Self-basting is an expression used to describe a piece of meat that has been prepared or cooked in such a way as to negate the need for basting. Normally the meat is fowl, particularly turkey, which in consumers’ minds is renowned for being dry.
The self-basting turkeys at stores are injected with mixtures of broth, fats, salt and other seasonings, depending on the brand. If you want to see what was used, check the label. The solution injected may constitute up to 6 to 9 % of the weight that you are paying for.
Do not brine a turkey that is self-basting.
Some pork is sold that has been plumped up with injected saline. The pork meat processors say the injections make the pork “self-basting”, and compensate for consumers’ tendencies to overcook pork.
See also the entry on oven bags, which are sometimes referred to as self-basting roasting bags.