Pastrami - Success or Failure?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by kenafein, May 4, 2015.

  1. I made pastrami, yesterday, from a corned beef brisket.  It was a nice thick flat, maybe there wasn't enough fat left on it.  At 7am, I got it out of the fridge, rinsed it, put on some mustard, and applied a rub of mostly black pepper, coriander and garlic.  I kept pretty true to Jeff's methods(  I put it on the traeger a little after 8AM, on smoke.  I let it cook for 4 hours on smoke, which was around 180 degrees.  After that, I raised the temp to 250, and it was within 10 degrees for the whole cook.  At 165 I wrapped the pastrami in butcher paper, and let it cook to 195.  At 195 I tested it with a toothpick, and I let it go to 205, at 205 it was still a bit tough and i let it go to 207.  At that point I wrapped it in foil and put it in the cooler, with some towels.  I only let it rest in the cooler for 45 minutes.  By this time it was 8pm.  When I unwrapped it, I could tell it was still too firm.  It tasted great, and it made a fantastic sandwich, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for.  I've read tons of threads on doing briskets on here and I bought a prime packer recently.  This pastrami cook was a pre-test, and I'm a bit scared now.  What did I do wrong?  

    Nice tasty bark, but the beef was too firm, did I overcook it?  Pulled it at 207.  I was afraid to go further.  

    Delicious sandwich.  My wife said it was better than Langer's, but I know it wasn't quite right.  

  2. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Looks pretty darn good to me. I don't think you are going to get it to be just like an actual brisket smoke but I could be wrong.
  3. I think you should listen to your wife, that looks great  
  4. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looks really great. To get pastrami to that tender luscious state you might be looking for, you need to steam it back to temp. I have done a bunch of them and I always steam it back to 203 internal temp and it will be like butter!
    kenafein likes this.
  5. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Send it to me I will steam it as stated above good advice from worktogthr
  6. Thanks.  Jeff's website says some people cook it to 170 and then steam it.  He does his all on the BBQ, like a brisket, then chills it to cut.  I cut mine after a 45 minute hold in the cooler, like a brisket.  It was east to slice because it was still firm.  You think steaming it now will work?  

    I am scared of what's going to happen to the competition packer that i just bought, if I can't even cook this pastrami right.  But that's why i cooked it like a brisket, instead of steaming.  
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  7. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It will melt in your mouth
    kenafein likes this.
  8. rmmurray

    rmmurray Master of the Pit

    That's some fine looking pastrami!
  9. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks excellent. I usually cook mine till probe tender.
  10. Ellymae,

    It never really got tender, unless I missed it between 195 and 205. Could I have overlooked it between then? Or did not all of the collagen melt? I can try steaming the leftovers, but I am worried about my upcoming brisket cook.


    Thanks for the kind compliments.
  11. It looked good to me. If the flavor was right and your wife liked it I'd say it was a success. If it seemed dry could have just been a lean brisket

    Anyway  Good Job

  12. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You could definitely still steam it if you have a hunk of it left. Not sure about steaming individual slices as I have never done that. Someone who has might come along and chime in.
  13. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't cook to temp, I cook to feel. It could have been overcooked, but I doubt it, probably undercooked. How was it when you steamed it? The important this is, did you like it?
  14. It never got tender enough with the toothpick, but I was scared to go over 207 internal temp. However, this is a new probe and I didn't test it for accuracy. Are Mavericks ever known to be off? I caught my son's flu the next day, so the thought of pastrami kind of makes me a bit nauscious. I also sliced the whole roast so I am not sure that I can steam it. I will probably try it this weekend.
  15. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    3 degrees either way. I have had a brisket go all the way to 213 before it was just right.
    kenafein likes this.
  16. Thanks, that's a good tip. Cause it really felt like the connective tissue hadn't melted, yet. I'm just going to cook it till it is done next time.

    Oh, timber. I found a used UDS for 150, hope to talk him down some. I wouldn't have the pride of building it, but sourcing a barrel has been a pain, and I'd still be modding it some.
  17. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would still steam is - no issues there.
  18. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    can you post a picture of it? Remember, too many doo dads on a uds will usually cause more problems than they solve. Keep it simple.
  19. I like to take mine to about 195°, wrap in foil for about an hour then in the fridge overnight. Slice it real thin in the morning and vacuum pack portions. When ready to use, wrap the slices in a wet paper towel and nuk for about 15 seconds. Comes out better than what comes from the deli.

    Edit: That's after soaking it in water for 2-3 days changing the water every 12 hours.
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
    kenafein likes this.
  20. I don't know if he'll come through, the guy seems a bit flaky.  I haven't seen it in person, yet.  Looks like he has only one rack, I'd like to have two.  The basket is pretty tall, looks like no ash catcher.  It has three ball bearing valves, and it looks like he rests a water pan on the basket.  

    I would like to add an extra rack, and maybe a grommet for a meat probe, an ash catcher and a different heat shield.  Have I officially hijacked my own thread?

Share This Page