I picked up a 5 lb brisket, yesterday, and started brining it for corned beef. This is my first attempt at corning a brisket. I used a combination of the recipe from Cook's Illustrated and Alton Brown's, but without saltpeter. I didn't think it was necessary to have bright red meat, at the expense of nitrosamines.
2 C water
1/2 C coarse Kosher salt
1/4 C brown sugar
2 bay leaves, crushed
1 t black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
1 t mustard seeds
1/2 t ground Jamaican allspice
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground thyme
1 t paprika
1 t crushed red peppers (couldn't help it)
Simmer brine over low heat, until salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
Poke a bunch of holes on each side with a meat fork and place in a large ziplock bag. Pour cooled brine into bag, over brisket. Close bag, removing as much air as possible. Place bag in a container and allow to marinate in fridge.
Turn bag once a day and we'll see how it turns out in 5 days.