One of the best ways to enhance the flavor of fish, chicken, turkey, beef and pork is by marinating it for a few hours or days before it is cooked. But savvy chefs know that even the best marinade cannot penetrate the surface of a food and will often burn off during the cooking process. That’s why so many home cooks keep a meat injector close at hand to ensure food comes out moist and tasty every time.
Although there are variations in design, most meat injectors look like a big syringe. Easy to use, you just fill them with marinade, stick the needle part into the flesh of the meat, press the plunger and all the liquid is distributed throughout the tissue of the meat, chicken, fish or turkey.
Say goodbye to dry, flavorless food. Since the marinade permeates deep into the protein’s tissue, the results are consistently moist and bursting with flavor.
We features five meat injectors you can purchase online. Read on to find the one that best suits your needs.
Top Pick Best Overall: OFG 304-Stainless Steel Meat Injector Syringe with 4 Marinade Needles for BBQ Grill Smoker
Smoking, barbecuing, roasting, baking – these are all the ways you enjoy cooking cuts of meat and poultry. The problem is, all too often the meal is less than satisfying as the meat ends up dry and rubbery. To turn disappointing meals into success stories your family will rave about, consider this meat injector as your meal prep game-changer.
The barrel, syringe plunger and needles of this meat injector are made from 100 percent food-grade safe 304-stainless steel, with silicone O-ring seals. The four sturdy needles are sharp to easily pierce even the toughest cuts. The ergonomic threaded design is simple to assemble or dismantle, which makes it easy to give it a thorough cleaning after each use.
The four included meat needles have different sized holes for deep penetration and perfect sauce distribution – a six-inch angle cut for a finely minced puree; a six-inch jumbo angle cut for a chunky or a grated marinade; a three-inch small hole for pure liquid; and a six-inch 12-hole needle to accommodate a thicker liquid.
Other features include a large two-ounce capacity injection barrel for fewer refills; a three-ring handle for a comfortable grip and easy pressure control; six silicone replacement O-rings; cleaning brushes; and a handy silicone basting brush.
This handy set also comes in an attractive storage box, so there’s no worry about losing parts and pieces. Makes a thoughtful gift for the aspiring chef in your life.
- Made from premium 304-stainless steel
- Includes four needles for various meat and poultry
- Needles designed for different marinades
- Includes basting brush and cleaning brushes
- Heavier than a plastic model
- More expensive than other products
- Interior of injector barrels needs to be lubricated with a thin layer of food-grade oil for a smooth plunger action
Top Pick Best Small Capacity Plastic: Ofargo Plastic Marinade Injector Syringe
For a lightweight simple to use meat marinade injector, many home cooks prefer one made from plastic. The transparent barrel makes it easy to see exactly how much marinade is in the syringe, how much is being injected into a specific spot, and when the injector is empty. If you are looking for this type of meat injector, you may want to consider this model.
The syringe barrel, handles and pump plate of this meat injector are all made from eco-friendly plastic, with silicone seals, and the two injection needles and plunger rod are made from 304-stainless steel
The clear once-ounce capacity chamber of the meat injector is marked with graduated measurements of .5 ml or 1/4-ounce increments so you can see how much you are injecting into a particular area of the chicken, turkey or meat. And because the needles are sharp, each one has a small plastic cap to prevent injuries when they are not in use.
Handy and portable, this cute meat injector has a self-storage feature that will prevent you from losing small parts and pieces – the needle caps fit inside the barrel and the two needles slide into the cap holes. Just turn the handle clockwise to align with the needles and it’s all safely stored within itself and ready for the next time you need it.
- Made from eco-friendly, transparent plastic
- 304-stainless steel rod plunger and needles
- Silicone seals
- Graded measurements on the syringe
- Needle caps to prevent injury
- Small capacity
- Comes with only two meat needles
- Seasonings need to be finely ground or will clog needle
Top Pick Best Set: Grill Sergeant Professional Meat Marinade Syringe Set
When it’s time to move forward in your cooking game, you’re always on the lookout for ways to improve your favorite recipes. Your friends have been talking about the importance of marinating food to enhance its flavor and to keep it moist. Some have invested in a meat injector to introduce the marinade inside the food before it’s cooked, rather than relying on it doing the best job on just the outside. If you’re looking for meat injector tools to get you on your way to moister roasts and poultry, then you may want to consider this set from Grill Sergeant.
This set of marinating tools are made to last a lifetime and suit all your needs. The injector body is made from genuine 100 percent 304-stainless steel, with zinc-alloy pull rings, a large 2.4-ounce capacity, a 304-stainless steel push-rod with capacity markings, and high-quality pure stainless steel threads throughout.
