The Benefits of Injecting Before Tailgating

Tailgating never gets old, whether it’s college or NFL. There’s just something in the air that makes it one of our favorite fall happenings! In addition to the excitement, it gives us the perfect opportunity to show off our skills at the grill.

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This week, we’re going to share a little secret with you. Injecting meat before it’s grilled achieves that perfect succulent bite -- full of juiciness, flavor, and yeah, a little love! We’re making your tailgate planning super easy by including do-aheads and at the tailgate sections in our recipes. Let’s get this party started!

A Little About Injecting

This week, we’re serving the best steak sandwiches imaginable. Injecting the beef with butter based brine makes it super moist, extra flavorful, and truly decadent. You can do most of the work ahead of time, so gameday will be a breeze!

Before you decide injecting is too complicated, give us a minute to convince you it’s not! Injecting is easy, it’s quick, and there’s no mess or waste, especially when you use a top quality injector. You brine things, right? Well, injecting creates more flavor than brining, and it only takes a few minutes! Complicated… no! Awesome results… absolutely! If you need to brush up on the basics of injecting meat, take a look at our blog on Grilling Essentials

The Grill Beast’s Steak Sandwiches

These are not your typical steak sandwiches. First of all, they are made with beef tenderloin, so they are really tender. Second, the tenderloin is injected with a heavenly mixture to give the meat superior flavor. Finally, the topping and the sauce will have your guest literally licking their fingers. You probably need to bring an extra pack of napkins! Serve them with Buttermilk Herb Potato Salad (recipe follows) for a perfect tailgate feast.


4 pounds beef tenderloin -- trimmed with silver skin removed and tied (Angus or Prime)
Butter Based Brine (recipe follows)
Tenderloin Rub (recipe follows)
1½ tablespoons olive oil

Do Ahead
A few hours before you plan to grill the tenderloin, inject it with Butter Based Brine (see recipe below). We suggest doing this in the morning before you leave for the tailgate. Now lightly coat the tenderloin with olive oil and cover it with rub (see recipe below). Lightly massage to ensure that the rub sticks to the meat. Place the meat in a large resealable plastic bag and refrigerate. This will make it easy to transport.

At the Tailgate
Let the tenderloin sit out for 20-30 minutes, but don’t let it get warm. You want it at room temperature -- around 68 degrees. Place the tenderloin over direct high heat for approximately 8 minutes, turning it ¼ turn every 2 minutes using tongs to ensure that all sides are seared and well browned. Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking the tenderloin for approximately 25 more minutes with the lid closed. You should turn the tenderloin a quarter turn every 6 minutes. Remove the tenderloin from the grill when it reaches an internal temperature of 125℉ - 130℉ for medium rare. As it rests, the temperature will rise. Since there are multiple variables when grilling, use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature after 20 minutes. You definitely don’t want to overcook tenderloin, but you want to make sure properly cooked. Let the meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Just before you plan to serve the sandwiches, thinly slice the tenderloin.

Butter Based Brine

1 stick of butter, melted and cooled
1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup beef stock (homemade is best)

Do Ahead
Mix all ingredients together until the salt is completely dissolved and liquids are thoroughly combined. Inject the butter brine into the tenderloin at two inch intervals. The tenderloin will puff up a little as it’s injected.

Tenderloin Herb Rub

1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
1 ½ tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon ground rosemary

Do Ahead
Mix all ingredients together. Cover tenderloin with rub.

Caramelized Onions with Provolone

5 medium sized red onions
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
10 slices provolone cheese

Do Ahead
Thinly slice the onions into half rings. Place them in a disposable aluminum casserole pan. Pour in the olive oil, melted butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to evenly coat, cover, and refrigerate.

At the Tailgate
While the tenderloin is cooking, place the aluminum pan of onions on the grill grate. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally until lightly caramelized. Just before serving the sandwiches, place provolone slices on top of the onions. Let the cheese melt. Take the onions off the heat and give a quick stir to incorporate the cheese. Top each steak sandwich with a large scoop of the cheese/onion mixture.

Herb Mayonnaise

2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 or 2 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoons pepper
½ teaspoon agave
1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Do Ahead
Mix ingredients together in a disposable plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Taste, and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

At the Tailgate
Serve as a condiment for the steak sandwiches

Constructing the Sandwiches

8 crusty hoagie rolls
4 tablespoons softened butter
Prepared horseradish

Do Ahead
The morning of the tailgate, slice the hoagie rolls ¾ through (make sure not to go all the way through the rolls -- less mess that way!) Spread the inside of each roll with a little soft butter. Place the rolls back in the bag until ready to use. It’s fine to leave the rolls at room temperature.

At the Tailgate
Just before serving, gently open the rolls (but don’t let them break apart) and place them on the grill to toast for 1-2 minutes. Spread the herbed mayonnaise on both sides, and pile on the thinly sliced steak. Cover with onion provolone mixture and serve. Serve the horseradish as a side condiment. Yummmm!

Buttermilk Herb Potato Salad

2 pounds small red potatoes
½ cup celery, thinly sliced
3 scallions, chopped, green part included
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
2-3 teaspoons fresh dill
1 teaspoon agave (sugar can be substituted)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¾ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup whole milk buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
7 slices of bacon

Do Ahead
Boil the whole potatoes in salted water for approximately 25 minutes. They should be done, but not mushy. Let them cool. Leave the skin on and cut them into 1 inch pieces.
Place potatoes and celery in a large plastic bowl with a tight fitting lid.

In a smaller bowl, mix the mayonnaise, buttermilk, balsamic vinegar, agave, salt and pepper, and stir until well incorporated. Add the scallions, chives, garlic, parsley, and dill, and combine all ingredients well. Taste the dressing and add more salt and pepper if needed. You want the dressing to be well seasoned to counteract the blandness of the potatoes. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and celery, and stir gently so the potatoes don’t break apart. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain well on paper towels. When cool, crumble the bacon. Store in a resealable plastic bag.

At the Tailgate
Just before serving, sprinkle the bacon over the potato salad.

A Final Word of Caution
We have a feeling these recipes are going to increase your tailgate attendance exponentially, so next time, you may want to send out RSVPs! You’ll be the MVP no matter what the final score turns out to be!