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Pastrami. Be More Moister! Q View.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rohfan2112, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Been tinkering with pastrami via the corned beef from the supermarket method.

    I coat the corned beef liberally with pepper and coriander, and other spices, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit overnight in the fridge. Next day I take it out and cold smoke it for 2 hours and then finish it in the house oven at 225 until it reaches internal temp of 185F.

    It tastes great, but it's kind of dry. Not "tough", but almost like a pastrami jerky. I'm drying it out somewhere and I have a feeling that it's between the cold smoking and long cooking in the house that it is losing all its moisture. I was considering wrapping the next one in foil before cooking it in the oven to retain moisture. Any other suggestions?

    Here's the last one during cold smoking.

  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There is no reason you can't put 3-4 hours of smoke then cover and or steam the pastrami to the desired IT and tenderness...JJ
  3. zott

    zott Newbie

    Interesting, this was going to be my next challenge. Are you suggesting after smoking that you wrap in foil and then steam in a pot over simmering water ?
  4. disco

    disco Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I poached some Montreal smoked meat (similar to pastrami, just different spice profile) and had a good result.

    Here is the link to the post.

  5. pc farmer

    pc farmer Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  6. I was actually thinking about just wrapping it in foil and baking it in the oven. The more I think about it, the more I believe I'm drying it out too much during cold smoking. Problem is I don't have an efficient way to hot smoke due to only having a charcoal grill. Whatever coals I put in there sends the temperature in the cooking chamber through the roof. So I'm trying to improvise a more efficient/hands-off methodology.

    I will probably try again this weekend and will post results in this thread. With Q view, of course. :)  Thanks, all, for the input.
  7. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I foil mine around 160. No added liquid. There is liquid and wonderful collagen in the foil when I finish.

    We steam thick slices for dinner service.  Thin sandwich slices get warmed in au jus.

    I am convinced foiling is the way to go.  I am not interested in bark on my pastrami.

    Everybody has their way and their's is right for them!

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    With or with out foil, steaming is an efficient way to finish pastrami and maintain moisture. Steam transfers energy quickly so in just a few hours you are eating...JJ
  9. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What cut of store bought are you buying, it's hard to tell from the pic.
    If it's a corned beef round, it will be dryer then the flats or points due to the lack of fat.
  10. It is a flat. Rectangular shaped with a decent fat cap.
  11. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    I've always finished pastrami by steaming it.

    Most of the time I make pastrami from scratch by curing a brisket for a week or so. However, if pushed for time, I'll use a corned beef. Either way, when I hit the smoking stage, I do so at 200° and take it to an IT of 160°-165°. I then remove it, wrap in foil, and refrigerate overnight under weights. The next day, I put it on a rack in a roasting pan that has around 1 inch of boiling water in it, cover the pan with foil, and put it into an oven that's been pre-heated to 250°. When the IT hits 170° I pull it, let it rest for a few minutes, then slice. It's always very moist and if I want to reheat leftovers later I follow the same steaming process.

    Below is a pic of a flat following finishing I did a while back.

  12. My goodness, that looks outstanding! Thanks for sharing your process. I will incorporate parts of it into my next 'strami.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  13. manzwood

    manzwood Fire Starter

    I've been looking for ideas for another adventure in smoking...On my way to the meat market in the morning!

    Thanks for the coaching!
  14. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    If you have a broiler pan that you use in oven, Put water in pan, place rack on top. Put the pastrami on the rack . cover and seal w/ heavy foil. place this across 2 elements or burners on the stove. Med /low - med heat to bring water to boil. let steam 1.5 - 2 hrs.
  15. manzwood

    manzwood Fire Starter

    Thanks eman for yet another great tip! [​IMG]

    Been itching to try out my new Maverick (latest and greatest) model 733 on something...no more guess work on IT. [​IMG]
  16. I almost did the same thing. I wound up hot smoking the strami for 2 hours at 225 then did exactly as you stated above, except I used a glass 9x13 dish and put it in the oven at 300 until the internal temp read 190. I think the next time I'm going to steam it in the oven for 2 hours then wrap the meat in foil and then finish it to 195. This one came out delish but still wasn't 100% as tender as I'd like. Flavor-wise it was there in spades. I made sammies with it--butter-toasted rye, mustard, carmelized onions, melted baby swiss and the strami was grilled on my griddle before going on the sandwich. Dinner table was very quiet that night :)
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  17. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    My learning curve with the pastrami is pretty near complete. To the OP, I believe the biggest culprit in your first try was only going to 185. Get as close and up to 200 as you can. I finish mine in a foil pan with some broth or coke and foil wrapped.
  18. manzwood

    manzwood Fire Starter

    I did it, I did it! 

    My 1st try resulted in some fantastic results thanks to all the expert advice & hints here on SMF!

    And I was only looking for a meat smoking project to "test drive" my new Maverick 733!

    Started with a 4-1/2 pound Point cut Corned Beef Brisket and proceeded to trim the fat. Then gave the brisket a rub of Spicy Brown Mustard and sprinkled with a medley of seasonings.

    After 6 hours of Applewood smoking to 160 and 2 hours of steaming in a tent with beef broth to 190 all done on a Weber Genesis with the Weber smoking cassette accessory.

    The Pastrami sliced after resting revealed a firm but tender and beautifully marbled masterpiece!

    Our Pastrami "samiches" served on Russian Rye with Franks Quality Kraut, Provolone Cheese and some home made Thousand Island dressing and then toasted in a buttered frying pan.

    Seconds anyone?

    Again, thanks to all the contributors here on SMF I truly couldn't have done it with out Y'all!
  19. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Point is the way to go! Glad it worked out for you.