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Newbie Corned Beef Questions

TheGrumpyGriller

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OK, so I've spent the better part of the morning looking at curing brisket for corned beef, smoking times etc. Now that my head has stopped spinning from all of what I've read, here are my questions :)
  1. It looks like Pop's brine is a great start, but I would then also add the "pickling spices" to the brine as that is where the "corned" part comes from, correct?
  2. Is it best to just use the flat of the brisket?
  3. The brisket should cure in the brine for about ten (10) days without injection or seven (7) with injecting?
  4. After the brine/cure is done, can I smoke it directly afterwards, or do I need a "corned beef rub" or something else?
  5. Suggestions for the smoke temp on a pellet grill and target IT?
Thanks all!

P.S.Note to moderators - if this should be moved to a different sub-forum, please do so :)
 

smokeymose

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1. I add it to the brine itself.
2. The flat normally has less fat, but I've done both.
3. I go two weeks, turning after a week. If it's an inch and a half thick or less, you shouldn't have to inject, but it doesn't hurt.
4. Depends on your taste desires. If you're turning it into Pastrami you'll want a Pastrami rub.
5. I'm limited on temps in my offset (can't do really low temps), so I won't touch that. Someone else will.
I no longer smoke it for Pastrami, just rub and SV.
Welcome to the forum :-)
 

TheGrumpyGriller

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1. I add it to the brine itself.
2. The flat normally has less fat, but I've done both.
3. I go two weeks, turning after a week. If it's an inch and a half thick or less, you shouldn't have to inject, but it doesn't hurt.
4. Depends on your taste desires. If you're turning it into Pastrami you'll want a Pastrami rub.
5. I'm limited on temps in my offset (can't do really low temps), so I won't touch that. Someone else will.
I no longer smoke it for Pastrami, just rub and SV.
Welcome to the forum :-)
Thanks all! I'll report back once I do it :)
 

zwiller

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Good info thus far. Many of guys just grab pre made corned beef from the store, rub, and smoke.

smokeymose smokeymose Interesting, no smoke pastrami. I might have to try that!
 

thirdeye

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1. Yep, pickling spices are added to the curing brine when corning. "Corning" actually refers to "corns of salt", very coarse salt used in yester years. Grocery store pickling spice blends are okay, but they could be much older and not as robust as buying a mix from a spice company. It does make a difference. HERE is example of a blend I've purchased, there are many others.

2. Brisket flat or point, beef navel, beef short ribs, chuck, rump are all 'corn-able', but the fattier choices are generally preferred.

3. With a curing brine like Pop's Brine, it's recommended to inject some, and I go a full 2 weeks.

4. After corning (or if buying a pre-corned brisket), I rinse and short soak the meat, then season with pastrami rub, and rest overnight or up to 18 hours in the fridge. For pre-corned briskets, I soak longer as their brines are generally pretty strong.

5. I don't have a pellet grill, but I use pit temps in the 250° - 275° range until I get some good color and the bark has set. Usually this is around 160°. For the finish method, I prefer a pressure cooker because at my altitude a steam finish can take some time.
 

GonnaSmoke

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Many of guys just grab pre made corned beef from the store, rub, and smoke.
Brings up a question. I've never had homemade corned beef, so can you really taste the difference? Or is it just the personal satisfaction of doing it yourself? With corned beef usually on sale around St. Patrick's Day for around $3.00/lb, it certainly isn't cheaper to do it yourself.
 

BrianGSDTexoma

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Brings up a question. I've never had homemade corned beef, so can you really taste the difference? Or is it just the personal satisfaction of doing it yourself? With corned beef usually on sale around St. Patrick's Day for around $3.00/lb, it certainly isn't cheaper to do it yourself.
When you add the weight of the liquid its a lot more than$3 and they shrink up a lot when cooked. Homemade much better as is ham. Pretty easy to do and worth giving it a shot. I remove the flat when buy brisket since I do not need the whole thing and make corned beef with them. I just use pops brine with pickling spices but going to try a dry rub this time.
 

SmokinEdge

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The control on spice and salt content is what really makes the difference. Store bought corned beef is in the 3.0% range of salt. You only need 1.5% salt at home. Huge difference.
 

thirdeye

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Brings up a question. I've never had homemade corned beef, so can you really taste the difference? Or is it just the personal satisfaction of doing it yourself? With corned beef usually on sale around St. Patrick's Day for around $3.00/lb, it certainly isn't cheaper to do it yourself.
Yes, hands down the homemade curing is an artisan thing..... like so many other products it takes a while to make. The sanctification plays a role, but showing off and bragging plays a part too. :emoji_laughing:

It's tempting to buy corned briskets on sale for St Patrick's Day.... but the quality is really unpredictable. Unknown brands show up on sale, so you never know where they sourced their briskets or how good (or not good) their curing technique is.
 

GonnaSmoke

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Alrighty, I've been convinced to try it myself. I have a prime packer brisket so should I separate the 2 parts and cure only the flat? My plan is to use POPS cure and pickling spice. I'm ready do this, any advice is appreciated.....
 

smokeymose

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Alrighty, I've been convinced to try it myself. I have a prime packer brisket so should I separate the 2 parts and cure only the flat? My plan is to use POPS cure and pickling spice. I'm ready do this, any advice is appreciated.....
Yeah, that's what I usually do. Cure the flat and smoke the point. Good luck :-)
 

thirdeye

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Alrighty, I've been convinced to try it myself. I have a prime packer brisket so should I separate the 2 parts and cure only the flat? My plan is to use POPS cure and pickling spice. I'm ready do this, any advice is appreciated.....
I've seen whole briskets that were corned, but there is a lot of fat around the point that I would trim out. Separating the muscles will solve that. Plus you can now butterfly the point to make it more even in thickness. Here are two examples of points:
4Tvdpvd.jpg
hPEpFJT.jpg
 

GonnaSmoke

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Yeah, that's what I usually do. Cure the flat and smoke the point. Good luck :-)
I've seen whole briskets that were corned, but there is a lot of fat around the point that I would trim out. Separating the muscles will solve that. Plus you can now butterfly the point to make it more even in thickness. Here are two examples of points:
View attachment 486519
View attachment 486520
Well tomorrow is the day, thanks for the advice....
 

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