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-   -   Questions, Brisket's gone wild! (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=156050)

CharredApron 03-13-2013 08:01 AM

Questions, Brisket's gone wild!
 
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Thanks to all of you fine folks and the many posts I have read through, I am happy to say my quest for the ultimate Pastrami will soon be at hand. After much reading and hemming and hawing over the right cut of brisket to use, I opted for the Point Deckle. After the butcher shop it was on to my favorite German sausage shop for some brine and then home to do very little trimming as the butcher did most of that already. I mixed the brine and pickling spices in a 12 qt. Cambio tub and then placed the brisket into the brine, closed it up with the lid, and left it in my walk-in for 5 days. Yesterday, I removed it from the brine and applied a rub and then it was back into the walk-in for another stage of dry aging. My question is this, how long can I hold this brisket in the walk-in @ 38 degrees? Is there any advantage to keeping it on hold longer? I am anxious to smoke it and try it!
Any advice from Pastrami fans is welcomed!

HeSmellsLikeSmoke 03-13-2013 10:08 AM

I don't have the answer to your question, but I do have some questions on your process.

What recipe or recipes are you using? I notice you didn't soak out any salt before applying the rub. What was in the brine? What does dry aging do?

halfasian 03-13-2013 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke (Post 2405409)
What recipe or recipes are you using? I notice you didn't soak out any salt before applying the rub. What was in the brine? What does dry aging do?

I think he is starting with a plain ole brisket. Not one that is already corned. So instead of taking salt out, he needs to get some salt in, thus the use of the brine.

Garrett 03-13-2013 10:54 AM

The salt is added in the brine to cure it and for texture. Then have to soak it in fresh water to remove the salt that was in the brine so it will be eatible.

To answer the question about how long to let the rub stay on it, I let my first one last week go with the rub on it for 7 days. You can also take it a little longer.

CharredApron 03-13-2013 12:54 PM

I started with a fresh brisket, that was not corned already. I was given a curing salt that did not need to be soaked out. I was taught a trick to test the brine's salinity. Was a small potato and place it into the brine. If it sinks to the bottom, add salt. If it floats to the top, too much salt. You want the potato to float just off the bottom by about an inch. IMHO The dry rub is a combination of Coriander, Onion powder, Black and White pepper corns, Garlic powder, Montreal Seasoning,Paprika and Spike. Thanks for the response!

CharredApron 03-13-2013 12:56 PM

Thanks Garrett, Sunday will have to do. Can't wait I want it for St. Patty's day!

thirdeye 03-13-2013 01:37 PM

I'm not sure if the brine time was long enough, and I'm not sure why you want to hold it longer than a day or so.

Here is the deal.... beef can be corned with a brine (also called a pickle), or it can be dry cured. I have not seen a double cure (or aging) like you are doing. If you opt for the immersion brine method like you are using, the brine time is based upon the thickness of the meat (so a London broil will corn faster than a rump roast, or a flat will corn faster than a point). Based on the concentration of your brine and your meat thickness, you arrive at proper brine time to corn the beef. If you opt to inject and immerse the beef in a brine, your brine time is cut way back. Commercial producers use the brine/inject method on corned beefs and hams.

For the most part, folks develop various strength solutions for various purposes, (turkeys, corning, making bacon etc.) and once they find one that works you are good to go. There are tables which measure brine strength in degrees, and you use a salometer or brine-o-meter to measure your solution. These are fun to play with, but again once you find something you like you just use that recipe. The floating potato or the floating egg is pretty unreliable because neither one is constant.

As far as the seasoning following corning, I use a similar one to yours and I let the seasoned beef go at least overnight in the fridge. Much longer and my black pepper and coriander gets soggy.

So, back to your question about holding time. Are you following a particular recipe or method? And did the folks at the German market give you any recommendations on how to mix the brine and how long to brine based on thickness?

CharredApron 03-13-2013 03:39 PM

Yes Thirdeye, and thanks for the reply. He told me that with the product that he gave me, that the brine would not get appreciably stronger no matter how long it was soaked. I thought that did not sound right. But I prefer to error on the cautious side! The end result is intended to be Pastrami. So far it may not be perfect, but it will be better than store bought!

thirdeye 03-13-2013 05:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hometruckin (Post 2405892)
Yes Thirdeye, and thanks for the reply. He told me that with the product that he gave me, that the brine would not get appreciably stronger no matter how long it was soaked. I thought that did not sound right. But I prefer to error on the cautious side! The end result is intended to be Pastrami. So far it may not be perfect, but it will be better than store bought!

