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Basic brisket/pastrami advice needed

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I did do the search function and found stuff all over the place but nothing as basic as i guess I am looking for.

I have a nice 6lb brisket that I want to make pastrami with for this weekend. What I am looking for is this?

Do I need to wet brine overnight with TQ?
What is the smoke time? I can low smoke on my Traeger 075 and let it roll all night if need be.
Do I brine then rub?

I guess with all the creativity I am seeing here, I am looking for the basics on doing a tasty pastrami. The big thing being, whether or not I get up early and get it going, or if I can all night it and wrap in the morning.

Is there a Pastrami 101 link anyone can help me out with?

Thanks guys.
post #2 of 11
green drake,
I believe this might help you out

post #3 of 11
If you want basic then a brine cure would probably be your best option but rubbing and leaving in the fridge is just as easy.
I prefer to inject mine with cure then rub it, seal it and once it is cured rinse, apply rub and smoke.

Biggest thing is if you have a brisket and want to make pastrami it will take several days to cure all the way through so if you are planning on one for this weekend you might want to pick up a corned beef from the store, give it a good soak if the sodium level is too high (they usually are) and season that up for your first pastrami.
It's not making all the way from scratch but still produces a better pastrami that anything you could buy behind the deli.
post #4 of 11
Well if you want to make it from scratch how does next weekend sound to you. If you are dead set on this weekend just go out and buy a corned beef brisket and smoke that and you can have it this weekend. Then you can cure the brisket into corned beef and then smoke it next weekend and then you can compare the two to see which one you like the best. Maybe thats mnot what you wanted to hear but the truth hurts sometimes.
post #5 of 11
Yeppers. What they said. You can still smoke that brisket as is, but I'm afraid you're a bit late to pull it off as a pastrami this weekend. I've yet to try to make my own from a brisket, but doing pastrami from a store bought Corned Beef Brisket is something I've done several times. I love 'em and it's a pretty easy smoke.

The best advice I have if you're going to do a store bought version. Is to make sure to watch the sodium content. Those sit in that packaging for a very long time and get very salty. Most people will soak it in cold fresh water from 4-12 hours in the refridgerator. Then slice off a little piece and fry it up in a pan and give it a taste test to see if it needs to soak longer in cold fresh water. Here's a link to one of mine if you're interested.

good luck with your smoke.
post #6 of 11
What he said. Not enough time for this weekend.
post #7 of 11
As the others mentioned, no way to do a from scratch now for this weekend. Buy a corned beef, soak, rub with a mix of black pepper, juniper berry, garlic, brown sugar or turbinado and a little red pepper flakes.

Just put two briskets in the brine now. 1 will be vac packed for corned beef for my folks and the other will hit the smoke on Christmas Day then toted up to NY the day after so we have something to eat while visiting the frozen hinterlands!! :)
post #8 of 11
Here are the links to a couple more good threads on making pastrami from scratch...


post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
That's what I love about this forum, great advice. Guess I will hold off on the pastrami idea for now and just do a slow smoke starting tomorrow night. Going to rub it down with mustard and dry rub tonight, then a good ten hours on smoke tomorrow night or early Saturday morning, wrap, get juices, baste/mop and indulge.

Any tricks for brisket I may have missed in that? It is only my second brisket, so anything helps at this point, darn they turn out nice though.
post #10 of 11
Green, I think you have the right plan given the circumstances. Here's my finishing sauce for brisket that has always been popular.

Put it in the side and let folks spoon it on their meat/sammie if they want.

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP olive oil
1 cup thick tomato sauce
1/3 cup molasses
¼ cup vinegar-preferably apple cider
2 TBSP chili powder
2 TSP mustard powder
1 TSP celery salt
1 TSP paprika
1 TSP cayenne
¼ cup water, or more if you think you need later

Sautee onion and garlic in oil until onions are soft. Be careful do not let the garlic get brown-it gets bitter. Add remaining ingredients and simmer ½ hour or until thickened.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Rivet, I will try this one, and add in the leftover juices from the foil to it. Bueno...gotta love smoking every day, never get tired of it at all.
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