Corned beef brine help.

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Kodie F.

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Apr 17, 2024
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Hello everyone, this is my first time posting so thankyou in adavance for all the help.

I have a recipe for a cover brine that I used on a 15Lb brisket that I don't feel is right. I left the brisket whole and it had a 1/4 inch fat trim on it. As of right now it has been in the brine for 4 days. Here is the brine recipe:
3 gal of water
2Lbs of salt
7oz of Insta-cure #1

After doing some reading here and using the USDA formula from the FSIS to determine the ppm it came out to almost 650ppm. Is this brisket salvageable? Or should I just toss it and try again?
 
I'll give this a bump so some more knowledgeable folks might see it. The American standards permit 156 parts per million (ppm) of sodium nitrite. There is something known as a "Hot Brine" where meat cures quickly and you only cure for a couple days. So this might be what you have. I think the salt may also be a bit more than needed. But I'll let others give a toss no toss answer.

Research "Pops Brine" on here. He is a video for bacon, but the brine process is the same.

 
Hello everyone, this is my first time posting so thankyou in adavance for all the help.

I have a recipe for a cover brine that I used on a 15Lb brisket that I don't feel is right. I left the brisket whole and it had a 1/4 inch fat trim on it. As of right now it has been in the brine for 4 days. Here is the brine recipe:
3 gal of water
2Lbs of salt
7oz of Insta-cure #1

After doing some reading here and using the USDA formula from the FSIS to determine the ppm it came out to almost 650ppm. Is this brisket salvageable? Or should I just toss it and try again?
Your brine is a gradient brine. No worries on the nitrite level. Brining is all based on the amount of pick up in the meat from the brine. Which USDA says is no more than 10%, I disagree and think it’s higher than that but still your final PPM of pick up will likely be just north of 100ppm.

How long does your recipe call for the brine soak?
 
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Your brine is a gradient brine. No worries on the nitrite level. Brining is all based on the amount of pick up in the meat from the brine. Which USDA says is no more than 10%, I disagree and think it’s higher than that but still your final PPM of pick up will likely be just north of 100ppm.

How long does your recipe call for the brine soak?
this recipe is from a book and it doesn't have a time for soaking only the brine itself. In another section of the chapter it says to soak brisket for 7 to 10 days so that's what I was going with.
 
this recipe is from a book and it doesn't have a time for soaking only the brine itself. In another section of the chapter it says to soak brisket for 7 to 10 days so that's what I was going with.
Personally I would pull it about day 5, rinse Pat dry then bag it or otherwise put back into the fridge for 5 more days. This is the equalization time needed after brining. Then slice a small piece and fry it for a salt test, if good you are done if salty soak in cold water half a day changing water every couple hour, slice another piece and fry. Repeat if necessary.
 
Personally I would pull it about day 5, rinse Pat dry then bag it or otherwise put back into the fridge for 5 more days. This is the equalization time needed after brining. Then slice a small piece and fry it for a salt test, if good you are done if salty soak in cold water half a day changing water every couple hour, slice another piece and fry. Repeat if necessary.
I'll give this a try. I'll report back with how it turned out. Thank you for the help it is greatly appreciated.
 
I'll give this a try. I'll report back with how it turned out. Thank you for the help it is greatly appreciated.
You don’t have to rinse it off but do Pat dry. Then let it rest.

Your brine is almost 9% salt when adding salt and cure together. While this isn’t a super “hot” brine it is “pretty warm” cure is driven by the strength of sodium, the more present the faster the process, so now we are guessing as to what day enough salt has diffused into the meat, then we rest the meat so that that salt and cure can continue to work its magic plus give time for flavor development.

If you go longer in brine the worst case scenario is over salty product, which you have to water soak a bunch to get back out of the meat. This all is specifically why I almost never use wet brines generally. There are better much more predictable ways to cure meat where there is zero chance of over salting no matter the time in cure.

Btw, your actual nitrite ppm in that brine is 1090.78 ppm. Still no worries though it is wasteful.
 
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