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Help for my Pastrami. W/ Qview

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This was my first real smoke. I may need some help here. lol
I found corned beef brisket at my local grocery store for .89\lbs. They were tips and between 2-3 lbs each so I figured they would be good for my first run. I don't have a smoker yet so I used my fire pit with the riser removed. It is basicaly a kettle grill.


This tip was 2 lbs. I soaked it for about 3 hours, dried it and rubbed it with a blend I kinda threw together.



I was able to maintain about 250 deg. Which I was pretty proud of. Heres my atempt at tbs.



I had it on for about 5 hours and due to time I pulled if from the smoker at 145 deg, foiled it and finished in the oven at 250 deg until I reached an internal of 190 deg. I let it rest for an hour and cut in. I was a little disapointed in the outcome. The flavor and texture reminded me of Mom's corned beef and cabbage. Not of pastrami.





It didn't taste bad, but not what I wanted. Any input? Are tips not a good choice cut for this? Soak longer? Smoke longer? Please help.
Thanks for lookin at my first smoke. Not quite a disaster. I'll have a sandwich tonight.
post #2 of 10
Was that a point or a flat? My local Krogers sells both versions of the corned breef brisket... the flat is always better for pastrami IMO (although I'm curious to buy a point and make some pastrami burnt ends). The only other thing that might help, and it might just be the picture fooling me, but it looks like your cross section is with the grain... if that's how you sliced it, then each slice would contain longer grains of the muscle which would make the texture somewhat chewy. I think if you would have cut against the grain, your pieces might be a little more tender.

Other than that, I think you did everything else spot on. I believe foiling is a must for pastrami... it really gets you to the right texture. Most traditional pastrami is quite often cold smoked for the flavor and actually steamed to breakdown the connective tissue and get to the right texture/doneness.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
It's a point. It was real cheap so I figured it would be a good one to start out with. I did cut in halff with the grain to get the pics but I hadn't sliced it yet. I'll be sure to slice it across tonight and see how it turns out.
post #4 of 10
The cooking part looks spot on.. If I had to guess, you didn't soak it long enough, and the extra saltiness is what made it taste more like corned beef. I soak a minimum of 10 hours with several changes in the water to get the salt out.

That was a good price for flats. I prefer the points myself. Better flavor from the fat, but that is a bit of ford versus dodge around here. Many like the flats too.

Dont give up. The experiments are part of the fun. I'll give you points.giffor doing a great job with what you had.
post #5 of 10
For Pastrami I smoke mine until it reaches an internal temp of 160 then I pull it, wrap it, let it cool a bit then toss it in the fridge overnight. Next day unrap it and give it a 2 to 3 hour steam bath then slice and serve. Yum!
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
[quote=That was a good price for flats. I prefer the points myself. Better flavor from the fat, but that is a bit of ford versus dodge around here. Many like the flats too.

Dont give up. The experiments are part of the fun. I'll give you points.giffor doing a great job with what you had.[/quote]


Sorry, It was a point. But it was still real cheap. I bought 4 of them, so round two is this weekend.
post #7 of 10
are you sure that was not a point as flats ere usally more priceyicon_rolleyes.gif
i like flats better but for 89 a # it does make good pastrami.
i soak mine over night and some to 190°.
check out jeffs tut on pastramiPDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #8 of 10
Try cutting it against the grain like Baz brought up. Do you have a meat slicer?
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
No meat slicer, but I have a good chefs knife. That will be my approach when I get home. Slice thin accross the grain and see how it turns out. At least it's edible so it wont go to waste, and I can try again this weekend. I think a proper smoker id in the near future. Thanks all for the advice.
post #10 of 10
Second this comment. The steam the next day really makes it moist and tender.

I also buy a trimmed brisket and corn it my self for 7-10 days. Just did two briskets this weekend. See my post here somewhere.
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