Pastrami - Corned Beef recipies

Recipes and techniques using brine.

Pastrami - Corned Beef recipies

Postby Vindii » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:15 pm

My understanding is that Corned beef and pastrami are cured the same but one is boiled and one is smoked. I noticed the brine recipes in Charcuterie for each are different. Anyone know why? Also does the amount of pink salt in the brine need to be proportional to the weight of the meat that your curing? Or is it more of a batch cure and it only needs to be enough brine to cover the meat? Here's the 2 recipes.

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Postby DiggingDogFarm » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:14 pm

Personal preference, you could make them alike except for the smoking, or entirely different.

The recipes for pastrami and corned beef on Ruhlman's website are somewhat different from those in the book.

http://ruhlman.com/2011/09/how-to-make-pastrami/

http://ruhlman.com/2010/03/corned-beef- ... -your-own/


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Postby NCPaul » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:30 pm

I noticed the brine recipes in Charcuterie for each are different. Anyone know why?


The recipes came from two sources. :D The second one shown seems to me to be the better of the two (and your results in the pastrami tread looked great). With these types of immersion cure recipes there are two factors at play; the first is the ratio of the brine to the meat to amount of cure, and the second is the amount of time the meat is in the brine. To be successful, neither of these things can be changed. When I tracked the movement of salt into a piece of meat, I found that after 5 days the meat had adsorbed about 68 % of the salt it could take at equilibrium. If we assume (using the weights given) that the cure is adsorbed at the same rate and we calculate the amount of cure the meat would theoretically adsorb if it were to reach equilibrium, I come up with 155 ppm sodium nitrite for the second recipe. Brine curing "works" but only if the amounts and times are strictly followed. I find it easier and more flexible to make corned beef by injection curing.
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Postby Vindii » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:38 pm

If a person were to make 1 gallon the either brine recipe would it be ok to use it on a 2lb pieces of meat? Or a 10lb piece as long as its submerged?

Or do you need to adjust the amount of brine for the weight of your meat? Like say make 10 gallons for a 10 lb piece of meat?

I think what got me thinking about this was if I wanted to cure a 15lb brisket do I have to make 30 gallons of brine and make sure I have a container big enough to get the 15lb brisket and 30 gallons of brine in it?

Or cut up the brisket and use the correct amount of brine for each piece in separate containers.
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Postby NCPaul » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:53 pm

If a person were to make 1 gallon the either brine recipe would it be ok to use it on a 2lb pieces of meat? Or a 10lb piece as long as its submerged?


Nope. Every thing has to stay in the same ratio. For a 15 pound brisket you would need 3 gallons of brine and a container of the right size to keep the meat covered with brine. This is where the flexibility of injection curing is very handy.
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Postby Vindii » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:57 pm

That's what I thought.

So if one recipe has 5 tsp of pink salt and the other has 8 tsp they would have very much different PPM nitrite in the final product.

Seems odd they would print them different in the same book?
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Postby johngaltsmotor » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:05 pm

it is possible that they use a slightly different brine because

in corned beef the pink salt is just for color and flavor

in pastrami they add a bit more pink salt because you will be smoking it at temperatures that might let nasties grow
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Postby JerBear » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:32 pm

Not to add any more confusion but the recipes also have different brine times. The corned beef is 5 days with 450 g and the pastrami is 3 days with 350g salt?!?!?

FWIW I just finished up a pastrami using the recipe in the book and had about double the meat so doubled the brine. I did a quick taste test after roasted to an IT of 155ºF and it was a little sweeter than I prefer but salt was a little under what I would have preferred. The taster was cut from the thinnest part of the point and I'll have a better indication of overall flavorings when I sliced it up tonight. I also adjusted the rub and in addition to the black pepper and coriander included hungarian paprika, smoked spanish paprika, mustard seeds and garlic powder.
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Postby Vindii » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:45 pm

johngaltsmotor wrote:it is possible that they use a slightly different brine because

in corned beef the pink salt is just for color and flavor

in pastrami they add a bit more pink salt because you will be smoking it at temperatures that might let nasties grow


Seems like that would make sense but I think the pastrami is smoked around 225-250 (at least the ones I do) which I believe would be a safe temp. I smoke uncured briskets at these temps for 12-14 hours without any concerns.
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Postby johngaltsmotor » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:26 pm

yeah, you're right, I typically water smoke my pastrami so it's a bit cooler but still warm enough... I instinctively jumped to the "smoking requires cure #1" train of thought.
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Over Thinking the process

Postby gsevelle » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:11 am

IMHO I think we are over complicating the process. I've been doing pastrimi for the last two years. I make a simple brine that I pump the meat with then let it hang out for 5 days. I remove the meat, wash and dry then coat with pepper and corriander (maybe some paprika) then smoke to an internal of 160. I use a basic brine with a 1/2 cup of pickling spice and it always comes out fine.

