Dried Beef - UPDATED

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Sep 4, 2013
Omaha, Nebraska
After my last fiasco with dried beef, I decided to give it another shot.

Used a product from a local vendor and mixed it up like I was making bacon, so half the water.

This was a top round roast, 2.75 lbs.  

The vendor suggested one day per pound plus one, so I rounded up to 4 days.  I think next time it will be closer to 3 or 3.5 days as it was a little salty.  I know, it's supposed to be for dried beef, but I'm the chef.

I also injected 2 oz.

I let it brine for 4 days.

Took out and left it in the fridge for 24 hours to get the pellicle.

Hour   SmkTemp  IT   Notes

12       100                     No smoke

1         100                     No smoke

2         130                     Started smoke. Used Pitmaster from AMAZEN

3         150

4         160              100

5         170

6         180              122

7         180              131     Smoke ran out.  Next time, I want more smoke on it.

8         180              142

9         180              145

10       180              151

11        180             154    The wait is killing me.  And I want to go to bed!

12        180             156

12:30    180            158   Took it out.  Put it right into the fridge.

Next day I sliced it.  IMO, it was a lot like corned beef, but without the spice.  Had the good iridescence shimmer on it.  Looks great.  Good flavor, but needed more smoke and I think it needed to dry out some more.

Plan on a solid 13 hours for this method.  The product is good.  Tasted great.  The inside wasn't as salty as the outside.  Don't know why, because I injected.

Anyway, I'd make this again. 

Out of the brine.

Out of the smoker.


Quote"The vendor suggested one day per pound plus one, so I rounded up to 4 days. I think next time it will be closer to 3 or 3.5 days as it was a little salty"

Don't shorten the brine time, you want to be sure it cures all the way through. Fry up a slice before you smoke it, if it's too salty give it a rinse or freshwater soak.
I soaked for 60 minutes and changed the water a few times.  It had a bit of a "hammy" taste to it.  Looked more like corned beef.  The inside definitely had that dried beef flavor I remember.
The hammy taste is from the cure. The curing process is basically the same . Since you didn't make cure & spice blend you don't know how much salt your vendor put in. Add brown sugar to the cure & smoke you have dried beef ( Canadian bacon with a pork loin ) Brine with cure & pickling spice & boil = corned beef.

Cure , rub with coarse blk. pepper,coriander,mustard seed & smoke = pastrami. All in the spice and cooking method.
If you use a mix that has the salt added you can add a little white sugar to balance the salt. I think the best way is to make the brine yourself and keep notes as you are doing. You will be able to control the salt and flavors better.

My brother just made some Pastrami from moose meat. He thought it was a little salty so he soaked it in fresh water for an hour and had the same comment that you did about the center being right and the outer edges being too salty. I know that these kind of brines are equilibrium brines. The salt in the brine tries to bring up the salinity of the meat equal with the brine. When soaking in fresh water, the salt does the opposite and leaves the meat and tries to equal the salinity of the fresh water with the meat. I don't know this for sure but I think an hour soak catches the salt near the outer edges as it is migrating into the water. I think a longer soak might help.
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