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I need some marinade injection lessons please...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by doug123, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. doug123

    doug123 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    I see a lot about using injectors on here. I faintly remember having one about 10 years ago. Think I used it once and I have no idea what happened to it. I don't remember having any idea what I was doing.

    Seems like everyone holds Tony Chacheres in pretty high regard for both marinades and seasoning here, so I was going to go with that marinade. I was on the site yesterday and it looks like each bottle comes with it's own injector? So I guess I won't need to buy one?

    Can you guys/gals give me the basics of what you do? Are you just taking a piece of meat and jabbing it with the needle as many times as you can or does it go in certain places on the meat?

    And I have seen people talking about brining then injecting whole turkeys. I'd like to try that sometime before Thanksgiving so I can get some practice in. That is a good example, where are you injecting the turkey? Anywhere you can get the needle?

    That's what I guess I don't understand. Are you looking to stick the needle in once or twice for injection or are you looking to do it 25 times all over the place?

    Any advice appreciated.

    Thanks :D
  2. My thoughts on injections has always been, a smaller amount in alot of places, seems like when you try to inject a lot, it will only take so much, and then the excess just runs back out.
    Just like when that trainer gave Nick Nolte that shot in the knee, when he took one for the team in North Dallas Forty. He kinda pulled the needle out a little and moved it, and stuck him again! Yow! Makes my butt crawl just thinking about it!
    Actually, with a turkey, you would want to concentrate on the breast area more, (it tends to be drier anyways) Be generous, its his last drink!
    Did you give any thought to brining the whole bird? :roll:
  3. Dutch

    Dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Doug, when I do injections, in my minds eye I plan a 1-1 1/2 inch grid pattern onto what it is that I'm going to inject. Insert the syringe into the meat as deep as you can go. Begin to push the plunger in as you pull the syringe out of the meat. This way you get the injection into a larger area vs. just sticking the syringe in part way then pushing the plunger in a bit and pulling it out and moving to a new spot. Some may think my way is a bit labor intensive but when you grow up learning to pump inject hams and bacon slabs, it's just second nature.
  4. willkat98

    willkat98 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    couple thoughts

    I can get a full 18oz bottle of Tony C's into a large 18# bird. I prefer the Jalepeno Butter, but the regular Creole butter is good. (I've also used plain maple syrup with good results)

    I shoot that thing up every where. But there is a method to it. Let me see if I can explain this visual properly.

    Fill injector. Starting in the breast, insert on an angle (I think there are instructions on the side of the bottle too!). Do NOT start injecting yet.

    Pull needle almost all the way out. Insert needle at a slightly different angle. Do NOT inject. Continue doing this, without injecting, until you have gone around a rough 360* circle around your injection point.

    Here's what you are doing. You are breaking up the tissue a bit at all different levels inside the meat. You are in essence tenderizing the meat, before you inject. This whole process of creating this "injection circle" takes about 30 seconds, but is well worth it.

    Now SLOWLY begin to inject, even while pulling out the needle but do NOT remove completely. Change the angle shove it in, and continue until the full 360* circle is done.

    You second injection point should be far enough away from the first one to not overlap the circles.

    Sure, some injection stuff will come back out, but the tenderizing method keeps alot in too. I do this the night before (sits in a glass dish with Glad wrap lightly covering it in the fridge) or early the morning of.

    Injection tip of the day: Apply what ever rub your using on the outside FIRST!!!! If you start rubbing an injected bird, you'll push all the marinade right back out the holes. (Don't ask how I know this :) )

    Second portion of the question was on brining. My only caveat is to make sure the turkey is not already brined. I always cook turkeys purchased frozen, and I've never seen one not marked "Packing in a solution of up to XX%" where the XX is a number between 10 and 14. That % is the amount of salt in the solution (also known as a brine)

    Good luck Doug. Those injectors last for about 5-7 cooks before the rubber stopper pops off. So I pick up a few jars of different marinade from Menards (like the Cajun Injectore line, and some Backwoods brand)
  5. cajunsmoker

    cajunsmoker Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Doug,

    Sounds like everyone pretty well covered "Turkey Injection 101" 8) .

    You can also just melt down butter and mix what ever spices, juice etc together and inject that. I love to inject boneless "football" hams with mixture of pineapple juice and hot sauce. Let yourself go and shoot that piece of meat up. :D
  6. doug123

    doug123 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Wow!!! Thanks for all the great info guys. I'm all set.

    Bill - So are you saying if you buy a frozen turkey it doesn't need brined?

