Homemade Red Eye Rub on a smoked Turkey Breast

Homemade Red Eye Rub on a smoked Turkey Breast

After a couple of delicious beef recipes it’s time for something different! Although… This awesome red eye rub would taste fantastic on beef too! With coffee and paprika as the most pronounced flavors this rub actually fits all meat! It became legendary after being used on pork! But even on poultry it’s a big win! The subtle notes of roasted coffee with the sweetness of the sugar and some spices make it a bittersweet party to score with! What are you waiting for? Start making your own Smoked turkey breasts! 

Disclosure: “This post is sponsored by lidl and contains affiliate links. All opionions shared are my own. ”

Homemade Red Eye Rub

This is no place to discuss whether you should make your onw rubs or buy some storebought. Both have their advantages. I prefer making my own so I can add it to taste. If I want more or less of an ingrediënt I can simply give it my own twist! Only thing you need to be aware of is the balance you might disturb. So you need to taste and especially on hot meat! A lot of rub flavours change when being served on hot meat! So before serving it to a public it might be safe to test it yourself! Or if you don’t have the time or interest to make them you can simply buy some! I recently discovered some great rubs by “Dizzy Pig”. The Red Eye express is in the same line as the rub I made. But make sure to look for the IPA rub too (you can find it here)! It’s a mindblowing rub I promise you!

Red Eye Rub


The Red Eye Rub or actually Red Eye Gravy on which this rub is based finds it’s origin in the southern regions of the United States. The legendary coffee and ham drippings based gravy looked like an eye. Due to the paprika powder used in some versions of the gravy it had a Red Eye look. However some of the gravy versions didn’t call for paprika powder. Therefor people started to share some bar stories. One of the funniest is the version where the bartender asked the chef to prepare a gravy as red as the eyes of the drunken man who came up with this stunning sauce to be served along the ham. Let’s hope there is some truth in this story after all! It’s no secret fat and coffee combine well! But even with this relatively lean turkey breast it’s a match made in heaven! Although the devil’s eye might be involved in the creative process behind this gravy and red eye rub.

Red Eye Rub

Smoked turkey

Smoked turkey seems to be sold everywhere lately! I’ve been dissapointed quite often though. Mostly it’s like eating a piece of artificial smoke tasting rubber. Not exactly what you want when you’re used eating the good stuf! That’s a pitty if you ask me. Making your own smoked turkey or chicken breast is actually pretty easy. Moreover you can give it the taste you want by using a brine to add some flavor or rubbin it before smoking. This time it was a late call to action who hit me so I skipped the brining and just added a rub. Toss some smokewood in the kamado or smoker and keep it low and slow for about an hour (and a half). Result: a better piece of smoked turkey than 90 procent of the storebought versions. Mostly I put them in the smoker on sunday while cooking a bigger piece of meat. Let them cool down afterwards and you’ll have yourself a decent lunch for the rest of the week.

Red Eye Rub
So tell me! What’s your preference? Buying a rub or making your own? I’m pretty curious to hear what you like in a rub. I love to add some lemon zeste! This reminds me I really need to share another good rub I made recently! And concerning storebought. What’s your go to rub? The one you really think I should try? Let me know on social media! Never to old to learn, right? 
Homesmoked turkey with red eye rub
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

The Red Eye Rub and gravy have gained a lot of popularity over the years! The coffee based flavorizer earned it’s legendary status on the combination with pork! Some know it’s great with steak but only some know how delicious this rub tastes on poultry! So here we go! Red Eye Rubbed Smoked Turkey Filet for you to make!

Course: Main Course, Poultry, rub
Keyword: filet, poultry, Red eye rub, Rub, smoked, turkey
Servings: 4 People
  • 4 pcs. Turkey (or chicken) about 200 gr./piece
  • Smokewood apple, olive, vines, …
Red eye rub
  • 6 parts Paprika powder
  • 4 parts salt
  • 2 parts cumin
  • 2 parts coffee powder
  • 2 parts cane sugar
  • 2 parts cinnamon
  • 1 part chili powder
  • 1 part freshly ground black pepper
Homemade Red Eye Rub
  1. Mix all red eye rub ingredients thoroughly by hand breaking up any clumps! I use parts as measuring unit so you can chose how much of the rub you make by taking spoons, cups, …

  2. Rub the Turkey Filet with your homemade Red Eye Rub (or use the Dizzy Pig red eye express rub).

Smoking time
  1. Prepare your BBQ for indirect cooking on low temperature (about 100°C/210°F). When using a kamado this is the moment to use your heat deflector

  2. Add a couple of chunks smokewood (cherry, apple, Mesquite, …) to the coals and wait till the smoke turns blue before adding the turkey filets!

  3. Smoke the turkey filets low and slow until they reach an internal temperature from 74°C/165°F. This takes about an hour depending on the meat and temperature. 

Serve hot or let the smoked turkey cool down to use it in a salad or take it with you for lunch! Enjoy!

Pagina's: 1 2

Een reactie achterlaten

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd.

Recipe Rating

Deze website gebruikt Akismet om spam te verminderen. Bekijk hoe je reactie-gegevens worden verwerkt.