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Pastrami Questions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I apologize if this has been posted, but I couldnt find much in the search.

I want to make my first pastrami, I just am not 100% sure where to start. Im assuming I should use a corned beef, then use a spice rub/cure. How long does it have to cure for? Should i coat the meat in pepper? What temp should I smoke to? Whats the best wood to smoke it with?

Thanks guys!
post #2 of 4
The search should pull up quite a bit but for a quick run down of what I do.

Easy way- buy a prepared corned beef

Note the sodium content on the nutritional label. Varies from 200+ to over 1000mg of sodium / 4 oz. depending on brand. If high soak for at least 24 hours in water and do water changes. You can test the taste by doing a fry test. Cut a little corner of meat off and fry it in a pan until cooked through. Taste it. That should give you a good indication of how salty it is.

After soaking or if no soak is needed wash off with fresh water and pat dry. Coat in pastrami spice mix--crushed black pepper and coriander is basic. Add garlic powder or other spices to your desire. Don't over do the spice rub. I often do and regret it. I'm learning.

Smoke between 225-270 until internal hits 170 then foil or what I recently did was steam until internal is 200. I'll use any number of woods but hickory is most prevalent so I use that a lot. Let cool and slice.

A lot of people take theirs to 170-190 internal finishing temp but I like going longer. Makes for tender pastrami.
post #3 of 4


Dont try to use corned beef and add cure. Corned beef already has nitrates adding more will bring you above reccomended levels.

Here is my pastrami recipe


5 lb beef brisket
2 ½ quart water
5 Tbs salt
2 tabs cure #1
¼ cup garlic cloves crushed
2 Tbs sugar

Spice Coating
2 Tbs Black pepper coarse
3 Tbs Coriander
1 Tbs garlic cloves minced

1. Trim excess fat from brisket
2. Mix salt , sugar and cure in warm water then cool to 38’ f
3. place brisket in brine make sure its covered
4. Cure brisket 2 days per lb of meat.
5. Remove from brine and dry surface .
6. Place brisket in remaining spices and garlic make sure it is covered
7. Place in smoker no smoke for the first hour 125‘ 1 hour, then raise temp to 225 light smoke for 2 hours. Internal temp 165’
post #4 of 4
Corned Beef/Pastrami
Step by Step

By Tip Piper of Hillbilly Vittles

Beef Brisket trimmed and separated (point/flat)
¼ tsp #1 cure per lb.
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 C Kosher Salt
½ C White Vinegar
8 Tbls White Sugar
2 tsp Cracked Pepper
1 tsp ground Mustard
¼ tsp ground Cloves
Upta 2 Gallons a Water

Cure for 7 days. This makes your corned beef. Smoke at low temp to an internal temp of 165*.


5 Tbls Kosher Salt
4 Tbls Paprika
3 Tbls Coriander
3 Tbls Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tbls cracked Black Pepper
2 Tbls Yellow Mustard
1 Tbls White Pepper
1 Tbls Garlic Powder

Rub into corned beef by hand well, all sides. Then smoke at low temp to an internal temp of 165*.

Trimmed an seprated brisket.

In the brine/cure bucket fer 7 days.

On the left, rubbed an ready ta smoke inta pastrami - On the right ready ta become smoked Corned Beef. The pieces were rinsed before rubbin/Smokin. Notice the nice pink color from the cure!

The smoked corned beef, excellent taste! A bit salty, next one I will soak fer 2 hours changin the water out each 1/2 hour ta fix that. Gonna make some fine Reuben sammies though!

The smoked pastrami. This is good stuff! Gonna make some fine sammies to!
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