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Montreal smoked meat today

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I was trying to get the Montreal smoked meat found in places like Schwartz's. I'm a newbie, but have 4 good cooks under my belt since buying my Masterbuilt electric - fantastic machine for the money btw.


I wanted to take some short cuts to see if I could still get the flavor. I purchased an already brined corned beef brisket at Sprouts. I picked one that had a nice thick layer of fat on it so that I could slow cook it and have the fat render through the meat.


My rub (I like to make enough for two smokes):


·               8 tablespoons fresh coarsely ground black pepper

·               4 tablespoons coriander powder

·               1 tablespoon mustard powder

·               2 tablespoon brown sugar

·               2 tablespoon paprika

·               2 tablespoons garlic powder

·               1 tablespoon onion salt


Next time I would use less black pepper and more brown sugar. It came out with a bit too much heat (which I like), but I'm not the only one dining.


I cooked the 3 pounder with two layers of cherry and one layer of pecan wood at 225 degrees for about two hours with lots of smoke. I had the meat in an aluminum disposable pan. This meat can take a fair bit of smoke and I cooked most of the time with smoke. I also added the brining spice packet that came with the corned beef to the water chamber in the smoker. I also put in bay leaves.


The neighborhood smelled great. My goal was an internal temp of 190. After two hours I was in the 130's, but I wanted a longer cook to render the fat and tenderize the meat. Slow and low... I dropped the temp to 200 and poured Coke into the pan about halfway up the pan. I then made a tent with tin foil over the pan with a decent pinch seal around the pan. My thought was that the Coke would not necessarily flavor the meat but would help tenderize the meat. I figured if it can remove rust from a car battery, it would tenderize that meat. The intention was once the carbonation died, the Coke, which is mostly water, would help create a steam tent. A lot of the recipes I read talked about steaming the meat after using an oven or a smoker. I have no interest in steaming. I am all about smoking and using my smoker. Steaming is definitely not manly enough... lol. Fire, smoke, meat. I cooked for about 4 more hours until I hit 190. I took the meat out of the moist pan and wrapped it in tinfoil and threw it in an insulated cooler for an hour to rest.


Pic of the meat with my rub before:



And now after:


My notes... less pepper or mustard (less heat) and a bit more sugar. I also think I should have used the meat slicer to cut this thinner. I will still give it a shot. Flavor was spot on.

post #2 of 7

looks great hunter.

i'm still confused over what difference there is between montreal smoked meat n pastrami.

your spice mix sounds like pastrami.

doyou happen to know?

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've lived and eaten in both Canada and the US. I have eaten pastrami at the Stage deli and the Carnegie deli. I have eaten smoked meat several times at Schwartz's. They are similar. I find the smoked meat to be a bit richer and fattier. When you are at Schwartz's, they ask you how fatty you want your smoked meat. That is because they are starting with a brisket which they brine like a corned beef.


Pastrami, although using similar spices in the rub (coriander, pepper, etc), uses the belly of the cow (navel). The smoked meat basically starts with a corned beef brisket and then cooked like a pastrami. The resulting meat is fattier and richer than a pastrami.


They are both delish and I cannot say that one is better than another. Both go well with a pickle, rye bread, deli mustard and a cream soda.


However, I married a woman from Montreal and we live in the same town as her parents who both grew up in Montreal. So, this Texas boy made Montreal smoked meat.


Hope that helps.

post #4 of 7

thanks, hunter. i like them both too.

post #5 of 7
You might Google 'Daigle's' smoked meat recipe. I have eaten at Schwartz's and followed the Daigle recipe.... delicious.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I will try it... at least the rub. Not certain the brining will make much difference from the store brined corned beef. Thanks!

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

UPDATE: I made another Montreal Smoked Meat today. Fantastic. Here is what I did differently:


- Soaked the meat for a couple hours in Classic Coke. I like tenderizing the meats in Coke. It seems to work well.

- Added Dill seed to the rub

- Added Fennel

- Ground up the spice packet that comes with the corned beef and added that to the rub as well.

- Purchased a 12" Dexter roast slicing knife

- Switched to Apple wood


I smoked the meat to about 175, and let it rest to room temp. I then put it in the fridge. Lastly, I steamed the meat for 2 1/2 hours prior to slicing. Trimmed off the fat and sliced very thin (now that I had the proper knife) against the grain.


We served a group tonight from Montreal and they were all very impressed, so I think I hit the mark. Adding dill was important in my opinion. Slicing very thin was key and everyone seemed to believe the steaming was really important.

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