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Pastrami brine is started - one week in

kdatriokdatrio Posts: 22
So I started a brine for a Pastrami about a week ago. I will say that finding a large brine bag in Arkansas was pretty hard for some reason. The big question now is how in the heck do you wait until the 21 day mark plus the rinsing? I have had to run to the store for pastrami there just to eat while waiting on this one....my wife thinks I am crazy.

She is probably right, but she let me leave this brine bag in the refrigerator in the kitchen for the whole time so far.


##############################################################
"I guess I have drank the kool-aid, hmmmm I bet kool-aid would taste good on the BGE"

1 - LBGE, 1 - "almost" retired gas grill
Post office says Alexander, AR - but really in Avilla, AR

Comments

  • You are in for a treat.
    Snellville, GA


  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458
    @kdatrio
    That looks great. What recipe or method are you trying? 

    I bought a prepackaged corned beef a few months ago and smoked it on my egg, but it turned out okay but pretty tough. Been wanting to try to make one on my own from scratch.

     Steve Raichlin says I need beef navel, which I guess is the beef equivalent of pork belly...? But it's okay to use brisket, which seems what lots of people do. I've never seen beef navel for sale but maybe it's a special order butcher's item...

    Post pics of the process and results! 


    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,103
    kdatrio said:
    ... The big question now is how in the heck do you wait until the 21 day mark plus the rinsing? ...
    I don't.  You can get a corned beef in a week. Then one day to soak and smoke it into pastrami goodness.
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • @JacksDad http://www.extraordinarybbq.com/smoked-pastrami/ is the link. I added onions because I saw it somewhere on Google that Katz's used them (don't know if that is true)

    @jtcBoynton I have seem different recipes on times but for some reason the 2-3 week one is the one that stuck with me. How tender are the ones in a week? Just curious since this is my first. By the way, are you in Boynton? I grew up in Delray Beach and moved to Lakeland in 1992 and then Arkansas about 5 years ago. Went to Atlantic year of 91.
    ##############################################################
    "I guess I have drank the kool-aid, hmmmm I bet kool-aid would taste good on the BGE"

    1 - LBGE, 1 - "almost" retired gas grill
    Post office says Alexander, AR - but really in Avilla, AR

  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,103
    The recipes I have seen for corned beef range from 5-12 days of brining.  The 21 day brine is a new one to me.  Lots of ways to do things, maybe the 21 days brings something extra that the shorter soaks don't.

    Yes I am in Boynton Beach.  Moved here as an adult for a job in the late 1980's.  
    FYI - the recipe you used calls for 
    • 4 teaspoons pink curing salt #1 (I use Morton's Tenderquick)
    My understanding is that these are not equivalents and shouldn't be used as a measure for measure substitute.  When it comes to using curing salts, I tend to be quite careful and only follow trusted sources.


    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     

  • FYI - the recipe you used calls for 
    • 4 teaspoons pink curing salt #1 (I use Morton's Tenderquick)
    My understanding is that these are not equivalents and shouldn't be used as a measure for measure substitute.  When it comes to using curing salts, I tend to be quite careful and only follow trusted sources.


    My understanding is you need about 1 tablespoon of Cure #1 per cup of water vs 4 tablespoon of Tenderquick per cup of water for a proper brine. 
    Northern VA - LBGE
  • off the top of my head I don't remember the amount I used but I did follow the per lb amount on the curing salt bag. I hope that it works.

    What will happen if I am off on that? (dumb question I bet)
    ##############################################################
    "I guess I have drank the kool-aid, hmmmm I bet kool-aid would taste good on the BGE"

    1 - LBGE, 1 - "almost" retired gas grill
    Post office says Alexander, AR - but really in Avilla, AR

  • kdatrio said:
    off the top of my head I don't remember the amount I used but I did follow the per lb amount on the curing salt bag. I hope that it works.

    What will happen if I am off on that? (dumb question I bet)
    If you used the directions on the curing salt then you should be good to go. 

    If you undercure you have the potential for bacteria to grow and getting sick.
    If you over cure...well I'm really not sure? Potential nitrite poisoning? I think that would take a vast amount of curing salt though. 

    Either way, not good but if you followed the directions you should be just fine. 
    Northern VA - LBGE
  • good to know...thanks

    ##############################################################
    "I guess I have drank the kool-aid, hmmmm I bet kool-aid would taste good on the BGE"

    1 - LBGE, 1 - "almost" retired gas grill
    Post office says Alexander, AR - but really in Avilla, AR

  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,103
    Assuming you keep the corning beef under refrigeration, there is no safety problem with under curing.  It is a major problem if making a dry sausage.  Over use of curing salt leads to nitrite poisoning (which is why the pink coloring is added to make sure you do not confuse with normal salt).  The amount of curing salt in the recipe used is a normal amount.  If you used the Morton product it would be undercured - it takes a lot more Morton Tenderquick to be the same as #1 curing salt (actually more like #2 curing salt with added sugar).
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458

    Thanks @kdatrio! You've inspired me...

    I picked up a Costco choice flat today and made up a slightly modified brine (using Ruhlmans recipe). I added some garlic, onions, and shallots- think I saw Steve Raichlin do that on his Project Smoke show on PBS. I ended up with a little more than a gallon of liquid because of the ice I used to cool down the brine. Since it's going to be in the fridge anyway, I figure shouldn't matter much.

