How to Inject Flavor in a Turkey

One of the biggest challenges I face when preparing a turkey is keeping it moist and full of flavor. I always worry about how the turkey comes out when we have people over for Thanksgiving. After all, the turkey is the center piece of the entire Thanksgiving dinner.  I would feel horrible if it came out dry and tasteless.  One of the ways that people add flavor to their Thanksgiving turkey is by using traditional spice or meat rubs.  While this does add flavor to the turkey, it does nothing to help the turkey stay moist.

How to inject flavor in a turkey #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexperts #sponsored

How to Inject Flavor in a Turkey

Once you learn how to inject flavor in a turkey, you will take care of adding flavor and retaining moisture in one easy step.  Using a flavor injector lets you get the flavor deep into the turkey meat itself instead of just on the surface with a spice rub. A flavor injector is basically a syringe with a needle attached to one end.  There are holes in the last portion of the needle that allow the flavoring to be released into the turkey meat.

There are many different liquids you can use to inject flavor into a turkey.  The important thing to remember is that any liquid you put into the plastic plunger tube must be strained so that it is a clear liquid.  Little pieces of herbs, pulp from citrus juice, etc. will clog up the syringe and not allow the liquid to pass through.  If you want to use something that is not completely clear, make sure that you strain it through cheese cloth before you put it in the plastic plunger tube.

You can inject flavor into a whole turkey or into turkey breasts depending on what you’re cooking. The process is the same.  Fill the plunger with the liquid.  Because I am part of the Good Cook Blogger Program, I received a variety of Thanksgiving tools to review including a Good Cook Flavor Injector.

How to inject flavor in a turkey #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexperts #sponsored

  • Place the turkey or turkey breasts into a roasting pan.

How to inject flavor in a turkey #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexperts #sponsored

  • Place your clear liquid in a bowl and draw the liquid into the syringe by lowering the plunger and then drawing it out slowly.
  • Ideally, you should spread the liquid throughout the turkey using as few puncture holes as possible.
  • Inject the syringe into the turkey breast and release a bit of the liquid.

How to inject flavor in a turkey #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexperts #sponsored

  • Pull the needle out slightly but not completely from the hole and continue to inject the flavor at different angles from the same hole.
  • Repeat on the other side of the breast. If you are doing a whole turkey, repeat this step in the legs and thighs.
  • Cover the turkey and refrigerate for at least a few hours to allow the liquid to flavor through the layers of meat.
  • Cook per package instructions. I like to use one of the Good Cook Turkey Timers to tell me when it’s done.

How to inject flavor in a turkey #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexperts #sponsored

How to inject flavor in a turkey #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexperts #sponsored

How to inject flavor in a turkey #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexperts #sponsored
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    this is the first year in EONS we arent letting whole foods do all the work 😉

  2. That does look really yummy! We always brine our turkey.

  3. Your post is perfect timing as we are going to be on our own this year to make a turkey.

  4. i have never tried doing this before but I bet it gives quite a nice flavor!

  5. christine reyes says:

    Thanks for the tip. I might actually attempt a turkey this year. LOL I am always scared of cooking one, so I just cook a ham. But you make it look easy!

  6. Great tips for sure! We are doing ham this year, but we always inject like this when we do a turkey, it helps a lot! 

  7. This vegetarian has trouble with that whole concept, but her family loves it!!

  8. I have never injected anything into my turkey before, but I might just have to give it a try this year.

  9. I bet the turkey came out soooo juicy. Looks wonderful! I’ll have to try injecting my Thanksgiving turkey.

  10. Great way to make the turkey even better!

  11. I’ve never tried to do that before, but then again, I usually hand that job over to someone else and do the baking part of it!

  12. Wow, I have never thought of injecting flavor into the turkey. That is a great tip. 

  13. Very good to know! I have never made a turkey yet, so I need the tips!!

  14. I never would have known how to do that! Thank you for sharing!! 

  15. That does look yummy!! I’ve never injected flavor into any meat but this sounds easy.

  16. I’m not usually the one baking our Thanksgiving turkey, at least not at this point in my life, but I’m going to give this a try the next time I bake a chicken.

  17. I’ve never cooked a Thanksgiving turkey before and wouldn’t have even thought about injecting flavor into it.  Thanks for the tips!

  18. Wow, that looks very easy!  Just in time for the Thanksgiving turkey!

  19. Interesting! I’ll have to bookmark this for closer to Thanksgiving! THANKS!

  20. What a great idea. My turkey always tastes a little bland.

  21. I have never injected a turkey before but I’m all for giving it a shot! Yours turned out beautiful.

  22. It’s hit or miss if my turkey will be dry or not. I’m hoping this will be a hit this year. Thank you for this information.

  23. That looks delicious! Maybe I shouldn’t be so lazy and actually cook once in a while!

  24. I tried this with a chicken 2 years ago and the juice was squirting out into my oven. It almost started a grease fire. Any suggestions?
    I’m willing to try it with my turkey this year. Thanks.

  25. Love the blog name! I can relate! Back to the turkey…I have to admit this peaks my curiosity on how an injected turkey would taste. I’ll have to give it a go this year! Thanks for sharing.

  26. Hi Ellen – I just want to let you know that I included it in my List of Fabulous Finds on my blog today … today’s finds are links to recipes for a completely fabulous Thanksgiving feast. I can’t wait to serve turkey made like this!

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