The Best Sous Vide Corned Beef Recipe

The Best Corned Beef

The Ultimate Sous Vide Corned Beef Recipe

Are you a Corned Beef fan?  If you are, then chances are you have your favorite place to buy it from.  Or maybe you have a family corned beef recipe that has been passed on from generation to generation.  Whether you buy it or make it, I’ve got an updated Sous Vide version for you that is sure to impress your friends & family! (Slideshow & Recipe Below)

My Corned Beef Background

When I was a kid my parents used to take us to Jewish Delis in the Philadelphia area.  From a young age I could remember walking into a deli and being in awe of all the cuts of corned beef and pastrami.  The aroma was intoxicating and brought on instant hunger pains.  I learned (or perhaps was conditioned) as a young kid that all I had to do was look up at the guy slicing meat with a look of yearning and he’d reach over and hand me some freshly sliced cuts of heavenly corned beef.

Hand Sliced Corned Beef

The NYC Deli Scene

As I got older, and traveled to New York City, I was able to test out the big NYC deli’s I had only heard about from others.  I loved walking into these crowded spots and seeing the deli production line in action.  There were very few pleasantries spoken, however, there was a symphony of sound and dance being performed by order takers, slicers, assemblers, and cashiers.  There was a rhythm to the madness going on behind the counter.  I was hooked, instantly; the NYC deli was the corned beef sandwich Mecca.

Creating The Best Corned Beef Recipe

In my adult life I’ve attempted many different corned beef recipes.  Some ended up too salty, others just downright didn’t taste very good.  After seeking out some of the best corned beef recipes the internet had to offer, I decided to create my own.

My two best attempts at making corned beef were using recipes from ChefSteps.com and AltonBrown.com.  I also learned some of my own techniques and decided a combination recipe using methods from all three sources was the best way to go.  After testing various methods and ideas for a few months, I can truly say, the recipe below is one you’re sure to enjoy.

Corned Beef Recipe Slideshow – Click on an image to view an enlarged photo

The corned beef recipe below combines a 7-10 day brine, a wet rub, and a 48 hour sous vide bath.  It’s a true labor of love but well worth it! The ingredient list is long and the prep is a bit cumbersome, but if you want to take on a “project cook” then this is for you.

Here’s the Sous Vide Corned Beef Recipe:

(This recipe was adapted from a combination of Alton Brown, ChefSteps, and my own experimenting)

5 from 2 votes
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Sous Vide Corned Beef Recipe
Prep Time
10 d
Cook Time
2 d
Total Time
12 d
 

This Corned Beef Recipe combines a 7-10 day brine, with a wet rub, and a 48 hour sous vide bath.  It's a true labor of love but well worth it! The ingredient list is long and the prep is a bit cumbersome, but if you want to take on a "project cook" then this is for you!

Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 People
Author: Mark
Ingredients
Corned Beef Ingredients:
  • 5-7 lb Beef Brisket (Trimmed but leave some fat on it for flavor)
Brine Ingredients:
  • 2 Qts water
  • 1 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 2 tbsp Pink Salt (Curing salt)
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tsp Coriander
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Dill Seed
  • 1 tbsp Star Anise
  • 1 Cinnamon stick broken in pieces
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp Mace
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (Whole)
  • 12 Whole Cloves
  • 12 Allspice Berries
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Flake
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
Wet Rub Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Sweet Onion Jam (Vidalia onions sautéed in olive oil, garlic salt, pepper, salt, & 1 tbsp sugar for 90 mins)
  • 2 tbsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1 tsp Dill Seed
  • 1/2 tsp Mace
  • 1/2 tsp Clove
  • 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Instructions
Brining the Brisket:
  1. Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Mix in all of the brining ingredients until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved in the water. Remove from heat and add 2-3 pounds of ice to cool the brine.
  2. Place the brisket into a 2-gallon zip lock bag. Add the cooled brine to the bag. Remove as much air from the bag as possible and place it into a large pan at the bottom of your refrigerator. Make sure all of the meat is submerged in the brine. (Double bag the brisket if you want to be extra careful.)
  3. Brine the brisket for 7-10 days. Every day you must flip the meat over and shake the bag gently to make sure the brine mixture penetrates the meat evenly and throughout.
  4. After your 7-10 day brine remove the brisket from the bag and wash it thoroughly under cold water. Remove as much of the brine as possible. The exterior of the meat may take on a slightly grayish/pale color.
Creating the Wet Rub:
  1. Mix all of the Wet Rub ingredients together in a bowl. Pat dry the brined beef and rub the wet mixture liberally and vigorously into the beef. Don't be shy here. Make sure she is well rubbed down and feeling ready for her bath.
  2. Slide the brisket into a large vacuum sealer bag (I use Food Saver) and make sure to double seal the edges. The last thing you want is to go through a 10 day process and then ruin your meat due to a leak. Using two sealed bags is an option also.
Sous Vide Cooking Process
  1. Place the sealed brisket into a sous vide water bath and set your temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow to cook for 36-48 hours.
  2. After 48 hours remove the corned beef from the bath and allow it to cool while still remaining in the bag. Once the meat is slightly warm to the touch you can remove it from the bag.
  3. You can do whatever you want with the meat but I highly advise trimming the top, bottom, and all of its edges (the skin). The edges are grayish/brown and are way too salty to consume. Once you trim it the entire corned beef should be a bright reddish/pink color. Slice or shred as you see fit!
Recipe Notes

If you are slicing the corned beef you need to study the movement of the meats grain.  Large pieces of meat often have multiple directions of grains.  If need be, cut the large piece of meat into sections based on grain direction.  Then, slice the meat against the grain.  I prefer ¼ - ½ inch slices for sandwiches.

 

Special Equipment:

  • Food Saver Vacuum Sealer & Large Bags
  • Immersion Circulator (I use an Anova)
  • 2-Gallon Zip Lock Bags

 

 

5 Comments

  1. Wow! This sounds and looks amazing! Totally worth the time and effort. Sometimes you cannot rush art!

     
  2. Sounds like a worthwhile project! Only question relates to the 140° sous vide temperature. The texture I’m seeking in corned beef is fall-apart tender. Would I be disappointed with 140°? Or should I try 160°? My challenge would be to match a place like Katz’ or the now shuttered New York location of Carnegie Deli.

     
    • Thanks Ted, It’s definitely a worthwhile project! It’s hard to see it in the pictures but the corned beef came out barely holding itself together. It was “sliceable” but easily broke apart with minimal handling. I think if you went up to 160 you’d overcook it. It’s such a long cook time that I’d be worried it may get ruined at that temp. Perhaps try 145-148 degrees.

       
      • Thanks Mark. I will definitely give this a try- I’m fairly new to Sous Vide, and didn’t have spectacular results with a brisket cooked at your suggested temperature. But then again, you’ve actually done this, so maybe it’s the added benefit of the week long plus brining time. Would you compare your results to something like a good NYC deli?

         

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