Possible to remove salt from cooked corned beef?

So I just got a grill and tried to smoke a corned beef brisket. Before I grilled it, I followed the instructions to remove the salt by heating it on the stove in water and draining the water out several times. However, after smoking it, it is still too salty. Is there anything I can do to remove the salt at this point after it has been smoked (for about 6 hours)?

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MMH
MMH July 24, 2017

I've never seen directions which said to soak it. Corned beef is brined which a process of osmosis that draws the salt and flavor across the membrain to season and prepare it. At the same time, I've cooked many without soaking and never found them too salty. I think your result is the nature of the beast.

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Nancy
Nancy July 24, 2017

Agree with MMH.
Corned beef is, by definition, salty.
If too much for your taste, mute the saltiness by serving the beef with other unsalted or less-salted foods: in sandwiches, casseroles, with noodles or potatoes, as part of an omelet, to garnish a chopped salad.

raphael75
raphael75 July 25, 2017

MMH, the instructions I followed were here:

https://www.thespruce.com/grilling-corned-beef-333747

Nancy
Nancy July 26, 2017

Raphael75...sorry about your results.
I was worried that the recipe might have given you a bum steer, so I just read the one you linked.
It had only a spice rub in its directions (coriander, onion powder, etc & some pepper), not an additional salt-pepper rub. That addition is where I think you went wrong.
I generally (and especially with an expensive cut of meat) make a recipe once through as written.
Then, if it's not great, don't repeat...there are too many good ones out there.
But if it's good and needs tweaking, I start on the second time around to tinker with ingredients, timing, technique.

scruz
scruz July 24, 2017

a couple of years ago costco gave refunds for a very good brand that people complained was too salty. the second one i parboiled, changing water twice. still too salty. i tried using small bits as a condiment in dishes but there was just too much and it was too salty. i had to dump both. the following year i bought same brand and it was really good. to sum up: i've never found a way to de salt anything brined. had some beautiful salmon i froze in salted water and i must have used too much salt. had to dump it. i recently rubbed a chicken inside and out and left it and then removed the salt before cooking. too salty.

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Nancy
Nancy July 24, 2017

Right...the beef may just be WAY too salty. My suggestions are useful for food only SLIGHTLY too salty.

caninechef
caninechef July 25, 2017

I wonder if the smoking/grilling concentrated the saltiness? Perhaps if the meat had just been simmered/boiled and was extremely "wet" it would have been more acceptable. Just a thought.

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raphael75
raphael75 July 25, 2017

It's very possible that was the problem. I didn't realize the meat itself had such a huge amount of salt in it, and I had added a rub of half salt/half pepper to the outside before smoking, so that just added to the saltiness of it. I sprayed it with a mixture of 50% water, 50% apple cider vinegar every time I opened the grill top to make sure it wouldn't dry out, and I also had a water pan on the grill. But despite all that, it still tastes like a salt mine. :)

raphael75
raphael75 July 25, 2017

Thanks for all the replies! Do you guys think I could boil it longer to try to get the salt out? If so, would all the smokiness go away?

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MMH
MMH July 25, 2017

Oh my. I think the damage is done.

Ellen
Ellen July 26, 2017

I always like to presoak music corned beef and change the h2o multiple times. In a rush last time, I just boiled it. After it cooled it was too salty,so I soaked it in a sink with cold h2o and covered it with ice. The next day I covered and baked it until tender,uncovered and glazed until bubbling. It was tender,juicy and no longer salty!


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raphael75
raphael75 July 27, 2017

Thanks for that info! I think I just needed to soak it a lot longer and/or boil it. I'm just trying to salvage it now. I've been soaking it in cold water in the fridge and replacing the water every so often. We'll see if it's edible after this. :)

MMH
MMH July 27, 2017

I don't think that soaking it after it's been prepared will help. I think it's time to walk away and learn from the mistake.

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raphael75
raphael75 July 30, 2017

So I wanted to let everyone know that I cut the corned beef into fairly thin slices and soaked it in water in the fridge for about 24 hours. After that, almost all the salt was gone! However, at this point we really don't want to have it because it's kind of wet and it's been through a lot. The lesson I learned is soak corned beef brisket in water way longer than the instructions say before you do anything with it.

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Nancy
Nancy August 1, 2017

If you are smoking a brined brisket (corned beef), you are virtually making pastrami.
Have a look at this Michael Ruhlman recipe when you plan your next round:
http://blog.ruhlman.com/2011/09/how-to-make-pastrami/

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Deb1968
Deb1968 November 2, 2018

I would slice & simmer the salty meat in distilled water with sliced potatoes. Potatoes absorb salt. Slicing makes more surface area and simmering helps them going together longer, then you'll also have yummy potatoes.

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