Corned Beef vs Pastrami

Discussion in 'Beef' started by redclaymud, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. I'm in a bit of a confusion, having never done either on the smoker but I've done corned beef in a slow cooker.

    Given that we take a nicely trimmed brisket and soak it for days in a brine of similar ingredients for either dish.  Correct me if I'm wrong at any point.  The choice is then open to make it into corned beef or Pastrami or even a brined smoked brisket.

    The brine ingredients look darn similar, except to the choice of heating.

    What am I missing?  If I smoke a brined brisket, will it always be Pastrami?   If I crock pot that same brined brisket will it always be corned beef? 

    Yep, I'm confused.  My apologies for those who had taken part in the brunt of my confusion.
  2. Basically, "corning" is another word for pickling, or curing.  So corned beef is pickled, or cured beef.

    Pastrami is taking a "corned" beef and smoking it, typically with a heavy spice coating, then steaming to serve.

    So you could say pastrami is a way of preparing a corned beef.

  3. Nail on the head.
  4. I saw someone mentioned steaming his Pastrami in one of the blogs but didn't wonder much about it other than it was the way he wanted to reheat.   I would assume it would be just as good served thinly sliced and cold, like out of the deli, or hot off the smoker.

    Part of being a new comer is lacking the knowledge of basic steps that seasoned folks take for granted, and so they don't always put them down in their presentations.   But we're all learning.  Sometimes it's just a little thing missed or omitted in a presentation that can ruin a meal you're trying to duplicate.  I'm almost as new to cooking as I am smoking.  If the Lord gives me a few more years, maybe I'll become good at both.
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Most of the time the point of steaming a Pastrami is to save time in the Smoker. Steam transfers energy to the meat more efficiently and we are not as concerned about a Crisp Bark like on a Smoked Brisket....But there is no reason you can't do the whole deal in the smoker...JJ
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The easiest way to make pastrami is to buy a prepackaged corned beef. Soak it in fresh water for 6-8 hours to remove some of the salt. Then coat it with EVOO & black pepper & smoke it until it hits 165, foil it & take it to 200-205 or when a toothpick goes in with little resistance. Rest it for an hour & eat it hot or refrigerate it & slice it cold the next day.
  7. "Steaming" in the pastrami equation is the same as the foiling part of smoking a butt, or the "2" in 3-2-1 for ribs.  Certainly not essential, just depends on what you want for an end result.  It is the way many "NY" Deli's would make a hot-pastrami hot.

    Pastrami is the method of cooking a corned beef that would have been invented on this forum, if it didn't already exist, lol.
  8. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The guys got it right .i just steam it to reheat i love my pastrami hot with sauerkraut and mustard
  9. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just a cured brisket either way.

    With pastrami seasonings you get a wonderful pastrami.  Without pastrami seasonings you still get something pretty darn good after it is smoked?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  10. It took me a bit but I found it.  I asked my grocer for EVOO and he had no idea what I was talking about.  When I told him it was for pastrami we searched both the spice and the canning isles and even talked to the Deli manager who also had no idea.  I found it on the internet though..  EVOO is not a product brand name.  It's short for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 
  11. kadoka

    kadoka Smoke Blower

    red...go to Forum, then Announcements, then New Members and find Acronyms page 1. Some help with abbreviations! Hope this helps
  12. Thanks.

    It's not that difficult a list once you read through it.  For those that haven't seen it or need a refresh, here it is again.  My thanks to whoever created this list.
    2-2-1Method of Smoking Baby Backs - 2 hours smoked - 2 hours wrapped - 1 final hour unwrapped
    3-2-1Method of Smoking Spare Ribs - 3 hours smoked - 2 hours wrapped - 1 final hour unwrapped
    5 Day eCourseA 5 day email course on how to smoke meat
    ABT  Atomic Buffalo Turd - A stuffed smoked jalepeno pepper
    BCCBeer Can Chicken
    BDSBig Drum Smoker
    BGEBig Green Egg
    BSKDBrinkmann Smoke King Deluxe
    BWSBackwoods Smoker
    CBPCracked Black Pepper
    CCSVCamp Chef Smoke Vault
    ECBEl Cheapo Brinkman
    EVOOExtra Virgin Olive Oil
    FattyA 1 pound chub of breakfast sausage turned into a smoked delicasy
    GOSMGreat Outdoors Smoky Mountain Smoker
    KCBSKansas City BBQ Society
    MBNMemphis BBQ Network
    MESMasterbuilt Electric Smokehouse
    OTBSOrder of the Thin Blue Smoke
    PHDPost Hole Digger



    Images of Smoked Food.. usually makes you drool;-)

    Side Fire Box
    SMFWhat Most of Us Endearingly Call The Smoking Meat Forums
    SnPSmoke n Pit
    TBSThin Blue Smoke
    UDSUgly Drum Smoker
    WSMWeber Smoky Mountain - Smoker
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2012

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