Pastrami - Corned Beef recipies

Recipes and techniques using brine.

Postby seaweasel » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:32 pm

Thanks for starting this thread Vindii, I've just started the pastrami recipe from this book and also had a query.

As some people replying have mentioned, the brine strength and time have an impact on the cure, but I could do with a little help getting the numbers right.

The beef I'm using is a little less than half the weight suggested in the recipe (works out approx 41%) I'd made up half the quantity of brine. This is plenty to cover the meat but I wanted to double check the time to leave it in. The 'pro rata' length of time for brining would be about 29 hours (41% of 3 days), but as I've used a little more brine than proportionally necessary, would a day do the trick (have calculated it to be just under 24 hours)?.

Also, while I'm here, I've a basic stovetop hot smoker I got for Christmas that I will be using - are there any tips for calculating smoking time? Since it will be cooked in the oven subsequently how important is that you get to a particular internal temperature?

Sorry if I've hijacked the thread somewhat, hopefully these question will be relevant to others too. Thanks.
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Postby gsevelle » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:00 pm

seaweasel wrote:Thanks for starting this thread Vindii, I've just started the pastrami recipe from this book and also had a query.

As some people replying have mentioned, the brine strength and time have an impact on the cure, but I could do with a little help getting the numbers right.

The beef I'm using is a little less than half the weight suggested in the recipe (works out approx 41%) I'd made up half the quantity of brine. This is plenty to cover the meat but I wanted to double check the time to leave it in. The 'pro rata' length of time for brining would be about 29 hours (41% of 3 days), but as I've used a little more brine than proportionally necessary, would a day do the trick (have calculated it to be just under 24 hours)?.

Also, while I'm here, I've a basic stovetop hot smoker I got for Christmas that I will be using - are there any tips for calculating smoking time? Since it will be cooked in the oven subsequently how important is that you get to a particular internal temperature?

Sorry if I've hijacked the thread somewhat, hopefully these question will be relevant to others too. Thanks.


I'm not a professional just a hobbiest by IMHO
1. I would not shorten the brining period by the same % reduction due to the difference in weight. Depending on the cut of meat and its ability to absorb the brine you could probably get away with reducing the time by 1/4. that being said I'd let it soak for the entire time just to get the flavor all the way through.
2. Not sure I'd recommned using an in kitchen style smoker for this applicaiton. You will probably need between 6 to 8 hours of cook time at 220* F. with atleast half of that on the smoke. Internal temp needs to reach 160*F. An alternative would be to smoke outside then finish in the oven.

Best of luck.
The smoke is rising and the butt is brining
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Postby seaweasel » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:30 am

Thanks gsevelle!
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