I am CRAZY about pastrami. Where....

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Apr 13, 2007
Beautiful East Texas pineywoods !
Are recipes or instructions on how to make pastrami ?? I have searched the site and have'nt seen one. Any and all help appreciated !
You folks in this forum continually blow my mind with your willingness to help and encourage your fellow smokers. Thanks for all the responses and may God bless you all. My next brisket will definitely turn into a nice hunk of pastrami. See ya on the flip-flop!, Respectfully,
Hey Debi,

You mention on your page that one can use a "pre-made" corned beef and just smoke it. Have you ever done this? Seems it would be REALLY salty. I looked at briskits at my supermarket today. A whopping $2.29 per pound! The one I was eyeballing was close to $35..I had to pass and go across the street to a hispanic market and got shoulder for $1.59/lb..

But I was thinking that around St. Pat's Day, corned beef is cheap..
Az Redneck

I just did two nice sized corned beefs and made pastrami out of them a couple of weeks ago. Somewhere around here I have a post about it with pics and there are a couple of others as well. All in all I think that I gave the process and myself a solid seven out of ten.

A couple of things that I would try different, longer debrine than one day and many water changes, Maybe two days. The second thing that kind of disappointed me is that I gave the meat a GOOD grind the rub in rubbing and let it wait over night, but I don't think that the rub penatrated very deep. I think that maybe a sloppy paste of the rub and the meat in a tight bag for a day or more would go along ways in getting that stronger pastrami taste. I happen to like my pastrami to taste real strong, but my wife thought it tasted just right and even the kids ate it, so maybe it was right. I ate what may be last sandwich yesterday because it is getting kind of old in the fridge (and a little old on the taste buds, pastrami every other day for two weeks is not really the heaven you would think it is cracked up to be) I was very happy with the cut of meat and did no trimming of the fat. What I liked was that the corned beefs were flats and pretty evenly shaped.

To serve, I presliced after cooling in the fridge, one I sliced about 1/8 and the other I nearly shaved. I thew a few portions into the steamer basket for a couple of minutes while I got the rest of the sandwich ready, towards the end here I have to admit that I just started to nuke enough meat for one sandwich at a time, no ill effects and I don't have to clean a whole pot, lid and steamer basket just for one sandwich. Rye bread toasted, grilled or plain I tried it all, brown mustard, red onion and a letuce leaf. Put a good garlic dill pickel spear on the plate and it is pretty good eating.
I have a question, I made some pastrami a few weeks ago from one of two corned beef briskets. The corned beef came out great and everyone loved it. I peppered the other and smoked it for several hours, then wrapped it in foil and stuck it in the oven for 6 hours at low heat until I hit 165 internal heat.The pastrami looked great but was almost mushy. I couldn't slice it without it falling apart. The taste was acceptable but the texture was too soft, where did I go wrong?
I would figure that the foil did it unless you didn't cool it before trying to slice it? Just a couple of thoughts, traditionally (Like I would really know) Pastrami would have been a cured meat, not brined. That is it would have been packed in the cure and then smoked to be drier. Now I figure that the reason that pastrami is almost always served hot at the delis is to wake up the fat and get the meat back to a juicy state. Interesting thing I have seen before, is that instead of just steaming the sliced pastrami portion for one sandwich at a time, some delis actually steam the whole pastrami for like two hours and then slice off as needed in thicker slices. This is some fall apart juicy meat! So who says that pastrami falling apart when you slice it is a bad thing?
I have seen several references to "buying a corned beef brisket" lately....Here in East Texas I have only found beef briskets (uncorned). Do any meat markets sell already corned beef briskets or am I misinterpreting the posts ?
Funny thing, they are not always by the fresh meat. They could be a little further down by the hot dogs or just about anywhere in the cooler. But, yes, they do sell pre brined/raw corned beef in vac pacs. I seem to think that the last time I bought I had a pretty good choice of maybe ten, almost all of them flats but there were aslo a couple of points mixed in. Super wally world was out the first time I looked but I asked the butcher (Maybe) and he said that they get them in every day but only a couple at a time except around holidays. My best selection was at Publix. I am also wondering if next time I should do a few more of the smaller ones and freze them instead of the two monsters that I did last time. (More smaller ones and I could tweak the formula for comparisons too)

EDIT: I missed the Texas part, It may be a hanging offence to to make corned beef out of brisket round those parts. But I have seen premade pastrami in the deli that was from cuts other than brisket flats and points.
I got a regular corned beef from the grocery and smoked it into pastrami. All my taste-testers said it was fabulous!
EDIT: I missed the Texas part, It may be a hanging offence to to make corned beef out of brisket round those parts. But I have seen premade pastrami in the deli that was from cuts other than brisket flats and points.[/quote]

........Naw, no hanging offense.....I have deli bought pastrami all the time. Lotsa folks hereabouts like it. I just want to make it myself.
Not long - maybe an hour or so. Here's the rub I used:

6 T kosher salt
4 T paprika
2 T ground coriander
3 T brown sugar
1 T coarse ground black pepper
1 T dry mustard
2 T garlic powder

All those measurements are "ish" - as in, 1 tablespoon-ish.
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