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The 'Injection' Technique


Corinna Dunne
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I understand - from the grilled chicken thread - that marinade injection kits are available in the US. As I am about to be the lucky recipient of some syringes (from a fellow eGulleteer in Dublin), I would be very interested to hear about your experiences with this technique. Specifically:

1. Different types of meat/poultry and vegetables used

2. Marinades

3. Do's and don'ts

Please feel free to recount the disasters as well as the successes!

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Turkey fryers often use injected marinades for poultry, that's a good place to start, here's a link to one source for recipes: http://bbq.about.com/cs/turkey/a/aa102602a.htm

I use my injector to put unsweetened apple juice in pork shoulders for long cooking. I do it once before putting the shoulders on the cooker and once at the halfway point, about 6 hours in. It's fun, you can really see the meat puff up as it takes in the juice. Inject in several locations to get all the different sections juiced.

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As we have several doctors in the family I have always had hypodermic needles available for cooking.

They can be used to great effect in the kitchen, and really your only limitation here is your own creativity.

In our house the needle is usually employed to inject some form of alchohol into food.

For example, take a watermelon and inject some rum into it in a few different places and then let it sit in a cold refrigerator for the day.

Or inject a ham with some Jack Daniels prior to baking.

Ouzo into lamb.

Red wine and/or brandy into roast beef.

Calvados into pork.

And so it goes.

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As we have several doctors in the family I have always had hypodermic needles available for cooking.

They can be used to great effect in the kitchen, and really your only limitation here is your own creativity.

In our house the needle is usually employed to inject some form of alchohol into food.

For example, take a watermelon and inject some rum into it in a few different places and then let it sit in a cold refrigerator for the day.

Or inject a ham with some Jack Daniels prior to baking.

Ouzo into lamb.

Red wine and/or brandy into roast beef.

Calvados into pork.

And so it goes.

I'm an anesthesiologist and have a glass syringe and very large bore needle (for epidurals), so I will definitely try this.

Two questions:

1: if marinating meat in advance, should one reinject the meat (like turning it in the marinade every so often)?

2: In your recipies, do you only inject the alcohol last minute and why?

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We generally inject when the piece of meat (usually) is sufficiently large that a marinade alone would not penetrate to the middle - such as the examples I gave. We inject the alcohol at the beginning of the cooking process - and do this in addition to a complementary marinade. The injected alchohol then infuses the meat with flavour while cooking - whilst the alchohol presumeably evaporates.

Having a large bore needle is great as it will allow you to inject more viscous liquids such as marinades.

In fact I learned this technique from an old friend who was studying vetinary medicine at the time and had access to the very fine but larger bore needles used by vetinarians.

Recently I simmered some garlic, rosemary, sage and salt and pepper in some Retsina, skimmed off the herbs and injected the liquid into a large leg of lamb which was subsequently slow roasted. The result was sensational!

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i dont like the technique at all

hence its flavor overpowering effects to the subtle meat aroma.

I had wondered about this. But surely it is something you can 'control'. For instance, I would expect that injecting melted butter into a chicken breast before (and perhaps during) roasting would improve the flavour of the bird.

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I must agree with schneich's post that injection just by nature will remove subtlety in the meat flavor. But I stand by butter, as well as a good herbal vinegar; just depends on your reason, or your objective.

Let's say you have venison or bison, which to some people have a strong taste. An injection of an herbal nature with an acidic base can and does keep that meat from becoming pedestrian. I am talking about for a grilling purpose. For cold weather oven roasting, I go with low temp roasting.

I said on the chicken breast grilling thread that I liked to insert cold bits of butter under the skin. I also like a real nice Italian seasoned dressing.Butter injection is basically a little different, but the same principle.

Corinna, I am sure you can find injection recipes ad nausaeum online, but my advice is plan it out yourself. Injection spice mixes are not much more than spicy, punch-it-up mixes you can prepare yourself. My last thought is taste what you've prepared before you get subsurface with it. Once it's done, there's no going back.

As an aside, I had a giggle about injecting fruit. When I was in high school, I was hospitalized from a car wreck. My friends brought a large fruit basket that was quite a mini bar. :wacko: Vodka in oranges and my favorite, tangerines with red wine. :wacko:

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i dont like the technique at all

hence its flavor overpowering effects to the subtle meat aroma.

t.  :smile:

Could be, but that injecting ouzo into lamb thing sounds intriguing! Doesn't get too sweet with the sugar content, Ducky?

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As far as I'm concerned, one can never have too much flavor. I love to inject with a blend of cider vinegar, hot pepper sauce, and butter personally.

As for other chicken brest grilling hints, I know I am in the minority here, but I have far, far, more luck with boneless (preferably skin on, but boneless works too, just wrap them in bacon), than with bone-in. Bone in dries out way too easily, boneless it is very easy to get and even cook on both sides.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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From Episure in the grilled chicken breast thread:

For those interested, my marinade was light cream, turmeric, paprika, saffron infusion and then cooked with garlic butter in my grill pan.

