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Corned beef/pastrami questions

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have about a 4 pound flat soaking in water now, for about 3.5 hours now. I changed the water after 2 hrs and rinsed, repeated. I've been reading a lot of the threads on this topic. Then, I got the March newsletter with this recipe:

Now on to the March Edition of the Smoking Meat Newsletter..

Smoked Corn Beef Brisket

Many folks have asked me about smoking corn beef brisket and that is exactly what we are going to cover this week.
I have always loved corned beef brisket and I have to say that my mother in law makes a mean one..
However.. if you want to take regular corned beef brisket up a couple of notches or more then you have to try it smoked.
This is sometimes referred to as Pastrami although it is not "true" pastrami due to the differences in spices and such.. it is a very close replica.


For this recipe, I am recommending that you just buy a 4 pound corned beef brisket at your local market instead of going through the long process of brining/seasoning the brisket yourself.
If you want to try that part of the process.. simply do a Google search on "corned beef recipe" and you will find recipes for doing it yourself.
For now, place your corn beef brisket in a container of cold water for a couple of hours to reduce the saltiness a little bit.
Once the meat is finished soaking.. remove the meat from the water and place it in a disposable aluminum pan.


Now.. I like to use my very own rub and just add a couple tablespoons of ground coriander seeds to it.
Note: you can grind coriander seeds yourself in a spice grinder or use pre-ground coriander and it will work just fine.
At this point, leave the brisket be and go get your smoker ready.

Smoking Process

I prefer mesquite with brisket but you know pecan, cherry, apple, hickory, etc. is not bad either. It really comes down to what you like.
I like to do a good oak base if I am using an all wood smoker (stick burner) and then add mesquite or other wood here and there for that flavor.
No matter what kind of smoker you have, you will want to get it purring along at about 225 F degrees or so.. even 250 F is not bad.
Once the smoker is going, the smoke is thin and the temperature is steady.. you will want to place the pan of brisket onto the grates.
The pan will collect the juices, keep your smoker clean and make it super easy to bring into the house once it is finished.
It should take approximately 5-6 hours to bring your corned beef brisket up to about 180 degrees or so.
During this time, you will want to keep a nice thin smoke flowing making sure to have plenty of airflow into and out of the smoker.
If you are using a charcoal, gas or electric smoker, you can stop the smoke and just finish with heat after about 3-4 hours.


This is a recipe that you will love and if you are anything like me.. you will want to try it again and again.
This can be served like regular corn beef with cabbage (even smoker cabbage might be great!) or you can put it on a sandwich like pastrami.
Either way you choose to eat it.. your friends and family will feel honored to be at your table.

Now for the questions:

Has anyone tried this method yet? I've been trying to decide to foil or not foil, fat cap up or down, or both, what spice rubs to use, etc...eek.gif

Decisions decisions.
post #2 of 6
I did a pastrami a feww weeks ago. Check out this thread for an indepth explanation of the process I used with plenty of q-view. Hope this helps ya out.

post #3 of 6
I did 2 flats, first time trying this. Soaked it 8 hours, changing water & rinsing. That wasn't enough for me, still a bit salty. I have seen posts where it was soaked up to 36 hours, changing water & rinsing. I will go longer next time.
I smoked it with apple, fat cap up, no pan, NO FOIL. Painted with mustard, used a light sprinkle of Tone's Montreal Steak Seasoning and a good coat of Double Q rub about an hour before going on the smoker.
I smoked it to 170°, let it rest an hour, and put it in the fridge overnight to firm up, sliced it thin on the slicer next day. It is good flavor-wise, is a bit tough in places, I think the corned beef was not the best grade. I will use Boyle's next time. And the fat isn't good, I'd trim off all I could next time.
This is how we learn. cool.gif
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Wow, that was some great looking food Joe! 1 question...pizza??? I love cold pizza, I love smoked anything, so I'm sure it was very good. Did it change the taste of the pizza, or merely a reheating method while you were already cooking?

What did you season the brisket with? I'm thinking of no foil to around 165 then foil/cooler for a couple of hours afterwards.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mike, I have only been soaking mine for about 4 hours now. I don't want it to be too salty, but I'm getting impatient to get it smoking! icon_evil.gif
post #6 of 6
The flavor of the pizza didnt really change any, it was just a reheating idea, left it on for about 15min and it gave the crust a nice hint of smoke flavor.

As for the brisket, I applied a rub of fresh ground pepper and Philly steak and chop rub made by Innkeepers Kitchen. Its a localy made rub that I find in the spice section of the grocery store.

Rubbed it, wrapped it overnight in saran, then smoked it.
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