Beer and Butter Turkey

  • This Beer and Butter Turkey will become a Thanksgiving classic. Crispy golden skin, juicy flavorful meat. It’s the best Thanksgiving turkey!

    Beer and Butter Turkey on a platter decorated with fresh herbs, sliced oranges, and pomegranate seeds.

    *Originally published November 2015. Photos and text updated.*

    Beer and Butter Turkey

    Thanksgiving is right around the corner! I can’t believe the year is getting so close to the end. It doesn’t feel like that long ago we were celebrating Christmas!

    Well, I have been cleaning up old posts around here and this was one that was in need of major help. The recipe was solid but the photos were HORRIBLE!

    It’s a super simple recipe that injects the turkey with a flavorful butter and beer injection. This helps keep the bird nice and juicy while making it extra delicious!

    Close up of sliced beer and butter turkey breast on a platter.

    Plan ahead to defrost your turkey!

    Be sure you allow for plenty of time to defrost your turkey. You can do this by leaving it in the refrigerator 4-5 days before you plan to roast your turkey. 

    If you are short on time you can thaw the turkey in your sink with cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This will take about 30 minutes per pound.

    Top down view of beer and butter turkey on a platter decorated with orange slices, fresh herbs, and pomegranate.

    What temperature to cook a turkey?

    The USDA recommended temperature for cooked turkey is 165°F. The turkey will continue to cook for several minutes after you take it out of the oven, so take it out before the meat reaches 165° F.

    I like to take the turkey out when the breast reaches 160°F and the thighs 165°F. Breast meat can easily dry out if its temperature gets too high while thigh meat can handle a higher internal temperature without drying out.

    Close up of beer and butter turkey with gravy on top.

    How long to roast a turkey?

    It can vary from oven to oven and of course whether or not your turkey is stuffed or not. It is best to check with a meat thermometer. I can’t stress to you enough to use a meat thermometer.

    And don’t rely on that pop-up timer that comes with the turkey. You can easily overcook your bird if you rely on it.

    Here is a handy chart to help you with cooking times.

    Info graphic showing how long to cook a turkey.
    Sliced beer and butter turkey breast on a plate with legs and decorated with greens.

    What to serve with Beer and Butter Turkey

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    5 from 6 votes
    Close up of sliced beer and butter turkey breast on a platter.
    Beer and Butter Turkey
    Prep Time
    20 mins
    Cook Time
    4 hrs
    Total Time
    4 hrs 20 mins

    This Beer and Butter Turkey will become a Thanksgiving classic. Crispy golden skin, juicy flavorful meat. It's the best Thanksgiving turkey.

    Course: Main Dish, Turkey
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: roasted turkey, thanksgiving turkey
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 573 kcal
    Author: Countryside Cravings
    • ½ cup(56g) butter
    • cup(160ml) beer or apple juice
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 (15 pound) (6.8kg) turkey completely thawed
    1. In a small saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the beer, salt, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

    2. Fill a culinary injector with the hot sauce and inject the turkey in several spots. I also like to make sure some of the sauce is drizzled over the skin. It really helps to make the skin golden brown.

    3. Place turkey in a roasting pan and bake at 325 degrees F for 4 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in the breast reads 165 degrees F.
    4. Remove from oven and let rest 20-30 minutes before carving. (this step is very important or the juices will just go everywhere)
    Recipe Notes
    1. Recipe adapted from
    2. I used this recipe on a store bought turkey already injected with a solution. 
    3. Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered for up to 4 days.
    4. Freezer Friendly: Cool completely and place in a plastic bag or freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 4 months. 
    5. Nutrition Facts: Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate. Nutrition info is calculated using lite beer and assuming you will eat the skin.  
    Nutrition Facts
    Beer and Butter Turkey
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 573 Calories from Fat 207
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 23g35%
    Saturated Fat 6g38%
    Cholesterol 290mg97%
    Sodium 1098mg48%
    Potassium 928mg27%
    Carbohydrates 1g0%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 1g1%
    Protein 87g174%
    Vitamin A 260IU5%
    Vitamin C 1mg1%
    Calcium 48mg5%
    Iron 4mg22%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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