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Pastrami From Corn Beef Brisket - Too Salty!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

HELP! Any ideas or solutions will be greatly appreciated. My first attempt at Smoked Pastrami turned-out very tasty but extremely salty and I can't figure out why.


Last night, until past midnight due to my unreliable smoke monitoring thermometer, I attempted my first Pastrami. I had a 3-3/4 lb packaged Corn Beef Brisket to begin with. The brand don't matter as it was one that we have fixed many times for traditional Corn Beef and has always been tasty and reliable.


To begin, I did a thorough job of rinsing the Corned Beef for about 10 mins. It was then placed in a gallon, water filled, Zip-Loc bag for 4 hrs. in the 'fridge to help remove the brining salt.


After removal from the 'fridge it was rinsed again and patted dry.


I dry rubbed it with the following:


2 Tbsp. coarse Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Paprika (Original recipe called for Smoked Paprika but I had none)
1 tsp. Onion Powder
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. ground Coriander
1/2 tsp. Mustard Powder


None of the above ingredients contained Salt!


I tried to hold the prescribed 250° smoke temp but, it probably fluctuated between 175° and 350° throughout the smoke.


I used a mixture of Pecan and Hickory woods since I was out of Oak.


It was a mild, mid-60's night with no wind blowing, optimal conditions for a night time smoke.


To be truthful, I tried the Pastrami again today. I still had a salty taste in my mouth from trying it warm, fresh out of the smoker, last night. After cooling it don't seem as salty as last night but, it's still too salty for my taste. Any ideas?


post #2 of 6

You probably should have rinsed it longer.


Did you change the water every couple of hours?


Next time try soaking it for 8 hours & change the water every 2 hours.



post #3 of 6

I smoked one on Sunday.you have to soak them at least over night and do a few water changes if possible.I soaked mine for 2 days this time.



post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks to both tropics and SmokinAl for the feed-back. I'm gonna' try it again while they're still cheap. I didn't think about changing the water during the soak since I thought that my 10 minute cold water rinse and massage would be enough. I'll be sure to rinse, soak longer and change the water before the next smoke.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Final Try on 05/03/'16:


Thoroughly rinsed with cold water & then water soaked in a Pyrex glass dish, covered for 2-1/2 days in the refrigerator. Water was changed and brisket was re-rinsed 5 or 6 times during those 2-1/2 days. Final thorough rinse before patting dry and adding rub.


Conclusion: Either the Aldi's "Cattlemen's Ranch" brand of Corned Beef Brisket that I used is saltier than others or the instructions are flawed. I will not attempt again with a better, more expensive brand like Grobbel's or even more expensive raw Beef Brisket.

post #6 of 6

With enough fridge space, it's very easy to brine your own. Then you can control the salt and spices more accurately.

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