When to Inject Turkey (Learn to Do it Right For Moist Turkey Everytime)

Want to know when you inject your turkey?

Injection marinades and brines are a great way to quickly add flavor to your turkey.

Or to speed up time if you don’t have all night to wait.

Especially in those hard-to-reach places.

But when is the best time for the injection?

Let’s take a look.

when-to-inject-turkey

Why Should Inject Turkey?

Before we take notes on when to inject a turkey it is important to understand it!

A whole turkey has a variety of muscles.

The lighter white meat in the lean breast.

Or the stronger tasting dark meat in the thigh or legs.

It can be hard to cook all these different parts of the turkey perfectly. So injecting the turkey can help to tenderize the parts which are more susceptible to coming out tough or dry. Plus it can help you get to those hard-to-reach places

Below Ill show you exactly how to inject your turkey like a pro!

When Do I Inject Turkey?

You should inject your turkey at least 6 – 12 hours before you plan on starting the cooking process.If you plan on smoking your turkey see our resources below;

Smoking Turkey in a Gas Smoker

Smoking Turkey in an Electric Smoker

Smoked Turkey Breast

Smoked Turkey Wings

Smoked Turkey in a Pit Boss

What Do I Need to Inject a Turkey?

The best tool to use for your brine injection marinades is a meat injector.

Or an injection needle.

A meat injector can be purchased online or in your local BBQ store.

It acts just like a syringe that pierces through the layer of fat and into the meat.

when-should-i-inject-my-turkey

Why Should I Inject My Turkey?

Injecting meat will infuse flavor, add moisture, and even cure the meat.

Plus using the injection syringe will enable you to get to the hard-to-reach parts of the bird.

Getting through the skin, muscle proteins, and connective tissue.

Where to Inject for a Juicy Bird

Use your meat injector to inject the breasts, thighs, and legs.

when-do-you-inject-a-turkey

What Do You Inject in Turkey?

My favorite injection mix is just melted butter. However, you can use a brine or marinade if you prefer.

What The Different Between a Brine and a Marinade?

You can use a brine or marinade. However, my favorite injection mix is just melted butter.

There are subtle differences between brine and a marinade.

Brine

A brine is a salt concentration to add and help the proteins retain moisture.

Marinade

A marinade is used for adding flavoring to the meat.

Injecting a Flavored Brine

Why choose between a marinade and a brine when you can have both? You can both inject and brine your turkey.

I reccomend using a flavored brine to inject your turkey with.

It is the best of both worlds to achieve a tender and delicious flavorful turkey.

What Role Does Salt Play When Injection Brining a Turkey?

When meat is brined and exposed to salt it penetrates on a cellular level.

Right into the muscle fibers and protein structure.

The salt molecules permeate the meat in the same way by extracting moisture.

This also stops muscle contractions.

This adds new flavor profiles and tenderizes.

injecting-turkey-for-smoking

The Ratios for Your Flavored Injection Brine

The ratio of wet brining injection recipe is as followed;

– 1 cup of water (230ml) to a tablespoon (14 grams) of salt.

Flavoring your brine is where creativity comes.

A dash of Worcestershire sauce or lemon juice.

Draw in experiences from your favorite marinades and adapt them.

Ground black pepper with finely ground fresh thyme.

Note: Do You plan to use whole ingredients in your injection marinade?

Use a spice grinder to make sure they fit through the syringe.

Don’t clog it!

Dissolving Salt in the Water

Fill the desired water in a saucepan with your measured salt.

Regular tap water is fine.

You want to gently bring it to a boil until all the salt is dissolved and then let it cool to room temperature.

Tip: Use your favorite salts like pink Himalayan or gourmet sea salt.

Do I Keep the Meat Refrigerated After Injecting?

You want to keep the turkey refrigerated after injecting to avoid any food poisoning.

If you have a large enough airtight container then this is the best.

Or wrap your bird in plastic wrap.

Injecting a Turkey – The Summary

– Make and flavor the brine to your taste.

– Use a proper BBQ injector or meat syringe.

– Inject into the thickest parts of the turkey meat.

– Inject and refrigerate for up to 12 hours before cooking.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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