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This site contains a collection of techniques for barbecuing, smoking and cooking over fire. The techniques shown here are not the only way or the best way to prepare a certain item. This site is just a starting point and these techniques are a guide to creating your own recipes. Recipes included here come not only from personal experiences, but from many knowledgeable folks kind enough to share their secrets. ~thirdeye~


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Injecting is an excellent method for adding flavor & moisture to cuts of meat. Turkeys, chicken breasts, butts, briskets and other roasts can all be injected. Usually meats are injected before going on the cooker. But they can be injected in the middle or at the end of the cooking too. Remember, were talking flavor and moisture.

A little judgement should be used when selecting an injection mixture so as not to overpower the finished product. Based on the fat content of the meat, the amount of oil can be changed accordingly. Pork injections for example, may not need as much oil as chicken injections. Broth can be added in place of water or fruit juices.

Heating the mixture allows for the flavors to blend and the seasonings to dissolve. Always cool the injection before using on raw meat. You can add ice if you are pressed for time. Inject the meat a few hours or the night before cooking. Try to inject the meat evenly, pressing the plunger as you withdraw the needle to avoid pockets of liquid. Slow is the key here. Spend at least 15 seconds during each withdrawal of the needle.

Many store bought injection marinades are found in the barbecue sauce section of supermarkets. They are very popular for injecting deep fried turkeys. Another product that is very popular is called "Fab" and comes in "B" for beef, "C" for chicken and "P" for pork.

--------------- INJECTIONS FOR RAW MEATS -----------------------------------

thirdeye's Pork Shoulder Injection  #  1

I prefer using large bone-in butts or picnics. Get a whole shoulder if you have room in your cooker and plenty of time.

2 cups apple cider or apple juice
2 cups pork, chicken, or ham stock/broth
1 cup beer
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons salt, finely ground (I like Tony C's cajun seasoning)
rub to taste, finely ground

Heat to dissolve salt and melt butter. Inject at least 1 ounce of liquid per pound 1 to 2 hours before cooking. On a picnic, get some injection deep near the bone.
thirdeye's Pork Butt Injection # 2

2 cups of ham or pork broth - (this can be made using fresh meat/bones, or from soup bases).
2 cups of CocaCola (let the Coke go flat)
2 splashes of Worcestershire sauce
Salt to taste

Pro Tip:  If you have access to CocaCola made and bottled in Mexico, give it a try.  Mexican Coke is made with sugar, not corn syrup and has a more natural flavor.  It is available at Latin markets and some WalMart stores.

Warm the broth and add about 1/2 of the the flat CocaCola and the Worcestershire.  Give it a sample taste... Each batch of stock will be slightly different in flavor and saltiness, so you are trying to dial in the correct balance between the pork/ham flavor and the sweetness from the CocaCola. Adjust the Coke as needed and at the end, adjust the saltiness if needed.

I use 6 to 8 ounces of this injection in an 8 or 9 pound butt.  If you are going to use this injection as a Late Injection, reserve some in a separate container.  I like my late injections less salty and a little heavier on the CocaCola.... be sure and heat up any injection used late in the cook.
thirdeye's Lite Pork Butt Injection

1 Quart of water
.875 ounce (7/8 ounce) of canning salt, kosher will work fine
1 teaspoon of white sugar (you can go with 2 teaspoons if you want a sweeter flavor.

Technically this in a brine, and more specifically an injectable brine.  It works wonders and with the low salt and sugar, most folks never know it's there. Canning salt dissolves easier than other salts, and the white sugar seems to dissolve easier as well.  I shoot a 8 to 9 pound butt with 6 or 8 ounces of my Lite Injection 3 or 4 hours before going on the smoker.
thirdeye's Late Pork Butt Injection

On my Pork Butt page, I mentioned my experiments with injecting butts when they are in the plateau.  I like this technique and here is one of the injections I use.

3 or 4 ounces of apple juice
2 or 3 shakes of Worchestershire sauce
3 pinches of salt

Warm this mixture up and inject your butt when the internal is 175 or 180 degrees internal.  If you do a foil finish (wrapping early and returning to the cooker or oven to finish cooking, inject when wrapping in foil.

