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Basic Pork Injection Marinade

A pork injection marinade is one of the best ways to achieve phenomenal low and slow pork on the grill or a smoker. We’ve all struggled to keep large cuts of meat moist and flavorful, but injecting an internal marinade is a game changer. It adds moisture and flavor to the center of the meat and has tenderizing power. The result, you ask? A delicious, tender, smoky pork roast.

basic-pork-injection-recipe
basic-pork-injection-recipe

A trick pitmasters have used for decades! The injection solution remains key to smoking 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 a good-quality meat injector and take your smoked pork game to the championship level.

Ingredients:

  • Apple juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Spice rub (the same that you’ll be using on the roast)
  • Melted Butter
  • Worcestershire sauce

Making a Basic Pork Injection Marinade

  • First, let’s make sure that the Pork Rub is well pulverized. Large chunks of herbs can become stuck in the injector. Grind them down further in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  • Combine all pork injection marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Let stand for 10-15 minutes, and stir. Salt should be well dissolved. Whisk the ingredients together right before drawing the marinade into the injector.
  •  Fill the syringe and inject the solution into multiple parts of the pork roast. If you are a visual learner, scroll down to my video below.
  • Cook pulled pork as directed. See below if you are marinating for more than an hour.
  •  Discard any marinade that has come into contact with raw meat.
  • If marinating the pork overnight, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Take it out 1 hour before placing it into the smoker.
Basic Pork Injection Marinade

Pork Injection Pro Tips:

  • There will be a little leakage when you inject the liquid into the meat. Take it slow and inject it into multiple spots. If some pork injection marinade spills, blot it away with clean paper towels and proceed.
  •  Choose flavors similar to the rub. You can certainly use a little rub to make up your marinade. However, if you’re choosing an individual recipe, pick one that doesn’t clash with your other herbs and spices.
  •  If injecting your pork butt several hours before, wrap it tightly in plastic and store it in the fridge. Acidic liquids can react with aluminum foil and cause an unpleasant flavor. 
  • While you can inject the pork right before it goes on the smoker (or grill), we recommend doing it at least an hour before you start cooking. 
  • It is best to match the temperature of the marinade to the internal temperature of the meat. A matching temperature will stay in place better. Use a meat thermometer to check before using the marinade.
  • Avoid injecting near the bone. If you hit the bone with the meat syringe, pull back about half an inch and inject there. Also, avoid injecting fat.

More Recipes to Try!

basic-pork-injection-recipe

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.
4.55 from 111 votes
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Course: Marinades/Brines
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: pork injection
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 151kcal
Author: Derrick Riches

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon spice rub (the same that you’ll be using on the roast)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted

Instructions

  • Make sure that the Pork 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.  Whisk the ingredients together right before you start injecting.
  • 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.

Nutrition

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 basic pork butt injection marinade as the perfect starting point to making great BBQ Pulled Pork.

See the Best Pork Injection Marinade Recipes for more ideas!

Need an Injector for the Basic Pork Butt Injection Recipe?

Ofargo Marinade Injector

Ofargo Marinade Injector

The Ofargo Marinade Injector is a classic-style syringe. The marinade is sucked up through the injection 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 of this injector is small, but it will handle most jobs for a single-family.

Oklahoma Joes Trigger Marinade Injector

Oklahoma Joe’s Trigger Meat Injector

The Oklahoma Joe’s Trigger Meat Injector is more of a marinade pump than a syringe. Dip the hose end into a container with your marinade, and the trigger mechanism pumps the solution into the meat on both strokes. This will make for faster injecting and is excellent for those that are doing more than a single, small roast. At around $30, you pay a little more, but it can handle a lot more injecting. It will save your hands if you have a lot to do.

Chop's Power Injection System

Chop’s Power Injection System

Do you need to inject a dozen whole pork shoulders? Then this is the system you need. The tank holds a gallon of injection solution. Pump up the pressure and start injecting. It is the system used by caterers and BBQ competition cooks. Easy on the hands, it will allow you to inject at lightning speed. Of course, it costs around $160, so this is really for those who make money on barbecue.

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