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Pastrami and Corned Beef w/QView

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I've been getting ready for this smoke for a couple of weeks now. I've been curing a whole packer brisket for pastrami and corned beef and a pork loin for smoked chops and canadian bacon. I also rubbed a pork shoulder in Jeff's rub for pulled pork. I ordered some 100% flavorwood pellets (hickory) from PGO and hope they arrive today, 'cause tomorrow's smokin' day! Otherwise I'll have to go with pellets I have on hand (Traeger pecan and Bear Mountain maple).


I figure to post pics as I go along. The corned beef, pastrami and canadian bacon are for lunches when the family goes to the Jersey shore next week. The pulled pork and pork chops are for beach dinners.


The brisket and pork loin were spiced and cured following Morton's recipes and TQ. The beef was in for 15 days, a little longer than the 5 days per inch of thickness they recommend. I cut the brisket in half so I could taste it as both corned beef and as pastrami.




I was surprised by the red color on the inside, I had thought the curing process would penetrate completely and give it a uniform color throughout. Hopefully this is OK.




This is the half that's been prepped for smoking into pastrami. I rubbed it with yellow mustard and rubbed it with a mixture of black peppercorns, coriander seed and mustard seed. I cracked the seeds a bit in a coffee mill. This will sit in the fridge in wax paper overnight before I start the smoke. I plan to smoke the pastrami at 225 until the IT hits 185. The corned beef half I intend to boil for 3 1/2 hours.


The pork butt will smoke until the IT hits 205. The pork loin will be smoked until the IT hits 165. The CB half I'll then cold smoke for a few hours. I had planned to cook the CB half of the loin to 140, but I had some curing issues (the bag leaked - covered in another post), so I thought I would make sure I get it fully cooked rather than assume the cure was completely successful.


More pix to follow tomorrow.

Edited by Pokey - 7/28/11 at 8:47am
post #2 of 21

Looks good so far!


The red color in the middle means the cure went all the way to the middle, so your fine.


If you fry test it you will see the whole piece will turn red when you cook it.


I'll be around for the finish!



post #3 of 21

Looks good i love good pastrami

post #4 of 21

Your doing a fine job, keep it coming biggrin.gif

post #5 of 21

Looking good so far. icon14.gif

post #6 of 21




This is going to take a big bucket!!

post #7 of 21

Keeping an eye out here. I was thinking about doing pastrami / corned beef for my next project.

post #8 of 21
Originally Posted by realtorterry View Post




This is going to take a big bucket!!

You're right!


post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

And they're off! grilling_smilie.gif




This is one stuffed Lil Tex. I've only got three probes, so I'm going to have to assume the two pork loin pieces cook the same.th_dunno-1[1].gif I got a little of the butt rub on a pork loin, but I think that will buff out. Now we wait.



post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

Things are going quickly. Two hours in at 225 and the pork loin is already up to 150.

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

At 3 hours, one of the half- loins hit 165, so I stopped cooking it and continued smoking it. This is the one for a Canadian bacon-like thing.






The other half-loin, for chops, still has a little way to go. The pastrami is at 140, the butt at 125. They've got quite a way to go.




Oh, this has nothing to do with smoking, but the corned beef has been boiling for two hours, now, filling up the house with delicious aromas.




post #12 of 21

Awesome....outstanding!  You are doing somethings I plan on myself.  I've done pastrami a couple of times from corned beef I got at Sams -- love the idea of curing my own like you are doing.  Great smoke and Qview -- looking forward to seeing more!!

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

The half-loin for chops hit 165 at around the 3 hour mark. I towelled it and let it stand for 2 hours then sliced it into chops. The taste is very like ham, with a tender almost buttery texture. I think my family will think they're too salty. I soaked it for a half hour before smoking, changing the water three times. They're vac-sealed and ready for the trip.




Well, we couldn't wait until we go to the shore, so we had some corned beef sammies for lunch. I cut some off by hand. Delicious! I'd say among the best I've had, and this on the first try. After it's chilled I'll do the rest of the slicer.







At 5 1/2 hours, the pastrami hit 165, so I foiled it and put it back on the smoker. The butt was at 160. I suppose either could hit the wall soon. I was expecting at least a 12 hour smoke for the butt, maybe more.


While I was starting this thing early this morning, our teen-aged daughter was sound asleep. When she woke up, she said she had a dream about bacon. That's my kid!!!


Edited by Pokey - 7/29/11 at 10:07am
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

After hot smoking for three hours, at 225 to a 165 IT, and cold smoking for 3 1/2 hours, I decided the half-loin I'm thinking of as being bacony had enough. Somehow, it tastes even saltier than the other half-loin (the one that came out hammy). Does cold smoking bring out the salt flavor? Anyway, I think it's tasty. It definitely has a stronger smoke flavor than the hammy half. But I will probably soak it longer before smoking next time. Should I expect a smoke ring with cured meats like this? I didn't get one.




After seven hours at 225, the pastrami hit 188, so it's now sitting under a towel letting the juices redistribute. After that it goes in the fridge so I can slice it cold. The next update on the 'strami should be in a few hours.


The butt is at 163, so I tented it with foil. I don't like to foil and steam my pulled pork, since I like a good bark. I've found a good medium technique is to tent the top to keep some of the moisture from getting away completely. This one's going to take some time.


post #15 of 21

Everything is coming along nicely.


The Canadian bacon looks delicious!


You can see that the corned beef will just melt in your mouth!


Can't wait to see the pastrami.


Your really on a roll!

post #16 of 21

I stand in awe and wiping drool off my shirt, nicely done!

post #17 of 21

Awesome post...everything just looks so.....delicious. Love that CB sammie slathered with mustard...outstanding job on everything. Hey....give my regards to Snookie when you get to the Jersey Shore!!

post #18 of 21

Everything looks great. That corned beef is pure perfection.

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

And now, the coupe de grace - pastrami. Unfortunately, something went awry with this batch. The corned beef on which it is based was wonderful, but the pastrami turned out not so great, IMHO. DW (da wife) thinks it's the best pastrami so far, so at least I've got that going for me. The crust didn't have enough pepper and it didn't stick to the meat through the slicing process as well as previous times. I also didn't get as much of the smoke flavor as previously. But it is what it is. It looks nice, though.




We're eleven hours into the smoke and the butt is up to 183. The wait continues ....

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

And finally, 14 1/2 hours later, the butt hits 205*! We had a tornado warning, so I had to move the Traeger inside for the last couple of hours. Nasty!




And what a bark she has.




It's been a long day, but we're set for the week. I'll have to think on the lessons learned. I'll keep working on the pastrami. Last time, I cut it thicker and kept more of the spice mix on. But DW thought it was too tough. So I've got to learn to get it tender enough to be able to cut it thick enough to keep the coriander/pepper mix on.


Thanks for looking!


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