Turkey can sometimes have a bad reputation due to too many dry turkeys being served every holiday season, but a good turkey injection recipe can fix all that. A moist, flavorful turkey can be the star of the dinner table. Injecting your turkey with a flavorful liquid based on ingredients like butter, Worcestershire sauce, herbs, and spices can make all the difference. A good injection might even elevate turkey from a traditional holiday meat to something enjoyed more often.
It’s easy to pay attention to the surface of the turkey and the skin when thinking about seasoning. However, the only way to get flavor deep into the turkey breast is by using an injector to get flavored liquids deep into the meat. The liquid also helps keep the breast from drying out while waiting for the dark meat of the turkey legs to cook.
You can absolutely combine brining your turkey like we did and injecting it. You just want to make sure you use similar and complementary flavors between your brine mixture and your injection. If you do brine your turkey, pick a turkey injection recipe that uses less salt or modify one to lower the salt content. You’ll get plenty of salt from the brine.
How Do I Inject A Turkey?
Injecting a turkey might be intimidating-sounding, but it’s a fairly straightforward process. You need a turkey injection recipe and a meat injector. We’ll get to the recipes shortly, but first, the meat injector. There are a number of different models, but they all work using the same principles.
Meat Injection Kit
This meat injector kit is great and includes many different tips that work well with all cuts of meat. Includes cleaning kit.
You have a needle that goes into the meat, a reservoir that holds your injection liquid, and some type of plunger that will push the injection into the meat via the needle.
When you inject the turkey, you want to get the needle deep into the breast and legs, then inject as you slowly pull the needle out. You will get some liquid seeping out, so don’t panic. Just blot it up with a paper towel or even rub it into the skin of the turkey.
How Long Before Cooking A Turkey Should I Inject It?
Whether you are smoking a turkey, frying it, or roasting it in the oven, you want to ensure that your turkey is as flavorful and moist as possible. If you’re able to, you want to give your turkey injection as much time to work its way through the meat. That means giving the injection anywhere between a couple of hours and a full 24 hours to work before starting to cook.
How Much Injection Do I Need For My Turkey?
When making your turkey injection, you don’t want to have too little made up that you can’t properly inject your turkey. You also don’t want too much that it goes to waste. A good rule of thumb is that you should use half an ounce of injection per five pounds of turkey. That will give you good moisture and plenty of flavor if you are able to hit that target area.
Here are the best turkey injection recipes that will help you serve turkey that you can be proud of and change the minds of turkey doubters around your table.
1. Garlic Butter Turkey Injection Marinade Recipe
Whether you are smoking your turkey, deep-frying it, or roasting it in the oven, you want to pack the turkey meat as full of flavor as possible. This turkey injection recipe is simple, made with ingredients that you probably have at home or are easily purchased at your nearby grocery store. It calls for using chicken broth, which goes well with turkey since both types of meat are poultry.
It’s easy to make as well. You throw all the ingredients into a saucepan, heat it up until the butter melts and all the ingredients are integrated, then cooled slightly before you can inject the turkey. If you’re concerned about the herbs clogging your injector, you can grind them up yourself or let the marinade rest overnight in the fridge, then strain it. The marinade will absorb plenty of flavor from the herbs during that overnight rest.
2. Cajun Injection for a Spicy Turkey Recipe
There’s something special about Cajun spices and Turkey. If you want a twist on your traditional turkey, amping up the spices is the way to go. This recipe may require you to spend some time shopping if you don’t have concentrated liquid crab and shrimp boil or Creole seasoning in your cupboards at home, but it is well worth it. You will also get a depth of flavor from the Worcestershire sauce, apple cider, and allspice.
This is how you can make a darn good Cajun injection for turkey that is guaranteed to make bland, dry turkey a thing of the past. Just be careful with guests who have low spice tolerance.
3. Herb-Infused Butter Turkey Injection Recipe
Butter is a perfect ingredient for your turkey injection. It adds flavor and moisture while also serving as a carrier for seasonings. While this recipe may be for a roasted turkey breast, the injection can be used for a full turkey as well. Just make sure to make enough of the injection recipe to stick to the rule of half an ounce per five pounds of meat.
The turkey injection is made from butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, and salt. It’s a simple yet flavorful combination that pairs well with the turkey.
4. Italian Herb Turkey Injection Marinade Recipe
Herbs and turkey go well together. While the previous recipe ties butter and herbs together, this version of an herbed turkey marinade feels like it comes straight from the shores of the Meditteranean Sea. There’s no butter in this recipe. Instead, it uses three different types of liquid: olive oil, red wine, and balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar can impart a lot of flavor while helping tenderize the meat.
Then it adds an Italian seasoning blend and black pepper for a simply-made but flavorful turkey injection.
Wrapping It Up
Turkey doesn’t have to be a holiday obligation that fails to impress. With some time and care, you can make great turkey injection recipes that will transform dry, bland turkey into a moist, flavorful dish that shines. You have options to choose from that will appeal to anyone from spicy to herbaceous or as simple as garlic and butter.
Do you have a favorite turkey injection or have you tried one of these? Let us know in the comments!