Got an extra corned brisket point last week during the St. Patrick's day sale.
Did one for traditional boiled corned beef, but saved one for the smoker. It was 3.58lbs.
Soaked it in fresh water for 18 hours, changing it out twice. It was nicely marbled.
Had a nice fat cap. Seasoned with cracked black pepper, cracked coriander, Kosher salt
and the little sachet of pickling spice that came in the cryovac.
Used 5 chunks of cherry, as I was going for hot and fast and wanted a good kiss of smoke.
The leftover coals from the last smoke are in the bottom.
Fired up the "Weber Marshmallows"
Had to shield the chimney as the wind kicked up a bit.
15 minutes and we're ready to go.
Half chimney of lit briqs on top of another half chimney of unlit, with a well in the center.
Thick white smoke at the start.
Then we got to temp...
Put the meat on...
And as if by magic, the smoke began to thin and turn a curious shade of blue!
Then about an hour in it pretty much disappeared, but I could still smell that lovely aroma.
At precisely 4 hours and 3 minutes the IT hit 185˚f. I'd forgotten the aluminum foil, so I had to run up to the apartment to grab it. By the time I got back, it was 192˚.
After a 20 minute rest (we couldn't wait), it looked like this.
A good friend who grew up eating Katz's pastrami in NYC tasted it, cocked his head, and quietly uttered one word I was very happy to hear:
I gotta say, I was a bit nervous, having never done Pastrami before. I didn't want it quite as tender as brisket, but didn't want it rubbery. I was originally planning to pull it at 175˚, but thankfully Chef Jimmy advised me to go above 180˚. I was a little leary, as I really didn't want it TOO tender, but he's never steered me wrong, and this hit the mark. It's the EXACT texture I wanted. Melt in your mouth tender, but not mushy or falling apart. Unctuous but not greasy. I don't mean to sound boastful, though I am very pleased with the way this turned out. I couldn't have done it without all the advice and Q-views depicting the process right here on the SMF forums.
Only gripe I have is it's a bit salty. I probably should have soaked it another day. It's not terrible, but has a little room for improvement in that area.
I was EXTREMELY pleased that it was done in 4 hours. Temp averaged 300˚ the whole time.