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montreal smoke meat - Page 5

post #81 of 96
Originally Posted by MICHELCOCO View Post

swartz smoke meat is considered the best smoke meat in the world.

look it up on the net.

You bet. I lived in Montreal in the mid 1980's, on a working contract with IBM. Schwartz on St Laurent street was a must visit and, well, then it becomes an addiction. I do miss it. 



post #82 of 96

HI GUYS, I'm new to the forum and want to join in on the action.


I wll be making my second attempt to make montreal deli smoked meat.

I live near by shwartz's deli so i smell it almost every day.

I have a camp chef smokevault smoker and have made a full brisket one time before which came out great, as per 10 friends that shared it with me.

I will be startng the process tomorrow and will post updates of how it goes and what we used.

I too have heard of pink salt or prague powder but could not get it here in montreal i was told.

I have gone to a local spice market and they said they have something else that does the same thing. i will try and get the name and share with the community.

post #83 of 96
I've been searching for a recipe for ethe last few weeks and all the one that seems to have great reviews and great feedback are similar to this one. I currently have a brisket brining but i have used the prague powder #1 (instacure) based on recommended health warnings and what is written on the jar. Your recipe and the other ones are calling for twice the required/recommended volume. The recommended volume is one teaspoon for every 5 pounds. If your brisket is 14 pounds, it calls for 3 teaspoon which is 1 tb spoon....
How did you come up with 2 Tb ?

post #84 of 96
I do montreal smoked meat every couple of months. Here is what I do, the below measurements are per 5 lbs.

1 tsp cure #1
1/4 cup coarse kosher salt
3.5 oz black pepper
2 oz sugar
1.75 oz coriander
1 tbspn bay leaves (ground)
1 tbspn cloves

I spread that onto the beisket (which I normally have it trimmed to 15 lbs), into a ziploc bag (I use the XL clothing CAC bag and I vac seal it) for 12 days, flipping periodically (I do daily).

Remove from bag, soak in a water bath for 2-3 hrs changing water as necessary (if in sink or smallish cooler every half hour). Dry thoroughly. Cover top with a generous 2:1 (by mass) mixture of pepper:coriander. Allow to rest overnight in fridge.

Remove 2 hours before you plan to apply heat. Allow to rest on counter with fan for 1hr. Place in smoker fat cap down. Apply 1hr of cold smoke (optional) add heat (I use 230-240). Smoke to 130 IT, foil, bring IT up to 175 and pull from smoker. Allow to come to room temp and refrigerate overnight.

Steam for 3 hours prior to service. Shave off really thin slices, serve with rye bread and yellow mustard.

Now I think Montreal smoked meat is traditionally done in a bribe, but for space the dry brine works well. It Doesn't quite taste like Schwartz' or smoked meat Pete because it is better. Even some of the great montreal establishments take short cuts in the meat preparation and inject the brine. Also, almost none (if not none) of the montreal establishments still smoke the "smoked meat". Why, because time is money, they will sell just as much MSM whether they smoke it or not, there is always a line up that goes out the door.
post #85 of 96

Hey guys. Being new here, I am a little unsure of when and what to post. In my research to nail an authentic Montreal Smoked meat, I found this recipe. Now I have also found many other recipes that are along the lines of a guess at the recipe, but "added this and that" in an effort to get it right. I have a lot of family from Quebec, so am striving to keep it real. This is the closest thing I found to Montreal Smoked meat. The second recipe is spelled out with great detail. Broken down by weight, and percentages. I cant take credit for these recipes, but wanted to share them.






This recipe has been tested and was found to be the closest thing to the original which has been around for hundreds of years. Originally out of eastern Europe, the recipe has been a well guarded secret passed on from generation to generation, and the Montreal version is straight out from the classic version. The recipe was reconstructed from scratch after many hours of research and testing. It took several trials to get it right. This is not Pastrami or corned beef, much better.