This is good that he shared some advice. What they gave you was instruction for a lower cure concentration, and since you used the immersion method, (verses the injection/immersion method) the osmosis occurs more naturally, and the finished product is mild. In fact, this is the reason that you did not need a soak-out period after corning. Now, I'm not saying your pastrami will be mild, that is what the additional peppery seasonings are there for... I'm saying that if you made traditional corned beef with your point it would be milder than say... a store bought one (which almost always need soaking).

The reason I questioned the brine time.... is that lower concentration brines work slower. I use some Lite Brine methods on things. Low salt brines seem so contrary to the methods we grew up with, but I'm having good results. Be sure and keep notes of your process in case you want to change up anything.

CharredApron 03-13-2013 05:46 PM

My Sausage guy also told me "Don't add sugar in the brine" He claimed that the the sugar causes carcinogens which when heated and can lead to cancer. I kinda felt like telling him that if that were the case I should be loaded with tumors by now. I think that that maybe more related to higher temperatures than what we smoke at. IMHO Any thoughts? My whole purpose for making these brines, rubs, and charcuteries myself is to control what GMO's or un-natural chemicals are added by large processors to my diet. FUN is also a major motivator! Thanks again for you knowledgeable input!
Jed

thirdeye 03-13-2013 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hometruckin (Post 2406070)
My Sausage guy also told me "Don't add sugar in the brine" He claimed that the the sugar causes carcinogens which when heated and can lead to cancer. I kinda felt like telling him that if that were the case I should be loaded with tumors by now. I think that that maybe more related to higher temperatures than what we smoke at. IMHO Any thoughts? My whole purpose for making these brines, rubs, and charcuteries myself is to control what GMO's or un-natural chemicals are added by large processors to my diet. FUN is also a major motivator! Thanks again for you knowledgeable input!
Jed

I have not heard about the sugar/cancer relationship in brines. Sugars are used in brines and cures to knock the edge off the harshness of the salt. When you add sugar to a brine (pickle) it is called a sweet pickle. Actually, Tenderquick has a small amount of sugar in it....

I think temperature, amounts of sugar, or short brine times are a consideration with sugar. Sugar does act as food for bacteria, which can be of a concern... So if you are brining a ham for 3 or 4 weeks, you don't want much sugar in your brine (most claim 3 to 5 percent is the maximum). If you are brining that ham in a 44 fridge, bacteria growth will be sped up. On the other hand, if you are brining some chicken thighs for 5 hours in a fridge colder than 40, add all the sugar you want. The dry cure base I use for fish is 1 cup salt to 2 cups of sugar, but it only cures for 4 to 12 hours depending on thickness.

I use white cane or beet sugar in my brines, and sometimes honey if I'm going to be injecting and immersing (like for a turkey breast). Dry cured products like hard salami often call for dextrose because it is less sweet and it doesn't break down as fast over time. In addition to honey, I'm also playing with agave nectar in my short time chicken or pork brines.

If you hear more about the cancer issue, pass it on.

El Ropo 03-13-2013 06:55 PM

You mentioned you started with a deckle/point. Either my eyes are failing me, or that is a flat in the pics.

CharredApron 03-13-2013 10:30 PM

There is alot of controversy on this issue. That is why I had a real hard choice when selecting the initial cut. When I asked my butcher for a point deckle he was kinda lost. He showed me a variety of different cuts, First cuts, second cuts, tri tips and a whole brisket. The choice was mine. I selected this one based on fat, marble, and thickness. The proof is soon to be in the pudding. Regardless of what we call it! Thanks for your input.
Jed

CharredApron 03-15-2013 09:13 PM

Pastrami finally done! Thanks to you all! PrOn
 
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Thanks to you all my first attempt at Pastrami is complete. I will say it tastes a little off. I used only oak for smoke and cooking. It still is a little to strong and there was no smoke ring! Is that due to the cure? Still tastes better than Boars Head.
Thanks again for your help!
Jed

HeSmellsLikeSmoke 03-15-2013 09:19 PM

That looks good from here. There isn't supposed to be a smoke ring. The whole thing is one big smoke ring.

What tasted off to you?


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