Smoked Turkey Injection - Recipe
Smoked Turkey Injection - How to Inject Your Turkey with Soluble Seasoning
What Is Injected Turkey?
An Injected Turkey is simply a fresh, uncured, and unseasoned Turkey that you will marinate with a soluble seasoning by injecting it directly into the meat and muscle of the turkey. Marinating will give you a more flavorful turkey, and since you are injecting the seasoning directly into it, you do not have to let it wait as long, and it will be a juicier bird as well.
15 lb Fresh Turkey
We are going to inject it with Soluble Turkey Pump, and then we are going to rub the outside with Excalibur Seasoning’s Rosemary Basil and Thyme Rub. We recommend using one of the soluble seasonings from Excalibur Seasoning because the particle size of the seasoning is small enough to dissolve in water and more uniformly dispersed when injected into meats. For the Soluble Turkey Seasoning, the recommended usage is to dissolve 3 lb of the seasoning in 5 gallons of water for a 20% pump. A 20% pump means we are adding 20% of the weight of the meat in the injection. So because this turkey weighs 15 lbs, we will need to inject 3 lbs (or 48oz) of the marinade. It is always better to have more rather than not enough, so we are going to use 0.6 lb of seasoning to a gallon of water, which will give us 8.6 lb of injection, and inject 3 lb of that into the turkey. Just like with the cured turkey, we are going to inject it and then cover it in a 50% strength solution to let it marinate overnight so it picks up all of the flavor it can. To create our cover marinade, we are going to use 0.3 lb of seasoning and 1 gallon of water. Also, since this seasoning already contains cold phosphate for moisture retention, we do not need to add any more.
To do this properly, we will need an injector, a scale (to measure how much of our mixture we have injected), a meat tray or lug, and a large container to store the turkey in. We also like to use the Stark liners as they make everything, especially cleanup, a lot easier. All of these items and more can be found at waltonsinc.com.
Before we start, there are a few important things to consider when preparing your injection. The water needs to be potable, so very low microbial levels, and it shouldn’t be “hard” water. The best way to do this is to buy distilled water from the grocery store, or you can let your water sit out overnight in a cooler to allow any chlorine to gas out or evaporate.
We recommend doing an 8-point injection, with 4 injection points on each half of the turkey. Start with the turkey lying flat on a counter or cutting board and on its back with the bottom facing you. Your first injection will be in the middle of the breast and angled down towards the top of the turkey (repeat this injection on the other breast). Injection number 2 will be parallel to the counter, through the middle of the breast, towards the top of the turkey (repeat on both sides of the turkey breast). The third and fourth injection points will be into the drumstick and leg and then inject into the thigh muscle (again, repeat to inject both halves of the turkey). That gives us 4 injection points on each side of the turkey, for 8 total injection points. Since this Turkey was 15 lbs, we want it to weigh at least 18 lbs after injecting, thus hitting our 20% pump goal.
Now we are going to let this sit in a fridge overnight to let the injection disperse as evenly as possible and to get the most flavorful turkey possible; however, if you don’t have the time to hold it overnight, you can go right to the oven or smoker at this point.
Now that our Turkey has been injected and marinated, we are going to add some extra flavor by rubbing it with Rosemary Basil and Thyme Rub all over the outside. This should give it a nice fresh herb taste to go along with the injected seasoning.
Most Turkeys still come with a pop-up timer; our best advice is to ignore this thing completely. It has ruined more Thanksgiving dinners than drunken relatives. You want to use an actual digital thermometer to check the temperature of the turkey.
Thermal Processing & Smoking
Stage 1 - 120° F for 30 minutes
Stage 2 - 135° F for 2.5 hours
Stage 3 - 160° F for 30 minutes
Stage 3 - 190° F until internal meat temp of 165°
Injecting and then smoking your Turkey at home is a simple and easy way to make sure you have a great-tasting and looking turkey! The only thing you really need to do this is an injector, though the marinating buckets, Stark Marinating Liners, and a smoker to make it easier and give you a better-finished product.
- If you want to rub the seasoning both above and below the skin, that can give you a better taste. To do so, you carefully separate the skin from the muscle by slowly working your hands (starting from the cavity side) between the skin and the breast meat.
- Allowing the turkey to marinate in a 50% strength solution overnight will make sure your seasoning evenly distributes inside the muscle
Watch WaltonsTV: How to Inject Your Turkey with Soluble Seasoning