Ingredients for Brine (For Approx. 5 Lb. Beef Brisket):

• 2 Liters Water
• 4 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
• 1 Tbsp. Dextrose
• 1 tsp. InstaCure #1

• 3 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
• 4 Tbsp. Pickling Spices

Ingredients for Montreal Spice Mix


• 5 Tbsp. Peppercorns

• 1 Tbsp. Dill Seed

• 1 tsp. Coriander Seed

• 1 Tbsp. Mustard Seed

• 1 tsp. Celery Seed

• 1 tsp. Fennel Seed

• 1/2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder

• 1/2 Tbsp. Onion Powder


First, inject the Brine Mixture (keeping the ingredients in RED aside for the moment) into the Brisket, adding approximately 15-20% to its original weight. Now crush the garlic cloves and add them to the remaining brine. Rub the Brisket with the Pickling Spices. Cover the Brisket with the brine mixture and place in refrigerator for 2-3 days. Turn brisket over daily. Rinse Brisket and soak for 1 hour in cold water, changing the water twice.


Toast first 6 ingredients over medium heat (keeping the ingredients in BLUE aside for the moment) until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Let cool then grind coarsely. Add the remaining two ingredients. Rub Spices into Brisket and allow it to cure covered in mix for 12 hours in fridge. Smoke with Apple Wood for 1-1/2 hours at 165F on a rack in a pan with apple juice and water, slow cook in oven with more apple juice and water in the pan to an internal meat temp. of 165. Foil and let rest in fridge.


To reheat before serving, wrap tightly in foil and place in oven or steam for a short time. Stack meat paper thin on rye bread with yellow mustard, serve with French Fries and a Kosher Dill Pickle.



Here is another that I would like to give a whirl...




  1. A kitchen scale.
  2. Ziplock Big Bags XXL. Available at Wal-Mart.
  3. A steamer or sous vide immersion circulator. This could be a stovetop steamer, rice steamer, roasting pan with a rack for the oven, or a large bamboo steamer. This is for finishing the meat, usually 3 hours. Note the sous vide approach is based on the method in Modernist Cuisine.
  4. An outdoor smoker. I use the 18.5" Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. Smokers lead to better flavour, but using the oven will do in a pinch, since most MSM these days at deli's isn't wood smoked.
  5. A digital probe thermometer (optional) For inserting into the meat - it's the reliable way to check doneness reliably.
  6. A moderately cold refrigerator with room or a cold room. 38-40F or 3C-4.4C. Try not to go colder than 37F/2.5C.


These are hypothetical quantities based on ratios from the initial cut of meat. I'm using the Modernist Cuisine format due to its ease of reading once you know the recipe; details on these ingredients below.

For the Dry Cure

Weight - Description - Ratio

5 kg [11 lb] - Beef Brisket, with fat cap - 100%
0.2 kg [7.04 oz] - Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt - 4%
Note: Dry cure salt guideline is 1 lb per 25 lb of meat
0.0125 kg [0.44 oz] - Curing (pink) salt - 0.25%
Note: Assuming pink salt is 6.25% nitrate - the guideline is 1 oz per 25 lb of meat
0.1 kg [3.52 oz] - White Sugar - 2%
Note: Adjust sugar to taste -- down to 0.6%, up to 2.7%; MSM usually has less sugar than pastrami
0.03 kg [1.18 oz] - Ground Black Peppercorns - 0.67%
0.03 kg [1.18 oz] - Ground Coriander Seeds - 0.67%
0.025 kg [0.88 oz] - Mustard Seeds - 0.5%
0.01 kg [0.35 oz] - Garlic powder - 0.2%
0.01 kg [0.35 oz] - Ground Cinnamon - 0.2%
0.01 kg [0.35 oz] - Fennel Seed - 0.2%
0.005 kg [0.18 oz] - Ground Cloves - 0.1%
0.0025 kg [0.09 oz] - Chile Pepper Flakes - 0.05%
0.0025 kg [0.09 oz] - Ground Bay Leaves - 0.05%

