Pastrami, first time!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by paulmart, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Hi everyone!
    Ive only done one brisket before, turned out amazing! Thanks to the good people of smokingmeatforums!
    As most people do in here, they evolve;)
    Pastrami time!
    Out of all the websites ive looked to for information, is always the best. So I come to you for suggestions although I feel I have a grip on things!
    Heres where im at...

    8lbs of beauty brisket straight from the butcher
    I trimmed most of the fat but left a a tiny bit here andthere

    My butcher sold me a massive pile of curing salt for $5 lol
    I made a brine using 1.5 gallons of water
    1 cup of kosher salt
    6 tsp of curing slat
    1 cup of dark brown sugar
    2 onces of pickling spice

    My intention is around 13 days of curing. Then a long slow smoke arounf feb 1.

    So theres still time to go.

    My questions (because ive found conflicting answers on this site), what internal temp do I cook it too???

    Some people say do it like a brisket, 195ish and you're golden, then some people say stop at 165..??

    The floor is yours!
  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  3. lol
    they both look good
    im so torn as to what to do lol
  4. Yeah. Everything Woodcutter said!

    I just did two yesterday(corned beefs) and took them to 190 IT. Froze them overnight and tried slicing this morning.  They just fell apart in little pieces like pulled pork.  My intention was to freeze then slice paper thin. So much for that.  The taste is great but I guess I just went too high on the IT on these. All I have to add is if the briskets look real grainy don't go to such a high IT. Good luck!

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  5. I prefer to use the center round instead of brisket for my pastrami and corned beef.  More tender cut than brisket and don't have to cook to the higher temp like for a brisket to make it tender.  You can cut at the lower temp and not have it fall apart and still be very tender, moist and tasty.  But, a lot of people don't cure and brine their own and take the store bought shortcut which is the brisket cut.  I cook to about 155°.
  6. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I guess be the first to split the difference; 175 deg! ;-)
  7. Center Round?  That's very interesting.  Diffidently a very lean cut , I'll have to give that a try. Thanks for the tip!
  8. Im actually considering that lol
  9. I am thinking 160 on the smoker tomorrow , then steam for the SuperBowl on Sunday for 1-2 hours for mine .

    I started with a pre-corned brisket , soaked on Tuesday , rubbed and wrapped on Wednesday , its just sitting til tomorrow morning.

  10. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    When I use the center round I take it to IT of 145-150.  When I use a brisket for the pastrami I cook it the same as a brisket with an IT of around 195 to 205.  Seems to work out great that way.  With the price of briskets lately I haven't been using the center round cut. 

  11. Starting the smoke

  12. Its 8am and mine just hit the grill
    angst likes this.
  13. after 14 days in the wet cure I washed it off, let it air dry for around 5 hours. Rubbed it and put it in the fridge over night.

    here's the Rub I used

    ..per 4lbs of meat

    4 tablespoons fresh coarsely ground black pepper

    2 tablespoons coriander powder

    1 teaspoon mustard powder

    1 tablespoon brown sugar

    1 tablespoon paprika

    2 teaspoons garlic powder

    2 teaspoons onion powder

    I found this Online, it seems that someone is trying to make their version of Katz Deli's rub.

    I really haven't put much thought into what to serve with it. any suggestions??
  14. Same rub I used. 

    Serve on rye with mustard . 

    Kugel  would be a good side :)  , maybe some sauerkraut or cole slaw 
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  15. Kugel sounds phenomenal!
    I might give it a go! Thanks.

    This pastrami is for my friends birthday. Here's the cake my wife just made!

  16. I think I have decided to go to about 170-ish for an IT 

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  17. My Maveric is Broken:(

    but im 5 hours in with an IT of 147. I just added my second chimney of Charcoal. the neighborhood has a hickory smell that must be driving everyone nuts:)

    its a balmy -8c (that's decent for Edmonton)

    Usually in the winter here its so dry with little oxygen so the charcoal doesn't burn very well. but there's a gentle breeze keeping the charcoal at a nice temp

  18. 6.5 hours into'er and I guess its cooked
    Having a real battle with myself about whether I should pull it or not right now
  19. going to push it till 195 mark
    I tore a small piece off..delicious, but tough
  20. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    I've made pastrami many times from scratch, as well as starting with a corned beef brisket. With the smoking stage, I always take it to 165-170, then let it cool and refrigerate under weights overnight, or maybe a couple days. I then gently steam it at a low heat to the same temperature range. I've never had a tough one. Then again, I've never tested one at the stage you did.

    Suit yourself, but remember, you can always go forward, but you can never go back.

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