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About to try making Pastrami for the first time - pointers appreciated

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    About to try making Pastrami for the first time - pointers appreciated

    I just took a 20 lb brisket out of the freezer and placed it in the refrigerator to defrost. My plan is to smoke the point and to cure the flat per Meathead's method for corned beef and then use the Better than Katz' rub to make pastrami. Are there any deviations from this plan that I should go with? Do you pull the pastrami when it reaches the stall and steam or SV it the rest of the way or do you let it go through the stall all the way until probe tender? Are there questions I should be asking as a corned beef/pastrami neophyte that I'm not even thinking of? Or am I going to be fine just following Meathead's lead?

    #2
    I've done it a few times according to Mh's recipe, including the steam step. It's good. Personally I don't care for the bark & rub getting mushy with steaming, so I treat mine like a regular brisket. I smoke it past the stall, to 180ish, then wrap, then take to 200ish, then hold an hour or two, then done. Good hot. Better tomorrow after cooling.

    Comment


    • Richard Chrz
      Richard Chrz commented
      Editing a comment
      That’s how I’ve done it. Have been pleased everytime.

    • fzxdoc
      fzxdoc commented
      Editing a comment
      Ditto.

    #3
    Some people go all the way to 200-ish. I've always pulled it off at 150ish/at the stall and steamed. I've not tried SV. The thing is, I want traditional pastrami which to me is steamed for service... BUT we're not streaming a whole flat and cutting for a couple dozen people.

    In your place, I'd follow the recipe precisely and see what you think. Then perhaps vary next time.

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      #4
      Troutman should weigh in in this, he does a QSV pastrami I believe, it has always looked incredible.

      Comment


      • Draznnl
        Draznnl commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Richard. Hopefully, he'll pop in.

      #5
      I've made Meathead's pastrami recipe many times. It's very popular in my house, and last one I made was maybe a week or two back using Click brisket (yum!).

      I think separating the two pieces is probably the best move, as curing a full packer usually takes 12 days, whereas the thinner flat is done in 6.

      I'm a big fan of crunchy bark, so I skip the steam step and smoke it all the way to probe tender. It's amazing every time, and easily the best recipe of Meathead's by far, IMO. I think following the recipe as laid out is pretty fool proof.

      The only change I usually make is doubling the amount of rub made, only because I make the point and flat into pastrami at the same time, just separated. Thus, more surface area to cover.

      I also tend to round off days to make it easy for cooking as I complete the steps in the evening. For example, curing is 6 days, desalination is 1 day (24 hours) with 1 water change, and the rub usually sits on the meat for 2-3 days until I am ready to cook in the morning. The great thing is that the rub has no salt so if the weather or something forces a delay, the meat won't dry out.

      Comment


        #6
        You’re gonna have something good even if it’s not perfect. I did Babbish’s method which is a slight modification of Meathead’s. I cut the flat in two, brined it, sous vide it, rubbed it, and then smoked it low about 3 hours until I got the crust I wanted. It turned out a little dry, but still tasted great. I’m going to try another way next time. Have fun!

        Comment


          #7
          Seeing that you have an Anova, I am going to suggest reading this post:



          I’ve found this technique works very well for me. Basically, I smoke the pastrami until it’s out of the stall - maybe 170 or so - then refrigerate. When ready to serve, I sous vide it at 195 for 4 hours, in place of the traditional steaming step. The bark is retained well in the vacuum bag, and I feel the results are great even if I am starting from a cheap grocery store corned beef brisket.

          Comment


          • Draznnl
            Draznnl commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the link. That was an interesting post. It answered some of the questions that have been bouncing around in my head.

          • willxfmr
            willxfmr commented
            Editing a comment
            +1
            This is my go to technique for pastrami, and it always turns out great.

          • BourBonQ
            BourBonQ commented
            Editing a comment
            A++, turns out great.

            Also want to try this method with just a regular brisket.

          #8
          I routinely do a simple SVQ pastrami using a corned beef flat from the store. After 8 to 12 hours of desalination in the fridge, it spends 30 hours at 150F followed by an ice water shock then seasoned using MH's rub and anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours in the smoker at 225F. Turns out very well every time.

          It's all described here: https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...strami-recipe/

          Comment


            #9
            Originally posted by MBMorgan View Post
            I routinely do a simple SVQ pastrami using a corned beef flat from the store. After 8 to 12 hours of desalination in the fridge, it spends 30 hours at 150F followed by an ice water shock then seasoned using MH's rub and anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours in the smoker at 225F. Turns out very well every time.

            It's all described here: https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...strami-recipe/
            This. I've made Meathead's pastrami dozens and dozens of times, and about two years ago I tried the SVQ method (follow the link posted in MBMorgan 's quote). That first time, followed by another three or four times, I cut the flat in half and did one half following each method. I then conducted a blind taste test to see which was better. The SVQ pastrami has won at about a 8-1 average. This was shocking to me as my friends and acquaintances have always begged me for pastrami and it is by far the most requested thing for me to cook. It's gotten to the point (pun intended) that if I am going to make pastrami, I now make at least three or four at a time. Don't get me wrong, the original method is still very popular and I am not knocking it, but at least in my experience the SVQ method is more popular.

            It is also the best of both worlds as the meat is perfectly tender and moist while forming an excellent bark by smoking the meat post-sous vide.
            Last edited by Joey877; December 29, 2021, 02:11 PM.

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              #10
              My pointer is to enjoy it.

              Comment


                #11
                I make pastrami with the Better than Katz rub a number of times through the year but like Huskee I now skip the steaming and basically cook it like a brisket. Smoke it at 250 until the bark is set and wrap until probe tender between 195 and 205.

                In early March the local Walmart Market will put corned beef flats and points on sale. I usually pick up 6 or 7 corned beef points and freeze them to make my pastrami through the year. The fat renders out really well so the points turn out awesome.

                This makes some awesome sandwiches and even better pastrami hash in the morning. Click image for larger version

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                Comment


                • Stuey1515
                  Stuey1515 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  This!!

                #12
                I can't add anything more. I have done the MH way several times but now prefer to corn my own flats then SV them just as MBMorgan describes. It allows you to be a lot more hands off, the final smoke is to just establish bark. Here's the one I just posted recently made from an Akaushi flat. Good luck, it's pretty easy really. Be sure to follow the calculator when corning.

                Click image for larger version

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                Comment


                • Jerod Broussard
                  Jerod Broussard commented
                  Editing a comment
                  For someone who admits smoke rings bring no flavor, you sure gotta big "flavor ring" on yo brisket.

                • Troutman
                  Troutman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Go big or go home baby !!!!!

                #13
                An update: I made my own corned beef, used the flat. It was slightly over 6 pounds. After 24 hours of desalination, I rubbed it down with pastrami rub earlier today. It is resting peacefully in the fridge and will go on the smoker tomorrow. I decided to follow Meathead's recipe this first time. Next time I might SVQ instead.

                Comment


                #14
                I have 3.5 pounds of flat going now. I LOVE Pickling Spices, if just for that sweet aroma.

                Comment


                • Draznnl
                  Draznnl commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I did use pickling spices in making the corned beef. I'm glad I did even if it's just for the wonderful deli aroma they left in the kitchen when I rinsed down the corned beef.

                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Jerod Broussard Draznnl Agreed, that's one of Life's Greatest Scents, Amigos! <DROOL>
                  Last edited by Mr. Bones; January 15, 2022, 02:35 PM.

                #15
                I’ve shared a lot of cooks with friends who have been very appreciative. But Meathead’s pastrami recipe is the one that makes people’s jaws drop.

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