This Turkey Injection Recipe is my go-to when I'm making a whole turkey or a turkey breast! This injection mix is the secret to a flavorful, juicy bird.
If you've been following along here for a while, you know that I love to make Thanksgiving Turkey! I don't usually use turkey brines, but I almost always use an injectable marinade! Injectable marinades are the best way to get good results without too much work.
This Cajun turkey injection recipe is perfect when paired with a simple spice rub; you really don't need anything more for flavorful meat.
If you need a recipe for the turkey, I have several turkey recipes on my site that I'm happy to recommend! Pair this injection recipe with:
You can always buy pre-made turkey injection marinade to save time. If you want to purchase it instead, I recommend this Cajun injection liquid.
Can I use this recipe on chicken?
Chicken injection recipes are hard to come by! Yes, you can absolutely use this savory turkey injection on chicken before you grill, smoke or fry it!
How much injection liquid will I need?
The general rule is one ounce of injection liquid for every pound of turkey. This recipe makes about 17 ounces of injection liquid, perfect for the average whole turkey.
Of course, you can halve or double the recipe if needed!
What equipment will I need?
You will need a small saucepan, and a meat injector.
Modifications for this Recipe:
There are many ways to modify this recipe! Have fun with it and try out different flavors
- lemon zest or orange zest
- substitute apple juice for some or all of the lemon juice for a recipe that's sweet and rich instead of tart
- add a big splash of the juice from jarred jalapenos to make a jalapeno turkey injection recipe
- use apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice, both are acidic and will have a similar result
How to Inject A Turkey
Here are my easy steps for how to inject a turkey:
- Inject the liquid into the meatiest parts of the bird, starting with the breast side, plunging the needle as deep as possible.
- Then, without removing the needle, adjust the needle to different angles, inserting more liquid. When you this, it will minimize the poke holes you have to make in the bird. This technique helps your bird stay extra juicy, since moisture will weep out of each hole!
- Each time you inject, try to inject at least half of an ounce of fluid.
- Once the bird is injected, pat the skin dry, then apply spices on the skin and internal cavity.
- If time allows, let the bird rest on the counter for 20-30 minutes before you start the cooking process.
- ¾ cup butter, melted
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- In a small saucepan, add lemon juice and butter. Cook on medium-low heat until the butter is melted.
- To the melted butter, add the rest of the ingredients: olive oil, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce and pepper.
- Stir well and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Remove from heat and allow to rest until it comes close to room temperature before injecting.
- Inject into bird, using at least ½ ounce of liquid for each injection spot.
- For best results, allow
If you do not have white pepper, you can substitute traditional black pepper
If you do not have Worcestershire sauce, sub soy sauce.
For a spicy bird, increase hot sauce or add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Note that I have not put salt in this recipe, because most turkeys are injected with a salt brine already. If you are using a fresh turkey, add ½ teaspoon salt or use salted butter.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 17 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
The nutrition for this recipe is calculated by an app, and may be incorrect.