DIY Corned Beef

from ButterYum
makes 12 servings



  • 4 quarts water
  • 3/4 cup table salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pink preserving salt #1 (see note below)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 whole peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 5 whole allspice berries

 Additional Ingredients (the day of cooking):

  • 4 pound flat cut beef brisket, fat trimmed to 1/4-inch
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 whole peeled cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • brined corned beef
  • 1 head cabbage, cut into wedges
  • 1 1/2 pounds red new potatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces


  1. Brine (6-8 days before cooking):  In a 12-quart or larger non-reactive container, whisk the table salt, brown sugar, and curing salt until dissolved; add bay leaves, whole garlic cloves, whole black peppercorns, whole coriander seeds, and whole allspice berries.
  2. Place trimmed beef brisket into brine, cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of 6 days and a maximum of 8 days (brisket should stay completely submerged - use a dinner plate to weigh it down if necessary).
  3. Remove brisket from brine and discard brine.
  4. Preheat oven to 250F.
  5. In a 8-quart or larger stockpot over medium-high heat, combine 2 quarts water, bay leaves, whole garlic cloves, black peppercorns, and the brined brisket until it reaches the boiling point.
  6. Turn off heat, cover, and place in preheated oven for 3 hours.
  7. Remove stockpot from oven and return to stovetop; transfer corned beef to a platter and drizzle some of the cooking liquid over to keep it from drying out.
  8. Add cabbage, carrots, and potatoes to the stockpot and bring to a simmer for 15-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender (remove the cabbage after 10 minutes).
  9. Slice beef across the grain and serve with the cooked vegetables. 


  • Pink curing should not be confused with pickling salt, pink himalayan salt, or pink Peruvian salt (look for Instacure #1 or Prague powder #1).  It should contain a mixture of sodium chloride and sodium nitrite.  
  • The difference between curing salt #1 and #2?  Basically, curing salt #1 is used to preserve things that will be cooked (corned beef, sausage, bacon, etc). Curing salt #2 is used to preserve things that will be air dried (salami, pepperoni, jerky, etc).  

adapted from America's Test Kitchen