Injecting Pork Butt: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

Injecting pork butt is a great way to add some extra flavor and moisture into the meat. Pumping meat is normally reserved for competitions where pitmasters need to wow the judges with one bite. However, if you want to impress your friends and family, injecting your pork butt will take your barbecue to the next-level. I wanted to find out how the pros inject their pork butts, so I did some research.

Injecting pork butt is a technique used to add flavor, moisture, and tenderness to the meat. It involves using a meat injector to insert a mixture of liquids and seasonings into the meat. This mixture can be made at home using a variety of ingredients, such as oils, herbs, spices, broths, juices, and marinades, or you can purchase pre-made injection mixes specifically designed for pork butt. There are several competition-grade pork injection products available online, such as Fab B and Butcher BBQ. Meat injectors are inexpensive and simple to use. To inject meat, simply insert the needle into the meat every 1.5 to 2 inches.

Injecting is useful for pitmasters who compete in barbeque competitions, as it allows them to impress judges with a single bite of flavorful and moist meat. It can also be helpful for those cooking pork butts at high temperatures, as it can help to replace moisture lost during the cooking process. Injecting is not necessarily essential for all pork butt cooking, but it can be a useful technique for those looking to take their barbecue to the next level.

Key Points

  • Injecting pork butt involves using a meat injector to insert a mixture of liquids and seasonings into the meat
  • This technique is used to add flavor, moisture, and tenderness to the meat
  • Mixtures for injecting can be made at home using a variety of ingredients such as oils, herbs, spices, broths, juices, and marinades, or purchased as premade injection mixes
  • Injecting is commonly used by pitmasters competing in barbeque competitions to impress judges with a single bite of flavorful and moist meat
  • It can also be helpful for those cooking pork butt at high temperatures, as it can help to replace moisture lost during the cooking process
  • Injecting is not necessary for all pork butt cooking, but can be a useful technique for those looking to take their barbecue to the next level

The Benefits of Injecting Pork Butt

Injecting pork butt isn’t necessary, but it can really enhance the flavor and juiciness of the meat. It’s a technique that’s often used by professional pitmasters in barbeque competitions to wow the judges with just one bite. It’s not something that the average backyard cook usually does, but if you want to impress your friends and family, it’s worth giving it a try. Personally, I think it’s more important to get the basics down first. Learn how to control temperature, master wrapping, spritzing, resting, etc. However, if you want to up your game, then defiantly try injecting your meat.

Flavor Injection: Adding Depth to Your Pork Butt

While smoke, salt, rubs, seasonings, marinades, and sauces to add flavor to the outer layer of the meat, they won’t reach the center of the pork butt. Injecting is the only way to get flavor deep into the middle of the meat. By using a needle to inject a flavored liquid directly into the center of the pork, we can ensure that the flavor reaches every part of the meat.

While injecting may seem like a complex or intimidating process, it’s actually quite simple and can be done at home with the right tools and ingredients. All you need is a meat injector, a flavored liquid (such as a marinade or broth), and a pork butt that’s been properly prepped and trimmed.

Increasing Volume with Pork Injection

Another benefit of injecting is it will increase the volume of the meat by about 10%. This is especially useful if you’re cooking for a large group of people and want to make sure you have enough meat to go around. However, it’s important to be careful not to over-marinate the meat. Otherwise, you might end up with more liquid on your plate than pork. Soggy, over-saturated meat is the last thing you want. Instead, aim for a balance of flavor and moisture to ensure that the meat is juicy and tender without being drowned in excess liquid.

Hot and Fast Pork Butt

Injecting the pork butt is useful if you’re doing a hot-and-fast cook because meat cooked at high temperatures will lose a lot of moisture. So injecting the pork prior to a high-temp cook will help with fluid replacement.

Hot and fast is a cooking method that can be used if you have limited time, and need the pork quickly and efficiently. It’s worth noting this method may not produce the same level of tenderness and flavor as a low and slow cooking method. When the pork is cooked at high temperatures for a shorter time, it won’t have as much time to absorb smoke, and it may be less tender and juicy.

If you have the time and patience, I’d recommended cooking your pork butt using the low and slow method, but if you want the meat in a hurry, inject the butt and cook it at a higher temperature.

The Best Injection Options for Pork Butt

There is a multitude of homemade injection recipes for pork. Most recipes contain a variety of oils, herbs and spices, sugars, broths, juices, sauces and many other ingredients. Some ingredients contain enzymes that help tenderize the meat.

I’ve tried a few recipes that work well with pork. They’re simple to prepare, and you would have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. I use a pork brine injection recipe that I found on Author of The Science of Barbeque Meathead Goldwyn has a simple but highly effective injection recipes specifically for pork.

Meathead’s Recipe For Pork Brine Injection

  • 2 tablespoons Morton coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 cup apple juice or low sodium pork, chicken, or beef stock
  • 3 cups of water

Another recipe I found on Smoking Meat Forums is:

Chris Lilly’s Six-Time World Championship Pork Shoulder Injection

  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup table salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

Where to Find Pre-made Pork Injection

The best injection product on the market is two time world champion Butcher BBQ. This company is owned by barbecue pitmaster Dave Bouska, and the Pork Injection Marinade has helped thousands of pitmasters win barbeque competitions all over the world. The Butcher BBQ Marinade Injection comes in powder form, and to mix, all that’s required is the product with water. Alternatively, you can part mix the powder with apple juice or broth.

