Perfectly Paired Turkey Injection Marinade and Rub


This turkey injection recipe delivers incredible results for your Thanksgiving turkey! A lemon, butter, and garlic marinade is injected into the meat, getting right to the thickest parts of the bird, and an herb rub is applied under the skin for extra flavor. You'll get melt-in-your-mouth, tender and juicy results whether you're planning to roast or deep-fry your turkey.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
12 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
12 hrs 50 mins

This turkey injection recipe infuses your meat with tenderness and savory flavor from the inside out. Paired with a 4-ingredient spice rub that perfectly complements the injection, you're guaranteed a perfect turkey every time.

What Is a Turkey Injection?

You've probably used a spice rub before, but you might not be as familiar with turkey injections. While traditional marinades work from the outside, injections work from the inside. They distribute the marinade throughout the tissue, ensuring incredibly juicy and flavorful meat every time. If you're worried about your Thanksgiving centerpiece turning out dry or bland, this turkey injection recipe is definitely for you.

Turkey Injection Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make this easy turkey injection recipe:

· Broth: This recipe starts with store-bought or homemade chicken broth. You could easily substitute turkey broth.
· Lemon juice: A half cup of lemon juice adds welcome freshness and brightness.
· Butter: Butter lends richness, flavor, and moisture.
· English mustard powder: If you can't find English mustard powder, dried mustard powder will work.
· Ginger: A little fresh ginger (a teaspoon, to be exact) goes a long way in this turkey injection recipe.
· Garlic: This recipe calls for one clove of minced garlic, but you can use a little more for extra flavor.

For the rub, you'll need to make sure you have the following ingredients on hand: butter, garlic, fresh rosemary, and fresh thyme.

How to Inject a Turkey (And Use This Spice Rub)

roasted turkey in a pan on the stove with Thanksgiving sides behind it

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you use this turkey injection marinade and rub:

1. Make the marinade: Stir all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. If the garlic isn't minced finely enough to fit through the needle, run the mixture through a food processor. Cover with storage wrap, place in the fridge, and allow the flavors to meld for about 30 minutes.
2. Make the rub: Mix the rub ingredients together in a separate bowl until they're evenly combined.
3. Rub the turkey: Use your hands to gently separate the skin from the meat. Spoon the rub mixture between the skin and meat until the turkey is evenly covered.
4. Inject the turkey: Pour the marinade into a meat injector. Inject the meatiest parts of the turkey (the thighs and breasts) with the marinade at several angles.
5. Marinate the turkey: Brush the turkey with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with storage wrap and refrigerate in a roasting pan for 12 to 24 hours before cooking as desired (explore our collection of Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes for tasty inspiration).

Tip: This process can get messy — do everything in a roasting pan to collect the mess and keep everything sanitary.

More Turkey FAQs

Here at Allrecipes, we know a thing or two about cooking the perfect Thanksgiving feast — that's why we've made it our mission to answer your most burning turkey questions. Check out some of our best turkey tips, tricks, and guides from over the years:

· How to Brine a Turkey
· 3 Ways to Safely Thaw a Frozen Turkey
· How Much Turkey Per Person Do You Need?
· How to Truss a Turkey the Easy Way
· How to Smoke a Turkey
· How to Carve a Turkey the Easy Way

Explore our entire collection of Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"I cooked mine in a turkey bag so it came out super moist and tender," according to Michelle Greenwood Miller. "The family loved it!"

"Tried this for the first time when we deep fried our turkey," says Erinyellowbird. "It came out absolutely delicious and was a big hit with the in-laws."

"The turkey, and most importantly the drippings, were wonderful," raves cwr92. "A perfect turkey and a large quantity of well-seasoned, tasty drippings for the start of perfect gravy."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams



  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • ½ cup lemon juice

  • ½ cup butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon English mustard powder

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped


  • 1 (14 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or to taste

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Make marinade: Stir chicken broth, lemon juice, melted butter, mustard powder, ginger, and garlic together in a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate marinade for flavors to blend, about 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, make rub: Mix softened butter, garlic, rosemary, and thyme together in a bowl until evenly combined.

  3. Prepare turkey: Separate skin from meat by running your hand under the skin to separate. Spoon rub mixture evenly under the skin in several different parts of the turkey.

  4. Pour marinade into a meat injector; inject the meatiest parts of the turkey with marinade, changing the angle of the needle several times.

  5. Brush turkey with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in roasting pan and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate turkey for 12 to 24 hours before cooking as desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

800 Calories
50g Fat
1g Carbs
81g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 800
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 50g 64%
Saturated Fat 20g 100%
Cholesterol 316mg 105%
Sodium 441mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 81g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 67mg 5%
Iron 6mg 32%
Potassium 1074mg 23%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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