Beef - Corned Beef and Pastrami

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[h1]Pops6927's Curing Brines - Regular and Lo-Salt[/h1]

By: Pops6927

Posted 10/27/14 • Last updated 10/27/14 • 2,297 views • 0 comments

These are my Curing brines for pork, beef (corned and dried), poultry, and so on.

Regular Curing Brine:

1 gallon of clean water

1 cup plain, regular non-iodized table salt

1 cup sugar or sucrolose

1 cup brown sugar or sucrolose equiv.

1 tablespoon of Cure#1

Lo-Salt Curing Brine:

1 gallon of clean water

½ cup plain, regular non-iodized rable salt

½ cup sugar or sucrolose 

½ cup brown sugar or sucrolose equiv.

1 tablespoon of Cure #1

mix in food-safe container, stir until clear.

Add meat.  Do not add different species of meats, but you can add pieces of the same species.

Refrigerate 1 to 21 days, depending on thickness of meat. 

Up to 2 inches, 1-10 days.

2 - 4 inches, 5 - 15 days, may require injecting to cure from the inside-out as well as from the outside-in.

4 inches and larger.  15 - 21 days, requires injecting.

Injecting - use a Morton's injection 4 oz. manual injection pump with the Broadcast needle.

or equivalent.

Brine can become frothy (ropy).  It has both salt and sugar in it.  It also is inputting curing ingredients into the meat and oozing out blood and plasma.  Just dump the brine and make up fresh and continue curing should that happen.  Make sure you keep it at 38° - 40°.  

Weigh down meat into curing brine with half-filled ziploc bags of water on top.

No further mixing or stirring required, let it cure until done.  Meats will come out of the brine wish a distinct grayish look.  This is normal.

Cure #1:

I use this as reference:

Computing equivalency, for 100 gallons of curing brine, you add 24 lbs. of curing salt to 100 gallons of water and mix.

That is .24 lbs, or 3.84 oz. of curing salt to 1 gallon of water maximum.

My recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of curing salt to 1 gallon of water.  A level tablespoon is .88 of an ounce.  Heaping is approx. 1 ounce.  Either is fine.  Neither comes close to the maximum amount allowed, but just enough to do the job.  Curing at Maximum, plus with injection, requires 48 hours of cure time maximum.  This process uses less than one third the curing salt and a longer curing time to tenderize and flavor the meat.

You must cover the product until it floats off the bottom of the container, then weight it down to stay submersed in the brine, leaving no area to be exposed to air.  You must keep at 38° to 40° until curing time is over.  Remove from brine, put or hang in smokehouse or smoker.  I personally go from refrigeration to heat with no wait time myself.  There is different thoughts, whether to allow a pellicle to form or not.

A pellicle is mainly, to my knowledge, allowed to form on fish prior to smoking.  We were only 30 miles from Salmon River in Pulaski, NY, a very well known salmon run.  We had many bring us their salmon to process and usually allowed a pellicle to form  But, pork and beef are not tender like fish.

Anything I have left out or any questions, be sure to PM me!  Don't hesitate!
Called WinCo - fresh ham is arriving tomorrow, will pick up Tuesday afternoon, inject it and put it in the brine on Wednesday and start a new thread on it in the Pork section!  MMmmmmm!

Smoking the bottom round for pastrami Tuesday morning!  Plenty more to come!
Tuesday, March 14th!  Smoking Day!

Got the bucket out of the back fridge and took it into the kitchen on my rollaround butcher block cart, slid it off the cart onto the counter (standard counter height, best thing I ever bought!) and slowly dumped out the brine, along with the meat into the clean sink.  Then, put it on the counter on one of my cutting blocks, showing the cut line I'd earlier established (at least a few points of it that I could see, enough to know where I wanted to cut it):

... and cut off a piece for corned beef and cabbage!

OMG!  It didn't cure inside!!! ..... lol... that is just the 'inside color', because it was not exposed to the air - oxygen.  This is called "oxymyoglobin".  

More on that later!

Now, sack up the bigger part to go into the smokehouse:

Cut off the excess stockinette, tie a square knot in it, slide a hook through it and ready for the smokehouse!

Reserve the corned beef in a container for cooking later (will put a container top on it), plus the corned beef in stockinette to hang in the smokehouse:

Fired it up, shut the doors, and 15 minutes later....

SHMOKIN' !!  Still blue, not so thin, first pan of wood chunks, but they will burn down!  Nothing excites me more than to see and smell the smokehouse going, just like when we were kids, our bedroom was right over the smokehouse room and we'd wake up in the morning to a cloud full of smoky goodness!  I will add an A-MAZE-N 5x8 pan of corn cob pellets to the mailbox mod for a sweeter touch, too!

Will check back later!  Destination temp is 155° internal!
Fired up the pellet tray and put it in the mailbox.  Opened the circular hole on the mailbox for intake draft and closed the bottom air intake vent on the smokehouse so the pellet smoke would input into the chamber!

CLOSED the bottom air intake vent on the smokehouse


INSERTED the smouldering pellet tray into the mailbox mod:

OPENED the air intake vent on the mailbox mod so fresh air will be sucked in there vs. the bottom intake smokehouse vent, and likewise air provides the necessary intake to keep the pellets smouldering!

You can find out everything you need to know about Amazen Products at - Todd Johnson, owner.  Check out their tube units!  My next purchase for smoking in my grill!  And Todd is a Super Moderator here on SMF, and gives literally THE BEST! Customer Service of anybody in any company!  You can buy from Todd with complete confidence, he backs up his products 100%!

Smoke pouring in the chamber through the holes drilled into the smokehouse from the mailbox mod!  By redirecting the airflow from the bottom of the smokehouse to the mailbox, draft is created and out though the upper exit vent (smoke pouring out in the previous photos).

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Oh my Pops! This is one heck of a thread! I'm tuned in and anxiously awaiting your final results.

I might have missed it, but why did you choose a bottom round versus the traditional brisket?
All I can say is WOW!!  I want to start expanding my smoking to beef to make a corned beef, etc.   This thread is obviously one to follow, to learn.  Thanks Pops for providing so much detail.
Great thread Pops....   
Just checked the internal temp - 118°.  Right on track!  About another 3 hours!
Lookin great Pops.   I am going to build a smoke house this spring
Well... the best laid plans of mice and men.... the 3 hours turned into 7 hours, had a 4 hour stall, finally hit 155°!  Took it out of the smokehouse, laid it in the sink:

Took it out of the stockinette and a few views:

and into a bucket and into the fridge to chill until tomorrow!  Then, TO THE SLICER!!!
Looking good pops !
Here's a shot of the eye of round I did with your brine. It turned out Really good, but one question. How much of the sugar can I eliminate from the brine and it still work correctly ? I can taste the sweet to it and my personal preference is to not have the Sweet. I don't like honey ham , pineapple glazed ham. But I love how easy the brine is. Awesome stuff Pops !!
Oh my Pops! This is one heck of a thread! I'm tuned in and anxiously awaiting your final results.

I might have missed it, but why did you choose a bottom round versus the traditional brisket?
I wanted to make both corned beef for St. Pattie's Day plus smoked Pastrami for sandwiches, and the center cut bottom round would stay firm enough to slice into nice-sized slices for sandwiches.  The piece I cut off for corned beef I will cook to 205° or higher so it will shred, but the larger piece for pastrami only to 155° for slicing.
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