Basic Pork Injection Marinade

One of the best kept secrets to making phenomenal low and slow pork on the grill or a smoker is to use a pork injection marinade. Large cuts of meat can dry out, and it can be challenging to add flavor into the center of the roast with a surface marinade or rub. An internal marinade, like this basic pork injection marinade, is inserted right into the center of the meat, adding moisture, flavor, and even tenderizing power. A trick pitmasters have used for decades; the injection solution remains key to smoking up a fantastic pulled pork barbecue. This quick and basic pork injection marinade will add a little oomph to pork butts, whole shoulders, and pork loin roasts. Get yourself a good meat injector and take your pork game to a whole new level.

Basic Pork Injection Marinade
Photo by Sabrina Baksh/


-If using a rub that contains bulky herbs or spices, make sure to grind them down with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Large pieces tend to clog up the injector.

-There will be a little leakage when you inject into the meat. Take it slow and inject into multiple spots. If some of the marinade spills out, blot it away with clean paper towels and proceed.

-Choose a flavors similar to the rub. You can certainly just use a little rub to make up your marinade, however, if you're choosing an individual recipe, pick on that doesn't clash with the other herbs and spices you're using.

Need more inspiration? Here are some of our best pork injection recipes.

Smoke and Spice Pork Injection

Garlic Maple Pork Injection

Tropical Pork Injection

Pork Injection Basics


Basic Pork Injection Marinade

Basic Pork Injection Marinade

This is an easy "go to" recipe for the best pork injection marinade. This mixture will help keep your smoked pork tender and flavorful during a lengthy cooking process.
4.16 from 19 votes
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Course: Marinades/Brines
Cuisine: American BBQ
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 Cups
Calories: 151kcal


  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons spice rub (the same that you'll be using on the roast)
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


  • Make sure that the spice rub is well pulverized. Large chunks of herbs can become stuck in the injector. If possible, grind them down further in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  • Combine all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Let stand for 10-15 minutes, and stir. Salt should be well dissolved.
  • Fill the syringe and inject the solution into multiple parts of the pork roast. Cook meat as directed.
  • Discard any marinade that has come into contact with raw meat.
  • Make injection marinade ahead of time and store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days after preparation. Double or triple the recipe if you are planning on smoking additional pork roasts.


Photo by: Sabrina Baksh


Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 212mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 6mg

Use this pork butt injection marinade is the perfect starting point to making great BBQ Pulled Pork.

See the Best Pork Injection Marinade Recipes for more ideas!

Need a Meat Injector?

Ofargo Marinade Injector

The Ofargo Marinade Injector is a classic style syringe. The marinade is sucked up through the needle and then pushed back into the meat. The needle on this model is large enough that it shouldn't clog. Still, make sure that your marinade is near water thin. It is an inexpensive unit that you can purchase for around $10. It is dishwasher safe and durable enough to last for several years. The volume on this injector is small, but it will handle most jobs for a single family.