Included in the set are six needles – three different types, two of each in case one gets lost – that are made from stainless steel and are super sharp for easy meat penetration; 12 extra silicone seals and four cleaning brushes.
Easy to clean, the injector comes apart and can be put into the dishwasher, or hand-washed using the brushes and warm soapy water.
- Injector body, plunger rod and needles made from 304-stainless steel
- Push rod has capacity markings
- Large 2.4-ounce syringe capacity
- Comes with six sharp needles
- 12 silicone rings and four brushes included
- Comes in a carrying case for easy storage and portability
- More expensive than other models
Top Pick Best Original Design: Tescoma Meat Injector
You love your meat injector but you have issues with the syringe design. It’s always awkward and a bit frustrating for you to push the plunger down smoothly. If you’re looking for a good meat injector with a different design, you may want to consider this model.
Rather than use the typical push down plunger method, this meat injector has a unique design and easy application, with all parts attached to each other. The meat injector unfolds to reveal a long needle attached to a round silicone bulb, all of which are attached to the handle. Easy to use with one hand, just place the needle into the marinade and squeeze the bulb. As you release the pressure, the bulb fills with marinade. Then plunge the needle into your poultry or meat and squeeze the bulb to introduce the liquid into the flesh.
The needle on this injector is made from high-grade 304-stainless steel, and the rest is made from heat-resistant silicone and plastic. And while your food is cooking, you can remove the bulb from the handle and attach the included silicone brush to baste the outside of your chicken or beef for crispy results. Totally convenient, right?
All parts come apart easily for cleaning and are dishwasher safe. And when you’re done, there’s no need to worry about losing parts. The meat injector with the bulb and needle fold into itself for easy storage in a kitchen drawer.
- Convenient bulb-style, one-handed design
- Needle made from 304-stainless-steel
- Comes with a basting brush attachment
- Folds safely into itself for easy, compact storage
- Disassembles for cleaning, dishwasher safe
- FDA approved
- Small capacity
- Not recommended for marinades that have small particles
- Can only accommodate the one needle that comes with it
Top Pick Best Versatile: Caramella Bubble Sauces Injector
Sometimes all we want is a good meat injector to distribute delicious marinade throughout our chicken, fish or beef. Other times, especially when we’re faced with a less expensive cut of beef, we need to tenderize it to break down the tough fibers and sinew. But what if there was a meat injector that also did double duty as a meat tenderizer, saving the time, effort and expense of purchasing and using two separate products? If you are looking for this kind of kitchen gadget, then you may want to consider adding this handy item to your arsenal.
This meat injector works like other syringe-type models, but with a twist. Fill the barrel will marinade and push on the plunger. The 30 sharp stainless steel needles will spread marinade deep into the tissue of your favorite cuts of meat, and as it pierces the flesh, will tenderize at the same time. Perfect for intensifying the flavor of roasts, steaks, chops, brisket, pork, chicken, turkey, and more, the durable and sharp needles will puncture it all with ease.
The needles are made from high quality stainless steel, and the body from non-toxic ABS plastic. There are two settings for different depths, so thick or thin, you can marinate and tenderize virtually any cut you like. And when you’re done, it all comes apart for easy cleaning. Once reassembled, the safety lock gives you peace of mind that little fingers won’t get accidently punctured. Did we mention that it’s also dishwasher safe?
- Injects marinade and tenderizes at the same time
- Has two settings for different thicknesses of meat
- 30 needles are made from high quality stainless steel
- Body made from non-toxic ABS plastic
- Food-grade oil needed to lubricate plunger
- Does not have individual needles for precision injections
Things to look out for:
Consider these things when looking for a meat injector so you will choose one that best suits your needs:
The body, or barrels of meat injectors are usually made either from stainless steel or plastic. Those made from premium stainless steel are usually more durable than those made from plastic. However, plastic has the advantage of being transparent so you can see how much marinade you are using. Some models offer a combination of both, with a stainless steel rod plunger in a plastic barrel. Always make sure the needles that go with the meat injector are made from high quality stainless steel, and that they are sharp so they can penetrate tough or deep cuts of meat.
All meat injectors use sharp needles to distribute marinade into cuts of meat and poultry. However, some models come with only one needle, while others offer an assortment of sizes. If you typically use a liquid marinade for all of your food, then one needle should suffice. If you like to add seasonings, minced garlic or ginger, you may prefer a number of needles to choose from, all of which will be of different sizes and have multiple holes to better distribute the marinade, and to prevent clogging due to small particles of seasoning.