Just when you thought your brisket could get no juicer using your current method, be it brining or marinading, etc., a new and improved method known as brisket injection enters the scene providing proud pitmasters with even more juicy tenderness and at last flavorful bites through and through.
What is Injecting?
Injecting is a tried and proven method used by competitors and brisket enthusiasts alike to ensure a moist, flavorful brisket every time.
Brisket comes from the breast area of the cow, which is the area that helps bear the weight of the cow, so it contains lots of connective fibers, which can make the meat tough. Therefore, brisket needs to be cooked low and slow to breakdown these connective tissues.
However, as anyone who has ever slow-cooked brisket knows, it can cause the meat to dry out, forcing pitmasters from all over to constantly formulate the best ways to keep the meat tender and juicy.
Meanwhile, though many cooks have mastered the art of various brisket rubs, which helps provide an impressive bark full of flavor, there is still no way for the rub to penetrate the inside of the brisket, which can leave the inner part of the meat unseasoned, resulting in uneven flavor. In fact, even the bold smokiness from the grill or smoker is not enough to flavor the inner meat enough to successfully match the rub.
However, the method of injecting enables pitmasters to insert seasonings, fat, oils, and acids deep inside the brisket where they help flavor the meat and breakdown tough connective tissues and muscle for an all-around great taste and moist, tender center worthy of brisket competitions and more. Unlike basic marinades that just sit on the top layer of the meat, leaving the inside bland.
Step-By-Step Guide on Injecting and Cooking Brisket With Injection Recipes
How to Inject
To inject the brisket, you simply fill a kitchen syringe with the chosen injection recipe and then push the liquid deep into the brisket, after which time, you allow the marinade to soak for 1/2 hour to 12 hours before cooking the brisket. Acid containing injections should sit a bit longer but no longer than 12 hours or the meat will take on too much of the acid’s taste as well as cause the meat to become too soft.
When injecting the brisket, the needle can be held at an angle and against the grain, or some cooks have found success inserting the needle with the grain when injecting the meat. So, experiment with both methods until you find the best method for you. Just be sure to get the injection throughout the slab of the meat. The injections should also be made in a checkered pattern about 1-inch apart from each other.
Once the needle is inserted deep into the brisket, squeeze the plunger of the syringe while slowly removing the needle from the meat.
Where to Inject
When injecting the brisket, you can inject the point, the larger part of the brisket, also called the flat, or both the point and the flat. Since the flat is the leaner part of the meat that contains more tough muscle fibers, it can certainly benefit from the injection to help breakdown the fibers. However, the point is much fattier, so the injection will basically only add flavor.
To try your hand at your own injection methods, try the following simple injection recipes, some of which are trusted by award winners themselves, that are designed to help take your brisket to the next level.
Brisket Injection Recipes
Butcher BBQ Brisket Injection Recipe
What you will need:
- 1/2 cup Butcher BBQ Brisket Injection
- Or, you can use 2 cups low-sodium beef broth, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and 2 beef bullion cubes
- Mix the Butcher BBQ Brisket Injection with cold water until thoroughly mixed. Or, if using the latter recipe, add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and bullion cubes in a pot and allow them to come to a boil.
- Add the mixture to the syringe and then inject the brisket.
No-Boil Beefy Injection Recipe
What you will need:
- 2 cups of beef broth
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of onion powder
- Add the beef broth, brown sugar, black pepper, salt, and onion powder into a small bow. Mix well.
- Add the ingredients to the syringe. Inject the brisket.
Coffee Aus Jus Injection Recipe
What you will need:
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 2 cups of black coffee
- 1 ounce package of Aus Jus Powder
- 1 tablespoon of mustard
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
- Mix the aus jus powder and the coffee.
- In another bowl, combine the mustard and oil, using a whisk, until thoroughly incorporated. Add the Worcestershire sauce to the mustard concoction.
- Mix the coffee and aus jus mixture into the mustard mix.
- Add the mix to a syringe and then inject the brisket.
Best Smoked Brisket Recipe Ever
What you will need:
- 15 ounces of beef broth
- 1/4 cup coffee rub
- 4 tablespoons of salt
- 1 15 pound beef brisket
- Heat the grill, close the lid, and then allow the grill to come up to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove any excess fat from the brisket.
- Combine the beef broth, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the coffee rub in a bowl.
- Place the brisket in a high sided pan or tub and then inject it with the mixture.
- Using the remaining coffee rub and salt, coat the exterior of the brisket.
- Place the brisket on the grill and allow it to cook for about 6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Using butcher paper or a double layer of foil, wrap the brisket and then place it back onto the grill for another 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 204 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the brisket from the grill. Open one end of the foil or wrap to allow the steam to escape. Reseal the corner of the wrapping and allow the brisket to rest up to an hour.
- Slice and serve.
Hopefully, the thought of an even tender, juicier, flavorful, brisket has your mouth watering and you excited to try the brisket injection method. However, remember, just like all pitmaster techniques, when it comes to developing an award-winning brisket, it takes trial and error to master, so give yourself time to adjust. In the meantime, have fun with these tasty injection recipes to get you started, and before you know it, you’ll be winging it like a pro. Also, be sure to incorporate the following pro tips to help make your brisket injection technique even better.
- Syringes come in different sizes and which you choose is up to you. They also come with either a metal plunger or a plastic plunger, which is the part you press to move the liquid through the needle. However, it is recommended you select a syringe with a metal plunger because it is easier to clean and doesn’t hold onto odors like plastic plungers.
- Syringes also have two choices of barrels, which is the container that houses the fluid, see-through or on see-through. Again, which you choose is up to you, just be sure the syringe is safe for food.
- The injection needles on syringes also have different hole variations, which help distribute the marinade more easily. If you plan to inject different marinades into a variety of meats, it’s probably best to invest in a set of needles with different numbers of holes and hole sizes.
- When pressing the plunger, if it has too much resistance, either the fluid is too thick, or a particle of seasoning may be clogging the needle.
- The most common ingredients in brisket recipes include bullion, beef broth or stock, Aus Jus, or consomme, hot sauce or Worcestershire, and Cayenne pepper, oil or melted butter, vinegar, and cognac, whiskey, or beer. Using this base, you can pretty much come up with your own tasty concoction using a number of different variations. However, whichever ingredients you use, be sure they are finely ground to fit through the holes of the needle.
- When using a rub along with the injection method, be sure to wipe away any excess liquid from the outside of the brisket with a paper towel as the liquid can prevent the rub from sticking properly.