So, you know how well your Traeger Grill flavors your food from the outside-in with that tasty wood-fired smoky goodness?? We do too, and here at Traeger HQ we know that flavor is king when it comes to food you crave and are proud to share. That is why we are constantly working on ways to add extra layers of deliciousness to everything you put on (and subsequently pull off) your grill. We already have a fantastic selection of rubs and sauces to complement loads of our recipes, but we want to feature a few of our newer adventures using flavorful injections to add dimension to your cooking.
To start, you'll need Traeger's Meat Injector kit. Professional quality stainless steel meat injector. Perfect for getting flavor deep inside your big meat cuts. 3 inch injector needle. Use over and over. Washes easily.
Next you'll need your meat. We suggest using injections to get flavor deep into large cuts of meat that won't be fully penetrated when smoking. Whole turkeys, briskets, and pork butts are our favorite cuts to work with (but we've even had success injecting things like turkey legs).
And finally, you'll need your injection sauce. Each type of meat benefits differently from injections, so the ingredients and amount can vary greatly.
For Pork: A classic injection base is Apple Juice or Cider mixed with Traeger's Pork and Poultry Rub and brown sugar. Add in whatever extra ingredients and flavors you like such as Cider Vinegar or Cayenne pepper.
For Poultry: Use good quality stock and butter to simultaneously add flavor and richness to a bland bird. We like to simmer the stock and butter with fresh herbs then strain before injecting.
For Beef: A hearty beef stock and red wine create a great base for beef. We also like to dissolve granulated garlic and onion powder to add depth to our beef injections.
A few good tips to follow:
We use about 1/4 cup of injection liquid per pound of meat. For example, for a 8 pound pork butt we use approximately 2 cups of injection liquid.
Never use whole spices in your injection liquid. Make sure all seasonings are finely ground or you will clog the small holes in the needle of your injector.
Maximize your injection input while minimizing the holes in your meat by using the same entry hole to access different angles. First, plunge the needle straight down and depress the plunger 1/3 of the way. Pull the needle out halfway, then tilt it at an angle to the right and depress 1/3 again. Pull the needle out halfway once more, tilt at an angle to the left and finish depressing the plunger. Using this approach, you can inject liquid into three different areas of the meat with only one hole.
Start injecting at the top of your meat and work your way down. This will ensure you use the largest amount of liquid at the top of your meat and allows gravity to be your friend. The liquid will distribute throughout your meat while it rests.
So, let it rest! Injections are like a marinade for your meat. The meat will absorb the most flavor if it can sit (usually overnight) with the injection liquid inside.
Take notes! What flavors did you like? Did you use enough liquid? More salt? etc. Injections are highly adaptable and easy to change to suit what your family likes to eat.
So there you have it Traeger Nation, our best tips and tricks for stepping up your culinary game using meat injections. Do you have a favorite recipe or technique? Be sure to share!