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Defrost and Wet Brine/Cure Simultaneously?

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    Defrost and Wet Brine/Cure Simultaneously?

    Does anyone know whether you can do this? What I'm thinking is that I have a frozen brisket that I'm either going to turn into corned beef or pastrami. Since it's got to sit in the refrigerator for at least a week in the brine, I thought maybe I could save a few days of defrosting then brining.

    So I guess there are three issues: (1) will the liquid from defrosting (although its cryovac'd) negatively affect the brine? (2) would the brining do anything to the meat while still frozen? and, largely based on the answers to #s 1 & 2, (3) am I likely to actually save any time?

    #2
    Great question. I will use the same logic I would use on myself if I were to try this same thing. My initial reaction is yes, do it. What moisture the meat will give off is likely to be so miniscule that diluting the brine negatively would, to me, hardly be of any concern. Picture a drier lower grade brisket, or a juicier higher grade one. You'd still use the same corning recipe for either, regardless of how much fresh meat juice may absorb into the brine so in my estimation the purge from thawing a frozen brisket will not affect the brine.

    I would only worry about trimming the fat cap. Unless you've trimmed it before freezing, or don't plan to trim, this will be difficult to do. The fat cap will not absorb much curing salt.

    Next is following proper meat thawing procedures. Please review Meathead's meat thawing page. Trust his guidelines there. Even though it's brine, do it the way he suggests.

    Then, honestly, I would say go for it and report back!
    Last edited by Huskee; December 5, 2014, 01:30 AM.

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      #3
      Hmm, good point about the fat cap. Forgot about that. I'll have to decide what I'm going to do with this brisket. I was thinking of doing a corned beef since I've done the pastrami a few times, in which case I'd really want the fat cap off - at least before cooking.

      This is a 13+ lb cryovac'd CAB whole packer, so it's going to take about 5 days for a refrigerator thaw and then a week of brining. I've got time since I think we're having people over on the 19th. BUT, now I'm curious how this will work, so I'm thinking pastrami and trying the "frozen brine." Guess I'll go look at how thick the fat cap is on this.

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