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My Favorite Pastrami

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    My Favorite Pastrami

    I originally started with a recipe on this site. Over the past 5 years I have been tweaking the recipe. It is the most requested item at our potlucks for work. My son-in-law likes it so much it is his requested gift for birthday and Christmas.
    I have 14 pounds of cut brisket brining at the moment. will be smoking it December 24.
    Here is my recipe....

    The Brine
    • 8/16 lbs of Beef Brisket
    • 1/2 gallon of water
    • 8/16 ounces Kosher Salt by weight
    • 3/6 teaspoons Prague Powder #1
    • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
    • 5/10 Tablespoons Pickling Spices
    • 5/10 Cloves Garlic (Crush the Cloves)
    • 4/8 Tablespoons Juniper Berries (Crush the Berries)
    Use a food grade container large enough to hold the Beef Brisket and 1/2 gallon of water, A 5 gallon bucket works well but needs to be food grade or you and line a home depot bucket with a Turkey Roasting Bag. Do not use Aluminum, Copper or Cast Iron as the brine will react with the metals. Do not use Styrofoam as this will give the meat a strange flavor.
    To make the Brine, use 1-2 quarts of very hot water and mix all the ingredients (except the brisket). When all of the Salt and sugar are dissolved into the water then add 3 quarts of very cold water.
    Put your brisket into the brine and store in the refrigerator for one to three weeks (3 weeks for best results). Remove your brisket from the brine
    STOP HERE FOR CORNED BEEF
    Place the brined brisket in fresh water for at least 24 hours this removes some of the saltiness.
    Remove from fresh water and apply dry rub by patting it on to the brisket, see below for ingredients for dry rub.
    Pastrami Dry Rub for 8 pounds (multiply for each 8 pounds)
    • 4 Tablespoons Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
    • 2 Tablespoons Coriander Powder
    • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
    • 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
    • 2 teaspoons Onion Powder
    • 1 teaspoon Mustard Powder (Ground Mustard)
    Mix all ingredients and apply to Brisket.
    Yes this truly is a dry rub and without it you will not get some of the flavors that Pastrami has. (Most real bacon is made using a dry rub)
    Let sit in refrigerator for 1-2 days (2 days for best results)
    Smoke the brisket for 5 to 7 hours depending on the size of the meat and the internal temperature of the meat (the longer and slower you smoke the better the flavor). Keep the temperature of the smoker at or just below 235F. Meat is safely cooked when the internal core temperature of the meat is at 150F. You do not want to cook the meat fast as it will sear the meat and to smoke will not penetrate.
    For longer smoking keep the temperature low. Near the end of the smoking raise the temperature until you reach the internal core temperature of the meat 150F.

    #2
    150 seems like a really low finishing temp. Why not cook to probe tender or around 200?

    Comment


    • pkadare
      pkadare commented
      Editing a comment
      Because pastrami is traditionally steamed after smoking. Check Meathead's Close to Katz' recipe.

    #3
    Make sure to use our curing calculator to determine how much Prague Powder and time in the cure.

    Dr. Bonder's Curing Calculator

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