General Purpose Pickling Brine


  • 50 hires (11¼ gals or 14 U.S. gals) water
  • 25 kg (56 lb) salt
  • 2 kg 700 g (6 lb) saltpetre
  • 1 kg 600 g ( lb) brown sugar


Place all the ingredients in a well-tinned copper pan and bring to the boil quickly. When boiling place a peeled potato into it and if it floats, add sufficient water to cause it to begin to sink. On the other hand, if the potato sinks immediately it is placed into the brine, it will be necessary to reduce the liquid by boiling to the stage where the density of the brine will keep the potato just below the surface.

Remove the brine from the heat, allow to get quite cold and then pour it into the brine tank which should be constructed of stone, slate, cement or well-jointed tiles. It is necessary to have wooden slats in the bottom of the tank on which to place the joints of meat. If the meat were to rest directly on the bottom of the tank it would not absorb the pickle from all sides.

If the joints of meat for pickling are very large, the pickling brine should be injected into the centre of the joint by means of a brine syringe. Without this precaution the pickling of the joint will be irregular—the outside will be found to be too salty whilst the centre will only just be pickled. Allow 8 days for pickling all sizes of joints. Any joint of meat weighing over 4–5 kg (9–10 lb) should be injected with brine; it is this process which equalizes the time required for any size of joint.

Ox tongues for salting by this method must be as fresh as possible, trimmed of the greater part of the cartilage at the root and carefully beaten with a cutlet bat or rolling pin. They should then be pricked all over with a trussing needle before being placed into the brine and weighted down by a suitable method to prevent them from floating on the surface.