Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for waiting. First time commenting? Please review the Comment Policy.
Thanks for the recipe. It was so good. Better than store-bought and healthier. I didn’t put the curing salt but I did put in two small beets. The beef had a light pink color after cooking. Next time I will put more beets.
I cannot consume sodium nitrites so I am thrilled with this recipe. Yes not pink but when smothered in cabbage new potatoes and carrots who cares?
Exactly! It doesn’t need to be pink to be good. Thanks for your comment Norma!
This is a very good recipe. Followed it to a t and had excellent results. Far superior to what you can by in the grocery stores.
Brine proportions by weight for 4 cups (1 liter) of water:
Salt 75 grams
Sugar 25 grams
Pink salt 6.5 grams
Add herbs and spices at will.
This is a strong brine. Beef, bison, venison stay under the brine for one to two weeks or more.
After the brine, desalinate. I recommend a double soak in clear water. 4 hours or so in clear water, drain and rinse, then overnight in clear water. This helps a lot with the saltiness.
The bison chuck roast I’m brining tomorrow morning will be pastrami in about 2 1/2 weeks.
This article just happened to pop up and made a good read because my wife and I are New England born and raised both from Irish families in Boston. We like what the Irish call grey corned beef an corned it in a 3 gal crock pot fill crock pot 3/4full with water , throw in a medium potato and add salt till the spud floats to the top, take out potato and add brisket. Cover with a weighted plate that closely fit inside crock and put in refridge for anywhere from 2weeks to 4 weeks.
I will never buy corned beef from the store again!! SO SO GOOD!
It is good, isn’t it? I’m so glad you tried making it at home!
Yum the best
I have been using this recipe of yours for three years. Absolutely the best corned beef ever eaten. The first year I used the wrong pink salt and it didn’t turn pink. Now I know that when I order the brisket to order the salt also from the butcher. Absolutely delicious! Thank you
I’ve never heard of pink curing salt. I use Morton’s Quick Cure. The meat does change color but not to pink….eeeeehhh
How do you know when the brisket is fully cured?
Hi, Garry! It will be cured after 5 days, but can be kept in the fridge for up to 7 if you aren’t able to cook it right away. You can cook it sooner as well, but it just won’t be as fully seasoned all the way through.
I do the curing like said for the five days. Always delicious!
Hi once cured and cooked how long will it last, does it need refrigeration? Thanks
It needs to be refrigerated while curing and turned. I do a dry rub. It needs to go as long as it has time, 10 days at least. Once it’s cured it needs to be cooked, and left overs refrigerated. Oh I was just thinking of how my mother made, she did the brine method and just kept in a cool place.
Hi, Thelma! Ditto what Kristy said — once cured and cooked, leftovers should be stored in the fridge and will last about 5 days. You can also freeze them for up to three months. Enjoy!
Please confirm that the amount of Pink Salt is accurate. Every source I have found states the proper amount of pink salt is 1 level teaspoon per 5 lbs of meat. This recipe appears to use 5 times the recommended amount. I believe this could be quite dangerous!
Hi Dave, the amount of pink salt is correct. I think the reason that some other sources only call for 1 teaspoon of pink salt is that they must be just using a rub, not a brine. This is the correct amount of pink salt for the amount of brine for 5 pounds of meat. I’ve made this recipe multiple times and it is based on a recipe from a well known charcuterie cookbook, whose author I know and who even gave this recipe a thumbs up after I first published it years ago.
This was hands down terrific. I used two 2.5 briskets. We made the brine the night before and put the two pieces of brisket in heavy freezer bags with the brine. We flipped the bag every day for 7 days. We boiled the meat seperatly from the vegetables and I actually forgot to add the extra spice to the water. I only had to rinse the meat. We used the kosher salt from bulk barn. It was perfect! We eat a lot of this stuff in our family and our Newfoundlander friend, said it was perfect. I will never buy a bucket again, thank you for this terrific recipie! Oh and I’m sure you could freeze it right in the brine or rinsed and sealed.
can you vacuum seal finished corned beef
Hi, Harold! If you’re planning to freeze the prepared corned beef, then yes, you can certainly vacuum seal it. Enjoy!
This is a wonderful recipe. One of the comments said that pure potassium nitrate is quite toxic. The toxicity of any substance is related to the dose. 10 grams can cause severe illness or death.
I made a mistake in the brine. I added all three salts to my brine. It has been in the brine for 3 days. Is there some way to save the brisket, ie adding water or rinsing it?
Hi Janice, I’m confused, there are only two salts – kosher and pink salt. What salts did you add, and what amounts did you add?
Oh, now I see. You used the full amounts of Diamond Crystal, Mortons, and pink salt? Yikes. That’s twice as much salt as you’ll need. There probably is a way to save it by soaking it for a couple of days in plain water, but it’s really hard to tell what amount of salt is left in the meat. I’m sorry Janice, I think this one is a wash.
Can you please tell me how long the meat will last, if kept in a fridge after this process has been followed?
Some clarifications about pink salt:
Pink salt is a blend. As I remember, it’s about 95% salt (sodium cloride) 5% sodium nitrite with some sugar thrown in.
Pure sodium nitrite is quite toxic. Half a teaspoon will kill. As far as I know, it’s a restricted product not available to the average consumer. The commercially available curing blend is pink to keep it from being mistaken for table salt. Even the blend can injure you if handled improperly.
But if you want the best corned beef, pink salt is the way to go.
It’s only the pure chemical nitrite that is hazardous. We all eat nitrites every day, it naturally occures in many of our foods.
The small amount of nitrites that end up in our home-made corned beef by using pink salt are OK.
Just handle with care.
One more thing. The Spice House in Milwaukee has the best corned beef spice blend ever.
Corned beef man here, I have cooked corned beef in tonnage.
It is not a good idea to reduce the salt in the brine. You want the brine to be strong.
At the deli, we soaked the corned beef in fresh water overnight, nearly 12 hours, no refridgeration needed if it’s been well-brined.
That really helps cut down on the saltiness.
Total brine time is 12 hours if it’s not refrigerated?
Sorry if I was unclear. The overnight soak in clear water is after the meat has been fully brined.
I can tell who knows how to cook corned beef and who doesn’t just by whether it’s been soaked or not.
Hi Kamakanui. So you soak the beef overnight AFTER the brining period? Great tip, thank you. I live in Mexico and surprise! I found a fresh brisket. I have two jars of pickling spice that I bought by mistake for pickling cucumbers (can’t get decent pickles here so have to make my own!) No access to pink salt, what do you think of cooking the brisket with a fresh beet in the cooking liquid as suggested? Good idea or no? Thanks!!
The added beet I can’t speak to, I don’t know enough to have an opinion
The sodium nitrite in pink salt preserves, gives the reddish color, and adds to the flavor of corned beef. I might let that brine for weeks before I cook it.
Without nitrite and just salt, I don’t think I would brine it for more than a few days just for food safety reasons.
Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, I’m sure that brisket is long gone.
Wondering if you can begin brining process while waiting for the pink salt to arrive in the mail. I have brisket and other ingredients, but salt won’t arrive for two days.
Hi Camille, good question! Pink salt is an optional ingredient for the cure. In our case it does add color and flavor. If you were to add pink salt later in the curing process (day 3 of a 5 day cure), you would need to remove the meat from the brine, add the pink salt to the brine, and stir it until completely dissolved. Since the meat has already been absorbing salt from the brine, I would use less pink salt at this point. That said, if it were me, I would just wait until the pink salt arrived. I don’t feel comfortable messing around with it, given its toxicity if you aren’t using it properly.