Corned Beef brine w/ pickling spice????

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Oct 17, 2013
Central Illinois (Peoria)
I'm going to be smoking a corned beef for sandwiches at a Super Bowl party. I did a search but couldn't find an answer to my question. I'm not going to season my CB but want to get the pickling spice "in" it. Should I do a simple brine with the pickle spice or will this add an extreme amount of salt to the already salty? Advice? I plan on smoking uncovered for couple hours, then wrap in foil to hopefully speed up the cook, good or bad? Fat side down or up for wrap? IT? I'm using an ECB, lump coal and have a stash of apple and cherry. Still learning how to "use" my smoker, started this past Oct. Also excited to use my new Mav ET732. Any advice would help. Thank you.
There is no advantage to brining it again. There will not be a huge infusion of the spice flavor unless you use more salt then the original process and the result will be very salty and need a long fresh water soak. This may mute the spice flavors basically washing them away. If you like the Pickling Spice flavor then make it into a Pastrami. My recipe uses pretty much everything in pickling spice plus. This thread tells it all...   I let it smoke the entire time and the 4.5Lb Corned Beef took 9 hours at between 225 and 250°F. The final IT was 192° and was super tender. If you wish to Foil or Steam the meat to save time, let it get to the stall, between 150 and 165° then foil or steam it until the IT hits 190°F and begin testing for tenderness. I went low and slow to get lots of Smoke on the meat. You can smoke hotter if your ECB is being a PITA but what ever temp you use be consistent then wait for the stall and proceed as above. I always smoke fat side up but other believe with smokers like yours and others with a high heat source directly below the meat, smoking fat down offers some protection from the heat source. Your choice of wood is fine. Good luck...JJ
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OK, just want to make sure of a couple things I couldn't really tell from your post. It looks like you've got one of the corned beef briskets from the grocery store, right?. It should be in a cryovac pouch and contain a little plastic envelope of pickling spice. If so, then the meat has already been brined in a solution containing pickling spice, cure and a LOT of salt. These are basically made to be boiled, during which process much of the salt will be pulled out. Since you're planning on smoking it, you'll need to soak it for about 6-8 hours changing the water every 45 minutes or so. Otherwise it'll be way too salty. As for not seasoning it, why not just add the pickling spice as a rub before smoking? As JJ said, you're basically turning it into pastrami, so adding the spices to the outside will give you the flavors you're after without additional salt or briining. Just take some coriander seeds, juniper berries and black pepper and mill them to a coarse grind. You won't need any additional salt (I found this out the hard way) and then smoke as you normally would. Depending on whether it's a flat or point would dictate for me whether I'm going to wrap it or not. If it's a point, you can get by with a straight smoke to an IT of 190˚-195˚. A flat might dry out on you, so you may want to foil. I've had good luck with points at 300˚ and smoked for 4 hours, so if you're pressed for time feel free to crank the heat.

So, to sum up:


Spice rub


It's really as easy as that.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out! it!! Kids are making me dumb!!
I have had BOTH the ECB and 3 daughters 6,5,1 at the same time. The ECB took more Babysitting than the girls. Now the girls are 22, 21 and 17 and THEY are a BIG PITA!!!...
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