This sounds *so* good to me.

But in honor of this thread I'm going to first do something I've cooked before-- margarita chicken, which is chicken allowed to sit in margaritas-- and see if injecting some of the margarita right before cooking improves them. Got the chicken, dusted off the injector, going to try it tomorrow.

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i dont like the technique at all

hence its flavor overpowering effects to the subtle meat aroma.

t.   :smile:

Could be, but that injecting ouzo into lamb thing sounds intriguing! Doesn't get too sweet with the sugar content, Ducky?

This may be a function of how much you inject. I inject no more than an ounce or two spread throughout the leg in little shots - and sugar is not a problem. As I said, this technique complements the marinade in that the alchohol you inject provides moisture and flavour to the center of the roast - though the alchohol evaporates away. I would encourage you to experiment with this.

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I’ve used syringes purchased from a farm & ranch supply store. I bought the largest bore size needle available but found it was still a little small if I wanted to inject some particulate matter along with the liquid. Doing a little searching turned up this. It looks like it’s designed to do the job. I also like the fact it holds 4 oz. Has anyone used this design to good effect?

--------------

Bob Bowen

aka Huevos del Toro

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I’ve used syringes purchased from a farm & ranch supply store. I bought the largest bore size needle available but found it was still a little small if I wanted to inject  some particulate matter along with the liquid. Doing a little searching turned up this. It looks like it’s designed to do the job. I also like the fact it holds 4 oz. Has anyone used this design to good effect?

I think mine was made by someone called Bayou Country, same idea, large bore needle with a couple extra holes up from the tip. The one you linked should be fine.

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Last night we grilled skinless, boneless chicken breasts injected with margaritas, basically. Compared with simply marinating the chicken, it did come out somewhat moister and more flavorful. (Admittedly it's a dumb recipe to begin with-- like something you get at Applebee's or something-- but some lowfat cooked chicken comes in handy for salads and stuff when everyone in the house is on a diet.) It's a subtle difference but I'm not going to say it's not worth the time, since if you have the equipment it really takes no time. I also look forward to trying that cream-saffron-spice idea.

I'm thinking that, as someone mentioned upthread, the best use for these gizmos is when you have a big piece of meat that you can't conveniently marinate. I got mine to inject the turkey breasts that I use to make homemade cold cuts, and it's great for that.

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  • 1 month later...

I need some ideas on what to inject into chicken, turkey and beef. Anyone have any experience with this? I saw several competition pros doing it at the barbeque competitions on Food TV. Tx.

Mike

Edited by Mike L. (log)
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I need some ideas on what to inject into chicken, turkey and beef. Anyone have any experience with this? I saw several competition pros doing it at the barbeque competitions on Food TV. Tx.

Mike

I did this for Thanksgiving last year. I bought an injector kit. Here's the link:

Tony Chachere's Creole Injectibles Marinade Kit

I prepared the turkey by:

1. First, following the directions that came with the kit, injecting the turkey with the kit's "Creole Style Butter Marinade" (there are three other flavors in the kit). BTW, a syringe comes with the kit. This part can be done in advance, from just an hour to several hours, refrigerating the turkey until ready, of course.

2. Then I made sure the turkey was completely dry inside and out, rubbed it with oil, and seasoned the outside and the cavity with creole seasoning (also included in the kit).

3. Finally, I deep fried the turkey in an indoor, electric turkey fryer which had only recently come on the market, according to manufacturer's directions. The turkey was just a little over 13 lbs. When the suggested time was up, I checked the turkey's doneness by wiggling the leg and thigh joint and decided to let it go another 10-15 minutes.

The results: this was by far the most juicy, tender, delicious turkey I had ever had, with sinfully crisp skin and a very pronounced turkey flavor.

Of course, one could make your own butter-based liquid, buy an appropriate syringe, and mix your own special blend of creole seasoning to achieve this.

Best of luck.

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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I wonder, if you inject ribs under the silver-skin how much liquid you could get in there, I'm gonna have to try.  mmm, bacon grease injections

Werdna, I mixed up a batch of marinade created by our eG barbeque guru, col klink and used it to marinate spareribs. Amazing! This marinade brought out every bit of "porkiness" one could ever want. Here's his recipe:

I always brine my ribs for at least an hour before I smoke 'em. It's a simple brine of a cup of salt to a gallon of water. That's all you need. However I also add a bottle of Crytal's extra hot hot sauce, a cup of brown sugar and a cup of vinegar. Occasionally I'll also add a cup of lemon or lime juice too. I've fooled around with all sorts of brining like adding coffee and bourbon and a litany of herbs, but really all you need is salt and water. If you only have time for an hour brine, you might want to double up on the salt.

That along with bacon grease injections might lead to full pork overload........ which wouldn't be such a bad thing. :smile:

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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That along with bacon grease injections might lead to full pork overload........ which wouldn't be such a bad thing. :smile:

Great idea! Bacon grease injection sounds like something I have to try next time I smoke a pork butt.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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