How to Find the Best Meat Injector For Your Cooking
The traditional way of marinating meat is by submerging it in a marinade. Sometimes, we put a dry rub and leave it to rest. However, this could be a lengthy process. You’ll need to wait a couple hours to taste the results.
Although scoring your food can speed up the absorption, it’s not always fit for some recipes. This is because it some recipes require proper texture. Hence, the meat injector could be a great solution for your needs.
A meat injector can be taken literally by its name. It’s a large syringe with a long needle that’s used for marinating meat. However, the difference here is that it pumps the marinade rather than spread it.
Marinating the meat inside speeds up the marinade. This is because the flavoring goes inside the meat rather than outside. The best meat injector can give you amazing results when it comes to the flavor of your food.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Background of the Meat Injector
A meat injector is also known as a flavor injector. It’s a tool that should deepen the flavor of your meat. You should also note that you can use this kitchen tool for vegetable and fruits. It may sound weird, but later on we will give recipes about it.
Foremost, a meat injector has been for several decades now. Most commonly, these are used by large food industries. Typically, your favorite chicken station or pork producer that doesn’t have the organic label use these.
The use of meat injectors by large food manufacturers are quite different compared to home use. The process that food manufacturers is called “pumping”. This means that they pump the meat with various additives.
These additives can be saltwater, meat stock, or all kinds of extracts. The main purpose of this is to add flavor and moisture.
Food processing is another area where meat injectors are used. These companies usually inject certain amounts of salt and sugar to lengthen the shelf life of their products.
Why Should You Use a Meat Injector?
The home-friendly meat injector that we will review is different compared to commercial ones that food manufacturers use. First of all, these commercial businesses use multiple needle injectors and vacuum tumblers. These are more advanced that specifically deal with the sodium of the meat.
On the other hand, your meat injector is a lot simpler. It’s like one of those large syringes you see in a cartoon show. Quite similar to the big syringes used by evil scientists.
The main reason why you should purchase a meat injector is if you’re a meat-lover. There’s really no simpler way of explaining it. Most barbecue gurus would recommend you use one.
You might ask yourself, “why should I buy a meat injector when there are so many alternatives?”. For example, there are substitutes like curing, brining, or basic marinating.
The main difference here is that if you marinate your food the traditional way, it will only reach a couple of millimeters under the surface. Curing gives your food maximum flavor, but it’s not really ideal for everyday cooking. It usually takes days or even weeks before you taste the results.
A meat injector can get the job done in seconds. It goes through the center of your meat, marinating the innermost fibers inside it.
The Meat Injector and The Barbecue
If you were to ask me, you’ll appreciate a meat injector the most when you’re barbecuing. Having a barbecue can be go either way. It can provide you that great smoky flavor, or it can leave you unsatisfied from bland meat.
The problem with barbecues is that you’ll need to put your meat on a griddle. That may sound weird because it’s the best feature of a barbecue. However, putting the wrong marinade can cause it to slip off from the grill. Consequently, you lose all the flavor and it goes into the coals instead.
To avoid this, a meat injector works perfectly. It keeps the flavors inside instead on the surface. Most of all, it keeps the meat really moist and protected from the fiery flames of the barbecue.
Here are some famous recipes that tastes brilliantly with a meat injector.
Smoky Pulled Pork - The Pulled Pork recipe is a favorite among barbecue gurus. It uses a pork shoulder cut. Although this cut is fatty, it still needs a lot of help inside. This is because of the sheer size of the shoulder.
You can use different brines to flavor your pork. In the video, apple juice and worcestershire sauce were used. But you can always use a mix of spices, oil, and herbs as well.
Beef Brisket - Along with pork, beef is another beneficiary of an injector. It’s a delicate cut that can be bland if you don’t marinade it properly. In this video, beef broth is the main ingredient used for your injector. This gives it a beefier kick that matches well with the brisket being quite lean.
Whole Roast Chicken - To give you variety, chicken is another great meat to use an injector. When using your meat injector, always remember that it works best for thick areas. Furthermore, lean parts are a good target for injecting flavor.
A whole chicken (or even turkey) badly needs flavoring inside the breast area. It’s common to suffer from bland and dry chicken breast. Therefore, using it in that area will boost the flavor. Melted butter, garlic, worcestershire, and apple juice are great ingredients for marinating chicken.
Proper Use of a Meat Injector
It’s really simple to use a meat injector. Although you still might miss some steps that can cause spills on your countertop.
When using your meat injector, always tighten the needle that’s screwed to the tube. When you buy one, it usually comes disassembled. So make sure to read the manual properly. It’s not really complicated because an injector usually comes with only 3 parts.
When using it to extract your marinade, be sure that the consistency is runny. Trying to use an injector with a thick paste is not a good idea. So the first step is to make sure that you dissolve your marinade if you used ingredients like butter, salt, sugar, and peppercorns.
For more information on using your meat injector, check this tutorial.
Our Top 5 Picks
Mr Grill presents two marinade needles that are 6 inches long. This gives it a pierce that will penetrate deep into the meat for maximum flavor. Its tube comes with a 2-ounce capacity. Hence, you’ll be able to avoid repetitive extraction of your marinade.
The design of this product is a beauty. It’s made of stainless steel for hygiene and durability. It also comes with a 3-hole grip. This design allows you to use this meat injector with comfort and ease.
