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Corned Beef (and pastrami) on the PBC

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    Corned Beef (and pastrami) on the PBC

    Last Sunday's corned beef cook. I did a 2.75lb point cut I got at the grocery store and a 4.5lb flat prepared by my butcher. I rubbed them with Big Bad Beef Rub and some of the spice packet that came with the grocery store cut. For some reason I had in my mind these would only take six hours or so, one did not. Everything went well as far as how the PBC performed though. I started about 11:30am and I served the point at about 7:30. It hit 190 after about six hours (had company over so needed to eat! lol). I did add twelve more coals around the six hour mark. Served it with boiled cabbage and red potatoes and homemade horseradish sauce. The flat never did get up to 190 by the time I needed to go to bed so I pulled it off after nine hours at 170. I planned on making pastrami from it anyway so wrapped it in foil and put it in the fridge until St. Patty's day hoping the extra steaming step would cook it enough tenderize it properly.

    Fast forward to Tuesday, I did the pastrami technique from this site and steamed it to 203. Took about 90 minutes. The beef turned out perfectly in my book. I also grilled cabbage using Steve Raichlin's recipe....really good! Served with more potatoes and the horseradish sauce.

    Wednesday used the leftovers to make reubens. More mouth watering goodness!
    Last edited by Steve Navarre; March 21, 2015, 10:46 AM.

    Steve -- Did you do anything to remove the salt from the Corned Beef before smoking? (similar to changing out the water when using the stove) If not, were you happy with the saltiness of the final product? I've got a "spare" corned beef I've been thinking of doing on my pellet smoker, but have been trying to figure out if I should do a quick simmer or soak first to get rid of some of the salt. Thanks!


    • ReddukeST4
      ReddukeST4 commented
      Editing a comment
      I soaked mine in fresh water about 8 hours and the last of the pastrami was a bit salty. Next time, I'm going to change the water at least once. No worries, it was nothing a good Guinness didn't take care of, though. Other than that it was the best pastrami I've ever had

    Steve, thanks so much for giving us the details of your pastrami cook. It sounds a lot like the one I did this past week too. For the small (but thick) piece of meat I had, it took longer than I had expected.

    I had a small piece of uncooked corned beef about 2.2 lbs, but pretty thick, about 3.5 inches or so. I soaked it in water, in the fridge, for 20 hours, changing the water twice in that time. Then I applied the rub mixed with a bit of cooking oil, and let it sit back in the fridge for 2 days before tossing the meat into the PBC. I put it on the grate because I was afraid that the thick rub would fall off if I used the hooks instead.

    The average temperature of the PBC was 270 deg F during the cook. It took 10 hours for the beef to come up to 203 deg F internal. The PBC pooped out after 8 hours so I finished it up, double-wrapped in foil, in a 225 degree oven for the remaining 2 hours.

    Two days later I steamed it on a rack over water in a deep Corning Ware pot placed in the oven at 250 degF. Took 2 hours to get from refrigerator-cold to 203deg F. Sliced it thin and served it up as sammies on Jewish rye with Russian dressing, mustard, and sauerkraut with cole slaw and kosher dill pickles on the side.

    It was one of the best pieces of meat I've made on the PBC, and that's saying something because that PBC is a killer cooker. My DH and I polished that pastrami off in one sitting. It was tender, juicy, and oh so flavorful. I used Meathead's recipe (and pastrami rub) all the way, except I didn't corn the beef myself.

    Last edited by fzxdoc; March 22, 2015, 06:47 AM.


    • Steve Navarre
      Steve Navarre commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm having a cold pastrami, swiss cheese on rye sandwich for lunch. Heavenly! Think I have enough for some hash for breakfast tomorrow. :-)

      Yeah, have to do this recipe again. Like you This cook was of the best tasting meat to come off the PBC.

    The store bought point was a little salty to me, but my guests thought it was fine. I don't recall the grocery store corned beef I've smoked in the past to be this salty. So, I thought maybe I could have backed off on the rub on that one. That was the difference from the one's I did in the past. Plus, I had never used the spice packet as part of the rub so maybe it factored in too. The butcher cut wasn't too salty at all....same rub treatment, but completely different curing process on that one of course...by an expert. Of course it went through a steaming stage too for pastrami, but as the recipe states I used foil under it so the steam wouldn't take the rub off, it didn't seem to lose much rub.

    I have a "spare" grocery store point in the freezer too, next time I think I won't put much rub on it.


      A timely thread. I have a chunk of brisket just coming out of the brine today, to soak in fresh water. I was expecting to put it in the PBC tomorrow for pastrami, but re-reading Meathead's recipe he lets the rub sit on the meat for a couple of days. Kathryn, it sounds like you just applied the rub and right into the barrel ? Did you hang it or use the rack ? SWMBO wants a couple of chickens smoked too, this is when I wish i had the half-grate.


        Bruce, I did let the corned beef for pastrami sit with the rub on for 2 days. I set it on a rack in a covered CorningWare pot in the fridge for those 2 days.Sorry, that part slipped my mind. I'll edit my post accordingly. I used the same CorningWare pot with rack over water to steam the pastrami in the oven 2 days later.

        I did not hang it because I was afraid that the thick rub would fall off, so I put it on the grate along with a couple of small pork butts.

        You could run out today, get a grate, snip off half the rungs, and hang those chickens through it when you're ready to cook!

        Last edited by fzxdoc; March 21, 2015, 01:24 PM.


          I've been running a simple pastrami recipe through my PBC and have done so about half a dozen times. Agree with Kathryn, it might be the best thing I've made on the PBC. Those chickens are amazing but the pastrami has just blown me away.

          Kathryn, I haven't steamed mine to finish it....just wrapped it in hd foil and let it sit in the oven at 250 for six hours. The end product is so tender, it pretty much can not be cut. It just crumbles and falls apart. I was wondering about your experience with the steamed version....does it cut cleanly or does it crumble under the knife edge? I have two more corned briskets in the fridge now, I guess I could learn this for myself.


            Ligoniera1, I steamed mine as Meathead directed, sitting on foil on top of a rack suspended over boiling water--except I put it in the oven instead of on the cooktop. The meat was very juicy and tender, and it sliced cleanly into 1/8 inch slices. I tried for smaller, but couldn't do it. The slices themselves were pretty fragile: they held their shape fine but with too much handling would split in two.

            Enjoy that next pastrami cook!

            Last edited by fzxdoc; March 23, 2015, 08:00 PM.



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