A pre basted turkey is a delicious juicy turkey. Pre basted turkey is a turkey that has been injected with some type of liquid which most likely includes some seasoning, even if it is just salt (there are several out there). Broth and sugar are also commonly used in injecting turkeys to make them pre basted.
When buying a pre basted turkey the wrapper should inform you with a percentage of basting that was injected in the turkey. This is basically telling you that the turkey has already been brined in which it is brined from the inside out and no other form of brine is necessary with a pre basted turkey.
A pre basted turkey is also known as a self basting turkey.
Can You Brine a Pre Basted Turkey?
The short answer is yes, but there really isn’t a point in doing this. Turkey’s can only hold so much salt. So if the turkey is already pre basted then it most likely doesn’t need to be brined.
If you brine it too then you wont really hurt anything as the turkey can only take on so much salt, but at this point you are pretty much wasting time, money and resources to brine a pre basted or self basting turkey.
If you do accidentally brine a turkey that was purchase already brined without noticing it, it will be just fine. One thing you will notice though is that if you make gravy out of the juices then you will notice an excess amount of salt flavor in the gravy (in which salt is sodium and also not good for you).
What Is Brining a Turkey?
When brining a turkey you are trying to get a certain amount of moisture trapped within the turkey by the salt. This is done by soaking or giving the turkey a bath in a solution which the salt is trapping the moisture in the turkey.
Quite a few people prefer this method because the turkey is submerged which allows it to work better. When injecting a turkey for pre basted turkeys many wonder about the dispersion of the injection and if it is truly getting all the turkey it needs to.
Many also prefer brining a turkey over night with less salt while other use more salt but only brine it for four hours. When brining overnight, it is recommended to use about a cup of table salt per two gallons of water.
This is about perfect to make a excellently brined turkey in which the goal is to equalize the salt and liquid level inside the turkey.
What Is Basting a Turkey? (And How To)
Basting a turkey isn’t always necessary. It doesn’t add any moisture to the turkey or other flavors to the inside of the turkey but it does help keep the turkey moist.
The only reason you would consider basting a turkey is to try to assist the turkey’s skin in either getting crispy or golden brown. Other than that, leave the basting to things like chicken.
Basting a turkey is super easy. Many people baste with all kinds of things like wine or beer to stock. Every half hour to hour simply grab a spoon and scoop the juices out of the bottom of the turkey pan and pour it over the top of the turkey until the turkey is done.
That is all there is to basting a turkey!
How to Make Turkey Gravy?
One of my favorite turkey gravy recipes can be found here. This recipe can be made with or without the giblets with excellent results. This recipe by Lauren Allen is also pretty quick and easy to make. For the record, I also prefer this recipe without the giblets…
Once the Turkey is done cooking pull it out of the Oven, smoker or however you are cooking it. At the bottom of the pan will be all the juices left over from the turkey.
Pour this left over juices into a bowl and set aside to cool. When cooling the fat will separate from the rest of the juices. Simply scrape the fat off the top and discard.
Take a sauce pan and add about a cup of these remaining juices to it. Whisk in about a 1/2 cup of flour, slowly. In doing this it will turn to a golden brown color. Add the broth and the remaining juices from the turkey (excluding the fat you discarded). Continue to stir until thickened.
Once thickened you are done. Make sure you do a taste test and add freshly ground pepper and salt as needed.
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