Why Two Types of Corned Beef Brisket?

St. Patrick’s Day is getting closer, and we’re gearing up to prepare boiled dinner. When you stop by the meat department, you might notice, we’ve got a couple different options.

We source all of our corned beef brisket from the Boston Brisket Company. When it arrives here at the Co-op, it actually arrives in an 80 pound keg! Our meat cutters then prepare the briskets for sale, by trimming and tying them.

So…red or gray brisket? What’s the difference?

The red brisket is the traditional flavor old time New Englanders will recognize. It’s cured in a seasoned brine for two weeks plus before being prepared for sale. These briskets contain nitrates and nitrites (as preservatives) and have much saltier flavor.

Gray corned beef is cured in a saltwater brine for two weeks plus. This brine contains no preservatives, so the grey corned beef is a great option for those who are looking to avoid nitrates and nitrites. Because the brine isn’t seasoned, the grey corned beef can also be seasoned to your tastes.

Either way, red or gray corned beef can be used in any corned beef or boiled dinner recipe. Want to try our recipe? Download it HERE.

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Emily Rogers

Emily Rogers is the Co-op's member education manager. Contact her at erogers at coopfoodstore dot com.

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