Pastrami Questions

Discussion in 'Beef' started by mnola917, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. mnola917

    mnola917 Smoke Blower

    I apologize if this has been posted, but I couldnt find much in the search.

    I want to make my first pastrami, I just am not 100% sure where to start. Im assuming I should use a corned beef, then use a spice rub/cure. How long does it have to cure for? Should i coat the meat in pepper? What temp should I smoke to? Whats the best wood to smoke it with?

    Thanks guys!
  2. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    The search should pull up quite a bit but for a quick run down of what I do.

    Easy way- buy a prepared corned beef

    Note the sodium content on the nutritional label. Varies from 200+ to over 1000mg of sodium / 4 oz. depending on brand. If high soak for at least 24 hours in water and do water changes. You can test the taste by doing a fry test. Cut a little corner of meat off and fry it in a pan until cooked through. Taste it. That should give you a good indication of how salty it is.

    After soaking or if no soak is needed wash off with fresh water and pat dry. Coat in pastrami spice mix--crushed black pepper and coriander is basic. Add garlic powder or other spices to your desire. Don't over do the spice rub. I often do and regret it. I'm learning.

    Smoke between 225-270 until internal hits 170 then foil or what I recently did was steam until internal is 200. I'll use any number of woods but hickory is most prevalent so I use that a lot. Let cool and slice.

    A lot of people take theirs to 170-190 internal finishing temp but I like going longer. Makes for tender pastrami.
  3. afreetrapper

    afreetrapper Fire Starter

    Dont try to use corned beef and add cure. Corned beef already has nitrates adding more will bring you above reccomended levels.

    Here is my pastrami recipe


    5 lb beef brisket
    2 ½ quart water
    5 Tbs salt
    2 tabs cure #1
    ¼ cup garlic cloves crushed
    2 Tbs sugar

    Spice Coating
    2 Tbs Black pepper coarse
    3 Tbs Coriander
    1 Tbs garlic cloves minced

    1. Trim excess fat from brisket
    2. Mix salt , sugar and cure in warm water then cool to 38’ f
    3. place brisket in brine make sure its covered
    4. Cure brisket 2 days per lb of meat.
    5. Remove from brine and dry surface .
    6. Place brisket in remaining spices and garlic make sure it is covered
    7. Place in smoker no smoke for the first hour 125‘ 1 hour, then raise temp to 225 light smoke for 2 hours. Internal temp 165’
  4. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Corned Beef/Pastrami
    Step by Step

    By Tip Piper of Hillbilly Vittles

    Beef Brisket trimmed and separated (point/flat)
    ¼ tsp #1 cure per lb.
    1 tsp Garlic Powder
    1 C Kosher Salt
    ½ C White Vinegar
    8 Tbls White Sugar
    2 tsp Cracked Pepper
    1 tsp ground Mustard
    ¼ tsp ground Cloves
    Upta 2 Gallons a Water

    Cure for 7 days. This makes your corned beef. Smoke at low temp to an internal temp of 165*.


    5 Tbls Kosher Salt
    4 Tbls Paprika
    3 Tbls Coriander
    3 Tbls Dark Brown Sugar
    2 Tbls cracked Black Pepper
    2 Tbls Yellow Mustard
    1 Tbls White Pepper
    1 Tbls Garlic Powder

    Rub into corned beef by hand well, all sides. Then smoke at low temp to an internal temp of 165*.

    Trimmed an seprated brisket.

    In the brine/cure bucket fer 7 days.

    On the left, rubbed an ready ta smoke inta pastrami - On the right ready ta become smoked Corned Beef. The pieces were rinsed before rubbin/Smokin. Notice the nice pink color from the cure!

    The smoked corned beef, excellent taste! A bit salty, next one I will soak fer 2 hours changin the water out each 1/2 hour ta fix that. Gonna make some fine Reuben sammies though!

    The smoked pastrami. This is good stuff! Gonna make some fine sammies to!

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