Meat in and of itself doesn’t really taste good. Regardless of kind, it will not give you that juicy goodness unless infused with delicious marinade. If you’re only dealing with thin meat, it’s easy to just marinade the outer portion and be done with it. But what if you’re dealing with thicker slices?
For large chunks of meat, professional chefs rely on the best meat injector. This is the secret to reaching those hard to reach parts with marinade goodness. Without it, the meat will remain bland. So if you’re planning to bake, grill, rotisserie an entire chicken or a huge slab of meat, make sure to infuse it your best marinade using the best meat injector.
The Benefits of Injecting Meat
If you want to deliver flavor at the surface of the meat, you can either rub, mop, brine or marinate it. But if you want to go deeper, there is no going around a meat injector. The good news is, this simple gadget opens up new possibilities: you can infuse syrup into ice-cream, jam into donuts, or melted butter into squash.
Also known as enhancing in professional circles, injecting is the surefire way to deliver flavor into the deepest parts of the meat. This is also the fastest delivery system--no more waiting for hours to allow flavors and spices to penetrate the meat.
You also don’t need to worry about putting too much salt. You have tasted your marinade before injecting so you already how it taste like. You don’t have to worry about running out of refrigerator space or if you lack huge containers--all of this can be done in the last minute. Here are more benefits of a meat injector
Allows the flavor to penetrate the meat
The idea behind marinating is that the longer the meat stays in the solution, the deeper it penetrates the meat. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and there are times that the marinade solution does not even penetrate the center of the meat.
With the use of a meat injector, your solution gets where you want it to go. All you need to do is trust the needle to the portion of the meat where you want your marinade solution and it stays there.
Regulates the moisture of the meat
One of the trickiest part of cooking, particularly broiling and roasting, is moisture retention. Several methods and hacks have been put forward by cooks and chefs throughout the centuries like bagging the meat or basting just so that moisture doesn’t escape. The meat injector puts moisture where you want it to be and this has been a lifesaver for meat that easily dries out.
Convenient and effective alternative to marinating
There is no rocket science behind this. All you need to do is inject the flavor or moisture where you want it. You don’t need to waste your time waiting for the marinade to penetrate your meat. With a meat injector, you save time and even the sauce that you use will be used efficiently because none of it will be wasted.
Versatile and works with food other than meet
The limit to its use is just your creativity. A lot of those who bought meat injectors use it to infuse flavor to impossible to reach areas of the food. Injecting wine in fruits is easy, as well as injecting fudge into cakes. The possibilities are endless, all you need to do is let your mind work
How to Choose the Meat Injector
While there are a lot f competing brands out there, you can choose your injector not based on their popularity but on their features. You can maximize its use based on these factors:
- Capacity of the container
- Size of the needle
- Ease of cleaning
The typical tendency is to pick injectors with larger capacity because we normally believe that bigger is always better. But this is not necessarily the case of an injector. If you would normally cook smaller chunks of meat, choose a smaller injector to avoid over killing the meat with flavor.
If you frequently deal with larger meat cuts, this is where a large capacity injector comes in. This will prevent you from constantly refilling and you get to finish your work faster.
Smaller needles are good for piercing hard pieces of meat. This is also good for liquefied marinades such as melted vegan butter, olive oil or sauced-based liquids.
However, if you are using flavors that are thicker and have more texture, a wider needle is better.
With this type of needle, you can even include herbs and other solid ingredients in your marinade. This will penetrate the meat without a problem. Do you use homemade pesto? You will need wider needle for that.
When it comes to meat injectors, cleaning is your number one priority. Why? For the simple yet serious reason that it comes in contact with raw meat. The needle is particularly challenging to clean because this is the area where difficult to remove particles accumulate.
What you are looking for is a set that you can easily and effectively sterilize, or at least safely put in a dishwasher. You should also be looking for injectors that you can remove the parts and clean individually.
The secret to injecting is to shoot 1 to 2% salt to retain the moisture and flavor of the meat. Sometimes big flavors mask the flavor of meat. If you want your pork to taste like pork or beef to taste like beef, keep your marinade simple.
Last update on 2017-10-16 PST - Details
My Top 7 Meat Injector Picks
With all of the above taken into consideration, here are my top 7 meat injector picks. This list will make it easier for you to decide and wade out all the brands of meat injectors that are not as effective in infusing flavor to your meat.
Chop's Power Injector System 1/2 Gallon
Although I warned about over killing the meat with your marinade, the Chop's Power Injector System 1/2 Gallon is the perfect choice if you own a restaurant or a caterer who is looking at huge preparations.
This will help a lot in your meat preparation because you don’t have to refill it often.It features a half gallon food-safe jug, a hose and an injector head with four closed tip needles. The flow of infusion is controlled through the trigger. Since it uses a 14-gauge needle, it can have undissolved particles like pepper and garlic.
It also comes with protective covers so that the needles are not exposed. If you don’t want to use the other needles, like when you’re just making a small preparation, it also comes with three plug screws to cover the unused ones. If you need to use plastic needles, it also comes with 2 plastic need adapters.
- Large capacity, no need to refill constantly
- Four needles working at the same time
- Highly controllable infusion flow
- Can be used with one needle for smaller preps
- A bit difficult to clean
When the need to force a good amount of marinade into the meat arises, you can’t go wrong with SpitJack Magnum. This injector makes it so easy, you don’t need a great amount of strength to infuse the deeper parts of the meat with marinade goodness.
