Beer and Butter Poultry Injection

Ingredients for beer and butter injection
Claire Cohen
Ratings (93)
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups (serves 12)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
153 Calories
15g Fat
2g Carbs
1g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This marinade injects a rich and buttery flavor directly into the meat of any type of poultry and it is particularly good for turkey. You will add flavor and juiciness to your Thanksgiving or other holiday turkeys and will impress your family and guests.

You can inject your turkey or chicken whether you are roasting, smoking, or deep-frying it. A heritage turkey will especially benefit from injecting marinade because it is leaner and will be more likely to become dry during cooking. The butter and beer add fat and fluid to keep the meat from drying out and to bring out the flavor.

The secret to using this injection marinade is to keep it just warm enough for the butter to stay liquid. You will be pleasantly surprised at how effective and delicious it is.


  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 can beer
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Tabasco
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder

Steps to Make It

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir and heat until salt is dissolved and the sauce is even and runny.

  1. Remove from heat and keep warm (but not hot) enough to inject.

  2. Fill marinade syringe with the mixture and inject into turkey breast, legs, and thighs. It is better to inject it in more places rather than fewer (40 rather than four). Try to aim for the center of the meaty portions. Inject about 2 teaspoons per location (less if you see it oozing out).

  3. Season outside and under the skin with whatever rub you're using. Cook as directed.

  4. Discard the remaining marinade after use. It will have contacted raw poultry. Even though only the tip of the injector may have come in contact, it can be contaminated with Salmonella and could transmit food poisoning.

Tips and Variations

If you have brined your turkey, leave the salt out of the injection fluid as it will already have enough salt. Also, it may be wise to reduce the amount of soy sauce, which also contributes a lot of salt.

If you want to avoid spiciness, omit the Tabasco sauce. Check with your guests about their level of spice tolerance. Children, especially, are sensitive to hot spices, so keep the level mild for the little ones.

The rub you use should have similar flavors to your injection fluid so they don't clash. However, you can use herbs in a rub as well. These would clog up the injector so they are not included in the injection marinade.

Injecting the turkey gives you the chance to entertain your guests. You could dress the part in latex gloves, surgical mask, surgical cap, and scrubs to ham it up.