Meat Processing Equipment 201 - Maintenance for Automatic Syringe Injectors
Meat Processing Equipment 201 - Automatic Syringe Injector Maintenance.
Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!
Types of Injectors
Automatic/Pump Syringe - These types of injectors have a draw tube that will go into a bowl or other container that has the solution already mixed in it. The action of the injector will draw the solution up into a chamber, or canister on the injector and then out through the needle and into the meat. These type of injectors can have either artery needles or, more commonly, spray needles that have 4 or more holes that the solution will come out.
Marinade Injector - On these types of injectors the needle acts as both the draw and injector. When you want to fill the injectors chamber you need to pull back on the trigger and draw it into the chamber, to inject you press down on the trigger. The drawback of these styles is that all the holes on the injector needle need to be covered or you will draw air into the chamber.
Maintenance for Automatic Injector
First, we are going to go over simply breaking it down and how to put it back together as you should be breaking it all the way down before your first use to clean off the oils. The first thing you will want to do is to remove the needle to get it out of the way. Run hot water through this to clean it.
Now unscrew the locking ring that connects the manifold to the cannister. Once this is done set the manifold aside and remove the canister from the base. If you cannot just pull it out press the trigger and stick your finger behind the cannister to slide it out. Now remove the O-ring from the front of the canister and set both of these aside.
Next take the draw nozzle, which is the piece that connects to the manifold that draws the solution up into the canister and twists it until it comes off, be careful not to lose the spring in there. This spring is the same side on both sides, this is important to note for reassembly. Now remove the plunger from the draw nozzle, note that the plunger faces down. The plunger and spring allow the solution to come up the tube but block it when you want to inject your solution. Also, remove the o-ring that sits below the threads of the draw nozzle.
Thoroughly clean the spring, plunger, and assembly in warm soapy water. If you don’t properly clean this the plunger will get clogged and you won’t be able to suck up the solution into your injector.
Next, remove the needle holder base by twisting it. Note that this spring is wider on one end, this is the end that you want to position closest to the base so the narrow end is facing towards your needle. There is another plunger in there that goes into the hole on the manifold side. This allows the solution to travel towards the needle but blocks it when you are refilling the cannister so no air or solution can make it back from the needle. Also, remove the o-ring around the manifold and remove the needle base protector.
I like to soak all these parts in warm soapy water for 10 minutes and then spray them with water and remove any noticeable build up to form the solution. Pay special attention to the plungers during this process as if these are not cleaned well the injector will not work. Make sure everything is clean and dry before reassembling it.
Now that everything is cleaned you can put it back together. First, insert the canister back into the base, the easiest way to do this is to press the trigger and then push it in. Next put the o-ring back into position and set this aside.
Now put your locking ring over the manifold and screw that onto the base of the unit. Replace the O-ring that you removed earlier over the threads of the nozzle. Now place your plunger back into the draw nozzle with it pointed downwards and put the spring that is the same size on both ends over the plunger and screw this back into the manifold.
Now place the o-ring back around the manifold opening and replace the plunger so that it is pointing back towards the cannister. Now take the spring that is thicker at one end and place it over the plunger and screw the needle base back into the manifold. Now reattach the needle base protector and screw on your needle.
Maintenance for Marinade Injector
These are far simpler to clean. Simply take remove the plunger from the chamber and clean the inside of the chamber and the O-ring around the plunger. Then run hot water through the needle and the chamber and let everything soak in hot water. Once everything is dried simply reassemble it.
Should You Buy One
If you do a lot of whole muscle smoking or curing then one of these styles is essential. The ability to get the seasoning, cure and other additives deep into the meat quickly is a large advantage over having to rely on osmosis.
Best Choice For Beginners
It will depend on the style you want and how often it will be used. If you will rarely use it and just want a simple injector then Walton’s 4 oz Marinade Injector would be the one I would go with. If you are going to be using it often and want something more convenient to use and don’t mind the increased complexity then the Walton’s Automatic Syringe Injector would be my recommendation.
Any idea of brand on the “brown” ones? I used to be able to buy them from my local butcher but he has since stopped selling them. Or where to purchase?
@ramt600 I had the same thing happen with the reddish ones also and the brown ones worked the best so, I just stopped using the red casings.
Another way is with a digital gram scale. 1 ounce = 28 grams. 6 oz = 168 grams. 168 ÷ 100 = 1.68 grams per pound.
You will need to inject the hams first. After injecting, then take any leftover brine, and put that with the hams into a tumbler. Then, tumble for 2-3 hours. Hold it overnight in a cooler, and then smoke it the next day!
Thank you Austin, looking forward to try it with my new vacuum tumbler! As the tumbler does not allow for 24 hours of tumble ( dial cannot be set longer than one hour )what is recommended for doing a ham?
If the usage is 6 oz per 100 lb of meat, to recalculate for another batch size, simply divide the additive weight by the meat block weight (6/100) and that equals how much to use per lb of meat (which is 0.06 oz per lb). You can then take the 0.06 oz and multiple that by however many pounds of meat you are making, so if that is 5 lb, then you end up needing 0.3 oz per 5 lb of meat.