butter does several things. It imparts a delicious creamy flavor and provides extra moisture to the turkey as it cooks. Lastly, butter helps encourages the skin to turn a gorgeous golden brown color. The best way to infuse your turkey with butter is to apply it under the breast skin and all over the bird’s surface. Mix the butter with flavorful ingredients like fresh herbs, spices, and citrus to maximize flavor.

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh thyme
  • Onion powder
  • Kosher salt (omit if using a wet brine on the turkey)
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper

How to make Citrus-Rosemary Turkey Rub:

  • Remember to omit the salt if you have wet brined the turkey!
  • Combine softened unsalted butter with lemon juice and lemon zest. Add remaining ingredients and mix through.
  • Apply 1/3 of the turkey rub under the breast skin, coating the meat well. Apply the remaining 2/3 of the rub on the skin and inside the cavity of the turkey.
  • Cook as directed.
  • Discard any remaining rub that has come into contact with raw meat.
  • Save time, make this citrus-rosemary turkey rub ahead of time, and store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 1 week. Let it soften for 1 hour at room temperature before using.
Citrus-Rosemary Turkey Rub

Citrus-Rosemary Turkey Rub

This buttery citrus rosemary turkey rub offers a bright and fresh flavor to turkey. Omit the salt if you are bringing the bird first. The beauty of this rub is that it works with any cooking method from grilling, smoking, rotisserie, to baking in the oven.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Rubs
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: best turkey rub, poultry rub, turkey rub, turkey rub recipe, turkey rub recipes
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 1.25 Cups
Calories: 289kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened, not melted
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt omit if wet brining
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

Instructions

  • As mentioned above, if you plan on wet brining the turkey, omit the salt from this recipe.
  • Combine softened unsalted butter with lemon juice and lemon zest. Add remaining ingredients and mix through.
  • Apply 1/3 of the mixture under the breast skin, coating the meat really well. Apply the remaining 2/3 of the rub on the skin and inside the cavity of the turkey.
  • Cook as directed.

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 5241mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1781IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2mg
Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.

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