How to pickle beef brisket

Updated February 21, 2017

Beef brisket is a cut of meat that comes from the brisket section of a cow. This section is above the forward shank, or leg. Pickled brisket has been soaked in a pickling liquid, or brine. This pickling process takes three days, not including cooking time. Follow these steps below to learn how to properly pickle beef brisket.

Place the saucepan on a stove and add 240 ml (1 cup) of water. To this, add the pepper, pickling spice, juniper berries, coriander, bay leaves, thyme, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Then let simmer for five minutes.

Pour the mixture from the stove into a large bowl. Let it cool to room temperature.

Add 1.4 litres (6 cups) of water, the salt and sugar to the cooled mixture. Stir until the salt and sugar is dissolved. Pour into the zip-close plastic bag.

Place the brisket into the bag, then seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator. Let the brisket pickle for three days, turning it occasionally so that it is evenly pickled.

Drain the brisket after three days. It is now ready for cooking or freezing.


You can use a container that seals tightly instead of a plastic bag.

Things You'll Need

  • Beef brisket, 2 to 2.25 kg (4 to 5 pounds)
  • Saucepan
  • 36 ml (2 tbsp) black peppercorns
  • 36 ml (2 tbsp) pickling spice
  • 18 ml (1 tbsp) juniper berries, crushed
  • 18 ml (1 tbsp) coriander seeds
  • Eight bay leaves
  • Six fresh thyme sprigs
  • Four garlic cloves, crushed
  • Large bowl
  • Coarse ground or kosher salt, 180 ml (3/4 cup)
  • Sugar, 120 ml (1/2 cup)
  • 9-litre (2-gallon) zip-close plastic bag
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About the Author

Elizabeth Sobiski has been writing professionally since 2005. She provides businesses such as Burdick and Lee Galleries, Clearwater Fishing Charters and Read Finder with custom content to keep their digital and print media fresh, informative and directed to their target audience. Sobiski holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Roosevelt University in Chicago.