Pop's low salt brine question. Need advice.

Discussion in 'Curing' started by worktogthr, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I have cured bacon numerous times with Pop's brine and loved it. For pastrami I just feel that it's a little too salty from my two experiences. I want to reduce the salt in the brine but does that mean I also have to reduce the sugar amounts as well in the same proportions? Forgive me if the answer is out here but I searched many posts and there seems to be no definitive answer. The only reason I ask this is because Pop's low salt brine shows 1/2 cup of both the salt and the sugars. Thank you Pop's or anyone else who might have the answer to my question.

  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Chris I just started a Pastrami and I cut the salt to 1/4 cup the sugar stayed the same.I did the Bacon once and it was a little salty using a 1/3 cup.

    Hope this helps

  3. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Richie! That definitely helps. Got a great deal on a packer so I hacked off most of the flat for pastrami. Actually cut that piece into two pieces of more even thickness so I didn't have to cram a giant, uneven piece in the smoker when the time comes to smoke it.
  4. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I usually add a couple of tablespoons of pickling spice to the brine for pastrami. Anything else you recommend?
  5. Personally, I don't add the sugar into my pastrami brine. I only use 1/4-1/3 cup of kosher/sea salt per gallon of filtered water.

    I do add extra bay leaves(crumbled), fresh, smashed garlic and a few slices of fresh ginger into my pastrami/corned beef brines. 

    As to pickling spices:

    1 Tbs whole allspice
    1 Tbs black peppercorns
    1 Tbs black mustard seeds
    1 Tbs whole cloves
    1 Tbs coriander seeds
    1 Tbs red pepper flakes-optional, **recommended 
    2 tsp ground ginger
    1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    2 bay leaves, crumbled
    1 cinnamon stick, crumbled-optional, **recommended

    Toast the allspice, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan until aromatic.

    I add 2-3 Tbs of pickling spice per gallon of water.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have used Pops Brine on Pork but I don't care for sweet on Beef or Poultry. The Cure is important but salt and sugar is more to your taste. I don't like to have to soak cured meat to reduce the salt...JJ
  7. hank2000

    hank2000 Smoking Fanatic

    We like pops brine because it is flexible as far as salt and sugar I have left the cure #1 out and brined turkeys and chickens in it
  8. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks guys for the help. Does the sugar in the cure really provide a significant sweetness in the flavor profile of the final product? Do most commercial corned beefs have some kind of sugar in the cure? Hahah and maybe the most important question is, if I decide now that I want to change the curing solution can I take it out of the cure, rinse it and mix up a new batch? I put it in the basic pops brine mix last night with lower salt but now I am worried about the sweetness.
  9. hank2000

    hank2000 Smoking Fanatic

    Now your making my head hurt. Lol
  10. It's more about one's personal preference in flavors. I much prefer the flavors of the spices over the sweetness in all the foods I eat.

    Did you use the 1 c each sugar/brown sugar from Pop's brine or the 1/2c of each sugar/ brown sugar from Pop's low salt brine?

    Without running out to the local market, I would have to assume that most commercially available corned beef/pastrami contains sugar. Likely in much higher amounts than what's called for in Pop's brine(especially the low salt version). Personally, I don't like all the corn syrup/sugar/salt that are predominant in packaged food. I try to make everything we eat here from fresh, seasonal, organic and locally sourced ingredients. 

    Now would be the best time to make changes, if that's what you decide to do. 
  11. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hahaha I know! I am very conflicted here.
  12. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I did use the cup of brown sugar and the cup of white sugar but added three tablespoons of pickling spice and a whole mess of minced garlic. I will probably just let it ride but next time try cutting back on the sugar content of the brine. Experimenting is the name of the game. Last time I made pastrami with pops brine I did it the same way but did the full amount of salt. Liked the taste but thought it was too salty. Didn't notice a sweetness so hopefully this will work out.

    Hahah and you specifically would be proud to know I got this choice packer I am Brining from the restaurant depot sale shelf. Packed two days ago, compromised packaging. 1.80 per pound!!!!
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you look at Goggle Images for Corned Beef, I looked at a half doz random samples, the Nutrition Labels say 0% Carbohydrates...So No Sugar...JJ

    Here is one I like...

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  14. That 43% daily allowance of sodium(1050 mg), in a 4 oz serving, is the killer.
  15. hank2000

    hank2000 Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah that's a lot.
  16. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Good reason to make your own...JJ[​IMG]
  17. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I have been thinking about this all night so... Since I cut the price of brisket in half, I decided to pull one brisket from the pops brine mix that had sugar in it, I rinsed it real good and will mix up a batch of cure tonight with no sugar. So that way I can do a side by side and see which one I like best. Thanks again eveyone for all of your insight. I wouldn't have thought of most of your great suggestions. I'll be sure to post the results of this experiment.
  18. Been making corned beef for years. Always get the responses from friends and family how much better it is than store bought brands. [​IMG]
    That's my usual plan, make multiple variations until I find which I like best. Then another recipe or suggestion comes along and gives me ideas and I go changing what I liked from the results of my experiments.

    I'm on day 14 of my pastrami brine. If I have time, the pastrami is coming home tonight to toss into my WSM tomorrow morning. It's going to be tight on time today/tomorrow, so I may just wait until after work on Saturday to pull out of the brine and smoke on Sunday. Couple more days in the brine can't hurt. [​IMG]  

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