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Sep 16, 2009 06:28 PM

Kosher Brisket Question ("Soaked and Salted")

So, my husband picked up a brisket from Sammy's in Bedford Hills and as I was checking it out, I noticed it said "soaked and salted." Not being very familiar with cooking kosher meat, I looked it up to see what that was all about. Now I'm wondering how the salting affects the preparation of the meat - i.e. do I not salt it before I brown it? Do I rinse the salt off? Do I just sprinkle some salt on anyway? Is the soaking / salting process like brining? If with kosher meat experience could shed some light before I cook this puppy tomorrow, I'd appreciate it!



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  1. My experience with Kosher beef is that you use a lot less salt. The effect of Koshering (soak and salting) has the most impact on poultry in that it is in many ways like brining. Many people who other wise don't maintain kosher kitchens will only buy kosher chickens and turkeys for that reason. For some reason, kosher poultry is not as salty as the beef. I am making a kosher brisket tomorrow and will season liberally, but will go easy ont he salt, more generous on the pepper, garlic etc. I find that kosher ground beef seems to be the most really salty.

    1 Reply
    1. Add salt as you would any other roast - the roast is soaked and rinsed off after it is salted - the salting shouldn't really affect the roast's taste. Best of luck with the brisket!

      1. The salt does not penetrate the meat, it serves to leach out capillary blood near the surface (more ritualistic than anything). The salt stays on for maybe an hour and then gets rinsed off and there's little to no residue. I've never withheld seasoning from a brisket.

        Look at it this way, to make a corned beef brisket you need to soak it in brine for several days (commercial processing injects brine into the meat with large needles to speed up the process) before it can effectively penetrate deep enough into the meat. By contrast, when I brine chicken for smoking it takes no more than 8 hours.

        15 Replies
        1. re: ferret

          I agree, generally the salting during Koshering does not affect flavor such that you do not need to salt during cooking. The only exception that I have found is kosher skirt steak. Which is salty if you don't add salt during the cooking and almost inedible if you add a regular amount of salt during cooking.

          1. re: azna29

            Any thin piece of meat soaked and salted by itself is suspect, due to the large surface area per volume. Skirt steak is a long, flat muscle,and therefore a problem. Rib steaks, on the other hand, are soaked and salted as a roast, then cut into individual steaks. Consequently, the salt is localized at the periphery of the steak, not the large flat faces. Lamb breast, and possibly short ribs, are also suspect in terms of high salt concentration.

            1. re: azna29

              We generally grill skirts and ask that they not be kashered specifically for that reason.

              1. re: ferret

                where do you shop that you can get a non kashered piece of meat from a kosher butcher?

                1. re: kiddush hopper

                  As in not soaked/salted. Much like liver is sold not soaked/salted.

                  1. re: ferret

                    And where do you get such a thing?

                    1. re: ferret

                      i think liver is the only thing that is sold "not kashered" but even that is still soaked and salted.

                      the only thing that it still needs is the broiling process, which only applies to liver.

                      1. re: kiddush hopper

                        True, from what I've seen.

                        Although I can't imagine wanting to broil my own liver- I'll be the prebroiled, thank you, very much.

                        1. re: masteraleph

                          my mother did it a few times, the house stunk for hours

                        2. re: kiddush hopper

                          Liver is not soaked and salted! (It is customary to sprinkle liver *lightly* with salt before broiling it, but this is not necessary, and it's certainly not the sort of salting that ordinary meat gets!)

                    2. re: ferret

                      In the old days, the butcher soaked and salted the meat, and it was easy to get any piece of meat without having been soaked and salted prior to the sale (note that this can present kashrus problems, as in the case of grinding unkashered meat for burgers- it is only the intact piece of meat which can be broiled to make it kosher, and then must be broiled on a rack especially for that purpose, rinsed, then transferred to a kosher rack or pan or pot for the remainder of the cooking). That was when most meat was nonglatt. Now, most kosher meat is glatt, and is kashered at the packing house. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to get unkashered glatt meat in the USA.

                    3. re: azna29

                      i have worked in the food business for many years and what AZNA says about skirt steak is correct.

                      only very thin pieces of meat will really give off a salty taste, however there is a way to get rid of it.

                      soak the skirt steaks in water for 1-2 hours, change the water every 30 minutes. a lot of people soak them in water but what they dont realize is that unless they change the water, they are just soaking them in salty water

                      1. re: kiddush hopper

                        I'm going to try that! I always avoided skirt steak b/c it's just too salty. Cool water is ok? And would you marinate after the steak soaks?

                        1. re: cheesecake17

                          room temperature is better. and yes, you can marinade afterwards

                        2. re: kiddush hopper

                          Thanks so much for this tip. I was soaking the skirt steak but only for about a half hour and everyone still complained about how salty it was. Will try your method and will remember to change the water. Thanks again.

                    4. The only kosher skirt steak I have seen recently ran in the $18/lb. range? Is that what you all are paying? I haven't had any in 25 years, since my treif days, and I wonder if it's really worth that much. I used to like it a lot way back when, but that just seems so far and away above even the most expensive other cuts of meats. (Must be from the more generally relied upon hashgachas, so please, no suggestion of Pic-N-Pay or the like. I'm not interested in debating the hashgacha issue; just want to know if there's cheaper available from Queens Vaad or similar.)

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: queenscook

                        I know you said no suggestions of Pic N Pay- but just letting you know it goes for about $6.99/lb there. $18/lb sounds insane, considering the 'filet mignon' type steak from Fairway is about that much!

                        1. re: cheesecake17

                          And what about other places? Anyone? I actually asked at work today, and it seems that treif skirt steak is also pretty pricey, so I didn't feel as badly. Still wondering what others have seen it going for at places like Brachs in the 5 Towns, etc.

                          1. re: queenscook

                            $18 is insane. i have seen it averaging between $10-$14 at most places in the 5 towns

                      2. Do NOT salt kosher meat, poultry etc! Even chicken soup made with kosher chicken will be salty! I just made 45 pounds of kosher brisket, "slated and soaked". I made a sweet and sour recipe, added NO salt and the salt from the meat turned my sweet and sour gravy to salty gravy. I will add more brown sugar to the gravy and add beef after it is sliced to reheat. I heard putting a potatoe in the pan will absorb the salt. I'll try that too! Plus kosher brisket is really fatty too! So all the fat from meat goes into pan and that is pure salt! OY!