Corned Beef Brine

Making your own corned beef is quite easy you just have to make a brine and soak your roast in it for 7-14 days.

Corn Beef Brine

I make a brine whether I’m using a store bought corned beef or a beef roast that I’m going to corn.   The only difference between the brine for the store bought corned beef and making your own corned beef from a beef roast is curing salt and any extra seasonings that you would like to add such as a bay leaf, cloves, juniper berries, etc.

This corned beef brine recipe is for a store bought corned beef roast.  The store bought corned beef roast technically doesn’t have to brine as long as a beef roast that your are corning but I like to let a store bought corn beef brine for at least 5-7 days.  Although, I’ve gone as short as 24 hours and it was still awesome.

Corn Beef Brine
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Add extra flavor to a store bought corn beef roast or create your own corn beef roast with this recipe.
Serves: 4-6
The Brine:
  • 2 cups Water
  • 5 cloves Garlic (crushed and sliced)
  • 1/4 small Onion (sliced into strips)
  • 1 tsp whole Black Peppercorn
  • 1 tsp ground Black Peppercorn
  • 1/2 tsp ground Peppercorn Medley
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Parsley
The Roast:
  • 4-6 pound Corn Beef Roast (Beef Roast if corning your own)
  • 1 bottle/can Beer (Bud Ice works great but dark beers are recommended)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (crushed and sliced - raw)
  • 1/4 small Onion (sliced into strips - raw)
  • 1/4 tsp whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp ground Black Peppercorn
  • 1/4 tsp ground Peppercorn Medley
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Parsley
  1. Place the store bought Corn Beef Roast in a large bowl.
  2. Pour one bottle of beer over the roast - set aside.
  3. Get started on the Brine. (See Notes if you want to corn a beef roast)
  4. In a small saucepan combine the Brine ingredients (water, garlic, onions, black peppercorn whole and ground, ground peppercorn medley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and parsley).
  5. Bring to a boil on Med-High heat.
  6. Once boiling lower heat to Medium and let simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently.
  7. Remove from heat, add 6 ice cubes and 1 cup cold water. Stir until ice is melted. Set aside to cool.
  8. While the Brine is cooling, go back to the roast soaking in beer, add the roast ingredients (raw garlic, raw oninos, black peppercorn whole and ground, ground peppercorn medley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and parsley).
  9. The Brine will probally still be too warm to add to roast, a quick way to cool it down is to fill the sink with cold water so that it comes a quater of the way up the outside of the pan, set pan in water and stir the brine mix for a minute, then check temperature. It should be cool enough to add.
  10. Add the cooled brine mixture to the roast, beer and seasonings.
  11. Turn roast in mixture a few times to mix up the ingredients.
  12. Set roast down in bowl. Liquid should come slightly over roast.
  13. Cover bowl with cover or tightly with plastic wrap.
  14. Turn roast in bowl daily, mixing liquid.
  15. After a few days, the roast will absorb some of the liquid and a little of the roast may be sticking out of brine. This is ok.
  16. If the liquid level goes down so that a good portion of the roast is sticking out of brine, add a small amount of water to just cover the roast.
  17. Recommended time to leave roast in brine is 5-7 days for a store bought corn beef roast. If corning your own, recommended time is 7-14 days.
  18. Before cooking, remove roast from brine and rinse well.
  19. Check out our Corn Beef Dinner recipe for cooking instructions.
You DO NOT need to use curing salts for the store bought corn beef roast. They've already been used. Salt for seasoning is all that's needed.

To make your own corn beef follow the directions for the brine adding 1/2 teaspoon of curing salt such as Insta-Cure #1 or Prague powder #1 into the brine mix before boiling.

As mentioned above you can add any other spices you'd like to the brine. If preparing your own corn beef roast and you don't use the curing salts, your roast will turn a grayish color in brine. Don't worry, the meat is still good. The curing salts are what pinks up the meat when soaking in a brine.




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