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Disappointing Injections for Birds

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I would like to start by saying smoking whole chickens has been a cheap favorite of mine since I started smoking.  I have never had a problem with the way they turn out i.e.; nicely smoked flavor in the meat, tender and juicy, etc.  I have recently experimented with injecting the chickens.  I have tried some flavored oil based ones, some beer based ones, and some more acidic based ones; all of them have had very strong flavors going-in.  I have also tried to let them sit in an oven bag overnight and injecting them just before cooking.  Regardless of my injection or method I keep getting the same result: nothing.  When the birds are done cooking you can taste barely any flavor from the injection or nothing at all.  Am I expecting too much or am I missing some fundamental step of injecting poultry?  I've tried to search the forums briefly for a similar thread but found mostly recipes.  Any help I receive on this would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 18

So what you're saying is everything ends up tasting like chicken?

post #3 of 18

Have you ever tried brining the birds?

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinL View Post

I would like to start by saying smoking whole chickens has been a cheap favorite of mine since I started smoking.  I have never had a problem with the way they turn out i.e.; nicely smoked flavor in the meat, tender and juicy, etc.  I have recently experimented with injecting the chickens.  I have tried some flavored oil based ones, some beer based ones, and some more acidic based ones; all of them have had very strong flavors going-in.  I have also tried to let them sit in an oven bag overnight and injecting them just before cooking.  Regardless of my injection or method I keep getting the same result: nothing.  When the birds are done cooking you can taste barely any flavor from the injection or nothing at all.  Am I expecting too much or am I missing some fundamental step of injecting poultry?  I've tried to search the forums briefly for a similar thread but found mostly recipes.  Any help I receive on this would be greatly appreciated.

I spatchcock and brine mine....every one has turned out great!

JC1947

 

post #5 of 18

I usually brine my chicken too, but if I don't have the time to brine I inject with melted butter, Montreal chicken seasoning & chicken broth. Since your injecting a hot liquid into the chicken, to be safe you need to do it just before you put it on the smoker.

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

I have brined breasts before and marinated them with some sauces and dry seasonings with good results for grilling but I don't know if it's worth the effort on my part to do a whole chicken like that.  I was mostly wondering if I missed something obvious.  I'm just fine with a plain smoked chicken because I typically use the meat in other things.  I was just seeing if I could take it up a notch, as fitting for this site and the people here.  ;)

 

LOL to MDboatbum for "everything tastes like chicken"

post #7 of 18
I have injected mine with franks red hot. I think it gives a really good flavor. You are right though. Cooking after injecting will mellow the flavor of the injection. You have to look at it this way. If you taste the injection by itself it will be packed with flavor. If you mix it with water, you will still get some flavor but not as strong. Think of the chicken as water. Unless there was a way to put flavor into every cell with injecting, you are gonna have some mellowing. Now as the Ross, JC, and Al said, brining may be the way to go to get what you are looking for. Brining will pull flavors into every cell and lock it in. I hope my explanation helped.

Bigfish
post #8 of 18
I have injected mine with franks red hot. I think it gives a really good flavor. You are right though. Cooking after injecting will mellow the flavor of the injection. You have to look at it this way. If you taste the injection by itself it will be packed with flavor. If you mix it with water, you will still get some flavor but not as strong. Think of the chicken as water. Unless there was a way to put flavor into every cell with injecting, you are gonna have some mellowing. Now as the Ross, JC, and Al said, brining may be the way to go to get what you are looking for. Brining will pull flavors into every cell and lock it in. I hope my explanation helped.

Bigfish
post #9 of 18
Sorry about the double post. My phone does that some times.

Bigfish
post #10 of 18

+1 on brining, I didn't think too much about the process until about 2 months ago when I actually did it.  From now if I have the time then I will brine all the time.  As far as the injection goes, I agree with bigfish about the cooking mellowing out the flavors.  If you are still up to experimenting, then make your injection so strong you can barely stand it and try it to see what that does.

 

Hope this helps

 

Aaron

post #11 of 18

If you taste the good commercial injections they are VERY strong. Just because they lose a lot of flavor during the cooking process.

post #12 of 18

I like to brine them,rinse them ,rub them (inside and out) and shove a can up thier keester . Cook them at 225*f till the thighs reach 165*f and they are nice and wiggly in the joints. I don't like to poke holes into a Bird,they seem to dry out quicker.

 

Just sayin'...................

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfish98 View Post

I have injected mine with franks red hot. I think it gives a really good flavor. You are right though. Cooking after injecting will mellow the flavor of the injection. You have to look at it this way. If you taste the injection by itself it will be packed with flavor. If you mix it with water, you will still get some flavor but not as strong. Think of the chicken as water. Unless there was a way to put flavor into every cell with injecting, you are gonna have some mellowing. Now as the Ross, JC, and Al said, brining may be the way to go to get what you are looking for. Brining will pull flavors into every cell and lock it in. I hope my explanation helped.
Bigfish


I was going to get all technical and go into Osmosis and such but Bigfish and the boys said it perfectly...Amp up the Salt and concentration of your other flavors and you should see greater impact...JJ
 

 

post #14 of 18

I use a simple injection made of Garlic and melted butter.

Not overpowering, but definitely can taste the garlic

 

 

Todd

No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

Reply
post #15 of 18

When I do a chicken or Breasts or parts I like to use Tony Chachere's Garlic, butter injecting liquid.

 

Always leaves a very good taste. Otherwise I brine mine.

 

 

Happy Smokin'

 

 

Mike

post #16 of 18

This is how i do it. I only use powder spices and herbs.Each hole in the bird gets a minimal of 4 injections .Meaning i pull the needle halfway out and shove in in a clock like pattern hitting 3,6,9,12 on the clock dial.This method keeps the holes to a minimal so it's less holes for moister to escape and dry our your bird.I try to keep the injection hole high on the bird so it don't just fall back out.I see you in OK. I'm in AR so maybe you can get one of my favorite injection.I get it at wal mart its wickershttp://www.wickersbbq.com If you cut into your bird when it's done and don't see spices you didn't use enough.

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruiserguy View Post

When I do a chicken or Breasts or parts I like to use Tony Chachere's Garlic, butter injecting liquid.

 

Always leaves a very good taste. Otherwise I brine mine.

 

 

Happy Smokin'

 

 

Mike


Points for the man!!!   Just brined 2 and injected one w/ Creole garlic butter for the gathering.

 

post #18 of 18

I have never injected birds.  I marinate some, and I brine some.  What I think I have learned over the years is that chicken does not readily take on flavors. For that reason, I use strong marinades or strong brines.  Having said that, I like the flavor of chicken and most other meats without all the doctoring up sometimes too!

 

Good luck and good smoking.

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