Injecting Meat - Yea or Nay - BBQ Central

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Old 09-17-2005, 10:11 AM   #1
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Injecting Meat - Yea or Nay

I've noticed that most of the big name Barbecue Teams are injecting both brisket and pork. I was shocked to see on All Star BBQ Showdown that the Texas team that cooked their Brisket the traditional low and slow method and did not inject finished third behind Myron Mixon (2nd) and Dr. BBQ (1st). Myron uses fruit juices, Dr. BBQ used a beef broth concoction (looked kind of thick).

1st question - Why are competition teams injecting to begin with? Is it because of the limited amount of time to cook their entries and they are thus cooking at higher temps, drying out the meat and I assume that the injection keeps the meat from drying out and also injects some flavor.

2nd question - Does anyone have what they would consider to be a good injection recipe for beef and pork. I'd like to try it out to see what the results are first hand.

3rd question - Jim you mentioned that Dr. BBQ used a product called Fab B (I just ordered some BTW-thanks for that tip, Jim) for his brisket. I noticed that is a dry product. Do you know whether the Dr. used water or beef broth to rehydrate the product.

Thanks in advance for any advice, insights, or experience sharing. It's a topic I haven't seen discussed much here.
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Old 09-17-2005, 10:19 AM   #2
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Kloset,

Here's Chris Lilly's injection for pork shoulder, haven't used it, but if Chris Lilly lent his name to it, shouldn't be too bad.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup apple, juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

DIRECTIONS

Inject shoulder with injection solution (1/2 oz. Per pound).
Coat well with rub mixture (4 oz. Per shoulder).
Gently pat shoulder so rub will adhere.

I have seen some briskets and butts that were injected at comps and the one's I have seen had noticeable streaks going through the meat, that in my opinion detracted from the appearance. Now there may be a trick to not having these streaks or maybe the injector didn't know what he was doing. Maybe Jim M will chime in on what he thinks the percentage of those who do and don't at comps might be.
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Old 09-17-2005, 10:37 AM   #3
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Thanks Bruce. Do you think those streaks are caused by just shooting the entire syring into a specific location. I've watched these guys injecting (on TV) and the experienced ones typically will pull the syringe back and forth as they are injecting so as not to cause what they call "flavor pockets" in the meat. I'm not sure though whether that results in the streaks you are talking about.

I'm curious again whether this is more of a competition thing and whether people who inject at comps would inject at home cooking for family and friends when time is not a problem. In other words does injection really improve the overall flavor, texture, and moisture of the meat?
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Old 09-17-2005, 02:30 PM   #4
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The injection DrBBQ used is Fab B, would have to ask him is he used water or apple juice for liquid when mixing it together.
I like Fab B Lite cause the Fab b is darker in color and can leave needle tracks.

What Fab B or B Lite does is add back in phosfates that are lost when the animal goes into rigor. You will find that you get much less shrinkage and it does help keep moisture levels higher in finished product.


Myron's injection for beef is not something I personelly care for but it has worked for him in competitions in the SE US.

Jim
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Old 09-17-2005, 02:39 PM   #5
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Thanks again, Jim. I ordered some of the regular Fab B this morning. I'm going to try it when I get the new cooker. I'll try Fab B lite, next time and compare the two. I also ordered some Fab P (pork) and will report back on that in a couple of weeks.
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Old 10-07-2005, 07:04 AM   #6
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I have used Chris Lilly's injection for whole hog and shoulder, and it is very good. The advantage is that it keeps costs down and is easy to prepare ahead of time. We inject whole hogs multiple times during the cook.

I also use all three of the fab products. Fab B will cause streaks in the meat that make presentation a problem. Lite is a better product for presentation, but not quite as tasty.

IMHO Fab products require good smoke to be effective. It just dosen't mellow out enough on the gas equipment and gives a very salty and "manufactured" taste to the meat. Fab tends to need the whole cook to mellow out. Subsequent injections can be too heavy toward the Fab taste.

I don't really see a big advantage to using Fab for personal consumption. The stuff ain't cheap.

Apple juice and some of your rub boiled and steeped for a day or so, then filtered and injected can bring good results. John Willinghams Mild Marinade is also very good in all large pork cuts.


Good Q!

Jack
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Old 10-07-2005, 09:02 AM   #7
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I'm adding a recipe titled "Rick's Sinful Marinade" to the recipe section under Sauces, etc., which has received excellent reviews from backyarders and comp cooks on the BBQForum.

Have not tried it myself, but many have sung it's praises when used with brisket.
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:10 AM   #8
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I noticed that I never answered your question on what is used to rehydrate the Fab B product. Doc uses water, I have used apple juice or a water apple juice mix.

When you use Fab B coloring can be a problem but there are things you can do to help with this problem, when injecting shot with the grain, don't over inject in one spot and inject early and allow the brisket to rest for a few hours before going on the smoker.

Jim
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:18 AM   #9
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Thanks for the tips Jim. I am going to inject one brisket next week at Nelsonville and cook another without injecting and see how it turns out.

I also got some Fab P and will try injecting a butt this weekend at home.

I'll report back on the results.
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Old 10-07-2005, 08:45 PM   #10
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The pork butts I cooked last weekend were injected. I think my journey to great pulled pork has come to its pinnacle. so its a big yea for injecting. I have had many butts come out ok injected but after many trials my secret sauce is complete. So if you havent tried injecting at least give it a thought. Im hooked.
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