For the Rub

Weight - Description - Ratio
0.36 kg [12.7 oz] - Ground Black Peppercorns - 7.2%
0.21 kg [7.4 oz] - Ground Coriander Seeds - 4.2%
Note: Pepper to Coriander ratio is usually 2:1, this one adds a bit more Coriander
0.1875 kg [6.6 oz] - White Sugar - 3.75%
Note: Adjust sugar to taste -- down to 0%, up to 7.5%; MSM should have less sugar than pastrami
0.05 kg [1.76 oz] - Garlic powder - 1%
0.0325 kg [1.14 oz] - Chile Pepper Flakes- 0.65%

For Smoking
1. Charcoal - lump or briquettes, depending on your smoker, enough for 4-5 hours of low heat (250F)
2. Smoke wood - about 4 to 6 fist-sized chunks of fruit wood (apple/cherry), pecan or maple. Hickory can be mixed in but sparingly (say 2 pieces out of 6). MSM traditionally used maple but in modern times isn't smoked at all. I like pecan.

For Serving
1. Rye bread
2. Mustard
3. Pickles (optional)
4. A large sharp knife
5. A large fork

Dry Cure Procedure
1. Trim some fat off the brisket, particularly on sides and top. Leave at least 1/4 to 1/2" of the fat cap on the bottom.
2. Rub the garlic powder on the brisket.
3. Combine the kosher salt with the curing salt, being mindful of meat to salt ratios. Rub the brisket with the salt mixture. If there's excess, throw it in the bottom of the ziplock bag.
4. Grind the remaining dry cure ingredients and mix together in a large bowl. Rub the meat with the dry cure spices. There shouldn't be much excess, but it can go in the ziplock.
5. Place the brisket in the bottom of the ziplock back, try to ensure any excess that was in the bag is evenly distributed on the meat.
6. Squeeze the air out of the bag and close the zipper; store the ziplock bag in a cold room or refrigerator, around 38-40F (not super cold).
7. Overhaul (turn over) the brisket every 12 hours or so, for 7 days. Smaller briskets can take less time (roughly, I'd estimate a 6 lb brisket for 5 days, a 15 lb brisket for 9 days).
8. After the cure, take the brisket out of the bag, and rinse off the curing spices.
9. Fill a large sink with water and soak the brisket for 3 hours, changing water every 1/2 hour. Pat the brisket dry with paper towels.

Rub and Smoke Procedure
1. Grind the rub ingredients and mix together in a large bowl. Rub the meat with the dry rub.
2. Optionally, wrap the brisket in ziplock again and let it sit in the dry rub in a fridge or cold room for 6-8 hours. (I skip this sometimes)
3. Light the smoker with the smoke wood, to 225-250F
4. Smoke the brisket until it reaches 165F internal temperature - around 4 to 5 hours, depending on the brisket size and temperature of your smoker
5. Remove from smoker, and either proceed with steaming, or wrap in foil, then ziplock or plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to eat

Steaming and Serving
1. Carve the fatty (thicker, point end) of the brisket to separate it from the leaner (flat end) meat, and carve again into smaller chunks to fit in your preferred steamer.
2. If using a stovetop steamer, get the water steaming, and keep on low. Oven roasting pans should be filled with water up to the rack and the oven set to 200F. If using sous-vide, set your immersion circulator for 140F.
3. Steam for 3 hours, until the brisket is fork tender.
4. If using sous vide, you have two options. (a) Vaccuum pack your chunk and cook for up to 72 hours. I found this didn't work as well as straight steaming, hence … (b) The modernist cuisine way calls for putting an equal weight of the pastrami brine (water would be fine) in the bag with the pastrami, seal it (this may be difficult with non-chamber sealers), and cooking for 72 hours. I have not personally tried this approach yet.
5. Once tender, grab the chunk with a large fork, carve brisket chunks against the grain with a sharp knife, serve on rye bread with mustard.

post #86 of 96
Nice blade builder these look good. Have you tried either of these recipes? (Also if you aren't the maker, are you able to source where you got it from for me!)

the first recipe looks good. But Fennel and Garlic are not Commonly used spices for Eastern European food. If you add in the fact that traditionally, this was the "poor persons" food, it is very unlikely these "fancy" spices were used in the original or traditional. They may very well use them in today's product creating a greater product than the originals. I am against injecting the brisket because there is no way that was how it used to be done. That is a step away from the original that I just can't take, a definite reduction in quality when you inject vs brine or dry brine it. Just like there is a reduction in quality when you decide to only oven then steam vs smoke then steam like even the greatest of smoked meat joints now do.

