The 8 Best Marinade Injectors to Infuse Your Next Meal

Our top choice is the Cave Tools Stainless Steel Marinade Injector

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What is a marinade injector and is it something you need in your kitchen? First, it’s important to understand what a marinade is. It’s a liquid solution in which you soak food (particularly meats) prior to cooking. Why? It adds depth of flavor, plus tenderizes. It’s particularly good for high-heat cooking—like on the grill—to ensure the finished product retains plenty of moisture. A marinade injector is the easiest way to give your food that flavor and moisture boost that really takes your meal to the next level.

The Spruce Eats Top Picks

If you want the all-around best marinade injector, try the Cave Tools Stainless Steel Marinade Injector. It can hold more than 2 ounces of marinade and comes with three types of needles. If you need an all-in-one option for a large roast, consider the Norpro Deluxe Stainless Steel Baster with Injector and Cleaning Brush.

You don’t have to be afraid of injecting too much, either—more coverage equals better disbursement of the marinade, says Dave Zier, owner of Zier's Prime Meats in Wilmette, Illinois. It’s also a good idea to let the marinade blossom inside the flesh of whatever you’re working with—beef, pork, or poultry—overnight, at minimum, he says. 

Marinade injectors come in different sizes with thick or thin needles (or both) and are made with a variety of materials. How often you use it and what types of meat you're going to be marinating should influence your purchase decision. You'll also want to factor in how easy it is to clean this handy kitchen gadget and how long it will last.

Here are the best marinade injectors for the job.

Best Overall: Cave Tools Stainless Steel Meat Injector Kit

Beast Injector

Walmart

What We Like
  • Large capacity

  • Durable material

  • Comes with multiple needles

What We Don't Like
  • Must be hand washed

  • No carrying kit

Made from 304 high-grade stainless steel, this meat injector is meant to go the distance. Despite heavy use, it won’t stain, rust, or retain flavors (great for those who can’t get enough garlic or experiment with lots of different spices!).

With its 2.3-ounce capacity, the main barrel holds plenty, so you won’t have to refill as often when cooking something large—like a Thanksgiving turkey or a pork butt. And because it comes with three marinating needles in different widths and lengths, it’s also very versatile. There’s a 6-inch needle with a solid tip and 12 holes along the length, another 6-inch needle with a wider tip for chunkier marinades (like those with minced onions or garlic in them), and a 3-inch precision needle for thinner cuts of meat. 

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 2.3 ounces | Dimensions: ​​9 x 2 x 2 inches

Best Budget: DIMESHY Plastic Marinade Turkey Injector

DIMESHY Plastic Marinade Turkey Injector

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes with multiple needles

  • Comes with a cleaning brush

  • Easy-to-read measurements

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • Smaller capacity

  • Plastic barrel

Though mostly plastic, this is a quality home-cook-friendly set that comes at a great price. Functionally, there’s nothing to complain about. It holds a decent amount of marinade (about 1 ounce), features easy-to-read measurements, and is even ergonomically designed for simple one-hand maneuvering. It also comes with two sturdy stainless steel injection needles. The needles themselves are both 3 inches long but differ slightly—one is made for pure liquids; the other can accommodate marinades with some chunkier components. What’s more, like other models we love, this injector is dishwasher safe for easy and thorough cleaning.

If there’s any downside, it’s the plastic barrel, since the material is more prone to staining and odor absorption, plus more susceptible to wear and tear over time. 

Material: Plastic, stainless steel | Capacity: 1 ounce | Dimensions: 8.19 x 4.13 x 1.42 inches

Best with Baster: Norpro Deluxe Stainless Steel Baster with Injector and Cleaning Brush

4.4
Norpro Deluxe Stainless Steel Baster with Injector and Cleaning Brush

Amazon

What We Like
  • Durable material

  • Comes with an additional needle

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Basic design

  • Flimsy on larger cuts 

If you prefer to have a streamlined arsenal of cooking gadgets, try this two-in-one tool: a baster/marinade injector combo. It looks like your average turkey baster—the elongated tip with the bulb syringe at the top—but it comes with an attachable needle for injecting liquids into the meat rather than simply squeezing them atop the surface. For occasional use, there’s really not much to complain about. But you should know that you won’t have as much control as you would with a dedicated marinade injector. And, at 1.5 ounces, the capacity is also a bit smaller than some others on the list. 

