How To Brine Homemade Corned Beef

J – I love knowing how stuff is done.

The more I learn, the less I want to cook any other way than “from scratch.” I’ve been reading labels much more thoroughly, too. BTW: Have you noticed how much information food manufacturers are trying to cram into an ever-smaller space on the label? I may need my glasses. But, this is ridiculous! We used to call that size type “fly-spec bold.”

The other thing I’ve been noticing is that when you go to make something yourself, it’s usually a lot easier than you imagine … especially when you have a good recipe.

Or, have Luke to help. Making corned beef is no exception. NOTE TO READERS: This is the real deal. Best corned beef I’ve ever had. In the next few days we’ll be posting a few corned beef dishes you can do from this. Yummm.

Other than the obvious of don’t eat the pink curing salt, the only thing to note is have the right sized pan for brining.

How To Brine Homemade Corned Beef
Recipe type: Techniques
Serves: 12 pounds
  • 12 pound beef brisket
  • ⅓ cup coriander seeds
  • ⅓ cup fennel seeds
  • ⅓ cup peppercorn
  • ⅓ cup star anise
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons pink curing salt (ask your local butcher; NOTE: This salt is ONLY for curing meats.)
  1. Trim most of the excess fat off the brisket.
  2. In a large pot, place coriander seeds, peppercorn, fennel seeds and star anise. Toast seeds until the kitchen is filled with the smell of spices and spices are lightly golden brown. Remove from heat.
  3. Add salt, curing salt, brown sugar and bay leaves.
  4. Add 1 gallon of water. Set aside and let cool.
  5. Place brisket in a large bowl or hotel pan. Add the brine and make sure it is completely covered.
  6. Cover in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator.
  7. Flip every day for at least a week to make sure that the salt and sugar gets evenly distributed.
  8. After brining, remove brisket from solution, rinse well and pat dry. While it is preferred to cook immediately, brined brisket will hold, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for a week, if needed.
  9. Cook brisket according to preferred method when you are ready.


The liquid should cover the brisket. And, it should fit into your refrigerator. Knowing this in advance is helpful.

Thanks, Luke. One more recipe where I know everything in it.