What is better for your flavor, Injecting or Brining?

Guest Blogger: Jack Thompson

The great debate of flavoring is one that has existed for decades and still has some confusing strings to it; whether to inject foods or brine them?

Brining simply soaks the food in a liquid marinade for a period of time while injecting, fills the inner parts of the food with the liquid marinade.

Many are the diverse beliefs to this notion. Some say it really depends on what’s being cooked, others say it is heavily dependent on how much flavoring you want to be impacted, then there’s the group that cannot be bothered at all.

However, for the likes who are particular about tastes and flavors, we break down the argument down to guide you:

1. Consider the capacity of food coverage
Brining allows the food to sit in a pool of liquid marinade for a period of time allowing most parts of the meat to be soaked by the marinade. However, this leaves the inner parts of the meat fairly touched.

On the hand, injecting does the opposite. Injecting fills the meat with the liquid marinade which holds up throughout the cooking process but may not have marination as widely distributed as brining.

2. How fast do you want to get cooking?
Very obviously, brining is a slower process than injecting. Brining requires usually at least 2 hours to get the food properly marinated and could go for over 12 hours.

Meanwhile, injecting allows you to cook your food in the shortest time possible once the injection has been done. You can proceed to begin cooking 30 minutes after this process and achieve similar results.

3. Consider the food’s texture
Brining works better for lighter textured foods like poultry as it allows the marinade to be easily penetrated into the meat.

Injecting is most ideal for red meats; lamb, beef etc which have the ability to hold in juices and textured well for an easy and clean needle penetration.

4. The outer look hoped to be achieved
Sounds unrelated but both methods of flavoring have different effects on the outer look of the food when cooking is done.

Injecting is the kind that gives you a super crispy effect on the foods when done because of the drier outer feel of the food when being cooked.

Brining, on the other hand, tenderizes meats making it sit in a lot of moisture which will not give as much crispiness as desired.

If testing both methods on a grill, one of the best kinds of grills for this is the gas grill. This guide shares more information about them.

Which is the best then?
Both methods were actually developed to give different results based on what is desired.

A better way to look at it will be to use both options for maximum results based on their pros and cons.

With this, both options are great for flavoring, the best result relies on the recipe being used.

Use an accurate meat thermometer to aid you in determining the right temperatures and once the right temperature is attained, remove the food from the grill and allow it to sit for 4 minutes before cutting and serving.

Griling Times and Temperatures Chart