Basics of Injections
- By Tom Jackson
- Dec 13, 2022
No one wants to spend all day cooking a large piece of meat only to be unimpressed on the first bite. We expect bold flavor throughout and rightfully so because big meat costs big money. When our team at ATBBQ wants to maximize flavor per pound, we usually inject first since injections are the quickest way to get intense flavor into every bite of meat prior to cooking.
Injecting is using a needle to insert moisture and flavor via a liquid deep inside a larger piece of meat. Unlike a brine or a marinade which both require time to soak, an injection is an instant way to add almost any flavor which reduces your prep time. We’ve seen fruit juices, butter, pre-made mixes, and dissolved rubs and brines used to make injections. If you can get it through the needle without clogging, it can be injected.
When you inject, you add moisture and flavor to the inside of meat. As the meat on the outside cooks, the injection will stay inside and spread flavor throughout. Another benefit of an injection is that you are injecting salt into the meat as well, so it will work as an internal brine to break down proteins and helps the meat retain and absorb more water through osmosis. (See article on brining) Some of the fluid will work its way back out, but not all of it resulting in more flavorful and more juicy bites all the way through. If you are doing a shorter cook, you can also inject earlier and let the meat rest prior to cooking so the injection has more time to soak throughout. Injecting is the best way to get flavor inside of meat because when applied to the outside because while brining happens on a molecular level, flavor particles are much larger and cannot penetrate deep within the meat without the assistance of the needle.
Without a doubt! If you have limited time and need instant flavor, this is the way to go. Injecting will not work as well on thinner pieces of meat since the fluid will work its way out quickly. In that case we would use a marinade, but if you have a large enough piece of meat to hold fluid, you will not be disappointed in the difference an injection can make. Injecting is one of our favorite ways to get the benefits of both brining and marinating in one quick step. This can also be used in combination with other methods of flavor enhancement to take your meal to another level.
3. Cast Iron Pan
You can cook much more than just T-bone steaks and pork chops on a grill. With this 12" Lodge cast iron skillet, you can saute, sear or stir fry, and you can do it anywhere on any kind of grill. If you're new to cast iron, check out our guide to caring for cast iron and our 5 everyday cooking applications.
Our staff is filled with home cooks who use our products every day and would be happy to answer your questions.
Go and inject in that meat!
Some of our favorite Rubs