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Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Meat Smoking, Curing and Sausage Making > Who's making their own corned beef for St. Patty's?

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Old 03-09-2011, 04:34 AM   #21
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I've got mine going right now. Picked up a choice cut brisket for $1.99/lb- 7 pounds of flat is corning, and 5 pounds of point is brining for pastrami.

Next time short ribs go cheap(er) I'm going to try corning them, too.

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Old 03-09-2011, 03:02 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by dwarven_stout View Post
I've got mine going right now. Picked up a choice cut brisket for $1.99/lb- 7 pounds of flat is corning, and 5 pounds of point is brining for pastrami.

Next time short ribs go cheap(er) I'm going to try corning them, too.
This thread has me interested.

What is the difference between corning and brining? Contact time? I guess I thought pastrami and corned beef were 'cured' the same way just cooked differently.

But I did notice the site that said that said the pastrami was too salty and the corned beef was perfect. Do I have enough time to brine a brisket for smoking it this Sunday?
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:16 PM   #23
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Pastrami and corned beef are essentially the exact same thing. They are both "cured" by brining in pickling spices (among a few other things). The difference is really that pastrami, after curing, is smoked with a crust of crushed pepper and coriander whereas the corned beef is simply boiled.

I'm not sure there is a difference between "corning" and "brining"... except for maybe the pickling spices.

You mean do you have time to make a pastrami for this sunday? You should. The recipe I have says it simply stays in the brine for 3 days. (Corned beef is five)

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Old 03-09-2011, 05:54 PM   #24
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Pastrami and corned beef are essentially the exact same thing. They are both "cured" by brining in pickling spices (among a few other things). The difference is really that pastrami, after curing, is smoked with a crust of crushed pepper and coriander whereas the corned beef is simply boiled.

I'm not sure there is a difference between "corning" and "brining"... except for maybe the pickling spices.

You mean do you have time to make a pastrami for this sunday? You should. The recipe I have says it simply stays in the brine for 3 days. (Corned beef is five)
Yeah, I wanted to know if I started brining it tonight if it would be ready for the smoker on Sunday (but I now realize that in order to boil/cool the brine it wouldn't go in the brine until tomorrow morning). I could wait a whole nuther week if needed. I can boil the corned beef on a weeknight (like Wednesday the 16th). Looking around the 'net I've seen brining times from 3 days to 3 weeks (using similar methods). Some say poke holes all through it, some don't.

I have a foodsaver, would putting it in bag and pulling vacuum on it speed the process?
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:57 PM   #25
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I would think so but can't answer for sure as I've never used a vacuum sealer like that.

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Old 03-09-2011, 05:58 PM   #26
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The length of the brining depends on how thick the cut is. Also, keep some of your liquid out of the boil, chill it in the sink (kinda like you're cooling the wort) then add ice to make up the water difference. You'll be done in an hour.

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Old 03-09-2011, 06:01 PM   #27
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solid point... it's not like beer where you need to sanitize everything. The salt will pretty much handle any nasties that aren't supposed to be there.

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Old 03-10-2011, 12:38 AM   #28
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Careful.... It is a forum on HBT for a reason. Curing has addictive qualities similar to brewing. Be warned!!!
If not even more so. I can go and easily buy really good beer but getting really good bbq/sausage/charcuterie locally just doesn't happen.

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What is the difference between corning and brining? Contact time? I guess I thought pastrami and corned beef were 'cured' the same way just cooked differently.
Technically corning and brining are very similar but corning usually has pink salt in it to cure the meat. Corning is also a much longer process since you are not just flavoring but actually curing.

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I have a foodsaver, would putting it in bag and pulling vacuum on it speed the process?
I would NOT vac seal it. You are not marinating it where you would want as much sucked into the meat as possible. You want to give the osmosis process time to work and do it thing and you don't want it to pull too much into the meat. Hope that makes sense.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:25 AM   #29
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I used my vacuum sealer when I made bacon, worked like a charm. Rub the cure into the pork belly, pop it into the bag, suck out all the air, seal it up and you are good to go. Corning is essentially the same process, it should work.

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Old 03-10-2011, 11:40 AM   #30
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I couldn't find any pink salt/insta-cure so it looks like homemade corned beef for St. Paddy's day ain't gonna happen. I'm still gonna order the stuff online and make pastrami though.

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Technically corning and brining are very similar but corning usually has pink salt in it to cure the meat. Corning is also a much longer process since you are not just flavoring but actually curing.
That might explain the huge differences in contact times I've seen, as low as 3 days and as much as 3 weeks. Does this mean that a brisket that has 'cured' for only 3-5 days isn't truly 'corned' beef (even if it had pink salt) but just a brined/boiled brisket?
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