~thirdeye's~  Brisket Injection #1

1 can beef broth
3 teaspoons of beef soup base, paste form (substitute powdered Au Jus mix)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery salt
salt to taste
MSG optional

Heat beef broth to dissolve soup base, mix in other ingredients, cool. Inject 1 to 2 ounces per pound, against the grain, while slowly withdrawing the needle, 1 to 2 hours before cooking. Use a very even pattern for injecting. Massage brisket about 5 minutes to help injection liquid disperse evenly. TIP - The slow injecting with an even pattern will eliminate streaking of the meat.

If you want to try a "Late Injection", reserve 3 or 4 ounces of this mixture in a separate container when you mix the first batch.  When the brisket reaches the plateau (or if you use a foil finish) warm up the liquid and inject both the point and the flat.

~thirdeye's~ Brisket Injection #2

I use my AuJus recipe (on my Prime Rib Page) as a guide for for this jazzed up beefy injection.  It has a beefier flavor than my Brisket Injection #1

1 14 oz can Beef Consume
1/3 Packet Lipton Beefy Onion Soup, dry mix. (More will be added in step 2)
1-1/2 of the soup can cold water
5 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 splashes of Soy Sauce  (Don't add the soy sauce until step 2)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt (More will be added in step 2)
2 teaspoon Herb-OX beef bullion
2 teaspoons Montreal Steak rub
1 teaspoon Smokin’ Guns Rub (or any rub you like)
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
MSG (optional)

Bring all ingredients (except soy sauce) to a low simmer in a saucepan, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Try to avoid having the liquid come to a boil. Additional water can be added if flavors (or the salt) are too strong, or if liquid gets too thick. You want the injection to be thin.

STEP 1: Pour off about 8 or 10 ounces from the first saucepan into a second sauce pan -  this will be used for the late injection as well as for liquid to add to the foil.  Let this cool and strain.  Any late injection should be lower in salt because there is not much time for the salt to cook into the meat.  Warm up the late injection before shooting your brisket.

STEP 2:  Now we are going to make the "early injection" - To the first sauce pan add more of the dry soup mix, the soy and more garlic salt, and simmer another 10 minutes or so - this will be used for the early injection. These additional ingredients have increased the amount of salt.  Let this cool and strain. I reserve 8 or 10 ounces for the early injection. This injection will be room temperature when injecting.  Any leftover liquid can be frozen in ice cube trays to use as single serving aujus.


Stogie's Injecting Juice - Posted by Stogie & a number of his friends on The BBQ Forum. Recommended for pork shoulder (butt).
4 cups apple juice or apple cider
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons favorite rub

Heat thru and then strain (so rub doesn't clog injector) Cool and inject into meat at approximately 1 oz of juice per lb. of meat.


Chris Lily Shoulder Injection - Posted on The BBQ Forum and found in Peace Love and Barbecue. Recommended for pork shoulder (butt) Chris and Don McLemore own Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q.

3/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt (I use Morton's kosher salt)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Inject shoulder with injection solution using 1/2 oz. (1 tablespoon) per pound.

------------------------------ INJECTING DURING THE COOK ------------------------

LATE IN THE GAME INJECTION - I have gotten a couple of suggestions from Fishlessman, a regular on the Big Green Egg Forum, for using an injection in the later stages of a pork butt or brisket cook. This would be done during the plateau or right before foiling and holding. I do this on my briskets and pork butts for a moisture bump, and also to enhance the flavors of the meats.

The guidelines I follow are simple:

1. Don't use a strong flavored (or real salty) injection. If you inject in the plateau there will not be enough time for any strong flavors to equalize throughout the meat, cook down and mellow.

2. When injecting hot meats, be sure to heat up your juice before injecting.

3. Don't get western with the amount of injection. A few ounces will usually do the trick.

For brisket, I use a smaller and lite version of my brisket injection above. I might inject 4 ounces into a whole brisket. You can use any left over to go into the foil during the rest.

1/2 can beef broth
1 teaspoon of beef soup base, paste form (substitute powdered Au Jus mix) Optional
A few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste
MSG optional

For pork butt, I use the mix below and inject around 4 ounces of the liquid, then use some of the leftover to go into the foil when resting.  (My #2 Pork Injection is listed above, it is another favorite)

6 or 8 ounces of apple juice*
A few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of seasoned salt

* Pork broth or Coca-Cola can be substituted for some of the apple juice.

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