Turkey Baste

Turkey basting recipe
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  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1/2 cup (16 servings)
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Whether you are grilling or smoking a turkey, this baste keeps the meat moist, adds a delicious flavor, and helps to brown the skin. It is best to forego the usual method of basting the turkey with pan drippings, which are mostly turkey juices and fat. Instead, using a seasoned butter will add flavor and will help the skin crisp up nicely at the end of cooking. Remember to begin basting about an hour after you start cooking and to apply the baste in thin layers.

When basting, it is easiest to use a pastry brush as this will allow you to give a light baste to all areas. You could use a turkey baster with a bulb, but that kind of baster works better for the pan drippings and is much harder to clean.

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients. Let the mixture simmer on low for about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove it from heat and let it stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before using.
  4. Lightly baste the turkey every 30 minutes after the first hour of cooking. Apply the baste warm to the turkey. Stop basting during the last 30 minutes of cook time.
  5. If making the baste ahead of time, follow instructions for preparation and store in an airtight container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator. Warm the baste on the stove top or in the microwave before using.

    Kitchen Notes

    You don't want to baste your turkey too often as every time you open the oven door you are allowing heat to escape. Your oven will have to come on to heat back up, and this temperature variation interferes in getting your turkey done.

    To Baste or Not to Baste?

    Most turkey experts will tell you that basting is optional. It's not the best way to season your turkey, but it will work in a pinch when you don't have time for methods that require more prep work. For example, you may have wanted to brine your turkey, but you didn't get started soon enough or you lacked the refrigerator space and brining bag to do it right. Rubbing your turkey with a spice mix is another alternative to basting. Many cooks also inject their turkey with liquid seasonings to keep it moist and add flavor.

    Basting can help you feel like you are doing something while waiting for heat and time to turn the pale bird into a golden centerpiece of your feast. But if you have seasoned your turkey in other ways, you can skip the basting.

    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    832 Calories
    92g Fat
    4g Carbs
    2g Protein
    (Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)