Thanks to its pistol-style handle and smooth spring mechanism, you won’t experience muscle strain and soreness even after a huge meat prepping. Added to that, the grip is also coated with rubber for additional comfort.
This injector come with 4 commercial grade needles at different gauges and it has 2-ounce capacity which you can easily adjust through a dial. When the need arises, all you need to do is interchange the needle to fit the texture of the marinade.
- It now comes with 3 custom cleaning brushes
- Made in the USA
- Comes with 1-year guarantee on parts and services
- The capacity is too small for huge preparation
Grill Beast 304 Stainless Steel Meat Injector Kit
Made from food-grade stainless steel, the Grill Beast 304 Stainless Steel Meat Injector Kit looks great out of the packaging. It comes with two types of needles that you can interchange depending on your needs. It also comes with a recipe e-book that is replete with ideas on how to make your food extra delectable.
Despite the fact that this injector is so affordable, it comes with 100% money back guarantee and lifetime warranty. This tells me that this is the injector for repeated use.
Because it’s so affordable and small enough to store anywhere, it’s actually good to have a lot of this gadget in your kitchen for a variety of tasks, not just meat injection. With its 2-ounce capacity, you can use it to infuse fillings to strawberries or fill small cakes with ganache.
- Made from 304 food-grade stainless steel
- Versatile, it comes with 3 needles for various marinade textures
- The 3-ring plunger is a simple but effective design
- The plunger is not as durable as the rest of the injector materials
Premiala Awesome Meat Injector
Another injector that is easy to love is the Premiala Awesome Meat Injector. It’s sleek but effective design coupled with the fact that it is made from 304 stainless steel makes it ideal for meat usage.It comes with 3 needles of different gauges but the widest seems too wide for my tastes. But if you will use it for thickly textured marinade solutions, it is the perfect size.
The plunger follows the true and tested design of using 3 rings for efficiency and convenience. It also comes with an extra silicon o-ring as replacement and it is backed with solid warranty.
Although this is common among meat injectors these days, it comes with an e-book which serves as a guide for its operation and a bunch of other recipes to get you started with you infusion journey.
- Comes with 3 needles for thick and thin marinades
- Made from food-grade stainless to ensure safety and hygiene
- Covered by lifetime guarantee from manufacturer
- The larger needle is too large
- The plunger is too stiff to operate
Bayou Classic 5011
For an affordable yet reliable home solution to meat infusion, the Bayou Classic 5011 won’t disappoint. It is suitable for culinary experts who want a cheap meat injector to grab when the situation calls for it. It will be a handy staple to use when you need to extend your stay at the kitchen.For the newbie, this is also a nice affordable tool to have especially when you don’t have too much money to spare on an injector.
The 2-ounce capacity is perfect for this type of purpose. It comes with two needles, a liquid marinade and a mince marinade needle, which is a bit limiting but for a handy device, this is sufficient.
Make sure to insert the nozzle past the piercing to ensure that the marinade is absorbed by the meat. If not, the marinade will just bleed out of the meat.
- Easy to clean
- Comes with extra washers
- Needles are sharp enough for any meat type
- Two needles can be limiting
Mercier Steel Injector
Another handy 2-ounce meat injector option is the Mercier Steel Injector. Deeply infusing chicken, brisket, goose, pork, turkey, lamb, and duck is easy because this meat injector is so easy to fill. The needles are sharp puncturing the toughest meat is like child’s play.
Made from 304 stainless steel, you can be sure that handling food is safe and hygienic. The 2 ounces is just the right barrel capacity for home use and even for more precise professional marinating purposes. It will prevent you from getting to excited with your infusion.
This meat injector is designed for easy disassembly and cleaning. It is also dishwasher safe, you don’t have to sweat it out when cleaning the thing.
What is more amazing is that the manufacturer offers a full refund in case you are dissatisfied with their product and there is no time limit for return.
- The needles come in 3 different gauges
- It can accommodate fine solids
- The 3-ring plunger is proven efficient
- Plunger is stiff to use and did not improve over time
Luxe Grill Stainless Steel Meat Injector Kit
For a really simple, really affordable yet efficient meat injector, you can’t go wrong with Luxe Grill Stainless Steel Meat Injector Kit. It is suitable for the minimalist cook who just wants something simple that works all the time.
This is one of the cheapest meat injectors in the market today and if you just want something you can use without spending too much, this is the one I’d recommend. It doesn’t come with any accessory, but it’s no nonsense approach is its strength.
The way this thing is made will tell you right out of the bat that this is a quality injector. It comes with two needles while others come with three, but it is suitable for a wide range of marinades.
- This injector is obviously made to last
- Easy to clean
- Comes with a lifetime money back guarantee
- No accessories
The clear winner for me in this review is the Chop's Power Injector System 1/2 Gallon. While I warned about getting too excited with infusing your meat, the injector comes with enough safeguards against that. You can limit the amount of marinade per infusion, you can also replace the needles with just one if you need to.
But if you need something big for bigger preparation, this is the meat injector that you will turn to. The half gallon is just the right capacity if you don’t want to keep on refilling your injector.
If you’re not ready for a bigger investment but wants something that just works, the Luxe Grill Stainless Steel Meat Injector Kit is the perfect option. Its no-nonsense approach just works, and in spite of the fact that it doesn’t come with accessories, this injector is sufficient for a majority of home use.
Do you have a meat injector? We would like to hear from you so don’t hesitate to share your comment in the section below.