Material: Stainless steel, silicone | Capacity: 1.5 ounces | Dimensions: 11 x 2 x 2 inches

Best Gun: SpitJack Magnum Meat Injector Gun

SpitJack Magnum Meat Injector Gun

Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes carrying case and cleaning brushes

  • Durable material

  • Comes with multiple needles

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to assemble and disassemble

  • Hard to store

Though a simple marinade injector is enough for most amateur cooks, a marinade gun—often used by grill masters in competitions—will take your meal prep to the next level. Why? Marinade guns allow you to inject a very precise amount of marinade at a time but hold up to 50 milliliters to limit the number of times you need to refill.

This gun is a favorite because it’s easy to operate. Think of it kind of like a caulk gun—you simply set the injection amount with the dial, then gently squeeze. It also comes in a comprehensive kit that includes just about everything you could possibly need: four marinating needles, three cleaning brushes, and a case for storage and easy transport. And, if on the off-chance you lose something, you can buy replacement parts rather than splurge on a whole new gun.

The marinating needles are great for large cuts of meat since they can penetrate up to 5.5 inches deep. Still, you have options for smaller cuts, too, like the precision needle that has a slanted tip. Have something chunkier? There’s an oversized needle for that, too.

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 1.7 ounces

Best for Turkey: J&B Goods Professional Automatic BBQ Meat Marinade Injector Gun Kit with Case

J&B Goods Professional Automatic BBQ Meat Marinade Injector Gun Kit with Case

Amazon

What We Like
  • Large capacity

  • Comes with carrying case

  • Comes with multiple needles and cleaning brushes

  • Five flow settings

What We Don't Like
  • Plastic barrel

  • Hard to store

When you’re cooking something as large as a Thanksgiving turkey, you’ll need a marinade injector that is big enough for the job, otherwise, you risk not fully penetrating the meat. This heavy-duty stainless steel injector is up for the task since it comes with two extra-long 6-inch needles: a 12-hole version for thinner liquids and a single-hole version for thicker purees. It’s also trigger-style, so you’ll get a better grip when working with big, tough cuts. What’s more, it has five flow settings to help you deliver accurate amounts of marinade every time. 

And if you foresee needing a tool for smaller cuts of meat? No problem. This device also comes with two more precise needles for steaks or even kebabs: a 4-inch needle with two holes for liquids and a 3-inch needle with two larger holes for thicker marinades. With proper storage, this will be your go-to for years to come, as it won't rust or corrode, plus comes with all the cleaning brushes you need to keep it in tip-top shape. 

Material: Stainless steel, plastic | Capacity: 2 ounces | Dimensions: 11.18 x 7.32 x 1.73 inches

What Our Experts Say

"For perfectly crispy turkey skin, inject the marinade into the turkey, then place it in the fridge uncovered—this will dry the skin out so that it crisps up while roasting." — Christopher Arturo, Chef-Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education

Best with Measurements: OXO Flavor Injector

OXO Flavor Injector

OXO

What We Like
  • Good for beginners

  • Comes with an extra needle

  • Ergonomic handle

What We Don't Like
  • Hand wash only

  • Slightly flimsy

This marinade injector is a solid option for novices, thanks to easy-to-read measurements that guide you as you dispense up to 2 ounces, making you feel more in control of the process. It also has an ergonomic handle that makes one-handed operation more smooth. There’s no excess here, either—the kit comes with just two needles, one for thick marinades and another for thinner liquids.

While it’s not stainless, it’s made of durable BPA-free plastic that should afford you a number of years of use. Though it’s not dishwasher safe, the whole thing comes apart easily, so you can soak it in warm, soapy water for a thorough clean. 

Material: BPA-free plastic, silicone | Capacity: 2 ounces | Dimensions: 3.25 x 7.5 inches

Best Outdoor: Ofargo Stainless Steel Meat Injector Syringe Kit

Ofargo 304-Stainless Steel Meat Injector Syringe Kit

Ofargo

What We Like
  • Heavy duty

  • Stands up to high heat

  • Comes with multiple needles

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • No carrying case

  • Harder to store all the parts

Stainless steel is always nice, since it’s more durable and won’t stain or absorb odors, but the material is even more necessary when you’re cooking al fresco. This heavy-duty 304-stainless steel marinade injector fits the bill. It stands up to high heat—like the scorching temps you’ll get from grills. Plus, it holds up to 2 ounces of marinade (fewer refills!) and is resistant to dings, dents, rust, and corrosion (no need to worry if you accidentally leave it out one night!). 

The set comes with everything you need for both larger and smaller cuts, including four needles, six spare syringe silicone O-rings, two needle cleaners, and an injection barrel brush. It even comes with a digital e-book full of recipes novice cooks will appreciate. 

