Corned Beef Brisket from Scratch | Nitrate Free

Corned beef brisket made without nitrates is a meal your family will come to love! This recipe consists of a handful of herbs, spices, Kosher salt and a natural sweetener. Taking only 7 to 10 days to brine, this is an easy to make recipe for those who are new to curing their own meat!

Corned Beef Brisket from Scratch | Nitrate Free

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Beef brisket can be purchased ready to consume from the local market. However, what you’re getting is a which product with contains sodium nitrate. Nitrate is a chemical product which the United States uses in much of the meat product sold at supermarkets. Many nitrate can be found in deli meat, packaged bacon, corned beef, and sausage products.

In spite of nitrate products consuming the market, there are products available which are nitrate free for purchase.

Is it needed? Absolutely not.

Then why is it used? Aside from keeping meats such as corned beef brisket, deli meats, and packaged foods longer it also adds flavor and provides color to packaged and process foods. Consumers expect to see nicely packaged foods when shopping at the market. Not to mention, it prevents the growth of potential bacteria.

But guess what? Nitrates do not have to be used in many home cured foods. Remember, it’s your home and your table.

For the purpose of curing and preserving foods as our forefathers did use natural ingredients. Also, keep in mind that many of the ingredients found in this recipe are the base for many other home curing brines. Think ham and bacon!

A Few Tips before Beginning

First of all, begin by selecting a brining vessel. It should be made of stainless steel or glass, even ceramic crocks work well. Aluminum products may leech into the items being brined, altering the flavor of the meat.

Many of the spices needed can be found at the local market or health food store. To make shopping easier spices such as whole dried juniper berries, all berry spice berries, and coriander seeds can be found online. Feel free to play with the amount of spices, herbs, and sweetener being used. Create a flavor which is yours and own it!

Though be warned, do not mess with the amount of salt and water called for in a brine. The salt is a curing agent. Too little salt will not cure the meat and can cause the item to spoil.

Is consuming Sodium Nitrates Bad?

Let me remind you, this is a nitrate free recipe. However, nitrates can be added. Sodium nitrate, also known as saltpeter or pink salt can be purchased online. When consuming nitrates in high quantities individuals have notice an increase in headaches, stomach issues, and dehydration. By continually consuming high amounts, nitrates can damage cells within the body, creating molecules which can become cancerous.

The use of nitrates does have good points. Saltpeter, or pink salt, kills bacteria found in meats which are dry cured, such as salami.

And don’t forget, nitrates are often found naturally in foods we consume daily. For example, spinach, radishes, celery, beets, and lettuce.

When using nitrates it is very important to use exactly what the recipe is calling for. Conversion calculators for curing meat can be found online for those who are new to curing meat.

With all that said, and in all fairness, a high amount of nitrates will need to be consumed before it has potential to cause harm.

Corned Beef Brisket Brine – Ingredients
  • Water, 1 gallon
  • Kosher Salt, 1 1/2 cups
  • Cinnamon, 1 stick broken
  • Brown Sugar, 1/2 cup
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Black Peppercorn, 1 tbsp
  • Whole Cloves, 2 pinches (roughly 8-10)
  • All Spice Berries, whole 1 tbsp
  • Bay Leaves, 3 leaves torn of fresh or 2 dried crumbled
  • Juniper Berries, 1 tbsp optional
  • Ground Ginger, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds, 1 tbsp optional
  • Beef Brisket, 4 to 6 pounds
Corned Beef Brisket from Scratch | Nitrate Free Corned Beef Brisket Brine – Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients but the brisket to a stainless steel pot
  2. Heat over medium heat until the sugar and salt fully dissolve
  3. Allow to cool to room temperature, add beef brisket
  4. Cover pot and place in the refrigerator, allow to brine up to 7 days but do not exceed 10 days

Notes

  1. Sugars can consist of brown sugar, honey, even coconut palm sugar. Feel free to mix the type of sugars suggested. Equal parts brown sugar to honey creates a delicious outcome.
  2. The best water to use for curing meats is spring water. City water contains chlorine and often fluoride.
  3. Do not allow beef brisket to brine longer than 10 days. Doing so may cause the meat to become extremely salty.
Are you interested in learning how to preserve foods but are unsure as to where to start? Let me help you! My book, The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest, is an easy to understand comprehensive guide to preserving foods at home. Consider it the A-Z of home food preservation covering canning, drying, curing, fermenting, freezing, and storing fresh foods for long term storage! Grab a copy on Amazon or an autographed copy here.
Printable Recipe – Corned Beef Brisket Brine – Nitrate Free

This corned beef brisket brine is available to be printed for your convenience! Remember, this is a nitrate free recipe. If not consuming right away prepare for long term storage, vacuum sealed and stored in the freezer.

By the way, make sure to check out my blog on canning corned beef brisket. It is easy to do, and one of the best canned convenience meals around!

Grab a copy of my book, The Farm Girl's Guide to Preserving the Harvest.

From my farmhouse kitchen to yours, an easy to comprehend guide which walks you though every phase of home food preservation. Learn  how to can, dry, ferment, cure, freeze, and storing fresh foods for long term storage. Included you will also find some of my favorite preserving recipes!

Corned Beef Brisket from Scratch | Nitrate Free Recipe

Nothing compares to a homemade corned beef brisket. The nitrate free recipe allows for clean eating with natural herbs, spices, and sweeteners. In 7 to 10 days, you will have one of the best from scratch briskets around! 
Keyword: corned beef brisket

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon Water see notes
  • 1 1/2 cups Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 stick Cinnamon broken
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Black Peppercorn
  • 2 pinches whole Cloves roughly 8-10
  • 1 tbsp whole All Spice Berries
  • 1 tbsp Juniper Berries optional
  • 3 Bay Leaves torn of fresh
  • 1 tsp ground Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Seeds optional
  • Beef Brisket 4 to 6 pounds

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients but the brisket to a stainless steel pot
  • Heat over medium heat until the sugar and salt fully dissolve
  • Allow to cool to room temperature, add beef brisket
  • Cover pot and place into refrigerator, allow to brine up to 7 days but do not exceed 10 days

Notes

  1. Sugars can consist of brown sugar, honey, even coconut palm sugar. Feel free to mix the type of sugars suggested. Equal parts brown sugar to honey crate a delicious outcome.
  2. The best water to use for curing meats is spring water. City water contains chlorine and often fluoride. 
  3. Do not allow beef brisket to brine longer than 10 days. Doing so may cause the meat to become extremely salty.
Corned Beef Brisket from Scratch | Nitrate Free 9
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