Marinating is the best way to add flavour to meats. Injecting the marinade into the meat helps to get flavour throughout. Because of the acidic nature of most marinades, it can help tenderize tough cuts of meat. However, using a very acidic marinade for too long can actually cause the meat to be mushy. A marinade can also have oil as an ingredient to help prevent the meat from drying during cooking. We like to use our Classic All Purpose Rub because of its solubility, and compatibility with most meats.
On large cuts of meat, marinades will not penetrate very deep. Injecting marinade into the meat can disperse the flavour throughout. Note that an injection recipe does not always have to conform to the oil/acid formula for marinades. An injection or a marinade for that matter can use many different ingredients. Try to find a 4 oz injection needle with the holes on the side of the needle. This is important because it helps distribute the injection more evenly, prevents streaking in briskets, and the tip will not get clogged with meat like an open tip needle will do. You may have to strain the marinade prior to injection so that large particles don’t clog the needle.
Injecting the marinade is relatively simple. Place the meat in a large aluminium foil pan to catch any overflow. The meat should be fat cap down, just as it would be if placed on the smoker. The meat should be injected at one inch intervals. Insert the needle down into the meat as far as possible without punching through the other side. Then as you slowly pull the injector needle back out of the meat, slowly push down on the plunger. This technique helps to eliminate pockets of marinade in the meat.
After injecting, the meat needs to be placed in the marinade and stored. It is best to use a non-reactive bowl such as plastic.
Large cuts of meat can be safely marinated for longer periods than fish or poultry. Beef and pork can marinate overnight if the marinade doesn’t contain a lot of acid. Usually 8 to 12 hours is sufficient. Seafood should be marinated for no more than one hour. We never did marinate or inject ribs.
A marinade can also be used as a basting or mop sauce. It is best not to baste with any of the marinade used on the raw meat. It is possible to boil the used marinade to kill any harmful bacteria, but boiling marinade can cause it to loose flavour intensity. It is best to make extra marinade to be used as a basting sauce.