Corned Beef Question

Discussion in 'Sauces, Rubs & Marinades' started by berger, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. berger

    berger Newbie

    I need a little help...

    I have been working on corned beef for the past couple weeks and have a slight issue. 

    I am "brining" it for 6 days in the a solution with all the spices and what not, and am getting great flavor on the outside, but the flavor isn't penetrating to the middle of the meat.  I am using a 10lb brisket and even on the lean end, I am not fully getting the flavor infused.

    Am I not putting enough seasoning in the brine, or do I need a longer smoke time?  It is coming out nice and tender, the flavor on the outside of the meat pops, but deep in, it is a little on the plain side.

  2. [​IMG]  [​IMG]

    Happy smoken.

  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I watched a show...... some famous deli restaurant in NY known for their corned beef and they used a jaccard tenderizer midway thru the brine/pickle process to ensure max penetration in a minimum time period. Their jaccard was of a large commercial automated type but it was still a jaccard. These guys were knocking down hundreds of briskets each day.

    I have not done a corned beef or pastrami yet that was really good, but I usually try 'em around March........ Gee, March, corned beef, go figure.
  4. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Happy St Patricks day!
  5. I don't think you are brining/corning/curing it long enough. I corned an elk roast for pastrami in a dry rub cure and let it go 10 days.

    Here's a brine recipe that most folks here use

    Taken from the original instructions "Curing times vary with meat, but generally overnight to 2-3 days for chickens and turkeys, 8-10 days buckboard bacon, 10-14 days belly bacon, pork shoulder, whole butts, 3-4 weeks whole hams, 10-20 days corned beef (fresh beef roasts, briskets, rolled rib roasts, etc.)   If whole muscle is more than 2" thick, then inject so it can cure i/o as well as o/i, and/or in and around bone structures, etc."
  6. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    X2. Did the cure make it through the whole brisket?
  7. berger

    berger Newbie

    I don't the cure made it all the way through.  There was still a slight pink/gray in the middle.

    Going to up the amount of time on the brine and see if that helps.

  8. Why not try injecting some of the brine into the meat, either as you start the cure or a day or two or 10 into it.  Inject it about every 2 inches, and from one injection, move it around in every direction.  That might very well help.

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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  9. berger

    berger Newbie

    I thought about it.  I need to go get an injector...

    Does anyone inject just a normal brisket?  I was thinking of giving this a shot, too (no pun intended).
  10. If I could even find a brisket around my part of the woods, I would inject it as it marinates.  I have been through every Grocery store in the region, Costco and markets (2), one being the Waterloo/St Jacobs Market.  I have never seen one at any of these places.  I think I will have to go talk to a butcher and see.  Problem lies with the fact the closest butcher has very high prices, so my better half has said she would contact the woman we got our cow off of.  But she has yet to do that.

    But with other meats, I have injected them many times with great success.  Injectors can be found most anyplace there are meat marinades sold.

    [​IMG]   [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  11. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This may sound like a stupid question, but you are using actual CURE, correct? Like pink salt or Morton's Tenderquick? Just checking as you mentioned "spices and whatnot" in your original post, but no specific mention of cure. Assuming you are, I believe it's more like 10-14 days for a proper cure.

    If you're not using a cure, well that could be your problem.  Also it's kinda risky.
  12. berger

    berger Newbie

    Yes, I am using a curing salt.
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There are different types of cure, but I think its got to be a penetration problem. That was why I suggested the Jaccard. I thought it a brilliant solution the deli had thought up. 1/2 way thru the cure the outer meat would be more firm and the Jaccard instead of shooting large pools of cure was not only opening 1000's of small channels into the center core of the meat but also tenderizing as well. They were like the oldest deli in NYC or some such thing. Was really interesting on their process. Also showed the custom meat vendors and how they aged beef and ran a 24 hour emergency delivery service to the better restaurants in case they ran out.
  14. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I only asked about the cure to clarify my understanding of his original post. I believe you can cure meat without additional curing agents besides salt, but I believe it's also not as foolproof.

    I think you're probably referring to Katz's Deli. The place where Rob Reiner's mother placed her infamous order. They certainly should know a thing or 2 about corned beef and pastrami, being in business for 1over a hundred years. However, It's been done for hundreds of years before them without either injecting or piercing the meat, and I think it's just a question of time. I believe Katz's jaccards their meat to speed up the curing process to keep up with demand. Another few days would likely serve the same purpose, though admittedly without the benefit of tenderization. I agree, it does seem like a brilliant idea.

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