Marinating meat is a wonderful way to improve both its texture and its flavor – but it really works best on thin cuts of meat. With thicker cuts, the marinade will not penetrate to the inside of the flesh, so how can you marinate a thick cut like a brisket? You need an injection marinade!
How To Make A Brisket Injection Marinade
To make a successful brisket injection marinade, you are going to need:
- Soy sauce: this lends a salty, rich flavor to the meat and is a necessary part of almost all marinades.
- Beef broth: this will make your meat juicy and delicious.
- Worcestershire sauce: if you want true depth of flavor, Worcestershire sauce is a perfect way to enrich your meat. If you don’t have this sauce, you don’t absolutely need it, but it has great umami undertones that are perfect for marination.
- Onion or garlic powder: these also enrich the meat and make it taste better.
- Whiskey: for the best flavor, choose a high quality whiskey to add to your marinade.
- Brown sugar: you don’t have to add sugar, but it’s a good way to enhance the other ingredients.
- Black pepper: you don’t need a lot of black pepper to make your marinade tasty, but do add some!
Tips & Tricks
Now you know how to make a fantastic marinade and inject it, let’s find out how to turn this concept into an art for the best possible results every time you make a brisket.
- Check that your marinade doesn’t have any large lumps in it before you start injecting the meat. It needs to be smooth and well mixed.
- When the marinade wells up around the meat, feel free to blot it off if you have ended up with too much. This will help to keep the brisket tidy and make it easier to handle.
- Don’t be stingy when injecting the marinade. Remember, the point is to add flavor and juiciness, so you want to maximize how much marinade ends up in the beef.
- Use a stainless steel injector, rather than a plastic one, if possible. These are easier to clean and tend to be of higher quality.
- Try to work a little in advance of your cooking time. The great thing about injecting the marinade is that you don’t have to wait hours for it to penetrate the flesh, but it still helps to give it a little time. If you can, try to inject the beef about 30 minutes before you are ready to cook it so the marinade can soak into the flesh.
- Work with the grain of the meat: this will help the marinade to soak through the flesh better. Working against the grain can make it hard for the liquid to penetrate the meat properly.
Is this a messy process?
Once you get the hang of it, injecting a marinade can be a relatively straightforward and tidy process. However, you will still be working with a liquid in a syringe and raw meat, so expect to do some cleanup. You may find it helps to work with the meat in a shallow tray so that any drips of marinade are contained.
What should I do if the sugar doesn’t dissolve?
If you’re having trouble getting the sugar to dissolve properly into your recipe, try very gently warming the marinade in the microwave or on the stove. You do not want it to boil or come close to boiling; you just want to heat it enough to encourage the sugar to dissolve.
Do I have to add sugar?
No, you don’t. The sugar is optional; it will enhance the flavors, but if you would rather leave it out, feel free to do so. It isn’t a necessary part of the marinade.
What should I do with excess marinade?
If you have some marinade left over, you can pour it over the brisket before you cook it to further enhance the flavor. However, if the marinade has been inside your injector and near a needle that has touched raw meat, you may wish to heat it up before adding it to the brisket. This will kill off any bacteria in the marinade.
Using an injected marinade is a great way to make your beef succulent, rich, and juicy. Injecting the marinade is an important method for overcoming the challenges of working with thick pieces of meat, so it’s a great technique to learn!