8 days before serving, prepare:
1 whole flat or point cut beef brisket, trimmed according to your preference (5-8 pounds)
Combine in a small bowl and whisk until homogenous:
~5% salt by brisket weight (100g for 5 pounds)
0.5% pink salt by brisket weight (10g for 5 pounds)
Optional: 30g brown sugar
Rub the salt blend evenly over every surface of the brisket. Sprinkle the spice blend evenly over both sides of the brisket, pressing spices gently into the meat until they stick. Seal the beef in a vacuum sealed bag or a zipper-lock bag with all of the air pressed out of it. Place in coldest part of refrigerator and let rest for 7-10 days, flipping once a day.
1-2 days before serving, remove the beef from the bag and carefully rinse off all spices under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Optionally, massage the brisket with another batch of the Corned Beef Spice Blend.
Sous Vide: Re-seal in a vacuum bag and cook at 180°F until tender, about 10 hours. (See Temperature & Time for alternatives)
Dutch Oven: Preheat oven to 200°F. Place brisket in large Dutch oven, cover with water by several inches, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Remove from heat, cover with lid slightly ajar, place in oven, and cook until completely tender, about 10 hours. (See Temperature & Time for alternatives)
Once beef is cooked, transfer to an airtight container along with cooking liquid (if cooked sous vide, just store it in its vacuum bag). Let rest at least overnight, and up to 3 days.
You will have the best results with slicing the corned beef if it's been cooled first.
Reserve the cooking liquid for corned beef and cabbage.
You can corn beef without the nitrites, but it won't taste the same, last as long, or look the same.
The dry-cured beef has deeper flavor penetration and superior texture compared to the brined beef.
Temperature & Time
180°F cooked for around 10 hours is ideal, producing meat that was simultaneously tender and succulent.
180°F: 10 hours
175°F: 15 hours
160°F: 36 hours
154°F: 24 hours
140°F: 48 hours
If you want your beef flakier, cook it at a higher temperature for a shorter time. Prefer it more dense and moist? Try a lower temperature for a longer time.
With regards to moisture loss, at 160°F, about 30% of the brisket's has gone out the window. Bring it up to 190°F, and we're looking at 48% moisture loss. All the way up to 205°F, the temperature at which most people cook their beef (simmered on stove), and we're at a whopping 53% moisture loss!