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Belated corned beef pics

Boilermaker BenBoilermaker Ben Posts: 1,956
edited 4:51PM in EggHead Forum
Yes, these pics are three weeks old. Life will do that to you.

Last year I made corned beef for the first time, using Ruhlman's wet cure recipe. This year I wanted to try a comparison of wet vs. dry cures.

I used the same wet cure recipe as last year. http://ruhlman.com/2010/03/corned-beef-how-to-cure-your-own.html

For the dry cure, I cabbaged off a recipe I got online (pardon the pun). http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/03/homemade-corned-beef-brisket-with-potatoes-cabbage-carrots-recipe.html I used the blogger's ratios for the basic cure (salt, pink salt, sugar) but then used the same flavorings as I used for the wet cure. Aside from the changes to the flavorings, I followed the recipes. This meant that I started the dry cure 2 days earlier than the wet, so per the recipe, the dry cured brisket got 7 days, and the wet got 5.

Results: well, you can see easily how different the two briskets LOOKED. The dark one is the dry cured, lighter pink is the wet. The difference in taste was about as obvious. The dry cured brisket was much stronger tasting, almost overwhelming. However, I'm not convinced that the difference is due to the dry vs. wet cure. The dry cured brisket spent two extra days in the cure. There were also some significant differences in the recipes (aside from the water). The wet cure called for a lot less salt, and a lot more sugar. It also called for slightly more pink salt than the dry cure recipe did. But I think the biggest factor may have been the two extra days for the dry cure.

I reserved half of each brisket and made pastrami. Interestingly, the flavor (and even color) difference between the smoked halves was much less remarkable than the simmered corned beef.

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Comments

  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,091
    Which one did you like better? Thanks for all of the info as I want to get a brisket and make my own corned beef also. Your recipes and tips here are a great help... :)
  • I liked the wet cured better. The dry was a little too salty and strongly flavored. Next time, I'll try the dry cure for 5 days, and see how they compare. But until then, I'd do wet. Dry is more convenient, though. It takes up less room in the fridge, and takes less prep.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,369
    did you soak it out before the cook, my butcher will do the dry cure but he soaks it out for about a day before he sells it, then some customers will soak it again. i like the texture with the dry cured ones boiled over the wet cure
  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,091
    Thanks. I am looking forward to this project. B)
  • No, I did not soak it. Last year, I found that I did not need to soak the wet-cured brisket, and it made fantastic corned beef and pastrami. If it came to that, I'd just stick with the wet cure, as it kind of eliminates the convenience of the dry cure, unless I notice some other benefit to the dry cure.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,369
    im thinking it was more the salt ratios between the two recipes you have, the wet cured ones i get are more salty than the ones the butcher shops here dry cure. if your cooking them right after curing them, all that pink salts not needed as well, they use more kosher salt here and none to just a little pink, our dry cured are alot lighter than the one you wet cured.
  • I suspect you're right. Without the water to dilute it, it's obviously brining in an extremely high salt concentration. That, combined with the extra two days in the pickle...

    Same probably goes for the flavorings...could probably back off on the spices and garlic quite a bit.
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