+
Home Cooking

Curing a pastrami, grey color, smells off?

jacepro | Dec 30, 201711:17 PM     1

I've had a whole brisket (cut in half) in ziploc bags for about 20 days now, in the refrigerator, waiting to be sous vided, smoked, and then steamed. The meat is coated with a rub that includes curing salt, which I've used in the past.

When I took the beef out of the refrigerator and opened the bag, I immediately thought the smell was a little off. The meat had developed some grey patches, and it was a little slimy.

But here's the thing: the rub has a lot of sugar and salt in it, and has a very brined smell. It's normal for blood and water to leech out of the beef during the cure (in fact, that's the whole point).

So I'm really not sure if the odor and coating indicates that it went off, or if it's just normal. I have a good nose for food smells, and I'm really not sure about this.

I cut away the grey pieces and everything seems better. The beef is a deep red color underneath the surface and smells more like what I'd expect.

I've leeched it for 4 hours in water, changing the water out every 30 minutes or so, to help take out some of the salt. Now it's in the sous vide at 150 degrees for 36 hours.

I'm not sure if I'm going to eat the finished product or not. We'll see how it smells when it's done cooking. 36 hours at 150 degrees should kill just about anything, so I'm not super worried about it - and at this point it's like, why not cook it even if I end up throwing it out?

But still. Not great. Any insights, especially curing for long lengths of time?

Thanks!

(PS - I'm well aware of the "when in doubt, throw it out" mantra. I don't intend to eat this if I'm unsure. I'm looking for clarity and people's experiences with curing here, so I can do better next time.)

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

6 Places to Buy Fruit & Vegetable Plants Online
Shop

6 Places to Buy Fruit & Vegetable Plants Online

by Camryn Rabideau | If you're looking for places to buy plants online (particularly those for fruits and vegetables so...

11 Unusual Things to Grill This Summer
Shop

11 Unusual Things to Grill This Summer

by David Watsky | If you're the type who fires up the grill on most days during summer, there's a good chance that the...

Stylish & Shatterproof: Dinnerware You Don't Have to Worry About Dropping
Shop

Stylish & Shatterproof: Dinnerware You Don't Have to Worry About Dropping

by Dan Koday | Unbreakable glasses, plates, and other stylish and shatterproof dinnerware is just what you need for...

12 Stylish Coolers Way Nicer Than the Ones Your Parents Had
Shop

12 Stylish Coolers Way Nicer Than the Ones Your Parents Had

by Simone Paget | Coolers have come a long way in the last few decades. Find a stylish cooler that fits your aesthetic...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.