Inject Pork Butt – The Complete Guide To Pork Injection


Injecting pork butt is a great way to add some extra flavor and moisture into the meat. Pumping meat is normally reserved for competitions where pitmasters need to wow the judges with one bite. However, if you want to impress your friends and family, injecting your pork butt will take your barbecue to the next-level. I wanted to find out how the pros inject their pork butts, so I did some research.

Injecting pork butt is the most effective technique to enhance flavor, tenderize the meat and add extra moisture. Homemade pork injection recipes typically contain herbs, spices, oils, broths, juices and marinades, but there are also several competition-grade pork injection products available online, such as Fab B and Butcher BBQ. Meat injectors are inexpensive and simple to use. To inject meat, simply insert the needle into the meat every 1.5 to 2 inches.

Why Inject Pork Butt?

Injecting meat isn’t absolutely necessary, however it is beneficial. Pitmasters who compete in barbeque competitions mostly inject meat, since they need to impress the judges with one bite. Pumping meat with fluid also adds extra pounds to meat, making the pork go further.

Is Injecting Pork Necessary?

Injecting isn’t necessary if you cook meat low and slow, wrap, salt the pork butt prior to cooking, and buy meat with high intermuscular fat. If you practice these fundamentals, the pork butt will be tender, juicy and full of flavor. However, injecting the meat will take the meat to the next-level in terms of flavor and juiciness.

Intermuscular Fat

Pork butt has a lot of fat between the muscles, which helps the meat stay moist and not dry out. The fat also gives the meat flavor. However, if the pork is lean, it will have less fat and flavor, so injecting will be beneficial.

Flavor Injection

Smoke, salt, rubs, seasonings, marinades and sauces will only flavor the outer layer of the meat. Injection is the only way to get flavor deep into the middle of the pork butt. There are several ways to add flavor to our pork when cooking. There are multiple layers of flavor, from the rub and seasonings to the smoke. We can brine the pork with salt prior to cooking, which will enhance the flavor. Soaking the meat in marinade is another way to boost the flavor. However, all these methods will only flavor the surface of the meat and perhaps an inch or two beyond the surface. Injecting is the only way to ensure flavor goes deep into the center of the meat.

Gets Liquid Down Deep

We can spritz the outside of the pork butt, we can also wrap the meat and provide moisture, we can also salt the meat to retain moisture. But injecting will get moisture deep inside the meat where those other techniques can’t reach.

More Volume

Another benefit of injection is you can increase the volume by 10% which is good if you want the meat to go further. Be careful not to over- marinade the meat, because the last thing people want on their plate is a pool of liquid. You want more meat than juice!

Hot and Fast

If you are cooking the butt hot and fast above 300°F, then the pork will need all the help it can get. Meat cooked at high temperatures will lose a lot of moisture, so the injection will work as good fluid replacement.

Best Injection For Pork Butt

There is a multitude of homemade injection recipes for pork. Most recipes contain a variety of oils, herbs and spices, sugars, broths, juices, sauces and many other ingredients. Some ingredients contain enzymes that help tenderize the meat.

Homemade Pork Injection

I have used a couple of recipes that you can try, and you can’t go wrong with either. They are simple to prepare with ingredients you will probably already have in your pantry. I use a pork brine injection recipe that I found on AmazingRibs.com. Author of The Science of Barbeque Meathead Goldwyn has a simple but highly effective injection recipes specifically for pork.

Meathead’s Recipe For Pork Brine Injection

  • 2 tablespoons Morton coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 cup apple juice or low sodium pork, chicken, or beef stock
  • 3 cups of water

Another recipe I found on Smoking Meat Forums is:

Chris Lilly’s Six-Time World Championship Pork Shoulder Injection

  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup table salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

Where To Buy Pork Injection

The best injection product on the market is two time world champion Butcher BBQ. This company is owned by barbecue pitmaster Dave Bouska, and the Pork Injection Marinade has helped thousands of pitmasters win barbeque competitions all over the world. The Butcher BBQ Marinade Injection comes in powder form, and to mix, all that’s required is the product with water. Alternatively, you can part mix the powder with apple juice or broth.

How To Inject Pork Butt

You want to ensure you are getting the flavor deep inside the meat.

  1. insert the needle into the center of the meat.
  2. Slowly press the plunger of the meat injector.
  3. Repeat the process every inch to 1.5 inches.
  4. Judging how much liquid to insert comes with practice. You have injected too much if the marinade squirts out when you release the needle.
  5. Give the marinade time to settle into the meat by leaving in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but overnight is preferred.

