Take your brisket to the next level with my Best Brisket Injection Marinade recipe. It enhances flavor and adds moisture to tough cuts of beef. The result is a succulent smoked beef brisket every time.
There is no arguing that beef brisket is a thick, tough cut of meat. However, using an injection marinade is an excellent way to flavor it from the inside. It will ensure the meat remains moist and tender throughout the cooking process.
What is a Brisket Injection Marinade?
An injectable marinade is a thin, flavorful liquid 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.
- Option 1: Apply the rub and use the injection marinade about 1 hour before the brisket goes on the smoker (as pictured above).
- Option 2: When injecting brisket, do not apply the rub. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in your refrigerator for up to 12 hours (see photo below). Season your brisket 30-60 minutes before it enters the smoker.
Ingredients for Best Injection Marinade:
- Beef stock: I suggest 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 step is important, particularly if using salt and sugar in the brisket injection marinade. The extra time will allow these ingredients to dissolve properly. Taste it, and adjust to suit your preferences.
How to inject Brisket
- First, ensure there are no clumps of spices or herbs in your injection marinade that could clog up your injector and create a mess. Pour marinade through a kitchen strainer if needed.
- Draw some of the solution into the syringe by submerging the needle into the marinade and then pulling back the plunger. Then inject a little bit into the meat.
- Please note that the marinade will travel along the grain of the meat, so use the lines of muscle to guide where to inject.
- There will be some flow back, especially if you inject too much solution. Blot it away with paper towels, and repeat the process in several spots over the whole brisket.
How to reuse leftovers
- If you have 1/2 cup or more of leftover brisket injection marinade, pour it into a pot and bring it to a boil on your stovetop.
- Once it reaches boiling point, reduce the heat and let it simmer on low for 5-6 minutes. Doing this will help kill off any bacteria it may have encountered during the syringe-to-meat transfer.
- After simmering, remove the pot from the heat and allow the solution to cool for 5-7 minutes.
- Once cooled, pour the solution into a spray bottle and use it as a barbecue spritz during cooking.
Thoughts on liquid smoke
If you are smoking the meat already, there is no need to use liquid smoke. However, if baking or using a gas unit, add a little liquid smoke to the brisket injection marinade. I recommend it for cooking methods that don’t impart smoke. Remember that liquid smoke is an all-natural product that passes real wood smoke through water, then distills it.
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 this 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.