Marinade Monday: Pastrami Brine

by Kevin on March 11, 2013 · 8 comments

Marinade Monday

Want to talk about unique?  How about a brine that turns your ordinary brisket into corned beef/pastrami.

Pastrami Brine 2

This is so cool I can’t even deal with it.  Take the ingredients pictured above (and listed in recipe box), boil them together, then let that cool to room temperature.  Dump them in a large container or bag, and add your beef brisket.

Pastrami Brine 1

And in just three short weeks, your brisket will be brined into a pastrami and ready for smoking.

Yep.  Three.  Weeks.  But believe me when i say it’s worth it.  SO worth it.


Marinade Monday: Corned Beef Brine

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Marinade Monday:  Corned Beef Brine


  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 teaspoons pink curing salt #1 (I use Morton's Tenderquick)
  • 5 tablespoons pickling spices
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed or pressed


  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Let cool completely before adding to meat.
  3. Let brisket brine in mixture for 3 weeks before cooking.
  4. Some recipes call for changing the brine every week. I'll leave that up to you.

Leave a Comment

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jared April 26, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Just to make sure, you are using 4 teaspoons of Morton’s Tenderquick correct? I’ve seen other amounts suggested when using pink salts. Thanks!!


Kevin April 27, 2014 at 7:31 am

Correct, that’s what I did. You can start off with a smaller amount if you prefer. Better less salt than too much!


Denise Lynn March 21, 2014 at 12:54 am

Kevin ~~another question if you will ~~I finally found some pink curing salt in Boise Idaho~~not easily done i might just add ~~:)~~so needless to say i am really late to the party here~`smile ~~as per your directions of using equal proportions of either tender quick or the pink curing salt~~I find i do have a question~~on the back of the salt cure which is salt and sodium nitrite (6.25%)propylene glycol and sodium bicarbonate added as a processing aid Red 3~~well it states to use 1/3 rd of a teaspoon of curing salt per pound of sausage ~~~but since i am making pastrami and using a 5 pound roast would you still have me use the 4 teaspoons of pink curing salt ??? i do realize sausage and a big hunk of beef are quite different in mass but felt the need to ask the question all the same ~~you have been so helpful ~~i value your opinion~~Miss~~Belle ~a~~Que


Kevin March 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Good question…and I’m not sure of that answer, as I’ve only really used the Tender Quick. To be safe, I’d follow their instructions. I’d hate for your finished product to end up too salty!


Denise Lynn March 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Kevin another question since i will be making pastrami from this ~~in place of the tender quick have you ever used Prague powder #1 or pink salt ~`if not if one were to adjust this recipe with that ingredient would you use the same amount as the tender quick ?????~~~will tender quick give you the same pink meat after smoking that we are so familiar with for pastrami ??? thanks once again ~~you are so very good about answering your comments ~~i know we are all so appreciative of that ~~sincerely Miss~~Belle ~`a~~Que


Kevin March 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Pink salt definitely works…I think that was actually in my original recipe I changed to tender quick! I would stick with same amounts. Tender quick definitely gives the pink color. Thanks so much for the kind words!


Steve October 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

Hi Kevin

Great website! My question is, do you store in the fridge during brining process?


Kevin H. October 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Hi Steve! Yes, I store in the fridge since it is such a long brining process. Have you checked out the full recipe? If not, take a look at this for a more detailed description:


Previous post:

Next post: