There is no shortage of gadgets for outdoor cooking, probably because it’s a somewhat male-dominant activity ,and we have about as much resistance to toys and gadgets as the ladies have to tolerating our messes! However, most of them range between superfluous and
To marinade for the best taste, this gadget will make your end product more tasty while saving you precious prep time.
Steve Raichlen is a nationally known expert on BBQ. He is a prolific author, runs BBQ University for hands on learning (at a fancy price too), and a few years ago developed the Steve Raichlen Marinade Turbocharger.
The purpose is to penetrate the meat to be marinated or brined quickly with needle-sized penetrations so as not to allow the existing fluids to drain from the meat, nor to provide large escape holes for fresh brine, which may happen when a kitchen knife is used for the same purpose.
A 15 lb. turkey can can be fully penetrated in less than 30 seconds, and a pork butt in 15.
I use the Marinade Turbocharger for nearly all poultry, large cuts of pork, and always for tri tip and brisket. It has stainless steel needles, and is dishwater safe. I have no negative comments on this gadget. It does as Raichlen claims, and looks as good as new four years later. It’s highly recommended for anyone cooking large, tough cuts of meat, and essential if you do any production cooking.
Two things to consider:
1. A couple of negative reviews have appeared on Amazon, stating that the quality of this product is subpar. I do know one of the reviewers personally, and he’s a straight shooter, so it’s not a competitor trashing the product. I am totally happy with the quality of my Turbocharger, but I’ve owned it for years. Either he got a bad one, or…..welcome to China manufacturing. I don’t know the answer, but my suggestion is to order one and try it. If you think it’s junk, Amazon will take it back and pay your shipping if you buy if directly from Amazon, not a third party. My links take you to the right site.
2. Don’t use it for steaks, or any meat that you do not intend to bring to the USDA minimum safe temps. The only significant pathogen risk with steaks is e. coli , which is only found on the surface. If you sear your steak, you’ll kill any bugs. BUT, if you penetrate it, you can push harmful pathogens into the interior. Then, you have to get the steak to 160°F which is medium well to kill any bad stuff, and most people like their steaks a little rarer.
I’ve solved the problem by cooking all my steaks sous vide. My friend and guest author Jason Rogers explains it in detail here.