I had gone to Sam's Club last week and while I was in there suddenly there was this rather impressive roaring noise that could be heard coming from the roof. It was a classic Midwest pop-up thunderstorm, so I figured I would browse the store a bit and wait for it to pass. I had seen (and been rather intrigued by) the pastrami posts here, and wandered over to the meat section. I saw this cute little guy:
I figured that for 8 or 9 bucks that I could give this a try and if it didn't work out then I wouldn't have suffered too big a loss. I also figured (quite wrongly) that this wouldn't take too long (it was only 2.3 pounds) and that it would be a good Sunday afternoon activity.
From my research here, I knew to do a "fry test" to check the saltiness, so the night before the smoke I removed a sliver of meat.
Into the pan it went!
Good God, it was so salty! It placed it in a water bath and went to bed. Ideally, I would have liked to changed the water at least once, but I wasn't about to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to do so. Overall, it was about 7 or 8 hours in the water bath. I cut myself another sliver for another fry test.
The wife and I agreed that it was acceptable, and I set about preparing the rub. I would love to give credit to the person from which I stole this rub, but in my hurried research I forgot which post I nabbed this from, so if it is yours, than I would like to say, "Thanks!"
Pastrami / Beef Rub:
2T Black Peppercorns
1T Coriander Seed
1T Dry Minced Onion
1T Dry Minced Garlic
1tsp Allspice Berries
1tsp Mustard Seed
1tsp Dry Thyme Leaves
3 Bay Leaves, crumbled
1tsp Juniper Berries
First the mustard was rubbed on.
I got 5 out of the six sides covered with rub, and put the corned beef in a foil pan for resting. Then I smeared the mustard on the sixth side.
The corned beef was now fully rubbed. It went into the fridge after being covered in Saran Wrap and the wife and I went out for lunch. I figured that I would start it up when we got back and have pastrami for dinner.
Well, while we were out, we made an impromptu decision to go see the new Batman movie, and that set us back from getting home by nearly 3 hours. Still, it was 6:00, and I figured that at only 2.3 pounds that we might still be able to pull off having a late dinner.
I fired up the AMNPS with a mix of hickory and oak (I would later have to add more pellets), let it burn for 10 minutes, and then placed it into the smoker with the corned beef. The MES40 was set at 225.
WHAT THE HECK!?!?! This 2.3 pound guy took until 4:30 IN THE MORNING to hit 190! That's 10 hours! I double-checked the chamber temperature in smoker with a backup probe, and the MES40 was within 2 or 3 degrees of what it said it was, and I also double-checked the internal temperature probe to make sure that wasn't off. Everything was reading correctly, but this cute little guy just took FOREVER! This was over 4 hours per pound!
Anyway, here it is, right out of the smoker.
I know I am supposed to foil it and wait, but this guy dragged me into 4:30 in the morning...I was going to get a slice before I went to bed.
It was amazing! I was quite happy. So wrapped it up and went to bed. Today the wife came home for lunch, so it was sandwich time! I used the broiler in the oven to toast some bread, then flipped them over. I laid down the pastrami and some cheese (not smoked, still working on convincing the wife to get a vacuum sealer food saver), and these went back under the broiler until the cheese had melted.
Here's my final product!
So....why did this take over 4 hours per pound? It wasn't exactly a thick cut of meat. I'd love some input and/or feedback!