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Does Basting Turkey Really Make a Difference?



 

Summary:
Everyone bastes their turkey, but what are we really accomplishing?  Let's explore turkey basting, and consider injecting the next turkey this holiday season.  It's not too late to improve your turkey prep. 

As with any meat, keeping it moist is essential to a tender, enjoyable carnivorous experience.  Some inject their meat, some simply baste.  In either case, we expect a similar outcome - juicy tenderness in every bite.

What basting really does is assist with browning the skin.  Have you ever tried cooking a turkey without basting?  What you'll end up with once you reach the ideal temperature, is a greyish bird with brown spots running the length of the bird.  This isn't the vision of perfection you usually see on TV, and not what everyone expects to see.  To get that golden brown color, baste your turkey evenly every 20-30 minutes.

Back to moisture, don't forget that the bird is already cooking in it's own juices, which makes a huge difference by adding steam to the mix.  To take moisture to the next level, you will want to give injection a try.  If you're smoking the turkey, injection is essential to add flavor from the inside, while the smoke flavor penetrates the outside.

See some of our favorite injection recipes:



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