If you pay attention to high-level pitmasters or the competition BBQ circuit, you’ve heard about injecting briskets. Why would you inject a brisket? Do you need to inject? What are the best brisket injections? We will answer all your questions.
Why You Should Inject A Brisket
Injecting a brisket marinade serves two purposes. It will help the brisket stay moist during a long smoking session. It also gets flavor into the middle of the meat, an area that will be untouched by any rub or smoke. A packer brisket is a big, tough piece of meat that needs to be cooked low-and-slow to be any good.
Dietician Julie Harris breaks down what the brisket is here, but one of the biggest things to note is that the flat part of the brisket is very lean, so a brisket injection marinade can help keep the meat moist and flavorful.
Injecting brisket is a big part of competition BBQ where judges will get minimal opportunities to taste a pitmaster’s brisket. The pitmaster will try to make every bite of the brisket as flavorful as possible, and using their best beef brisket injection recipes helps deliver on that hope.
Backyard BBQers can use these brisket injections as well. If you’re looking to serve brisket that is as flavorful and as moist as possible, injecting it before putting it on your smoker can help.
Now there’s nothing saying you can’t have great brisket without injection. Our Texas-style brisket recipe doesn’t call for injections. However, if you’ve had problems with your brisket being dry or not as flavorful as you like, you should try injecting it. You can get a high-quality meat injector that won’t break the bank to help you with your brisket here.
Here are the best brisket injection recipes to help you make the best brisket you can in your backyard as well as some pre-made options used by professionals.
How to Inject Your Brisket
If you’ve never injected any type of meat before, injecting a brisket can be intimidating. However, the process is simple. After you mix your preferred brisket injection recipe, you insert the needle for your meat injector into the mixture and slowly pull the plunger back. Once you’ve filled the injector, you will inject the brisket in a grid pattern with your insertion spots about 1-2 inches apart.
Whether you inject with the grain or against the grain is your choice. Legends such as Myron Mixon and David Bouska have differing viewpoints and they’ve both been proven winners on the competition circuit. Just stick with whatever choice you make until you’ve covered the entirety of the brisket.
Then you want to let the brisket rest for around an hour to let the injection distribute as thoroughly as possible. If you are using a brisket injection recipe that is heavy on tenderizers such as apple cider vinegar or coffee, you do not want to let the brisket rest for long periods of time. It could negatively affect the texture of the brisket. You want tender brisket, not mush.
Homemade Brisket Injection Recipes
If you are looking to make the best bbq beef brisket injection recipes, there are plenty of options. You want to keep a few things in mind when selecting a recipe or venturing out into making your own. If you intend to inject and then keep your brisket in the refrigerator overnight, make sure you aren’t using a ton of salt or apple cider vinegar as that can affect the brisket too much.
You want to use flavors that will compliment the brisket. Some people make their brisket injection recipe with butter, some will use apple juice. Others will focus on strictly savory flavors such as beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, and beef bullion cubes.
Brisket Injections from Grill Master University
Grill Master University has three recipes here that you can make at home based on your preferences. The first calls for boiling beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and beef bullion cubes together before injecting the mixture into your brisket. This injection helps boost the beef flavor in your brisket.
There is a no-boil alternative made with beef broth as well but adds brown sugar, black pepper, salt, and onion powder. The flavors offer a different profile to the beef, adding some sweetness to the more traditional black pepper and salt of a Texas-style brisket.
The third option is much more adventurous than the other two, but it will pair well with a coffee-based dry rub that has become more prevalent on the market. You also need to get a package of Au Jus powder to mix into the coffee. You also combine mustard and vegetable oil, then add Worcestershire sauce before mixing in the coffee mixture. A complex injection but sure to add some serious flavor to your brisket.
Brisket Injection with Traeger Coffee Rub
If you’re a fan of Traeger Grills and their rubs, you can use their Coffee Rub to make this brisket injection. The whole brisket recipe uses the Traeger Coffee Rub both as the dry rub and in the injection. It’s a simple recipe with beef broth as the base. You add the rub and salt and stir it until the salt is dissolved.
This is the second time coffee is brought up as part of making brisket injections and with good reason. The acidity of coffee helps amplify the beef flavor of the brisket while also acting as a tenderizer. Using a brisket injection recipe with coffee as an ingredient can help keep the lean part of the brisket moist throughout the smoking process.
Brisket Injection Recipe featuring Whiskey and Soy Sauce
Beef broth is a common part of most brisket injections, and this recipe is no different. While it features more ingredients than the other recipes so far, think of it as layering flavors with different dry rubs.
You get the beefiness with the broth and accentuate it with Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, add sweetness with brown sugar and then add your favorite whiskey.
Myron Mixon’s Simple Homemade Brisket Injection
If you don’t know who Myron Mixon is, you might be new to the world of professional BBQ. He was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2013 after a storied competition career. He has a simple brisket injection recipe that only uses three ingredients: water, beef base, and au jus concentrate (you can substitute a can of beef broth.) You boil the water then add the other ingredients and stir until dissolved.
Premade Brisket Injections
If you aren’t certain about making your own recipe, but you want to inject your brisket, there are high-quality options to purchase. Competitors on the circuit will use these premade brisket injections, so don’t be ashamed of trying these options.
Butcher BBQ Prime Brisket Injection
This formula was developed by David Bouska who won two World Championships on the competition circuit using it on his briskets. It continues to be used on the competition circuit, and Malcolm Reed from How To BBQ Right and pitmaster of Killer Hogs BBQ team uses it as part of his brisket preparations.
Kosmos Q Injections Smoke House Reserve Blend
Kosmos Q is a well-known brand on the competition circuit and among backyard BBQers. The Smoke House Reserve Blend uses a blend of spices and mesquite to enhance the flavor of your brisket. If you are a fan of Texas-style brisket, this brisket injection will help bring that flavor out. Mesquite is one of our best woods for smoking brisket, so you can’t go wrong with adding a burst of that distinctive flavor.
Wrapping It Up
These brisket injection marinade recipes will get you going in the right direction and allow you to modify to your personal taste. You can also try the pre-mix kits that are very popular among the competition BBQ circuit. Try them out and let us know what you think. Enjoy.