Injecting Meat for Fast Flavor
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How to Inject Meat to Increase Flavor

Grilling enthusiasts are always looking for ways to make the meat juicier and more flavorful. While marinades and brines work wonders, the flavors don’t always get into the center of the meat. That’s where injection comes in. This flavor infusing method works faster than marinating and really kicks up the flavor on grilled meats.

There are many types of meat that are great candidates for injecting, and these include dryer meats like pork butt, pork tenderloins, pork loin, pork chops, or lamb leg in addition to larger cuts like beef brisket, whole chickens, or turkeys, pork shoulder, and hams.

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Inject Meat

Step 1: Choosing an Injector

Meat Injector Kit
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An injector is basically a giant syringe and is available at most stores that sell grilling or cooking supplies. They come in a variety of needle and fluid sizes, but those don’t matter much. Just choose one that feels comfortable in your hand and that is large enough to hold the amount of marinade you want to put in raw meat. Whichever model you choose, wash it thoroughly in soap and water before using it for the first time. If you want to inject thicker ingredients. use a wide mouth injector that often comes with a spike that is used to make holes in the pieces of meat.

    BBQ Monster Meat Injector Syringe Kit

BBQ Monster Meat Injector Syringe Kit
    This kit makes injecting your marinade super easy. It comes with four professional marinade injector needles made of 304 stainless steel. Also included are the two-ounce flavor injector barrel, six spare syringe silicone O-rings, three cleaning brushes, and a PDF instruction manual.

Step 2: Mixing up the Marinade

Marinade (soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and sugar)
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Mix up the marinade of your choice in a bowl to get the natural flavors. You can mix and match spices into saltwater, vegetable oil, olive oil, juice, butter, or other liquids. If you use spices that are larger, grind them up in a spice grinder, food processor, or chop them finely by hand. This prevents the flakes from clogging the tip of the injector needle. Use garlic paste instead of crushed garlic for the same reason.

Some of the best ingredients to use in injectable marinades include honey or molasses for sweetness, and soy sauce, hot sauce, whiskey, olive oil, and broth for a more salt taste, and smoky flavor.

Step 3: Injection Method

Raw meat and rosemary
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Fill the injector by placing the end of the needle into the bowl and pulling it up on the plunger. Insert the needle between 1/2 to 2 inches into the muscle meat, depending on the thickness. When inserting the needle, aim the tip towards the center of the meat rather than straight down. Slowly depress the plunger by a fraction of an inch. Remove and reinsert the needle 1 inch away from the first site. Continue injecting the meat until you have 30 or 40 holes in it. You may notice some marinade oozing out of the skin, but this is normal. If it spurts out, apply lighter pressure on the plunger. After injecting the meat, place it into the refrigerator for one hour to allow the juices to disseminate.

When injecting large slabs of meat, don’t remove the needle after the first injection. Instead, pull it almost out and point the tip in another direction before pushing it back into the meat. Using this method allows you to add more flavor in concentrated areas.

Step 4: Cooking Injected Meats

A piece of steak on a grill at night
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Injected meats can be grilled, seared, smoked, roasted, and even fried. Just remove the meat from the refrigerator, pat it dry with paper towels, and cook. When flipping the injected meat, use tongs instead of a fork. This prevents puncture holes which can allow the marinade to leak out.

Step 5: Injector Clean Up

A man washing hands
Image Credits: Mélissa Jeanty on Unsplash

Clean your injector after every use, as meat tends to get stuck in the hole. It’s best to wash it by hand in cold water, because dishwashers may damage the syringe. Using a paper clip to clean the needle is generally effective. Some injectors are designed to allow the needle to be stored inside when not in use. Others may come with a guard to protect the needle. If you don’t have either, use a piece of cork to help keep the needle in good shape when the injector is not being used.

To Wrap Up

By injecting the cuts of meats with a marinade, instead of rubbing it, you can get more flavor which will make your food taste better. It’s an easy process that doesn’t require a lot of skills or experience. Just make sure to buy the right injector that will contain the amount of marinade you will want to use. Also, after you finish, make sure you clean the injector well and don’t leave any excess liquids inside. And most importantly, enjoy your food!

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