I will be trying recipe #1 without injecting next time I make montreal smoked meat (December). I will use the fennel and garlic and see what it gives me. Also by not injecting and the curing process taking longer (up to 2 weeks), you get a more complex flavour from the added spices in the cure than you would by injecting it and only curing for a couple of days.

The second recipe also looks good...the curing time definitely seams to be off a little bit. I cured a 12 lb brisket for 9 days once and there was about 1/2 an inch in the middle that remained uncured. My general rule is take the thickness in inches at its thickest part, multiply that by 2, then add 2 for bare minimum. Add an extra day or two to be safe. You can't overcure it. So a brisket that is 4 inches thick at its thickest part will cure for
4*2 = 8+2 = 10. If you are curing just a flat I could see 7 days working, but on a full packer that is above 10 lbs, I don't see you finding a brisket that comes in under 10 days.

Also final word of advice, don't let the meat get too hot for an IT...if you get to the 190....or 200 degree area, you will get pulled smoked meat mush...still very good, just not what you are aiming for
Edited by gibsorz - 10/7/14 at 11:10pm
post #87 of 96

I have tried the first recipe and to be honest,thought it really, really good! I agree with you on the injecting. Didn't do that, also cured for 10 days. Not by design, but because of life. :) Nothing goes as planned! Also rinsed/soaked for 3 hours with a few water changes. Final IT was 168 on the last one. The steaming I am still playing with. On a rack in a roaster filled with water, covered loosely with foil gave results that I will use again, until Someone else says they did something that worked better.


I will try to find the original source on line, and will PM you. I think they were from a different forum, and believe posting outside links are frowned upon here. Correct me if I am wrong.

post #88 of 96
Originally Posted by Bladebuilder View Post

I will try to find the original source on line, and will PM you. I think they were from a different forum, and believe posting outside links are frowned upon here. Correct me if I am wrong.

Everywhere I have been involved tells you to source your information...maybe here it is different I am pretty new too.

The first recipe is very similar to mine except,
Instead of pickling spices I used bay leaf, pepper, cloves and coriander. I also didn't use the garlic. Other than that it is the same. To steam I take 2 large foil Turkey roastin pans, put the brisket on a roasting rack and close it in the 2 roasting racks. Works good. Will try with foil next time.
post #89 of 96
I pretty much followed the recipe posted at the beginning of this tread but used less pink salt. I have used 1tps per 5lbs of meat and it was plenty i believe. The meat was nice and pink all the way through. Here are some pics. Next time i will let it soak 3 hours to remove the salt; it was still pretty salty. But it is delicious. As good if not better than schwartz and others. Definitely in the zone in terms of taste for montreal smoked meat. Thanks guys for this awesome recipe.

post #90 of 96

For the record, you can buy the schwartz rub directly from the Deli. We were there nearly a year ago. it was $10/lb. Going again in January and I'm going to buy a pound to test against these recipes! Thanks everyone, interesting read!

post #91 of 96
I think it is 11.95 now…I wonder if there is a lab that it could be sent to in order to get official percentages of ingredients. I will be getting a pound in December
post #92 of 96

That sounds like a very good recipe for Montreal Smoked Meat.  I was just wondering though, if you can't get maple chunks, to put in your smoker; what would be a good substitute?

post #93 of 96
Thread Starter 

oak  would be ok but maple is the best.

post #94 of 96
Thread Starter 

if you do let me know please

post #95 of 96

I made this for my wife for her birthday.  She's from Montreal and took me to Schwartz's Deli last summer.  I have to say it turned out fantastic.





post #96 of 96

I have been there many times, INCREDIBLE smoked meat. Paul.

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