When To Inject?

It’s best to inject the pork butt after trimming, but before applying the rub. If you inject after applying the rub, you will have patches in the rub and gaps in your bark. Remove the meat from the refrigerator and dry any leaking moisture. Apply your slather, then the rub.

Fab B Pork Injection

When I’m looking for barbecue products, I always like to first see what competition pitmasters are using. Competition cooks have mastered all the techniques and have tried all the best products through trial and error. From all my research, there are two products competition pitmasters prefer to use when injecting pork. The first is a product called Fab B and the other product is a pork injection from Butcher BBQ. Many competitions cooks have been winning using these products, so if you master the fundamentals along with injection, then you too can make competition style pork at home.

Some marinades taste overly sweet or be too savory. That’s not what you want with a meat injection. Fab B will bring out the natural pork flavor rather than making the pork taste like something else. These injection products will also tenderize the meat. Sixteen ounces of Fab B Pork will make two to four quarts of injection fluid.

Meat Injectors

Meat injectors range from cheap plastic syringes that you can buy on Amazon right through to heavy duty injector guns. The typical design of a meat injector usually has a needle, a trigger, a plunger, and a gasket. The needle has holes from the tip downwards so liquid can squirt in all directions. Avoid the cheaper plastic meat injectors because they break easily. If you haven’t used a meat injector before, I’d recommend one of the stainless steel injectors because they are sturdy and affordable. There are a few decent stainless steel meat injectors on Amazon. Ofargo make a stainless steel injector which is a best seller on Amazon. Check the latest price here.

Cheap Plastic Meat Injector

An entry-level injector is a plastic syringe-style meat injector. Ofargo also make a plastic injector that sells for around $10 to $15 on Amazon (check latest price here). These affordable plastic syringes won’t last long, but they are okay if you are just wanting to experiment with meat injecting.

Best Buy Stainless Steel Meat Injector

The Ofargo Stainless Steel Meat Injector is an Amazon Best Seller. It comes with 4 types of needles, a basting brush, and cleaning brushes. It also comes with a stylish storage box and an eBook. For around the $20 range, the Ofargo offers value for money. (Check the latest price on Amazon here).

Best Pro Injector

The Butcher BBQ Pistol Grip Meat Injector is a middle-of-the-range meat injector made by Butcher BBQ, a company renowned for producing competition-winning rubs and marinades. This injector sells for under $50 (check the latest price here). The metal trigger on the injector is sturdy, but the barrel is plastic. It comes with two different needles, a spare gasket and a cleaning brush.

Meat InjectorDescriptionBarrel SizeNeedle SizePopularityPriceWhere To Buy
Beast InjectorMade from
304 high
grade stainless steel. Includes 3 needles
and ebook.

100%
money-back
guarantee
and lifetime warranty.

Weighs 9.3 oz. Dimensions 8 x 5.25 x 1.75 inches
2 ozIncludes one 6″ angled needle, one 6″ needle with 12 holes, and one 3″ fine spray needleAmazon Best
Seller.
Over 2k ratings.
$30-
$40
Amazon
Ofargo304-Stainless Steel. Includes 4 needles, spare silicone O-rings, needle cleaners, barrel brush, and ebook.

Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.2 x 1.5 inches. Weighs 14 oz.
2 oz4 different needles
(3x 6” plus
1x 3”) for
different applications. Made of #304
stainless steel, clog-resistant to both fluid and chunky marinades
Amazon Choice. Over 600 ratings. $30-
$35
Amazon
Ofargo Plastic Marinade InjectorPlastic barrel with stainless steel plunger and 2x stainless needles. Includes needle cleaning brush and ebook.

Dimensions: 8.7 x 2.8 x 1.2 inches. Weighs 2.56 oz
1 oz2 types of needles Amazon
Choice.
Over 4.5k ratings.
$16-
$20
Butcher BBQ Pistol Grip Gourmet MeatMetal Handle 50cc Pistol
Grip Syringe with 2
Different Needles a cleaning
brush,
a spare
gasket.

Dimensions: 20.32 x 2.54 x 15.24 cm. Weighs 458 g
1.69 oz2 needles – side port hole and bottom port holeButcher BBQ products are produced
by multiple World Barbecue Champion 
David Bouska
$35 -$40Amazon
or Butcher BBQ
Some of the most popular meat injectors on the market

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