St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to just be about Guinness, green beer, and the like. Corned beef has been a tradition for many American families for St. Patrick’s Day for many years. Whether this is your first time cooking corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day or you’re the next in line to continue the family tradition, you can use your pellet grill as well as our grilling pellets to cook corned beef in a way that was impossible just a few years ago.
We’ve found that many of the folks that dearly love corned beef aren’t aware of exactly what it is. Essentially, corned beef is salted brisket with pickling salts added, and put into a brine for 17 days. You make your brine, you take your barrel or your pot, add cold water and start adding salt, then put a raw egg or a potato in there. Once that egg or potato starts to float, the brine is perfect. That’s the right amount of salt for pickling. Next, you can start adding the pickling salts.
For Strong Corned “Beef”
Another rule of thumb: it’s about a pound of pickling salts per gallon of water. Use that as your baseline for a definition of a “strong” brisket. Thus, if you want a brisket that’s “very strong,” go beyond that, yet if you want one that’s less strong, use less. Additionally, just because the name is “corned beef,” that doesn’t mean you’re locked into making only “beef.” For example, in this video, you can see that we’ve corned tri-tip, too. Should you do this pickling, consider weight to keep your meat submerged from floating in the vat.
Why this is Preferable to Store-bought Corned Beef
We absolutely understand if you don’t have the time or capabilities to be able to pickle your own meat, etc. However, when you do so, you won’t have to deal with all of the preservatives that store-bought corned beef has. From sodium phosphate to many other kinds of preservatives that are too hard to type out, there are all kinds of preservatives that aren’t as good for you (to say the very least).
The Challenge When Smoking Corned Beef
If you just throw them in the smoker after pickling, they could be way, way too salty. That’s why we boil them. That way, we get some of that salt out of the brine. The length of boiling depends on the meat. For example, tri-tip may best be served for 90 minutes to two hours, whereas beef may have to be boiled for up to four hours or more.
Grilling Pellets: Good for Any Meat Any Time of the Year
What follows is one particular method we use for cooking beef after the above has been completed. After you get some moisture out of the meat, prep your grill at 275 degrees. Put the meat in the middle of the grill. Consider grilling it for a couple of hours. Then, foil it up (with some holes so steam can come out), add a little beer with it, and then put it back in at 195 degrees. That’s just one recipe for our grilling pellets – there are many, many others if you click here. Make sure you browse through our catalog.