What Is Good to Inject Into a Pork Loin?

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Inject the loin before cooking it to lock in the flavors and the meat's juices.
Inject the loin before cooking it to lock in the flavors and the meat's juices. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A loin is among the general four cuts of pork and stands apart from the shoulder, sides and leg. Within the loin category, there are additional types of cuts: whole loin, loin roast, tenderloin, sirloin roast, country style ribs and chops. Alone, a piece of pork, especially a non-fatty one, can be bland. Injecting the loin before you cook it infuses it with a burst of flavor in every bite. Remember to follow safety standards by cooking pork to 145 degrees.

Wine

The versatility of wine means there is a pork injection option for almost any palette. Pick your favorite type of wine, be it red or white, dry or sweet. Use about 1/2 cup wine per 3 pounds of pork. You can also add other flavor combinations to the wine. For example, add a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar or a few tablespoons of apple juice or a squirt of lemon juice. Sprinkle in complementary seasonings, such as salt and pepper, Italian seasoning or thyme. Mix the wine and seasonings with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and inject it evenly into the pork loin before cooking.

Fruit Flavors

The mild flavor of pork makes it a good pairing with various fruit flavor profiles. Orange, apple and berries pair particularly well with pork. If using juice, use 1 cup per 3 pounds of meat. Increase proportionally as necessary. If you are using a fruit jelly, warm it in a microwave first and thin it with water, juice or wine. Use 1/4 cup of jelly per 3 pounds of meat. Add a different dimension to fruit flavors by stirring in 1 or 2 tablespoons of brown sugar; just be sure the sugar dissolves before injecting it into the pork. Orange and apple juice also pair well with grain mustard; use 1 tablespoon per cup of juice.

Butter and Garlic

As every cook knows, there are few things that cannot be improved with the addition of butter. While not heart healthy, the salty creaminess of butter is something of a comfort food flavor. Kick up butter's potential by mixing in spices, especially garlic. Use a half-stick of melted butter per 3-pound pork loin. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and let the mixture sit for awhile for the flavors to meld. Or, better yet, very slowly melt the butter over a low flame with the garlic already in the pan. Include other spices, such as onion powder, thyme, sage or very finely chopped rosemary. Re-melt the butter, if necessary, immediately before injecting it.

Spicy Mix

If you prefer your meat spicier, create a version of a liquid rub that would normally go on the outside of the loin. Mix together 1 tablespoon each of chili powder, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and ground mustard. Shake in several dashes of hot sauce to your taste. Test the spice mixture and make it hotter with additional hot sauce or seasoning until you are satisfied. Stir the spice mixture into 1/3 cup water and 2 tablespoons of oil before injecting it.

Injection Tips

Home goods and kitchen specialty stores sell meat injectors -- small, hollow tubes that resemble a syringe and force liquid inside the meat to give it flavor. Be sure to inject the meat before cooking, as piercing it during cooking will cause juices to escape and dry your pork loin. Make your injection sauce as smooth as possible so it can seep into the meat as it cooks. Inject in even intervals on the top and sides of the loin, sticking the injector in at different depths to hit as much of the meat as possible. Aim for an injection of every 2 inches, as you don't want a loin full of holes and leaking liquids. As the pork loin cooks, you can boil the leftover liquid until it thickens and brush it on as a loin glaze during the last five minutes of cooking.

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