- Great design.
The stainless steel feature gives it great durability fit for long-term use.
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- Dishwasher safe.
There are plenty of meat injectors that are not suitable for dishwashers. This allows you to clean it without any hassle!
- The marinade needles can extract both liquid and solids.
With this feature, you can puncture solid ingredients like herbs and pastes in the meat. You still need to mix a couple of liquid seasonings for it to work though. Dry rubs still don’t work with a meat injector.
- Tube leaks when loaded.
Although the tube can be filled with marinade up to two ounces, sometimes it may leak if the tube is full.
- Needle can leave a mess.
The multi-hole needle can spray the marinade too much and leave a spill. On the other hand, the single-hole needle works fine.
- Caution when disassembling it.
Apparently, the 3-hole handle may broke if you apply too much pressure.
Luxe Grill’s meat injector comes with a 3-hole grip similar to Mr. Grill’s. Furthermore, the meat injector’s chamber also holds 2-ounces worth of marinade to avoid yourself using it back and forth.
The Luxe Grill comes with two sharp needles. These are manufactured to cut through the toughest and densest of cuts. The two needles have different functions. One is used for runny seasonings like broths and brines. The other needle is used to extract paste-like marinades such as pestos, chili, and salsas.
- Lifetime Warranty
- Comes with a silicon gasket
This silicon gasket keeps the marinade inside and keeps air pockets away.
- Heavy-duty needles
Because these needles are thick, they work well for tough cuts and large chunks of meat.
- Can extract viscous marinades
- Great design, offers stainless steel feature
- Large needles are not fit for small cuts
It’s not ideal to use if you’re using it on say chicken breast. Small chicken roasts are not fit for this too. It gives you a hard time in puncturing it precisely
- Needles have wide holes
These generally create unwanted spills. Sometimes, it even spills out of your meat or pumps it with too much liquid.
The Premiala meat injector is guaranteed safe to use for your meat. This is because it’s made with high-quality stainless steel that is 304-graded to meet the highest standards. One of the unique features of Premiala is it comes with 3 different needles. Two of these are 6-inch needles that can penetrate deep into the meat.
These 3 needles gives you maximum versatility in marinating the meat. The difference that you get with Premiala is the variety of food that you can use it for. Most meat injectors are only suitable for poultry. However, Premiala’s ultra-thin needle can be used for pastries and even small fruits.
- Comes with three multi-purpose needles
The needles come in different sizes, two of which are standard ones that we have previously reviewed. The smallest needle is uniquely designed for filling donuts, injecting rum into strawberries, and marinating thin slices of meat.
- Has a 1-year warranty
- Comes with an Ebook to guide you in cooking great recipes.
- Highest grade of stainless steel
- Comes with spare silicon o-rings for long-term durability.
- Chamber comes with measurements for precision.
- The Ebook guide can be complicated to download.
- The multi-hole needle can sometimes spill too much liquid.
The ekSel Marinade Injector Set is definitely a great bargain to have. Ranging only at $11-$15, you’ll get yourself a set that features a meat injector with a basting brush and two pepper & salt mills.
ekSel’s meat injector comes with extra o-rings too. It comes with two needles that each serve a different purpose. The chamber also gives you measurements so you’d know how much marinade you’re pumping.
- Comes with basting brush and two salt & pepper mills for $20 and less
- Very durable since it’s made from stainless steel
The two needles have separate functionsThe first needle is used for pumping liquids while the second one is used for extracting solids. Great versatility.
- Comes with extra o-rings.
- Great size. Can deal with small and large meats.
- Chamber can clog up easily when extracting solids.
- Can sometimes spill and cause a mess.
- Salt and peppercorn mills are quite small and are not durable.
SpitJack’s Magnum Meat Injector Gun is one of the famous brands out there. It stands out differently compared to other injectors because of its design and technology. Looking at the product, this meat injector is more of a “gun” rather than a syringe.
The material used for the injector’s frame is extremely durable. It’s made with die-cast zinc along with high grade brass. The unique handle gives you comfort and precision when using. This is thanks to the spring-loaded design that makes pumping a lot easier.
- Needles are sharp and long
It can penetrate up to 5.5 inches in depth. That’s extremely deep. Thus, it’s perfect for large chunks of meat such as pork shoulder, brisket, and ribs
- The injection comes with measurements
This is different from the Premiala. For the SpitJack, you can set a specific measurement that you want. This locks in the amount of marinade that you will pump at a specific dosage (1-5 ml. per dosage). It’s great for recipes that require accurate and precise measurements.
- Large capacity at 2 ounces
- Needle is too big for some cuts
Could use a smaller needle for cuts like fillet, breast, and rump.
- Price might be hefty for some.
It’s around $65-$75 which is a $40-$50 increase compared to the other brands
When it comes to meat injectors, you should look for versatility, durability, and comfort. Having added versatility is another great bonus to have. With that said, I believe that the Premiala meat injector gives you the best bargain there is.
Its 3-needle feature gives it superior advantage over other products. This is because it gives you a lot more versatility. Now, you can also fill up pastries and even fruits. Moreover, its stainless steel is both pretty and strong.
Lastly, the chamber of this product comes with measurements. This is another feature that will surely help you in cooking tasty meats that are neither salty nor bland.
If you think we missed a product, comment below and let us know what you think!