Master of Marinades| How to Use and Care for your Meat Injector

I have been searching for all my cooking life about how to improve the taste and texture of various types of meat in my kitchen. Actually, there are too many ways, whether conventional or ethnic. And don’t even get me started on tons of herbs and spices available for that. It is easy to get lost among them.

In most cases, people tend to use marinades that take overnight (sometimes longer) resting in the fridge. Nevertheless, marinades are only good for the exterior. Brines, on the other hand, is too messy for me. Besides, most frozen turkey that is sold at the store today come pre-brined. I know how traditional turkey roasters love that method. Still, I will show you a much simpler and more effective technique. It is achieved by using a meat injector.

Guess what! You can mix a delicious sauce in a minute and inject it into the meat only 5 minutes before cooking to have one of the tastiest meals you have ever prepared.

Using and Caring for Meat Injector

Meat injectors enable you to add flavor not only on the surface but on all layers. Plus, you get to tenderize the meat while doing that. They come in two different forms. One of them highly resembles the standard syringes that you know of, but bigger and made from stainless steel. And the other model looks like a silicone gun with a tube for the sauce in the middle. I am a fan of the latter since it allows you to control the dosage during injecting. That way, you can have the same amount of sauce infused all over the meat.

It will surely be to your benefit if you learn how to use and care for your meat injector. Not only will you cook bamboozling and mesmerizing dishes, but you will also prolong the injectors’ shelf-life and take full advantage of your flavorings. So, let’s get started.

Get to know your meat injector

Quality meat injectors come with either stainless steel or glass barrels. Avoid the plastic ones at all costs if you want to own durable equipment. They crack easily. Notice, there are various needles in different sizes with unique openings. Here is the basic rule for selecting the right one. You use a thicker needle as your injection recipes get more viscous, and prefer thinner ones with multiple outlets when you have liquid mixtures. Simple as that. Also, select longer needles when infusing sauce into turkey or similar.

The first thing you do when you get yourself a brand-new meat injector is to clean it meticulously and dry well all its parts; the needles, plunger, and barrel. Dismantling the plunger may be a bit hard on some models. If yours is one of them, don’t break it while trying to take it off. You can pull warm water inside the plunger and barrel. It is an alternative way to clean.

Next, smear vegetable oil into the barrel for lubrication purposes. This process will make the plunger operate smoothly. Sometimes, the plastic at the end of the plunger dries up, and moving it back and forth becomes incredibly challenging. Suppose you pull in just a little bit of vegetable oil inside the meat injector after cleaning. In that case, you should never face such a situation.

Tip Alert

Once you clean the meat injector, draw in half a teaspoon worth of vegetable oil inside the barrel. Dip the end of the needle into oil and pull back on the plunger. This will make sure that it stays loosened.

When you prepare the mixture and ready to start injecting, you should do so calmly. Rushing will make things worse. It is better if you plan ahead. Learning where and how to inject will make sure that all the juices are kept inside the meat. Insert the needle from the sides on the breast area when you are preparing a turkey or whole chicken roast. If there is skin over the meat, then lift it up and apply the injections from underneath. When using the meat injector on brisket, try to make several injections to cover the whole surface, and leave about 1-inch space between them.

How do you clean meat injectors?

The best and easiest way to clean the meat injector is to submerge it into warm and soapy water. Please leave it in there for about 5 minutes so that the leftover syrup or sauce inside becomes ready loose. Most models include special cleaning brushes in the package, which are extremely helpful. Use those to scrub the inside of the barrel (the tube where we fill the sauce). Make sure you also wash the needles and brush them well. Let all the parts dry and assemble them back on.

Tip Alert

Always put the meat injector on the top rack of the dishwasher to eliminate any unit damage.

How long before smoking should you inject meat?

Whether you are smoking or grilling the meat, the optimum time frame is to make the injections is 5 minutes prior to the cooking process. You need to give enough time for the juices to spread into all layers of the meat. Otherwise, they will stop flowing with the heat.

Does injecting meat work?

Injecting meat is quick and extremely effective. All other marinating methods focus on the meat’s surface while using a meat injector can affect each layer. Better yet, no other technique than this can tenderize the meat as good as a meat injector. In addition, the juices are all kept inside, which improves the taste considerably.

What meats can you inject?

The sky is the limit; use your meat injector on ham, lamb, beef, poultry, and even game meat. Many professional restaurants inject various sauce and syrups into the meat they are serving. It is a great way to enhance savors effectually.

What else can I use my meat injector for?

Keep in mind that you are not limited only by meat. Feel free to be resourceful on other types of foods too. By means of a meat injector, you can add a deeper flavor into your diet. Try using your it on fruits and vegetables too. However, it is best to purchase a separate injector for this purpose as you could get contaminated from the one that is used on raw meat.

Can you inject BBQ sauce into chicken?

Standard bbq sauce contain a lot of sugar, which could easily get burnt during cooking. In addition, it might get too thick. It is best if you lighten the BBQ sauce with vegetable oil and other sauces to have a better injection into chicken.


  • You can make injecting points with a sharp knife before you actually start injecting in tough meat. The whole process will be much easier for you and the needle of the meat injector.
  • Pull up the skin of chicken or turkey, and make the injection underneath. That way, the injection points will be invisible.
  • Always keep a small amount of injection mixture in the plunger to avoid any spilling.


  • Keep the injector away from the reach of children. The sharp needles are dangerous and should be used with caution.

In Conclusion

Once you get yourself one of the best meat injectors, you should learn how to use and care for it. If you want to take full advantage and extend this handy gadget’s shelf life, there are a few simple rules that you should pay attention to relevantly. Moreover, maintaining your injector accurately will make it easy to perform each time you use it. You will soon realize that your dishes will burst with new flavors, and everyone will be so happy with the tender and juicy steaks. Upgrade your meal with a meat injector and cook jaw-breaking bites on the run. Remember, most steakhouses use the very same procedure to impress their guests.

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