Corned Point to Pastrami

Discussion in 'Beef' started by chef jimmyj, May 5, 2012.

  1. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Back on St. Patrick's Day I picked up 3 Corned Points, each about 4 lbs. I finally got around to Smoking one up to make Pastrami. I put together my Rub and gave the Beef a good schmear of Yellow Mustard. Applied the Rub liberally and let it rest while I fired up the MES and the AMNPS with 2 and 1/2 rows of the ever popular Pitmaster's Choice. Set the Temp set point at 220*F and let it go for 20 minutes the actual ran from 210 to 230*F then fired the AMNPS. The PMC lit fast and burned consistently in the slight breeze. The aroma is very pleasant with the distinct fruity notes of the Cherry and Maple with just a tickle of spice from the Hickory. This it truly a winner!

    The Point all rubbed and ready to go...


    The AMNPS loaded and lit for a 10 minute burn...


    The TBS is flowing so into the MES on the bottom rails with the burning row closest to the wall. I opened the loader 1" and pulled the chip drawer out 1"...


    I had smoked some Ribs earlier so that is where the juices came from. The Point had a significant fat cap and I decided to leave it on this one to see how it would come out. I don't eat Pastrami every day and frankly, Fat is Flavor and unlike store bought Pastrami Round that is lean and tasteless I planned on enjoying this one to it's fullest extent! I'll eat a salad with my Sammy. The IT climbed nicely over 4 hours to 145*. The Smoker set-point was 220* but the actual was 245*F. I figured the AMNPS was throwing some heat but 25* is no big deal. About 1 hour later the over temp alarm went off on the MAV. The actual temp in the MES had hit 252*F while the set-point was 220*F...Not good! I opened the door to vent the MES and lowered the set point to 200*F. Over the next 2 hours the IT rose to 165* and the MES temps ran around 225*F which is fine. So plan on about 25*F rise in Smoker temp burning the AMNPS. The Point stalled at 165* for about 1 hour then rose to 192 over the next hour. I checked for tenderness, the MAV probe slid in easily in several places so I wrapped in foil to let it cool down then into the Refrigerator until we were ready to eat it in sandwiches. All together the Smoke lasted 9 hours for a 4Lb Point, about what I have started planning for with any Roast. 2 hours per Pound with a 2 hour Pad/Rest.

    Time to slice some up for samples...


    This stuff is Marbled like Kobe! The flavor is Unbelievable. Pretty pink color and super tender. For a store bought Corned Point is was not salty at all. The Fat rendered nicely when I pan fried it for Pastrami Ruben's and Hot Pastrami on Rye. Sorry I don't have Sammy pics because we were in a hurry and nobody could find replacement batteries for the ones that died in the Camera...[​IMG]

    I was able to get a fussy shot for lurking BEARS...


    The Pitmaster's Choice is definitely a top choice for Ribs, Butts and PASTRAMI!!! Really nice smokey flavor without the acrid smell of pure Hickory and a nice sweet flavor from the Cherry. I would not hesitate to use Pitmaster's Choice for everything and anything I Smoke...

    Pastrami Rub

    2T Black Peppercorns

    1T Coriander Seed

    1T Dry Minced Onion

    1T Dry Minced Garlic

    1tsp Allspice Berries

    1tsp Mustard Seed

    1tsp Dry Thyme Leaves

    3 Bay Leaves, crumbled

    1tsp Juniper Berries ( Skipped, I was out )

    All Spices are Whole and were toasted in a dry pan over Medium heat until fragrant.

    Let the Spices cool then Grind in a cheapo Coffee Grinder until slightly less than Coarse. The Garlic and Onion do not need to be toasted. If grinding do so only slightly as the Minced size is pretty close to perfect for Pastrami.

    This was some some seriously Good Eats...Enjoy...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
  2. tigerregis

    tigerregis Meat Mopper

    I'll have a medium(fat) by the way. Where is the coriander? Sorry can't read. Looks so scrumptious.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  3. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Chef Jimmy J, You smoked you own pastrami? That is one of my dreams. You are my new god.

    So  "point" is another name for brisket? I just read an article that compares point cuts with flat cuts but I wouldn't know how to recognize either without talking to a butcher.

    I noticed you had the water pan wrapped in foil and you said it contained the ribs droppings. Does this mean you don't put water in the pan when using the AMNPS?

    The pastrami looks incredible. My wife has a bread machine so at some point I'll be eating home-smoked pastrami on homemade Jewish or Russian rye bread. Now I just gotta figure out how to make my own brown mustard from scratch.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

     I took the lazy way out, starting with a store bought Corned Beef. One of these days I'll do one from scratch. The Point is one part of the 2 muscles that make up a whole  Packer Brisket. The Point is highly Marbled and is very tender. It stands up to just about anything you throw at it. In comparison the Flat is typically larger but way leaner. The flat has a lot less marbling and can dry out much easier. My Butcher ordered in both Points and Flats for those in the know and have a preference.