Don't lose sleep over this, pump, brine, smoke, enjoy!!!!!!!!! :evil:
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Re: Over Thinking the process

Postby Vindii » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:35 pm

gsevelle wrote:IMHO I think we are over complicating the process. I've been doing pastrimi for the last two years. I make a simple brine that I pump the meat with then let it hang out for 5 days. I remove the meat, wash and dry then coat with pepper and corriander (maybe some paprika) then smoke to an internal of 160. I use a basic brine with a 1/2 cup of pickling spice and it always comes out fine.

Don't lose sleep over this, pump, brine, smoke, enjoy!!!!!!!!! :evil:


I hear ya. For me its just trying to understand the differences. Seems like the amount of cure used in a brine is kind of important.
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Re: Over Thinking the process

Postby gsevelle » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:39 pm

Vindii wrote:
gsevelle wrote:IMHO I think we are over complicating the process. I've been doing pastrimi for the last two years. I make a simple brine that I pump the meat with then let it hang out for 5 days. I remove the meat, wash and dry then coat with pepper and corriander (maybe some paprika) then smoke to an internal of 160. I use a basic brine with a 1/2 cup of pickling spice and it always comes out fine.

Don't lose sleep over this, pump, brine, smoke, enjoy!!!!!!!!! :evil:


I hear ya. For me its just trying to understand the differences. Seems like the amount of cure used in a brine is kind of important.



The amount of cure salt needed is based on the amount of meat (weight being cured) As noted in Rytek's book 4 onces to 100 lbs of sausge but that is assumming you are directly mixing it into the meat. In his pastrami recipe he calls for 2/3 cup #1 to 5 quarts of ice cold water for 25 lbs and the meat is pumped to 15%. Again I can only assume but the greater amount here is due to the dilution factor with the water.

IMHO :P
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Re: Over Thinking the process

Postby Vindii » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:31 pm

gsevelle wrote:
Vindii wrote:
gsevelle wrote:IMHO I think we are over complicating the process. I've been doing pastrimi for the last two years. I make a simple brine that I pump the meat with then let it hang out for 5 days. I remove the meat, wash and dry then coat with pepper and corriander (maybe some paprika) then smoke to an internal of 160. I use a basic brine with a 1/2 cup of pickling spice and it always comes out fine.

Don't lose sleep over this, pump, brine, smoke, enjoy!!!!!!!!! :evil:


I hear ya. For me its just trying to understand the differences. Seems like the amount of cure used in a brine is kind of important.



The amount of cure salt needed is based on the amount of meat (weight being cured) As noted in Rytek's book 4 onces to 100 lbs of sausge but that is assumming you are directly mixing it into the meat. In his pastrami recipe he calls for 2/3 cup #1 to 5 quarts of ice cold water for 25 lbs and the meat is pumped to 15%. Again I can only assume but the greater amount here is due to the dilution factor with the water.

IMHO :P


Not sure what your getting at. Comparing the 2 recipes above to a pump recipe would not really be a good comparison correct? Or does injecting just effect the amount of time it takes to cure it and not the amount of cure used.
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Re: Over Thinking the process

Postby gsevelle » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:42 am

Vindii wrote:
gsevelle wrote:
Vindii wrote:
gsevelle wrote:IMHO I think we are over complicating the process. I've been doing pastrimi for the last two years. I make a simple brine that I pump the meat with then let it hang out for 5 days. I remove the meat, wash and dry then coat with pepper and corriander (maybe some paprika) then smoke to an internal of 160. I use a basic brine with a 1/2 cup of pickling spice and it always comes out fine.

Don't lose sleep over this, pump, brine, smoke, enjoy!!!!!!!!! :evil:


I hear ya. For me its just trying to understand the differences. Seems like the amount of cure used in a brine is kind of important.



The amount of cure salt needed is based on the amount of meat (weight being cured) As noted in Rytek's book 4 onces to 100 lbs of sausge but that is assumming you are directly mixing it into the meat. In his pastrami recipe he calls for 2/3 cup #1 to 5 quarts of ice cold water for 25 lbs and the meat is pumped to 15%. Again I can only assume but the greater amount here is due to the dilution factor with the water.

IMHO :P


Not sure what your getting at. Comparing the 2 recipes above to a pump recipe would not really be a good comparison correct? Or does injecting just effect the amount of time it takes to cure it and not the amount of cure used.


Pumping will shorting the time necessary to soak. When I pump I can smoke in 5 to 7 days, if I brine only then I would need to soak for 15 days or so.
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