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3 Key Features You Want in a Marinade Injector

If you’re tired of using only spices or rubs, inject a sauce or marinade directly into the meat.
If you’re tired of using only spices or rubs, inject a sauce or marinade directly into the meat. (Grill Beast/)

Dry rubs and marinades only season the outer layers of a cut of meat. In order for any marinade to penetrate deeply, you need a delivery system. That’s where marinade injectors come in. Originally popularized with the advent of Cajun-style turkey fryers decades ago, they are useful for virtually any domestic meat or game preparation, from venison and wild pig to duck and dove. Here’s what to look for in this underutilized tool of the culinary arts.

Food-Grade Stainless Steel

Be sure the injector you choose is made from 304 stainless steel.
Be sure the injector you choose is made from 304 stainless steel. (Ofargo/)

304 stainless steel is the food-safe standard for meat injectors. That means no leeching of nickel or other metals into food, and a BPA-free delivery system to get all of your secret sauce—and nothing else—deep inside the dish.

Cleaning Tools

You’ll need various needle sizes to work with different types of meat.
You’ll need various needle sizes to work with different types of meat. (Grill Beast/)

Meat injectors usually are sold with a variety of interchangeable tips for different types of meat. Even the large-diameter needles are pretty small, so having a dedicated brush for the injector needles makes clean-up a lot easier. Make sure the unit is dishwasher safe and follow manufacturer's directions to the letter to ensure that no food particles or contaminants are left in the injector needles.

Multiple Needles

Be sure to clean the injector after use to avoid contaminating other meat you inject later.
Be sure to clean the injector after use to avoid contaminating other meat you inject later. (JY Cookment/)

A professional-grade injector should have multiple needles. They range from small tips for precision injecting or working with smaller cuts of meat, to large-bore and even perforated needles for injecting everything from chunky to purely liquid marinades.

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