Corned beef - cure ratios

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Original poster
Jan 2, 2022
Hey All!
Long time lurker, first time poster. I think I've done my research but wanted someone to check my work... just to be sure.
Making corned beef (actually doing some goose breast and elk roast pastramis... But first things first).
I want to make sure my cure ratios are correct - the main thing I want verified, is that I'm working ratios off the total weight of the meat AND the water... and then any tips how much water... and sugar?

So here it is:
1660g meat
1500g water (I have no real good gauge here... too much? too little?)
Total weight 3160g

Prague #1 cure @ 0.25% of 3160g = 7.9g

Salt @ 1.75% of 3160g = 55g

I'm brining in zip-top or vacuum seal bags, so I can "fully submerge" the meat with a relarively small volume of water. I can add more water necessary.

My primary reason for writing is mostly around the cure amount. It's obviously higher than the recomended "1 teaspoon per 5 lb meat". I guess the idea is that the cure is evenly distributed throughout the water and the meat when the process is done, so that my target cure concentration will exist in both the water and the meat, so when I dump my brine, with it will go a good portion of the curing salt.

Oh ya, planning for Kosher salt... because I've got some here... Any need to use specific "Pickling salt" instead?

I'm interested in thoughts on my water volume and also if I want to add sugar at this point? My brine will also include some typical corned beef spices as dictated by the internet...

Thanks inadvance!
Dave from the Great White North
daveomak recipe is for injection, and is perfect 100% of the time. I add my corned beef seasonings to the liquid after injecting meat.

The recipe to use is.... (weigh stuff in grams.. Pounds and Ounces is a witch to convert)
Weigh the meat.... Weigh the water at 1/2 the weight of the meat...
Total those 2 weights and add 1.75% salt (X 0.0175), 2% sugar (X0.020), and 0.25% cure#1 (X0.0025).. Dissolve those well in the water and inject all the brine the meat will hold and submerge the meat in the rest of the brine/cure and refer for a week or 2....
Your results will be consistent and no more throwing away meat.... And the numbers are in line with the FDA and FSIS....
As an example....
A 4# roast (X 454) hunk of meat weighs ~1800 grams... Water at ~900 grams = ~ 2700 grms...
2700 X 0.0175 = 47 grams salt
2700 X 0.02 = 54 grams sugar
2700 X 0.0025 = ~6.75 grams cure#1
Dissolve the above in the 900 grams of water..
If you injected 1/2 the brine/cure, that salt would only be ~1.3%, sugar ~1.5% and the cure#1 would be ~120 Ppm nitrite.... Continuing the soak in the remaining brine will elevate those numbers to ~2%, ~2% and 156 Ppm nitrite respectively....
The salt difference between 1.75% and 2% is due to the cure#1 having 0.25% salt...
All will be good....

Using this method, a 2-2.5 gallon zip bag will hold all the stuff... There will not be enough liquid to submerge the meat in a bucket... Turn the bag every couple days... Have the bag in a plastic tub in the event it breaks...
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daveomak recipe is for injection, and is perfect 100% of the time...

Thanks for the info BC buck! I hadn't planned to inject but I have the resources so I will now! For sugar - brown? White? What's the goal? Is it all about the cure? And needs to be whote or brown sugar for a reason? Or is it getting into the flavor and taste? I've brown sugared my baccons... not sure if I thought be going with white for this project? Pastrami is the end game here...
Thanks again BCB!
I use a combination curing brine also (injecting an amount equal to 10% of the meat weight, then using the remaining brine as a cover brine) and now you are curing from the inside out, and outside in. I calculate the Cure #1 as 0.25% of the meat + water weight. I prefer white sugar and pickling salt because it dissolves easier.

I prefer a 'corning brine' because of the flavorful aromatics. So for my pastrami, I make corned beef, not just cured beef, than season with pastrami rub before smoking I'll also corn pork butts to make porkstrami. Here are my amounts of aromatics for 1 gallon of liquid.

Corning a Brisket, Round Roast, Chuck Roast, Pork Butt.

112 ounces of water
16 ounces of beer
80g canning salt (Kosher is okay too)
30g white sugar
3 tablespoons pickling spice
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
6 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Old Bay
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon crushed ginger
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cloves
Slowly bring up to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Do not let this mixture come to a boil. Allow to cool on the stovetop, then refrigerate overnight. After cooling the brine, add Cure #1 at 0.25% of the meat + water weight. Use a combination cure method, inject and cover brine.
I also use white sugar. My seasonings came from Americas test kitchen recipe.

After injecting the meat I add this to remaining liquid and put with meat in zip lock bag into refrigerator.
3 cloves of garlic
4 bay leaves
3/8 tsp ground allspice berries
1 tbs black pepper corns
coriander seed 1 tbs or powder 2 1/2 tsp
After couple days can cook. Always rinse meat off before cooking!
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