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Best containers for curing corned beef?

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    Best containers for curing corned beef?

    Hi everyone,

    I’m about to embark on my first experience making corned beef from scratch, and I want to be sure I don’t screw it up. I have two big questions:
    1. What’s the best container to use for the curing process? Is it better to have the brisket lay flat, like in a big tray or pan? Or is it better to use a food-safe bucket? Or doesn’t it matter? I’m planning to get a full packer from Costco (around 15lbs) and using about half of it for corned beef.
    2. If I’m going to be curing two 4-pound pieces of meat (say a part of the flat and a part of the point), is it best to put them in separate containers? How much does it increase the curing time if I put them together (like in a bucket)?
    Any thoughts on any of the above would be greatly appreciated. I haven’t seen these specific topics in the discussions I’ve read, so I apologize if I’m asking anything redundant.


    Smart n' Final or Chefs Toys will have what you need if those are in your area. or look here - https://www.webstaurantstore.com/308...ner-lid-combos

    I would think you could cure as much meat that will fit but wait for a more expert opinion on that.


      If you're going to do this regularly, something like the flat Cambro pans with matching lids are great: https://www.cambro.com/Products/food...ent-food-pans/

      f I’m going to be curing two 4-pound pieces of meat (say a part of the flat and a part of the point), is it best to put them in separate containers? How much does it increase the curing time if I put them together (like in a bucket)?
      I'd put them in separate containers. The problem is that if they're stacked, they are effectively one really think piece. You want the cure to be on all sides of them. You might be able to do that in a bucket, though (keep them apart).
      Last edited by rickgregory; March 2, 2021, 01:28 PM.


        I use 2 gallon zip lock bags for 3-5 lb slabs. One per bag, but the bags can be stacked without impacting the curing process. The stacked bags are put on half sheet pans in the fridge to keep them secure and catch any dribbles from the seal. They are flipped twice a day. The process seems to work fine and I've never had a flood.


        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
          Editing a comment
          this is what I do now, first time I used a container but the only one I had was over sized and took up so much fridge room. This is maybe a 4x a year thing so ziploc gallon bags work so much better. Easier to pick up and swish everything around too.

        I prefer to separate a brisket.


          This will be similar to when I cure bacon. I usually cut a 9-10 pound belly in half, and use 2 gallon zip lock bags to cure, with the bags sitting in a sheet pan. A bucket or stainless pot will work as well, but will need more volume to immerse the meat, versus using the bags.


            It looks like the consensus is to go with Ziploc bags. That makes a lot of sense to me, both for the reasons given and because I’ve always had good results using them for marinating. Thanks everyone!


              I had the exact same question about curing two briskets at once - I'm planning to do one traditional style for St. Pat's and then turn the other into pastrami. Thanks for doing the work for me - I'm off to buy some 2-gallon Ziplocs!


              • johnec00
                johnec00 commented
                Editing a comment
                Lowes 2 gallon food grade bucket ~ $4.00

              If you want something a bit more money, lookup something called "the briner". It has a nice system to hold the meat submerged in the brine, but it will take up quite a bit of room in your fridge.


                I brine mine in a vacu-seal bag. Manual sealing to get almost all of the air out. Put in fridge and flip it every day for 7+ days. I brine mine 14 days.



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