Soaking your meat in marinade is a time-consuming process that doesn’t always yield maximum flavor absorption, particularly with thicker cuts like pork shoulders. This is because the marinade can only get through several millimeters of meat on its own.
And even though brines settle in much deeper, that takes days or even weeks. Injecting your meat with marinade is an excellent way to ensure that flavor penetrates your deeply, thoroughly, and quickly. You can think of it as marinating your meat from the inside.
Most meat injectors look like big versions of what you would find at a doctor’s office. You can find them in your local grocery store or on Amazon. The most common syringe sizes are two ounces or four ounces.
Although there are larger injectors made for thick marinades such as pestos, the following instructions are for a needle injector as opposed to a spiked injector.
Making an injection marinade is similar to making any other type of marinade. There are just two main differences. The first is that if you are going to include dry ingredients like spices or black pepper, make sure that they are dissolved.
Otherwise, you could end up with a clogged injection needle. Also, if you are planning to join a barbecue competition, be aware that darkly colored marinades with ingredients like soy sauce might give your meat stripes. Judges won’t like that.
It’s also important to take into account what flavors do and do not work with your particular meat. Apples taste delicious with pork, so apple cider vinegar is an excellent choice to incorporate into a pork shoulder marinade. Below is a recipe for an excellent pork butt marinade.
Mix all of the ingredients together to make the marinade.
Put your pork butt in a dish and fill the injector with the marinade you have prepared. Inject the pork in a few different areas, sticking the needle halfway through the meat.
If you have left over marinade, pour it onto the pork. Wrap the pork and place it in the refrigerator for at least three hours so that the flavors can soak into the meat.
Using wood chips, heat your grill up to 275ºF. When the grill is ready, take your pork butt, shake off the remaining liquid, and put your favorite dry rub on it. Put it on the grill with the lean side down. Let it cook for five to six hours until tender.
Even though these instructions are geared towards pork, remember that the sky is the limit in terms of types of what you can inject and the types of meat you can try this technique with. Some ideas are whiskey, broth, soy sauce, hot sauce, butter, or even honey. If you’re using honey, you will need to warm it up first.
Types of meat that are great for injections include hams, pork shoulders and loins, beef roasts, and whole chickens or turkeys. I hope you enjoyed this article and that you experiment more with this wonderful technique. Leave a comment down below to share your experience!