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