My Thanksgiving turkeys rock. I’m serious. People are always fawning over them and wonder what my secret is. The answer? It’s not really a big deal. I start with an injection and then I just make sure I keep checking the temperature so I don’t overcook it and baste like crazy. Overcooking a Turkey dries it out and an injection brings in both moisture and flavor. You can buy an injector at most major big box stores (Walmart, Kmart, Target). I personally use the Grill Pro Marinade Injector (pictured above).
Cajun Turkey Injection
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (see below)
1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for a few minutes while stirring. You want to make sure the mixture is well mixed and that any herb is small enough to fit through your needle.
2. Inject mixture into the thawed Turkey at least 3 hours before baking. Inject small amounts of the mixture all over the bird.
3. Return your Turkey to the refrigerator until you are ready to roast.
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper (if you have it, if not, don’t fret)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or less depending on how much heat you can handle)
4½ tsp paprika
2½ tsp salt
Mix it all together and store in a plastic bag, or a jar.
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For a frozen turkey to be considered “fresh” it can have been frozen up to a year in advance. Purchasing a never frozen turkey guarantees that your meat really is fresh and will produce not only a more juicy turkey, but will also require less cooking time. Regardless of what kind of turkey you buy, always use a meat thermometer to determine when the meat is done. If you only do it by time you will almost certainly dry out your turkey from overcooking it.
Tasty Tips: Put butter under the skin. This will help the skin crisp up and provide extra moisture for the meat. Start at a high roasting temperature (450 degrees) for the first 30 minutes, and lower to 325 for the remainder of the cooking until your bird reaches the desired doneness (165 degrees measured in the thigh).