    I have never used Water in my MES. I have not found that water or moisture in general has that much impact on the juicyness or tenderness of the meat so I leave it empty. Some people add sand to add thermal mass to hold and stablize the heat.

    As far as Mustard goes...Ask and you shall receive...This is Ivie's Recipe, this Lady is pretty slick!...JJ
  5. Looks great JJ. Great color.
  6. Looks mighty tasty!!!

  7. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've read this thread a couple times in the past and still laugh at your "lurking bears comment"
  8. Chef Jimmy J,  Your pastrami looks great..  Thanks for the posting.  I was always going to make my own from scratch but never seem to have the time or the room right now.   I have a question, did you soak and rinse your meat over night to remove some of the salt or isn’t that necessary? 

     Thank You,  for the posting, the great pictures and the rub recipe.    

  9. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Thinking back.....May..hmmm.....yea that's right, I didn't get any strami in the mail!

    Don't know how i missed this one, your strami looks Awesome JJ!!!!
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    John, The soaking depends on the product you start with. The brand that the store had was not very salty at all so I did not soak. This year I have Points from a different store and I will do a test fry before I smoke the meat. If needed I will soak for an hour then test fry again, repeat soaking as necessary. Enjoy the Rub...JJ
  11. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm doing something very similar today. 18 hour soak in fresh water with 2  water changes to reduce salinity. Simple rub of cracked peppercorns and coriander seeds plus a little Kosher salt. Gonna hit the smoker at 300˚ over cherry chunks and take it to 175˚ IT. Thinking the higher temps will render most of the fat, and the lower IT will leave it firm for slicing. I don't want it quite "brisket tender", but I don't want it rubbery either, so we'll just kinda see what happens. Might just take it all the way and hope it firms up in the fridge. I'll start a new thread later with q-view. Thanks for the tips JJ!
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey Bum, to answer your thinking, Yes it will firm up in the refer. Once the Collagen breaks down into Gelatin then is chilled the Gelatin sets and becomes firm but it and the meat is far more tender then had it never been broken down in the first place...The Magic happens with time at or above 180*F. That is why so many Sliced Brisket guys go to 185-190*F...So an IT of 175*F is not enough it will be tough...JJ
  13. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Cool, thanks. I'll take it to 180 and see how it feels. First pastrami and I just don't want the same tenderness I usually get from brisket. Just a wee bit firmer, but I wasnt sure where to "jump off" so to speak.
  14. Thanks again for the reply about the soaking.   I also read your response to the IT and the reason behind it.   This is something I have to try for sure.   Your pictures looks so good, I can almost taste it from here. 

  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks John...I am really happy with this Rub. It makes some awesome tasting Pastrami and with the addition of 2T Tubinado Sugar and 2T Kosher Salt is great on anything Beef including Steaks and Roast Beef...I plan to smoke up a Pastrami this week for some Ruben Sammiches...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  16. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Evernoted that one, will have to try it on my next strami, you haven't let me down yet JJ!
  17. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks Dave...JJ
  18. Just a quick follow-up for Chef JJ.   I realize that this is an old link but You Sir; Sure know your stuff. 

    The wife and I finally found a point the other day.  This one had the little packet of seasonings so I didn’t need to soak the point much.    Had to run around a bit to find the Coriander Seeds but it was well worth the trip.   I think the key is the toasting of the spices.   A little heat seems to make that Coriander pop and the fragrance fills the room.     

    I coated the point with the mustard and worked on the rub but because it was late in the evening, I wrapped the point in a plastic wrap and put in the fridge over night.

    Yesterday I preheated MES 30, filled two rows of the AMNPS with the Pitmasters pellets and loaded the smoker..   Long story shot….  My point stalled around 156º for 3 /12 hours and finally went up to 188º within the next hour.   I pulled it out at 190º and the juices were flowing.  The rub turned in to a real nice type bark.  The meat is pink and marbled.    The taste……  Indescribable!!!   Beyond Words!!   The taste is nothing like the junk that you would buy in the stores today.    The last time I had Strami that taste like this was back in 1967 when we stopped in a little Deli in NJ.     

    If I ever figure out how to do a “Q”   I’ll post pictures. Or better yet, they can just look at yours.. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the Memories, [​IMG]

  19. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Glad you enjoyed the Pastrami...I and my family enjoy that Rub as well. I smoked up a Point on Sunday it made some great sandwiches but was much leaner than the one pictured above...JJ
  20. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

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