How to Inject Pork Butt: A Step-by-Step Guide

You want to ensure you are getting the flavor deep inside the meat.

  1. insert the needle into the center of the meat.
  2. Slowly press the plunger of the meat injector.
  3. Repeat the process every inch to 1.5 inches.
  4. Judging how much liquid to insert comes with practice. You have injected too much if the marinade squirts out when you release the needle.
  5. Give the marinade time to settle into the meat by leaving in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but overnight is preferred.

When to Inject Pork Butt for Optimal Results

It’s best to inject the pork butt after trimming, but before applying the rub. If you inject after applying the rub, you will have patches in the rub and gaps in your bark. Remove the meat from the refrigerator and dry any leaking moisture. Apply your slather, then the rub.

The Fab B Pork Injection: What The Pros Use

When I’m looking for barbecue products, I always like to first see what competition pitmasters are using. Competition cooks have mastered all the techniques and have tried all the best products through trial and error. From all my research, there are two products competition pitmasters prefer to use when injecting pork. The first is a product called Fab B and the other product is a pork injection from Butcher BBQ. Many competitions cooks have been winning using these products, so if you master the fundamentals along with injection, then you too can make competition style pork at home.

Some marinades taste overly sweet or be too savory. That’s not what you want with a meat injection. Fab B will bring out the natural pork flavor rather than making the pork taste like something else. These injection products will also tenderize the meat. Sixteen ounces of Fab B Pork will make two to four quarts of injection fluid.

Choosing the Right Meat Injector

Meat injectors range from cheap plastic syringes that you can buy on Amazon right through to heavy duty injector guns. The typical design of a meat injector usually has a needle, a trigger, a plunger, and a gasket. The needle has holes from the tip downwards so liquid can squirt in all directions. Avoid the cheaper plastic meat injectors because they break easily. If you haven’t used a meat injector before, I’d recommend one of the stainless steel injectors because they are sturdy and affordable. There are a few decent stainless steel meat injectors on Amazon. Ofargo make a stainless steel injector which is a best seller on Amazon. Check the latest price here.

Avoid Cheap Plastic Meat Injectors

An entry-level injector is a plastic syringe-style meat injector. Ofargo also make a plastic injector that sells for around $10 to $15 on Amazon (check latest price here). These affordable plastic syringes won’t last long, but they are okay if you are just wanting to experiment with meat injecting.

Stainless Steel Meat Injectors: A Higher-Quality Option

The Ofargo Stainless Steel Meat Injector is an Amazon Best Seller. It comes with 4 types of needles, a basting brush, and cleaning brushes. It also comes with a stylish storage box and an eBook. For around the $20 range, the Ofargo offers value for money. (Check the latest price on Amazon here).

The Best Professional-Grade Meat Injectors

The Butcher BBQ Pistol Grip Meat Injector is a middle-of-the-range meat injector made by Butcher BBQ, a company renowned for producing competition-winning rubs and marinades. This injector sells for under $50 (check the latest price here). The metal trigger on the injector is sturdy, but the barrel is plastic. It comes with two different needles, a spare gasket and a cleaning brush.

The Best Meat Injectors on Amazon

Meat InjectorDescriptionBarrel SizeNeedle SizePopularityPriceWhere To Buy
Beast InjectorMade from
304 high
grade stainless steel. Includes 3 needles
and ebook.

and lifetime warranty.

Weighs 9.3 oz. Dimensions 8 x 5.25 x 1.75 inches
2 ozIncludes one 6″ angled needle, one 6″ needle with 12 holes, and one 3″ fine spray needleAmazon Best
Over 2k ratings.
Ofargo304-Stainless Steel. Includes 4 needles, spare silicone O-rings, needle cleaners, barrel brush, and ebook.

Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.2 x 1.5 inches. Weighs 14 oz.
2 oz4 different needles
(3x 6” plus
1x 3”) for
different applications. Made of #304
stainless steel, clog-resistant to both fluid and chunky marinades
Amazon Choice. Over 600 ratings. $30-
Ofargo Plastic Marinade InjectorPlastic barrel with stainless steel plunger and 2x stainless needles. Includes needle cleaning brush and ebook.

Dimensions: 8.7 x 2.8 x 1.2 inches. Weighs 2.56 oz
1 oz2 types of needles Amazon
Over 4.5k ratings.
Butcher BBQ Pistol Grip Gourmet MeatMetal Handle 50cc Pistol
Grip Syringe with 2
Different Needles a cleaning
a spare

Dimensions: 20.32 x 2.54 x 15.24 cm. Weighs 458 g
1.69 oz2 needles – side port hole and bottom port holeButcher BBQ products are produced
by multiple World Barbecue Champion 
David Bouska
$35 -$40Amazon
or Butcher BBQ
Some of the most popular meat injectors on the market


Author and founder at Meat Smoking HQ

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