I have a left over chunk of brisket flat that I'd like to use to make pastrami.

I make bacon regularly, and always dry cure as it's tidier and I think it's easier to be more precise which I prefer due to the nitrite.

Unfortunately I can't seem to find a good pastrami/corned beef dry cure recipe online - only ones talking about using eg a 5-8lb brisket with X amount of cure. I guess I could probably work out a ratio from that based on the size of my brisket (probably about 4lb), but hoping I can be a bit more exact that that.

Question - is there anything different about curing beef than curing pork? Can I just use the same calculator for brisket that I use for pork?

This is the one I use for bacon: http://www.diggingdogfarm.com/page2.html which suggests for 4lbs (1816grams) I'd need 4.5grams of nitrite. Is this about right?


1 Answer 1


No difference in pork vs. beef...you are looking for 0.25% pink salt #1 per pound to clear the safety hurdle for preservation of cured meat. So, I would say your calculation is correct from a preservation perspective. Here is another site for verification.

However, for pastrami, you will cure under refrigeration, hot smoke (around 220F), then continue to cook to an internal temperature of around 180F, and after cooking, refrigerate. You might also steam the pastrami before serving...so you don't need the full preservation impact of pink salt in this case. The main outcome of the curing salt is color and texture. You might prefer to go a little lighter on the curing salt. See Greg Blonder's site and recipe for his explanation and process.

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