I cured my own corned beef recently, and cooked it sous vide (a la J. Kenji Lopez Alt). The result was superior to the pre-cured joints I've boiled to oblivion in the past to be sure, but it was unpalatable salty.

I'm trying to figure out what I did wrong and how to correct it, and I'm going in a couple of main directions.

  1. Too much cure. The recipe had kosher salt and pink salt. I substituted tender quick for pink salt. Perhaps the concentrations are different? Perhaps I don't need both kosher and TQ? I also noticed some of the salt took almost a week to dissolve. Maybe that points to an excessive amount of cure.
  2. Salt couldn't escape. I suppose one downside of cooking sous vide in this case is that the salt can't really dissipate as it might otherwise. I did rinse the beef thoroughly before cooking it, but perhaps instead it should be soaked for a while (a few hours perhaps?) in cold water before getting vacpacked and cooked.

3 Answers 3


I think 2. is the most likely. Remember the beef has been brining for ages, a rinse will just remove the salt from the outside, and even then it won't do much.

Personally I wouldn't bother with the sous vide. 'Proper' corned beef should be gently simmered in a covered pot for about 2.5 hours. It doesn't need 'boiling' per se, and certainly not to oblivion!


After a few experiments, I found the lessening the concentration of the cure left the meat undercured and still salty, whereas a soak eased out the excess salt of the already-cured beef.


All salted meet should be rinsed and brought to simmer in using cold Water then rinse and start with cold water again to remove as much of the salt as possible, then add some spices and flavourings to disguise the saltiness e.g.small amount of vinegar lemon or lime or orange cut in half and added to liquid tbl spoon brown sugar or small amount of honey all of these will help to reduce the saltiness

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