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 2 ounces | Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.2 x 1.5 inches

Best for Minced Marinades: Grill Bump Meat Injector Syringe Kit

Grill Bump Meat Injector Syringe Kit

Amazon

What We Like
  • Large capacity

  • Durable material

  • Easy to use

What We Don't Like
  • No cleaning brushes or carrying case

There’s nothing quite like a flavorful marinade full of tasty ingredients like minced garlic, onions, or veggies. But to make these marinades, you’ll need an injector that can handle thicker liquids and even bits and pieces. Make sure whatever tool you choose comes with at least one wider needle that won’t clog. This stainless steel option comes with two needles suitable for the thicker stuff, plus the barrel is large enough for those thicker liquids, since it accommodates up to 2 ounces. Still, it comes with a thin option for regular liquid marinades. 

That’s not all you’ll get, though. The set also comes with spare O-rings to ensure a tight seal, as well as cleaning brushes to keep the whole thing in tip-top shape. 

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 2 ounces | Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.2 x 1.5 inches

The Final Verdict

If you want the all-around best marinade injector, try the Cave Tools Stainless Steel Marinade Injector. It can hold more than 2 ounces of marinade, comes with three types of needles, and is made of high-grade stainless steel that doesn’t stain or rust. If you’re looking for something more affordable, consider the DIMESHY Plastic Marinade Turkey Injector. It’s a quality injector—perfect for the average home cook.

What to Look for in a Marinade Injector

Material

Marinade injectors are made of a variety of materials, including plastic, aluminum, and stainless steel. Consider what you’ll be using yours for most often. If you’re only looking for an occasional-use marinade injector for something like Thanksgiving, a plastic or aluminum one should serve you just fine. If you’re looking for something to see you through weekly barbecue marathons or even competition cooking, you’ll want something much sturdier, like stainless steel. 

Capacity

Large-capacity marinade injectors are great if you regularly work with very large cuts of meats, as you’ll do less fumbling to refill. But there’s one big downside: These are typically harder to clean and store. If you work with smaller family-size cuts, a smaller capacity marinade injector is likely large enough—and will be easier to clean and store in the long run. 

Needle Thickness

Though many marinade injectors come with both thick and thin needles, this is something to pay attention to. For the most versatility, you’ll definitely want both. Thick needles are used for marinades with small chunks of food, like garlic and herbs; thin needles are used for thinner fully liquid marinades. 

Care and Cleaning

Because marinade injectors are used on raw meat, thorough cleanings between uses are key. That said, many marinade injectors have small tubes and needles that are inherently difficult to clean. Look for a product that can be easily disassembled for cleaning. Many also come with cleaning brushes that can help you reach all of the nooks and crannies.

FAQs

How do you use a marinade injector?

A marinade injector is a great way to infuse deep flavor into larger cuts of meats, like turkey or pork. The syringe-like tool is easy to use. Choose which needle to use: The small one is for liquid marinades; the larger for marinades that contain small chunks like garlic and herbs. Then, fill the barrel of the injector with your marinade by putting the tip in the marinade and pulling the plunger back. Now, it’s time to insert the needle. For long, thinner cuts of meat, inject the marinade horizontally; for larger, rounder cuts of meat, inject all throughout, avoiding bones.

What types of meat can be used with a marinade injector? 

A meat injector is a great tool for any large cut of meat, but particularly ones that have a tendency to dry out during cooking—think poultry like chicken and turkey. You can also use a meat injector for other naturally lean cuts of meat like pork loin.

How do you clean a marinade injector?

Some marinade injectors are dishwasher safe and some come with brushes to help you get into the nooks and crannies. Either way, the best way to ensure your marinade injector is clean is to sterilize it by boiling it before and after each use, says Chef Arturo.

Turkey Marinade Recipe

Here’s a great turkey marinade recipe, courtesy of Christopher Arturo, Chef-Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education.  

1) Bring the following ingredients to a boil in a large pot:

  • 70 grams salt
  • 30 grams honey
  • 100 grams grated ginger
  • 15 grams ground black pepper
  • 100 milliliters bourbon
  • 5 grams red pepper flakes

2) Once at a boil, turn off the heat, and let it steep for an hour.

3) then strain the mixture, chill it, and inject it into the turkey.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited hundreds of articles in the food space for various publications over the course of the last 10 years. Brigitt attended the French Culinary Institute in NYC. She also interviewed Dave Zier, owner of Zier's Prime Meats in Wilmette, Illinois, and Christopher Arturo, Chef-Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, for additional research for this roundup.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Bisphenol A (BPA).

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