Beer and Butter Poultry Injection Marinade

Ingredients for beer and butter injection

The Spruce / Claire Cohen

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
148 Calories
15g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 148
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 796mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 51mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(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 regardless of 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, while it helps in adding more flavor. You'll need a flavor injector/meat syringe, but those are widely available at grocery stores, online, and at home goods stores.

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 unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/2 can (6 ounces) beer

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

Steps to Make It

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

    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 4). 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 for the correct amount of time.

  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.

Can I inject my turkey the night before?

Yes. You can inject your turkey up to 36 hours ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready to cook it.


  • If you presoaked your turkey in a brine, omit the salt from the recipe. You may want to reduce the amount of soy sauce, too, so that your turkey doesn't come out too salty.
  • Omit the Tabasco sauce if someone is sensitive to spice. Ask your guests about their level of heat tolerance. And if you're dining with children, it's best to leave it out, just in case.
  • Use herbs in your turkey rub that won't clash with the flavors of the injection. In this instance, sage, thyme, and oregano work well.
  • Any kind of beer you like will work in this recipe. Use what you like to drink—you'll have half a can leftover after using it in the recipe.