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Brisket, Smoked corn beef, Pastrami??

Joined Aug 17, 2010
So yesterday I smoked a chunk of corn beef.   I'm learning something everyday about something.  Yesterday and today it was about Corn Beef/Brisket/Pastrami.

I grabbed a couple of corn beef packs from the local store after st patty's day for the cheap meat.  Did one the crock pot way and saved the second one out for the smoker.

What I wanted was a good smoked pulled brisket.  What I got wasn't.

And that, I know now is because I started with the corn beef.  Now I know how I can make my own corn beef from beef brisket...  maybe later... 

Back to my corn beef....  I smoked it on the open grill up to 160 to get a good crust, then I panned and covered it and took it up to 205 for the finish temp.  took it in and toweled it until in got down to 180.  I didn't get a pulled brisket.  It was tender enough but I didn't get the pull apart I wanted.

But the taste was a shocker.  It had the corn beef taste I wasn't expecting.  

So after a bit of googling I find I actually made pastrami!  Up side is it was the best pastrami I ever tasted.

Now the meat cut was excessively fat!  almost 1/4 fat.  last time I did a brisket it wasn't nearly as fat as the two corn beef briskets I just did.  Is the corn beef brisket usually a higher fat content than a typical brisket or was my first brisket just more lean?

here's a pic of the smoked brisket after a night in the fridge.



Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 4, 2008
Looks like you made a hell of a good mistake/discovery. I'd bet you just had a lean one the first time or bought a trimmed. I can't buy pastrami at the store anymore. I do trim the corned beef up quite a bit before I smoke them when I'm making pastrami.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
What you have there is a point cut corned beef. If you want a leaner cut get a flat cut corned beef.

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