Saturday, July 23, 2011

Five Tips: Injecting Meat

Are you trypanophobic?

Trypanophobia is the extreme fear of shots, IV's, and injections. If you are, here is your chance for revenge. Try injecting meat with marinades.

Why would you do such a thing? Injecting a marinade into meat does a few things, depending on the marinade used.
  • Fast flavor – Marinades and brines take time to work and penetrate the meat. Injecting gets instant penetration and gets flavor throughout the meat in 5 minutes.
  • Tender texture – Some marinades help the heat in breaking down the structure of the meat, making it tender.
  • Adds moisture – injecting liquid into a piece of meat obviously increases the moisture in the roast

Today I am playing with three marinades. I'm smoking two pork butts on my Big Green Egg. One has Chris Lilly's world championship pork butt injection doctored with a little Apple Pie Moonshine. The other one has a creation of my own. 

Fat cap down.

On Alexis' Big Green Egg I'm slow roasting a beef eye of round and used a commerical creole butter injection for a creole roast beef. (She's at football practice with Trevor. She won't be happy when she finds I did a low and slow in her Egg but better to beg forgiveness than ask permission!)

Drip pan for collecting the au jus

I don't always inject, but when I do....I do Dos Equis – errrr, I mean - here are Five Tips for injecting meat.

Tip 1: Push-me-pull-you
This isn't injecting like a shot in the doctor's office where you hit a vein and inject all the medicine in one spot. Inject the needle all the way in. Then as you push the piston to inject, slowly pull the injector out at the same time still pushing the piston.

Tip 2: Keep it under wraps
If the meat is packaged in cryo-wrap, leave it in the wrap and inject it through the plastic. This helps cut down on the accidental sprays that happen when you pull the needle out of the meat.
Tip 3: Smaller is better
When making your own injections, use finely ground spices or your injection will frequently clog your needle, a total pain in the butt.

Tip 4: What cuts of meat benefit from injecting?
Typically cuts that are large, lean, or bland. I will sometimes inject pork butts (large), pork loin (bland & large), beef eye of round (lean), and whole poultry (bland, lean).

Tip 5: Clean Needles Save Lives
The hollow tip of the needle will get meat caught in it as the needle is pulled out each time. Simply washing the needle when done won't get that out and you'll have icky creatures growing in there for your next use. Use a paper clip or wire to clear this area out.

If you haven't ever tried injections, don't be trypanophobic...give it a shot! (snicker) You can buy a cheap injector with a jar of commercial injection sauce for about $7 at many grocery stores.