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Preparing Your Thanksgiving Turkey With Brine Injection

Thanksgiving dinner can be a stressful labor of love. It starts with a huge frozen avian meatball that costs a lot, there’s only one chance to get it right, it’s a single meal with lots of sides that need to be served to lots of people, and it’s so easy to mess up.

Because the traditional turkey has to be cooked at a single temperature, but the density and size of the white and dark meat are so different, you have to put extra effort into making sure the breast will stay moist and enjoyable. So what’s a good plan to keep your turkey tasting great, when so much can go wrong? Inject it with a moisture marinade before cooking.  A quality turkey marinade will be made from a mixture of butter, spices, sodium and broth. You can buy pre-made turkey injection brines or you can make your own. You can get a quality injector at Ace Hardware or perhaps at your local grocery store.

How to use turkey brine injection correctly

DIY Turkey Injection Brine:

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 whole turkey

Pre-Made Turkey Injection Brine:

  • ¼ lb Butter, Salted
  • 1.5 Cups Stock, Chicken
  • Follow measurement guidelines on Turkey Marinade label

Pro Tip: Make sure your spices have dissolved into the mixture so it won’t clog the injector needle. If you choose spices that don’t dissolve (such as black pepper), make sure you choose a spice grind that is fine enough to fit through the injector tip. Each thigh and each side of the breast should be injected with .5 ounces of marinade for every 5 lbs. of turkey.

Here’s a video by our culinary expert, Chef Jason, showing you how you prepare and brine a whole turkey to get it ready for the oven. Good luck on Turkey Day!

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