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Brine-Your-Own Corned Beef

  • Author: Terryn
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 5-7 days


A recipe that let’s you have corned beef all year round, even when you can’t find it in grocery stores.



34 pound beef brisket, round or chuck roast

4 tablespoons pickling spices, divided

1 1/2 cups Kosher salt

5 teaspoons pink curing salt, a.k.a prague powder

1/2 cup brown sugar

812 cups water


Trim any excess fat from the outside of the roast and set it aside.

In a food processor or mortar and pestle, coarsely grind 3 tablespoons of the pickling spice. Add the ground spice to a large bowl. To the same bowl add the kosher salt, brown sugar, curing salt, and 8 cups of water. Whisk the ingredients together until the salt is dissolved.

Place the brisket or roast into the water. In the event the roast is not fully submerged, pour in a bit more water. Cover the bowl with a lid and refrigerate for 5-7 days. 

After the wait that seems like an eternity, remove the corned beef from the brine and rinse it under cold water. Place the corned beef in a large stockpot, cover with water, and add the remaining tablespoon of un-ground pickling spice. Put the stockpot on the stove and heat over medium-high heat until the water comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 hours or until the corned beef is fork tender. 

Take the corned beef out of the cooking liquid, put it on a cutting board, tent and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. At this point, you can put it in a storage container or bag to store in the fridge (for up to a week), freeze it, or slice and serve it. Enjoy!


If you don’t have a big enough bowl (or container) with a lid, a 2 gallon freezer bag or marinating bag will work in a pinch.

If you’re making corned beef and cabbage, add your cabbage to the cooking liquid immediately after removing the corned beef and cook until the cabbage is tender.

Hot tip(s): spoon out the pickling spices before adding the cabbage as they have a tendency to get caught up in the leaves. If you’re adding carrots to the mix, add them before the cabbage as they take a little longer to cook to tender.