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First Pastrami

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I titled this thread "First Pastrami" because there will be many more for sure, it was awesome.

Started on Monday 2/1 with a ~7 lb choice packer from Wegmans.  Sloppily trimmed most of the fat, weighed and made enough curing brine to cover in a bucket.

Target was 200ppm nitrite using cure #1 and 2.25% w/w salt and sugar each.


2820g brisket

3760g water

148g light brown sugar

127g kosher salt

22g cure #1


Injected the brisket with about 10% by meat weight of the curing brine since it was only going to spend 5 days in the bucket.  Once injected, I added the pickling spices to the bucket brine (didn't want the spices clogging the needle).  Modified Chef J's pastrami rub for the pickling spices.  I didn't have allspice berries or dry thyme leaves so used the ground version of both...no juniper at all unfortunately.  The spices in red were toasted.  All spices went into a food processor before going into the brine.


2 tbsp black peppercorn

1 tbsp coriander seed

1 tbsp dill seed

1 tbsp mustard seed

1 tbsp dry minced garlic

1 tbsp dry minced onion

¼ tsp ground allspice

¼ tsp ground thyme

3 bay leaves crumbled


The brisket/brine was overhauled once half way through.


On Saturday 2/6, the brisket was removed and rinsed.  Made a rub from 1/4 cup black peppercorns, 1/4 cup coriander and  2 tbsp turbinado sugar.  The black pepper and coriander were toasted and coarse ground in my Baratza coffee grinder which worked great except the coffee I'm drinking right now tastes like black pepper and coriander.  I slathered the brisket with yellow mustard and then applied the rub.


Out of the brine




Put on the offset cooker at 275F using a combo of 6 and 18 month seasoned red oak for fuel until 160F IT.  Then it went into a steamer in the oven @ 275F until probe tender.


On the cooker with some eggs.


Out of the cooker before going into the steamer.



After it was probe tender in the steamer, it was wrapped in foil, rested for an hour and chilled overnight.  Yesterday it was sliced cold and the slices (even combo of lean and fatty) were reheated in a steamer.  Made some thousand island dressing and marble rye bread using CB's recipes (thanks!).  I always have home made sauerkraut available so that was the easiest part.  Had some family and friends over last night and spoiled them.








Edited by dstar26t - 2/8/16 at 7:42am
post #2 of 12

Nicely done Nate. Great post...JJ :points:

post #3 of 12

I am not worthy

post #4 of 12

Nate you nailed that one every thing looks great Points





post #5 of 12

Awesome looking sammie, Nate!!


Points for you my friend!!



post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks all...it wouldn't have been possible without the talented folks here that share their recipes and process.  It was a lot of fun.

post #7 of 12

Good morning Sir,   Thanks for posting your process for making pastrami.  I have a question, when you say that the brine was overhauled, did you replace it entirely? Either way great looking stuff.


     Keep on smokin'         Ed

post #8 of 12

Looks great, dstar! Pastrami is hands down my favorite sandwich meat.One of these days I'll build up enough gumption to try it myself. Until then, I'll keep your great post bookmarked!





post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Gearjammer View Post

I have a question, when you say that the brine was overhauled, did you replace it entirely?

No, I picked up the brisket, stirred the brine with it and put it back upside down.  You will probably find yourself doing it more than once since the brine smells so good.

By the way, I should recommend longer than a 5 day brine.  There was a smaller than dime size spot in the center of the thickest part of the point end that didn't get any cure...even with injecting.  Maybe I missed a spot with the injector but I also think 5 days is pushing it for this brine.  Next time I'll plan ahead and do 2 weeks...had a time crunch with this one.

post #10 of 12

Thank you Sir, I'm learning.


Keep on smokin'                Ed

post #11 of 12

post #12 of 12
Great looking pastrami, bread, and sandwich and an awesome post! You will be making pastramis all the time now! Points!!!
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