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Corned Beef (Brisket) - The Brine

March 3, 2019 • 0 comments

Corned beef often contains additives and dyes to get the color. Make your own with this delicious recipe and get the benefit of some delicious and healthier additions. adapted from Wellness Mama
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 8


  • (3-4 lbs) Beef Brisket
  • (2 quarts) water
  • (1 cup) Sea Salt
  • (1/2 cup) Sugar
  • (1 stick or 1/4 tsp) Cinnamon
  • (1 Tbsp) Mustard Seeds
  • (1-2 Tbsp) Black Peppercorns
  • (8-10) Whole Cloves
  • (1/2 tsp or 1 tsp minced ginger) Dried ginger
  • (1/2 tsp) Dried thyme
  • (5 whole cloves, crushed or 1/2 tsp garlic powder) Garlic
  • (2-3, crushed) Bay leaves



4- to 5- pound beef brisket

For the brine:

2 quarts water
1 cup  sea salt
½ cup cane sugar or brown sugar don't worry, the residual sugars in the finished product are minimal
1 cinnamon stick or ¼ tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP mustard seeds
1-2 TBSP black peppercorns
8-10  whole cloves
½ tsp dried ginger powder or 1 tsp fresh ginger minced
½ tsp dried thyme leaf
5 cloves garlic crushed or ½ tsp garlic powder
2-3 bay leaves crushed
1 tsp allspice berries optional
1 TBSP coriander seeds  optional
1 tsp juniper berries optional
¼ cup beet juice or juice from homemade sauerkraut made with purple cabbage optional - it's just for color


Make the brine by putting the water, salt, sugar, and spices (except beet juice or sauerkraut juice) in a large pot and heating, stirring frequently, until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool liquid, using 2 cups of ice if needed, and place in refrigerator until very cold. It is very important that the brine is cold before it comes in contact with the meat.

For the 3-5 day brining process, you can either place the brisket in a large 2-gallon bag and add the brine, or place the brisket in a large glass container with a lid and add the brine. Either way, you want the brisket to be completely submerged and surrounded with the brine. Add the beet juice or sauerkraut juice (if using) at this point.

Place in the fridge (if you use the plastic bag put it inside another dish in case it leaks) and leave it there for at least 3 days (5 days if possible). Each day, flip it over and move the brine around.

After 3-5 days, remove from the brine, rinse well with cool water, and cook as you normally would a corned beef brisket. (Don't normally cook a corned beef brisket? See this recipe.)

The end!

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