    This bad boy just went into the fridge:





    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • @JacksDadThat is amazing. I am glad I inspired you. I am excited for both of us now! Please continue letting see results and we can compare. I Would suggest store bought to tied you over it works for me. :-)
    ##############################################################
    "I guess I have drank the kool-aid, hmmmm I bet kool-aid would taste good on the BGE"

    1 - LBGE, 1 - "almost" retired gas grill
    Post office says Alexander, AR - but really in Avilla, AR

  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458
    kdatrio said:
    @JacksDadThat is amazing. I am glad I inspired you. I am excited for both of us now! Please continue letting see results and we can compare. I Would suggest store bought to tied you over it works for me. :-)
    @kdatrio. Any updates? My brine is done, now on the egg for  a nice long smoke...


    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458


    Okay I read conflicting information. Ruhlman says hit smoke it to 150. Meathead says 200. I split the difference to about 175 but had to pull it off... Family outing for the Christmas tree! So it had to be done 

    It's cooling under foil wrap now, but I had to slice off a corner and try this stuff.  It was so good. I went a little too heavy on the salt for the rub, but otherwise it's delicious! Now I'm going to have enough for sandwiches for weeks... Will be putting my foodsaver to good use later tonight.

    Thanks for looking...


    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 3,564
    That looks scrumptious. I'll be putting a brisket in cure in about a week. I can't wait. 
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven.
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458


    I am totally remodeling my kitchen and making a space for a huge industrial Hobart slicer ! 

    Afraid I darn near ruined this batch with my salty rub, but I think I can nail it on the next go around...


    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • That looks awesome. I am pulling mine out this week. Did you do a rinse? The recipe that I have says to rinse it twice for 4-8 hours each time and that draws out some salt. I don't know if that would have helped your salt level. Looks amazing though

    ##############################################################
    "I guess I have drank the kool-aid, hmmmm I bet kool-aid would taste good on the BGE"

    1 - LBGE, 1 - "almost" retired gas grill
    Post office says Alexander, AR - but really in Avilla, AR

  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,530
    hmmmmm pastrami is my favorite. Looks excellent.
  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458
    kdatrio said:
    That looks awesome. I am pulling mine out this week. Did you do a rinse? The recipe that I have says to rinse it twice for 4-8 hours each time and that draws out some salt. I don't know if that would have helped your salt level. Looks amazing though

    I rinsed for only an hour. Definitely will do a much longer rinse next time. But otherwise I'm happy with the results! 

    Post pics when yours is ready...


    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,204
    @jacksdad why don't you just use less salt in the cure?  
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458
    blind99 said:
    @jacksdad why don't you just use less salt in the cure?  

    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • So I smoked the pastrami last night and here are the results - AWESOME or at least I liked it. :-)




    ##############################################################
    "I guess I have drank the kool-aid, hmmmm I bet kool-aid would taste good on the BGE"

    1 - LBGE, 1 - "almost" retired gas grill
    Post office says Alexander, AR - but really in Avilla, AR

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,657
    I've made pastrami a number of times and two tips based on personal experience:

    1. Follow the recipe with the salt(s).  It will be too salty.  Soak in a big bucket of ice and water for 8 hours or so.  Let it rest a day so the remaining salt can redistribute.

    2. Don't use salt in your rub.  Black pepper and coriander is all you need. Ok to add other spices if you'd like.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • SkrullbSkrullb Posts: 362
    my 3rd smoke on the Egg was a pastrami. I brined it for 28 days and then rinsed/soaked it for a day. I used no salt in my rub. It came out great 
    I'm in Fredericksburg, VA, and I have an XL and a medium. 
  • Good lord. Well, guess it's time to find some recipes and attempt one of these bad boys.
  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458
    @kdatrio that looks amazing!

     Sorry to keep hijacking your thread, but here is what I did with some of my leftover pastrami this morning:


    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • I've only done pastrami from a pre-brined corned beef but I'm eager to get a brisket and do the whole process myself. @nolaegghead or @JacksDad do you find better results with a whole packer or just the flat?
  • JacksDadJacksDad Posts: 458
    I've only done pastrami from a pre-brined corned beef but I'm eager to get a brisket and do the whole process myself. @nolaegghead or @JacksDad do you find better results with a whole packer or just the flat?
    Haha @Boileregger I'm not even in the same league as @nolaegghead! I've only done this once, and you are looking at it! That being said, I think his advice for 1) soaking after the brine, and 2) no salt in the rub when you smoke it, are great pieces of advice, and definitely things I will do the next time I do this! I like to read what I can about a specific type of cook on here, and then just give it a shot, figuring it's all a learning experience and will only get better as I do things more times... Definitely learned a lot this first time making pastrami, next time will be better (although I'm really happy with this one as it is!).



    Large BGE -- New Jersey

  • @JacksDadNever apologize for hijacking with comments like yours! The hash looks amazing
    ##############################################################
    "I guess I have drank the kool-aid, hmmmm I bet kool-aid would taste good on the BGE"

    1 - LBGE, 1 - "almost" retired gas grill
    Post office says Alexander, AR - but really in Avilla, AR

  • KYJeffKYJeff Posts: 27
    looks great!  I think I'll get one started as well.
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