I got some old syringes, and thought maybe they could be used as marinade injectors. It turns out that syringes are cheap, and marinade injectors are very expensive, and look more complicated.
They are sorted differently, because many vendors sell the steel needles for these injectors. So, the metal needles must break off. People probably push them real hard.
There are medical syringes with a “Luer Lok” tip that can accept blunt probes. Search for Luer Lock Blunt Needle. The trademark is missing the “c” in “lock”, but most listings seem to use “lock”.
Search: BD 60ml syringe luer lock
These blunt needles can probably be shoved into a roast, if you’re careful. They aren’t that expensive. Maybe 30 cents each, in lots.
I’m not a big meat eater, and I’ve never injected marinade before. I wonder if it’s good?
I bet there’s a technique to make it easier to inject. After all, the medical supplies don’t have these heavy duty steel syringes. Syringes and needles are pretty delicate, but they still inject medicine into (human) meat all the time.
You probably want to inject in between the bundles of muscle. If you go right into the muscle, there’s probably a lot of resistance. People do write about the marinade squirting out.
The “in between muscle” is the white filmy stuff.
You’ll also need to cook it longer, to cook the marinade. There are basically two ways to cook meat: low and slow, or hot seared and barely cooked at all. Searing toughens and seals the outside of the meat, and just starts the inside cooking, so it doesn’t have time to become tough. Once the meat is cooked “well done”, it’s tough and dry. To get it tender again, you need to keep cooking it until the connective tissues start to melt, and the meat becomes “fall off the bone tender”.
(You can also chop up the meat into small pieces, like taco or hamburger. The sharp knife substitutes for chewing effort, in effect, pre-chewing the meat for you. Hamburger might be considered a pre-chewed, well-done, meat sandwich.)
I suspect that with added water from injecting, you can only go low and slow, or you’ll have this mass of warm, salt water in there. BBQ and grilling with indirect heat is low and slow. It cooks a long time, evaporating water, and then allowing the connective tissue to break down into gelatin.
Hypothesizing What Happens
My best guess is that, as the meat cooks, and loses water, the injected marinade is pulled up toward the surface, leaving a little of the flavorings spread through the meat. This is like the way coffee rings form – the coffee liquid is drying off fastest at the edge, and this pulls the water toward the edge, dragging bits of coffee with it. In a piece of meat, the water evaporates from the surface, and that pulls the water inside the meat outward, toward the surface, dragging along some of the marinade.
At the surface, the water evaporates, leaving behind a layer of marinade, which is mostly too heavy to evaporate. (The volatile substances, like the flavors of ginger, garlic, and onion, will evaporate.)
(It’s also how you clean wet stains, by putting a dry towel on the wet stain. The liquid is pulled into the towel, dragging most of the stain with it.)
Anyway, I have some syringes for sale. I may try injecting some meat in the future.