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Home Cured Corned Beef Recipe

Today I’m joined by Kelly from A Mother’s Design to learn about making Home Cured Corned Beef for St. Patrick’s Day.  I love this idea and can’t wait to try it myself this year.  Welcome, Kelly!

As a child, I hated corned beef and cabbage. There was nothing you could do to get me to eat it. I was actually 27 before I tried it. Lo and behold, I LOVE IT!

Now, I know most people (myself included), just go to the store and get the packaged corned beef and that’s it. I have corned my own beef brisket many times in the past, but I lost the recipe. So here I am off on a new quest to find one I like. All the while, hoping my family won’t be sick of corned beef by St. Patrick’s Day.

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There are so many different recipes on the internet. Some of these recipes talk about letting it sit for 3 weeks. Seriously, who plans that far ahead. There is another recipe which takes 10 days. And 8 days, 7 days. I was still on the quest for something shorter because I don’t have a ton of space in my fridge to store something for that long. So in the end, I settled for a recipe that required 5 days. The reason for the lengthy process is because the purpose of brining the meat is to get the blood out and infuse it with the brine.


I thought I should mention that since most people are accustomed to bright pink corned beef. It will be closer to a dusty rose to dull gray color.

I opted to use store bought pickling spices. I was going to make my own, but in the end, I know I will never use some of these ingredients and I don’t want them to go to waste in my pantry.

The spice mix with the gallon of brine makes easily enough curing brine for a 5 pound brisket, cured in a somewhat large-ish container. If you were to use a 2-gallon freezer bag or marinating bag, you would likely need just half (or less) of the amount of brine and brine spices.

Home Cured Corned Beef Recipe

Home Cured Corned Beef Recipe

Yield: 27 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

The spice mix with the gallon of brine makes easily enough curing brine for a 5 pound brisket, cured in a somewhat large-ish container. If you were to use a 2-gallon freezer bag or marinating bag, you would likely need just half (or less) of the amount of brine and brine spices.



  • 1 gal Water
  • 2 c Kosher Salt
  • 5 tsp Pink Curing Salt
  • 3 Tbsp Pickling Spices
  • 1/2 c Brown Sugar


  • 4-5 lb Beef Brisket
  • 1 Tbsp Pickling Spices


  1. Add about 3 Tbsp of the spice mix to a gallon of water in a large pot, along with the Kosher salt, pink salt, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate until well chilled.
  2. Place the meat in a 2-gallon freezer bag (placed in a container so if it leaks it doesn't leak all over your refrigerator), place the brisket in the freezer bag and about 2 quarts of brine, squeezing out the air from the bag before sealing. Alternatively you can place the brisket in a large, flat container or pan, and cover with the brine. The brine should cover the meat. The meat may float in which case you may want to weigh it down with a plate.
  3. Place in the refrigerator and chill from 5-7 days. Every day flip the brisket over, so that all sides get brined equally.
  4. At the end of the cure, remove the brisket from the brine and rinse off the brine with cold water.
  5. Place the brisket in a large pot that just fits around the brisket and cover with at least one inch of water. If you want your brisket less salty, add another inch of water to the pot.
  6. Add a tablespoon of the pickling spices to the pot.
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer (barely bubbling), and cook 3-4 hours, until the corned beef is fork tender. (At this point you can store in the fridge for up to a week.)
  8. Remove the meat to a cutting board. Slice thinly against the grain to serve.


Some people use the liquid that they cooked the beef in to cook their vegetables, and some people like me, cook their vegetables with the meat, because I like all the flavor. This is personal preference. I also add potatoes to mine, so I have Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes every St. Patrick's Day.

Nutrition Information
Yield 27 Serving Size 3 oz
Amount Per ServingCalories 213

Did you make this recipe?

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Well I hope this helped, and that it takes the fear out of doing it yourself. Think of all the chemicals you aren’t adding when you use this method versus what is in that package at the store.

About Kelly

I am a stay at home mom of one busy boy. I married my best friend and am truly blessed. I love my life. I cloth diaper and baby wear, my mom says I’m turning in to a “hippie”, which she thinks is hilarious. I am crafty and always looking for a greener way to do things.


Friday 15th of January 2016

Could you use venison for this?


Monday 18th of January 2016

I honestly don't know with this particular recipe. Venison is more lean than beef and has a different flavor, so I'm not sure what the end result would be. Venison can be cured, I'm just not sure how much it would taste like corned beef in the end. Could be an interesting experiment. However, I would do a little research first to make sure the salt and sodium nitrate ratios remain the same for venison. If you do try it, please let me know how it turns out.

kate slagel

Friday 15th of March 2013

Great recipe. Thank you for sharing. I am all about making food from scratch. I enjoy eating much more when I know the effort I put into making it and I feel accomplished and satisfied. I may have to try this next year (since it is too close to st. patty's now)

The Not So Modern Housewife

Friday 15th of March 2013

Me too. I bought the stuff to do this recipe myself, but it still hasn't happened. lol I guess we'll either be smoking a brisket or eating corned beef sometime next week. Smoked brisket does sound pretty good though.

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