Marinade Injectors

Joined Jun 29, 2006
I have been thinking about buying a marinade syringe and was wondering if they actually work well or not. It seems like a good way to add flavor quickly and effectively to thick cuts of meat like chicken. However, I don't usually see professional chefs on TV use them a lot which makes me think that perhaps they aren't as useful as they might seem to be.

If they are useful, can anyone recommend one that I should get? I heard the plastic ones tend to crack easily so I figure I would go with a stainless steel one like this:

What do you guys think of this one? Any hints or tips as to what I should look for?

Thanks for any help.
Joined Jan 23, 2005
Yes, they can add flavor, but it can be a two edged sword. Here's why. You are adding a lot of moisture, so at some point the moisture must also cook if you are going to receive benefit from it. So if you are roasting a piece of meat, it's easy to get more of a steamed texture than roasted texture in the meat. I think that an injected piece of meat must be able to cook longer, to receive any enhancement from the injection liquid, so choose accordingly the recipe and cut of meat, and maybe adjust the temp also.

There are marindes in the stores right now with very inexpensive syringes, they work fine.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I wouldn't inject a chicken. There's not that much meat density so I prefer other methods for a chicken. One of those super lean pork roasts is where I think injection is worth while. And that's about it.

I admit that the Popiel injector where he's injecting chunks of garlic, onion, and olive do kind of appeal to me though:blush: Probably doesn't really work that well.

Joined Mar 16, 2005
I believe a larding needle has such a function, although it seems to be typically used to thread fatty pieces of meat into the thing you want to lard.
Joined Oct 23, 2003
for 35 bucks looks like a pice of junk-way too small. Try some of the online joints like butcher/packer, allied/kenco, and other supply houses.

I use em for pumping up wet cured products(pastrami, corned beef)-thats about it. heard of people pumping turkeys, even prime rib...(aghhh). No experience in that.
Joined Nov 20, 2000
I am not a user of injection marinades so I wanted others with knowledge to answer before I stuck my 2¢ in. I just kind of a funky feeling when reading this particular sentence. Spend some time on this website and you will get an idea of the collective feeling here about "TV Chefs". Don't take what you see or don't see on tv as the gospel of cooking. I'm not saying that you do, just that if you really want to know the skinny on an item like you did here, ask the BB. "Professional Chefs on TV" aren't always what they're cracked up to be!:chef: :)
Joined Jun 29, 2006
Thanks for the advice guys (or gals). Seems like reviews are mixed on their usefulness. Maybe I'll just pick up a cheap plastic one to try out first and see if the results are good before wasting $30 on a nice one.

And to chrose:

I know that I can't take what I see on the Food Network as the bible of cooking, that's why I asked here :). Then again, it stands to reason that most of the chefs on TV have access to any equipment that they could possibly want, so if they really thought that a product was useful wouldn't they be using it? Or is it that they have to make their sponsors happy by only promoting their products?
Joined Oct 23, 2003
another thing to remember-many products out there are already soaked/plumped/pumped/injected...whatever you want to call it with X% saline or other flavor enhancer solution. Think chix, pork, turkey-"white" meats.

Joined Jun 27, 2006
Personally i have never used an injector in my eighteen year career as a chef. Not that i disbelieve their effectiveness, but try putting an herbed/spiced compound butter under the skin of chicken or turkey breast before roasting. It bastes the meat and keeps it moist while cooking and adds flavor as well. #1 mistake of home cooks is drying out the breast meat of cooked birds


Chef Mike
Joined May 26, 2006
Lot of good thoughts on injecting here and it hard argue against much of anything which has been said. Like the man say the plastic injectors which is commonly found taped to the jars of the cajun injectable marinades work just fine. Know I got at least two which is 7 or 8 years old and is still going strong. Now there is some fine examples of pure junk which can usually be found in the kitchenware section of grocery stores. The key on most of the junk is to see where the marinade is expelled. If it come out the end (built like a hypodermic needle) you will normally get the needle plugged up with a hunk of meat with one shot on most items. If it built to shoot out the side of the should work ok less it come from Academy Sports. They have defective injectors which have a tendency to come apart on the plunger area..or at least on those models I purchased. As far as what meat items need sole experience has been with assorted barnyard avians..pork loins and shoulders and beef briskets. They all profit from injection depending on whut they are injected with. Most ho made and/or storebought injectable concoctions profiteth little. If you seek grand prize winning meat go over to Joe Ame's online store at the link below and order yourself some stuff called FAB. FAB B is for beef. FAB P is for pork and FAB C is for chicken. You will find it contains some fairly sophisticated flavor enhancers along with phosphates to help your meat reatain moisture. In the case of FAB also contains some real beefy overtones. First time I used it on a brisket the whole clan say it was prime rib. Near all the big boys/girls on the comp bbq circuit seem to be using it nowadays. Rumor is over the past few years 7 out of the top 10 finishers at the American Royal bbq contest are prone to use the stuff. Pick yourself up some spices while your over there. Joe is in the horspital right now with bypass surgery but his son Bob is helping out at the the store. Tell em uncle bigwheel sent ya. I happen to be one of the original white rats who was fortunantly chosen to help evaluate the stuff.

Joined Jun 27, 2006
IMHPO.... To just marinate the meat is what works for me. Although I do like to add compound butters under the skin of a bird for the Holidays as Chef Mike does. The point about steaming the meat is only part of why I don't like them. Yet the major reason is that the actual flavor of the meat is lost instead of being enhanced. It throws all the balance off and all you really taste is what's being injected. If that's the case serve shot of the marinade with the meat since you might as well drink it at that point.:eek: :lol:

Marinating meats may not get the flavor all the way to the bone but take lamb for instance. When I do my lamb chops I like to taste that lamb. Not just the herbs, spices, oils, etc of the marinade.

I would belive that way back when at the time most of the marinades we use today for flavor were developed it was because storage techniques were not quite as advanced as they are now. This was necessary to preserve the meats or hide the "ripeness" of the meats being served. Corned beef is a prime example.

If you do have to inject the meat atleast buy the cheapest cuts. Afterall then you get the full benefit of the injection without having the flavor of the meat (or lack there of) get in the way :D ;) :D

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