Infuse flavor and moisture into your next brisket with my Best Brisket Injection Marinade.
There is no arguing that beef brisket is a thick cut of meat. Since it contains so much mass, this cut of beef requires an injection marinade. This will allow you to impart flavor and moisture into the meat.
What is a Brisket Injection Marinade?
An injectable marinade is a thin, flavorful liquid that is placed into a kitchen-safe meat injector and then inserted into several spots in the meat. You can put together a unique formula, like this Best Brisket Injection marinade, or use the same flavor profile as the rub you’ll be using. You can use an injection marinade in one of two ways. First option: Apply the rub and use the injection marinade about 1 hour before the brisket goes on the smoker (as pictured above). Second option: When injecting brisket do not apply the rub. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it into your refrigerator for up to 12 hours (see photo below). Season your brisket about 30-60 minutes before it goes into the smoker.
Ingredients for Best Injection Marinade:
- Beef broth: I recommend using Minor’s Beef Base
- Worcestershire sauce
- Brown sugar (optional)
- Soy sauce
- Salt (optional)
- Onion powder (sub with garlic powder if preferred)
- Black pepper
Making a Brisket Injection Marinade:
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes before using. This is important, particularly if choosing to use the salt and sugar in this brisket injection marinade. The extra time will allow these ingredients to dissolve properly.
How to inject Brisket
First, make sure that there are no large clumps of spices or herbs in your injection marinade. This will clog up your injector and create a mess.
Draw some of the brisket injection marinade into the syringe, by submerging the needle into the marinade and then pulling back the plunger. Then inject a little bit into the meat. There will be some flow back, especially if you are injecting too much solution. Blot it away, and repeat the process all over the brisket.
The marinade will travel along the grain of the meat so use the lines of muscle on the brisket as a guide to where to inject.
If you have a lot of brisket injection marinade leftover, pour it into a pot and bring it to a boil on your stovetop. Reduce the heat and let it simmer on low for 5-6 minutes. Remove and let it cool. This should kill off any bacteria that it encountered from the meat/syringe transfer. Pour the solution into a spray bottle, and use it as a barbecue spritz during the cooking process. If you are left with less than 1/2 cup of solution, go ahead and discard it.
Thoughts on liquid smoke
If you are smoking the meat already, there is really no need to use liquid smoke. However, if you are baking or using a gas unit, you might want to add a little liquid smoke to the brisket injection marinade. I recommend it for a cooking method that doesn’t include actual smoke. Keep in mind that liquid smoke is an all-natural product made by passing real wood smoke through water, then distilling it down.
Need Help choosing the right brisket? See my Brisket Buying Guide for more information.
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Best Brisket Injection Marinade
- 1 cup beef broth (Minor's Beef Base recommended)
- 1 tablespoon whiskey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder sub with garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- If using a beef base, prepare according to package directions.Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes before using . This will ensure that the salt and sugar have dissolved properly.
- To inject your brisket, lay it out flat. Looking down on the meat, inject into the center of the meat every two inches, working from one end to the other. Squeeze in the injector slowly and move to a new location when the liquid starts to leak out a little. Work your way through the entire brisket getting a small amount of the solution into as many places as possible.
Looking for a simple, yet great way to make smoked brisket? Try my method How to Make Barbecue Brisket.
Need an Injector for the Best Brisket Injection Marinade Recipe?
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 of this injector is small, but it will handle most jobs for a single-family. This plastic injector will hold up to one ounce at a time.
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
Doing a lot of brisket injecting? 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.