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June 23, 2013
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Butter Injected Turkey

My grocery store had this promotion where you spend a certain amount of money and you get a free turkey. Well, okay, I guess I should grill this free turkey! I wanted to do something totally different so I used an injection technique and found a really spicy dry rub. No joke; this was the best turkey I've ever eaten. Take a look:



For the injection:
1 tsp Popcorn Salt
1 stick of salted butter

  • For the dry rub:
  • 1 T Black Pepper
  • 1 T Salt
  • 1/2 T Red Pepper
  • 1 T Dried Parsley
  • 1 T Dried Onion Flakes


Normally I'm all about brining the turkey. The problem is that I hate cleaning up the bucket that I use for brining and I also dislike having all that raw turkey liquid splashing everywhere. I found the solution in a injection. I picked up a little injection kit at my grocery store and thought to myself, "what flavors would I like in my turkey breast?" Butter and salt jumped into my mind instantly so I went with it.

To make the injection liquid I microwaved the stick of butter (a little bit at a time) until it was liquid. I then stirred in 1 tsp of popcorn salt until it was totally in solution. Popcorn salt is very finely ground salt so it works best for injections because it is less likely to clog the needle tip.

Grilled Turkey with a Butter Injection

After the injection solution was made I filled the injector and injected each breast 5 times. I did 4 vertical injections and 1 horizontal injection to make sure I got good coverage. I also injected the legs and thighs a few times.

Grilled Butter Injected Turkey

After the injection I put the turkey into the fridge for about 3 hours. I would aim anywhere from 30min to 3-4 hours.

Grilled Butter Injected Turkey

After a little while the melted butter solidifies. In the picture above you see how the melted butter solidified running down the side of the turkey.

While the turkey is hanging out in the fridge I made a quick dry rub. 1 T of each of the dry ingredients in a bowl and there you have it. Load up the outside of the bird and really try your best to get it under the skin. Really easy and really spicy!

Grilled Butter Injected Turkey

For grilling the turkey I decided to go simple and easy. Indirect medium/medium high heat for a couple of hours until the breast registers 160 degrees F. For indirect heat I used the Weber indirect baskets about 3/4 full on each side of the grill. In between the baskets I placed an aluminum drip pan with a little water in it so the drippings wouldn't burn. I then put the turkey right in the middle, closed the lid and let her cook! The starting temperature was about 400 degrees F.

After a couple of hours of cooking my temperature had only dropped to about 350 degrees; however, I did add a few handfuls of unlit coals during the cook whenever the temperature got too close to 350. When I removed the turkey from the grill I brought it inside and let it rest for about 15 minutes until carving time.

Grilled Butter Injected Turkey

It is important to keep the skin on when you are slicing so the dry rub will spread on to the meat. This gets the spicy dry rub flavor down to the meat.

Grilled Butter Injected Turkey

Wow, this turkey is amazing. The butter flavor predominates the turkey (I mean I did do 5 injections in each breast!) and the spicy dry rub really provides some welcome kick to the turkey. I literally will be doing this Butter Injected Grilled Turkey again for my Thanksgiving turkey, that's how good it was.

 A note from my last Thanksgiving cook: The starting dome temperature was 400 degrees. The internal turkey breast temperature started out at 58 degrees. After 1.5 hours the internal breast temperature was 158 degrees. After 1.5 hours the dome temperature was really low at about 300 degrees. Another 15-20 minutes was needed to get it to 165 degrees.

Butter Injected Grilled Turkey

A grilled butter injected turkey recipe.
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For the injection:

  • 1 tsp Popcorn Salt
  • 1 stick of salted butter

For the dry rub:

  • 1 T Black Pepper
  • 1 T Salt
  • 1 T Red Pepper
  • 1 T Dried Parsley
  • 1 T Dried Onion Flakes

The bird

  • 1 Turkey


  • Melt butter and add salt. Add injection mix to the needle and inject multiple times throughout the turkey.
  • Mix together dry rub ingredients and apply all over turkey.
  • Grill over indirect heat until internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees.

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