    I'll keep that in mind. More than likely I'll be getting a frozen one.

    Also, how hot is that jalapeno butter marinade? Sounds like I would definitely like it but I'm not sure about the wife and kids.

    Everyone - What are some other things besides turkey that you inject marinade into? I guess you can use it on just about anything, huh? Hams, beef roasts, what else?

    And is the butter marinade just that? Basically butter and spices? They had 5 or 6 different kinds, I guess I'll try the butter first.

    Don't know when I will get around to doing this but might as well lay the ground work now :D

    Thanks :D
  7. doug123

    doug123 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    That sounds great! What is a football ham? Just boneless?

    I've been wanting to try a ham, I'm going to have to give that a shot when I get an injector (no pun intended :D )

    Do you just get pineapple juice in a bottle? How much hot sauce do you add?
  8. willkat98

    willkat98 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Frozen Turkeys, check the packaging. If it says "Packed in a % solution" or similar wording, it is brined. No need to re-brine.

    Hams, Try Tony's C's ham injection.

    Jalepeno Butter is NOT hot. So don't overlook the regular Creole Butter Tony C's (again, NOT hot either).

    I also inject the chit out of chicken. Full ones for BCC's, bone in split boobs too.

    Everything else (for me) sits in marinade, no injection

    Football ham: pressed ham parts into a 6# (or so) ham McNugget. Then its wrapped in a plastic skin you remove before cooking.
  9. vulcan75001

    vulcan75001 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    That should be plain old pineapple juice..in a can/bottle what ever you can get it in...as to how much hot sauce... that is what ever you want to do... thats the fun of all this cooking...be creative..if ya want it hot... add more...
    If you think giving a piece of meat a shot of something will enhance the taste you are looking for ..give it a shot..today I did a butt..last night I shot it up with a mix...3-1 of pineapple juice and Jim Beam, and used that same mix as a spray...real nice flavor...like I said .. be creative..
    Good Luck

  10. cajunsmoker

    cajunsmoker Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    And the Ham McNugget is really frickin good if it is cooked right. 8)
  11. willkat98

    willkat98 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    Just to clarify, I never meant to classify ham footballs as "crap"

    Bacon, loins, ribs, hams,,,,, they're all pork.

    Pork is good.

    Ham footballs are awesome.


    They're pork!!!

    I'm actually gonna start smoking these, based on this thread.

    I know they are already cooked, but I love ham in all its forms.

    Didnt meant to take away from your post.

    Doug, I eat McNuggets all the time (I have a 7 yr old who likes carry out) and I eat ham "loaves" as well.

    Good stuff.

    Pineapple juice and brown sugar heated and glazed, is awesome
  12. cajunsmoker

    cajunsmoker Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Bill,

    Try putting your brown sugar and pineapple glaze on your football ham after you score the outside in a diamond pattern and stick about a dozen whole cloves in the slices. Then put it in your smoker with some pecan or hickory on about 225 - 250 and bring it up to the desired temp like you were heating it in the oven. It's to die for. I inject mine with some of the pineapple/brown sugar mix so every slice gets it's fair share. :D
  13. willkat98

    willkat98 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    We're going to Red Lobster tonight.

    Do you think they have ham?

    CS, put a pinch of ground cloves in beef stew. (just a pinch, for its strong stuff)
  14. cajunsmoker

    cajunsmoker Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Cloves are a lot like cinnamon. I've been tripping everyone out all day by changing my spice and sauce juuuust a litttle bit. They haven't figured out yet that it is cinnamon :lol:
  15. I find the creole butter to be spicy so to say its not hot may not be true for everyone.  I smoked a turkey that was injected with creole butter on Saturday 11/22/15 and the entire family thought the meat where it was injected was spicy.   I have tried the Jalapeno butter in years past and it burned my mouth.  I need to find or make something that has a lot of flavor but no heat.
  16. jakester

    jakester Meat Mopper

    Paul - curious if you find an injection for your liking?
  17. Jalepeno creole butter is the bomb.  Willakat, cajunsmoker has you on the yellow brick road to Oz:  don't take the fork in the road.  The clove trick in the ham is also the bomb:  only thing I didn't like was a place here that tried to pawn off refried beans as having cloves in them.  One of the foulest experiences I've ever had--growing up in south Texas and knowing what both Tex-Mex and real deal Mexican food is, cloves belong nowhere near a batch of refrieds. Santa Anna would have had these eejuts drawn and quartered.  Ham, on the smoker and on the other hand, is a different story altogether.