Smoked Turkey Injection Recipe

With this simple smoked turkey injection recipe, you will be able to take your turkey to the next level.

When it comes to your holiday bird, this secret sauce is a game-changer. It is all about imbuing that juicy, complex flavor deep into the meat.

You will be making the most tender and moist turkey you’ve ever had if you are ready to take your Thanksgiving to the next level. So, this is to say that you are in the right place.

Smoked Turkey Injection Recipe

It is important to tenderize and add flavor to the meat before cooking when cooking a turkey; otherwise, you will end up with a dry turkey, and I’m sure you don’t want that.

You have the option of brining the turkey, and you can also go with injecting it. This is based on your preference.

What is a Meat Syringe?

A meat syringe is used to inject marinades into any meat. You can buy them at most kitchen supply stores or even online.

You can get them at Target, Williams-Sonoma, and even some grocery stores. And you can get them through Amazon.

What is a Smoked Turkey Injection?

A smoked turkey injection is a delicious marinade that consists of broth, butter, seasonings, and lemon juice.

You are to inject this marinade into a bird with a special syringe in order to keep the meat moist during smoking, which is a low-and-slow, wood-based cooking method.

In addition, a turkey injection adds flavor to the bird, which makes it much more like brining or marinating.

Smoked Turkey Injection Recipe

  • Course: Condiments
  • Cuisine: American
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1.5 cups of liquid

This smoked turkey injection recipe requires pantry staples, and it can be prepared in 15 minutes.

The truth is that with this recipe, it is guaranteed that you will have a succulent, flavorful, and juicy turkey every single time.


  • ½ cup of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper

Laid-Out Instructions

  • First, you are to melt the butter in a large measuring cup that has at least 2 cups of capacity.
  • After that, proceed to add chicken broth, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and honey, which you are to stir in order to combine with the melted butter.
  • That being done, prepare your turkey by ensuring it is completely defrosted. Now, remove the giblets, rinse, and dab them all over with paper towels.
  • Afterward, you are to fit the marinade injector with a needle that has several large holes, then fill the marinade injector with the marinade liquid.
  • Now, proceed to pierce the skin of the turkey and press the injector down into the breast. Ensure that you slowly depress the injector tool in order to empty the marinade. You are to repeat this in several other places until you have used all of the marinade. Personally, I prefer to use the same hole but insert it at different angles of the injector.
  • With that being said, place the uncovered turkey in the refrigerator for at least 3 to 4 hours and up to 36 hours.
  • Then you are to proceed to prepare and cook the bird as you wish.
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What to Serve with Turkey

The simple smoked turkey recipe is ideal for weekend dinners, family gatherings, Sunday supper, and holidays.

Below are some of my favorite dishes that you can serve with your smoked turkey:

  • Crescent rolls
  • Layered jello salad
  • Creamy mashed potatoes
  • Homemade turkey gravy
  • Candied green beans
  • Homemade cranberry sauce
  • Bacon Brussel sprouts
  • Homemade rolls

How to Store

This is about how to store the leftover smoked turkey. You can store it for up to four days or place it in the freezer, which will make it last for up to three months.

And when it comes to reheating, just wrap it in foil and heat it in the oven at 325 degrees until it becomes heated through.

In addition, you can also enjoy it chilled or on a Thanksgiving sandwich.


Now, this is for the smoked turkey injection recipe. After you’ve injected the turkey, you should not have any smoked turkey injection recipes left.

Well, if you happen to do, then you will have to toss it as you’ve been dipping the point of the meat injector into the bowl with the marinade. However, keep in mind that it is not safe to keep and use on something else.

Tips for Making a Smoked Turkey Injection

What’s next after you’ve mastered the basics of making a smoked turkey injection? It is time for you to inject your Thanksgiving turkey every year.

Experiment with Additions

In order to achieve a turkey injection that suits your unique palate, you can go ahead and play around with your favorite flavors.

You can add condiments such as olive oil, red wine, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, apple juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Also, incorporate dried herbs such as chives, sage, oregano, and thyme.

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You can enhance the heat and flavor of the recipe with seasonings such as garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, white pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

The flavors of your injection should complement those in your dry rub, brine, or marinade.

Use Finely Ground Spices

When making a turkey injection marinade, you only use finely ground spices and dried herbs. You can clog your injection syringe with large dried herbs or spice flakes.

Before adding them to your injection, you can use a spice grinder to break the whole spices or dried herbs down into a fine powder.

Make the Marinade in Advance

Before using it, you can craft your turkey injection and store it in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.

Ensure that you bring your marinade to room temperature before injecting it into your turkey.

Rest the Bird

Allow the bird to rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight after injecting it.

This will give the liquid enough time to settle into the meat before smoking it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Early Should You Inject a Turkey Before Smoking?

Well, I always like to brine my turkey, and I do that overnight.

After that, I remove it from the brine and allow it to sit at room temperature for a couple of hours.

That being done, I proceed to inject. This is double brining, and it always results in an incredible Thanksgiving turkey.

Should You Inject a Smoked Turkey?

I suggest you inject every turkey you cook; this way, it will help prevent the turkey from drying out.

It also helps add incredible flavor, which will in turn complement the smoked flavors.

How Fat In Advance Do You Need To Inject A Turkey Before Smoking It?

Personally, I have injected a turkey less than an hour before placing it in the smoker, and it has also happened up to 24 hours before. Whichever way, the turkey meat becomes juicy and mouth-watering.

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Do I Have To Use A Dry Rub In Addition To The Turkey Injection?

You have the option of using an herb rub on the outside of the turkey skin, but remember that it is optional, particularly with the fact that the injection mixture flavors the meat regardless.

Final Thoughts

Note that, rather than the melted butter, you can use olive oil or avocado oil. An oil in your turkey marinade adds moisture and provides flavor.

You can also try a Cajun turkey injection recipe by adding smoked paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper, sweet paprika, or creole seasoning to your marinade. In this case, you can skip the honey.

Now, that being said, this will bring us to the end of this guide, as you now have the best-smoked turkey injection recipe.

Smoked Turkey Injection Recipe

Smoked Turkey Injection Recipe

Yield: 1.5 cups of liquid
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

With this simple smoked turkey injection recipe, you will be able to take your turkey to the next level.


  • 1/2 cup of butter without salt
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper


  1. First, melt the unsalted butter in a large measuring cup with at least a 2-cup capacity. Once melted, add the chicken broth, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and honey, stirring well to blend them with the melted butter.
  2. Next, ensure your turkey is fully defrosted. Remove the giblets, rinse the turkey, and pat it dry with paper towels.
  3. Prepare the marinade injector with a needle featuring several large holes. Fill the injector with the marinade liquid. Proceed to puncture the turkey's skin, gently pressing the injector into the breast. Slowly depress the injector to release the marinade. Repeat this process in various spots, using different angles for the injector needle. I personally prefer using the same entry point but adjusting the injector's angle.
  4. Afterward, leave the uncovered turkey in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 to 4 hours, or you can refrigerate it for up to 36 hours.
  5. Finally, proceed with your desired method of preparing and cooking the turkey.

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