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Butter Injectable Marinade

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am trying to put together a butter base marinade to inject into either Turkey's or Poultry. It is important to keep it clear to reduce meat staining. Wanting to keep from using commercial marinade's. This is what I am starting with. Any suggestions.

2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Cup Apple Juice
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Cup Vinegar
1 TeaspoonGarlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
Sea Salt to taste
post #2 of 8
It's hard to know what flavor profile you're reaching for. If you're looking for "Southern" or "Comp," you need to be sweeter.

Drop the amount of broth -- or better yet, use a concentrate. You can go with a home made glace, or use something like a product like Better than Buillon.

The only sweetener you're using is apple juice. If you want to stick with natural (more or less) juices, add a cup of white grape juice. If you're worried about your butter ratio (which is very, very high already), add an additional stick of butter.

Your seasoning profile appears rather dull to me. It needs some herbal complexity (sage, rosemary, whatever) and a little heat.

For the heat, while it's not all that common in 'q, you might want to think about white pepper. It's more or less colorless, and generally sold pulverized. If white pepper doesn't sound appealing, just use cayenne or hot sauce. You won't use enough to discolor the meat.

My practice is to cook an injection solution long enough to blend all the flavors, then strain so that it passes through the needle easily. The extra time and straining allow the use real of real onions, real garlic, herbs, etc.

In any case, these sorts of things usually require a lot of tasting and experimentation. Don't expect solid gold your first time out.

If you are thinking about competition, the best advice I can give you is not to stray out of the envelope. Judges want quality, and hate originality. On the other hand, if this is for catering, you might want to get a little more original. My impression of Southern Illinois though is that you don't have a lot more leeway than you would in comp. You know your guests better than I do though.

Finally, turkeys are one thing and chicken another. If you're using whole chickens, or pieces including wings and legs, it makes more sense to brine than to inject. Of course, you lose the butter. But, I smoke a reasonable number of turkeys in the course of a year, and, in my experience, they don't need additoinal fat. Brining and proper smoking technique are enough to insure a moist bird.

Good luck,
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Extra Spices and Herbs is what I am looking for. Does the White Grape Juice much different then the Apple Juice? Should the butter be drawn? What about a touch (1/4 Teaspoon)of Powdered Mustard?
post #4 of 8
Why don't you want any color in the solution? Agree with BDL, your marinade needs more flavor, and there aren't many herbs/spices that will give you that without adding some color.
"Like water for chocolate"
"Like water for chocolate"
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
The reason for not wanting much color is to keep from having needle tracks in the meat. I added 1/4 teaspoon of Mustard, White Pepper, Thyme, and Cilantro in a test BBQ yesterday. I agree it did not add enough flavor. The moisture content of the finish product was lower then when I use a commercial marinade with apple juice. Work in progress.
post #6 of 8
I don't think you can get cilantro into an injection without transferring some color.  Since you don't really want to cook cilantro too much, you're going to have to use your blender to get it into the injecting fluid. 

The same is probably true about mustard transferring color.  I'd be careful with injecting mustard into poultry anyway.  It doesn't seem like a natural fit and it would probably be easy to go overboard. 

The "tried and true" are things like wines, citrus, other fruit (and fruit juices), aromatics, mushrooms, spices, chili and herbals.  If you're trying to put together a recipe for "comp" barbecue, be very conservative in your choices. 

The commercially available, poultry injects aimed at competition barbecue are build around phosphates rather than butter.  In other words, they don't use fats to keep the meat moist.  It's more like a supercharged brine.  They also use tenderizers like papin and/or bromolin; and have buillon as their largest flavoring component.  I am not saying you should copy them.  Just think about what they're doing.

Also, just because you use an inject, doesn't mean you don't have to rub and mop.  It also doesn't mean that those things won't bring a heck of a lot more flavor than the injection.

Taste as you go.  Brines and brine-type injections don't taste good; but the sort of injection you seem to be trying for should taste good (if strong and oversalted) on its own. 

It's a good idea to have something definite in mind rather than just throwing a bunch of stuff into the pan and hoping it works out. For instance, you might want to play off drinks like margaritas (lime, salt, tequila in quantity -- everything else in the background) or mojitos (rum, lime, mint, and background).

If what you really want to do is get some butter in the bird, than settle for that.  You're trying to go in five different directions at the same time before figuring out the first.

Use heat to cook garlic, onions, etc., into your injection.  Use your blender to get fresh herbs in.  Use a fine strainer before filling your syringe or pump in order not to clog the needle. 

Pumping a turkey is one thing.  You'd probably be better brining or marinating your chicken rather than injecting it.    

Finally, it's a very small thing but a "marinade" isn't an injection.

post #7 of 8
If you can get your hands on some verjuice I would recommend it, that should not colour it, but leave a slightly acidic taste which you will need to balance with something sweet.

(P.S.  - BDL - Laughing at your new Avatar...)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for everyones input.    I am going to experiment with some of your suggestions.    I want a injection that will keep the meat very moist and to add flavor.   I do not want to distort the color of the meat, especially the white meat.

I use a very good vinegar base spray-mop recipe.     That parts is my signature product.   I appreciate all the help you have been giving me.  
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