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Corned Beef for Pastrami

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    Corned Beef for Pastrami

    I’ve got a brisket currently in a wet brine following the AR calculator. It gave me a 2.5 day cure time. What’s the maximum I can leave it in there without bad results? I put it in last night, Sunday. I was hoping to smoke it Saturday but by the time I realized it was only a 2.5 day soak I was too far into the prep to stop.

    I'm thinking that there's no harm in leaving it. Once it has absorbed the maximum amount of salts from the brine it won't absorb any more. If you need the space though, you could always pull it after the allotted time and vacuum pack it until you need to add the rub.

    If it were me, I'd let it sit in the brine a few extra days then apply the rub and wrap. That's gives you some extra days in the rub too.
    Last edited by mgaretz; May 24, 2021, 07:27 PM.


      Personally I've had better luck letting it go an extra day before desalinating, when I go by the calculator I sometimes have a small uncured mark on the slices if I don't go a little longer. I suspect because the small briskets I can get are generally pretty fat for the weight. The end product is better than a "slimy" pre-corned brisket, but I still like those too for simplicity

      And like mgaretz said, this will give you at least a 48-72 hour dry rub period, that makes an amazing crust. The difference is worth it...


        don't forget, you are going to want to desalinate for 24 hours or so. Once you have finished curing it, slice off a little, fry it, taste for salt. Desalinate (24 hours, 2-3 water changes). Repeat.


          Add 1 day desalination and 1 day with the rub on and it’s only a four day cure. Not a problem at all





            Thanks guys! I'll pull it to desalinate Thursday afternoon, then it'll be ready for smoking on Saturday. So many warnings about curing I was hesitant to stray from the recipes.


            • rickgregory
              rickgregory commented
              Editing a comment
              Mostly you want to err on the side of over-curing if you can't nail it. Not by like 400%, but an extra day or three wont matter in most cases.

              If you ever run into a situation where you can't finish something for a very long time (a week or more over time), pull it, rinse, dry a bit and vac seal or wrap then freeze.


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