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MH's Close to Katz's Pastrami

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    #16
    Assuming there are no stupid questions, here goes. Why is steaming a part of the process? Why not just smoke all the way up to temp instead? I have about 16 pounds soaking in a cure right now and for some reason I didn't start wondering about this until now.

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      #17
      Some folks do it that way. Live like you wanna, Joe.

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        #18
        I like to think I live like I wanna, but what's with the steaming?

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          #19
          I've made pastramis both ways, Injun joe , and at this point I don't steam 'em. I had trouble with all of that delicious rub sliding off when I steamed them. And Meathead's rub recipe for pastrami is the best, I've got to say. It makes eating that pastrami an addictive experience.

          The last time I made pastrami I wanted it for lunch sammies for my houseguests, so I smoked two corned beef briskets and then stored them in the fridge overnight, having let them cool a bit before storing. I didn't let the wrap touch the meat: I stored them on racks in oblong glass pans with the plastic wrap not touching the beef. The idea was to keep the rub intact.

          The next day I sliced them cold and had them ready for the lunch crowd. I made pastrami sandwiches for everyone with my panini press. I took the chill off the meat by heating the slices quickly in a skillet before piling them onto the bread along with sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, etc. and panini-ing them to perfection. Rave reviews from everyone.

          Cooking the pastrami to the end and not steaming tasted just as good to me as going the steaming route, plus the rub stayed on the meat. Just my experience.

          As Jordan Mott says, live like you wanna--it's your pastrami. Enjoy!

          Kathryn

          Edited to clarify: When I first started making pastramis with Meathead's Close to Katz recipe, it was before he modified it, and I cooked them all the way to the end in my smoker each time. Then I'd steam them the next day before slicing and serving. He has since modified/clarified his method to show that it's the steaming part that takes the meat to full temp.

          So my experience here is based on taking the meat to 203 (or probe tenderness) on the smoker and then doing the steaming (or not) in the second part of the process, which is not how Meathead's recipe now reads. Just wanted to clarify that.

          Here's what Meathead says about the steam softening the crust:

          The crust tends to get soft when you steam. No doubt about it, a hard crust is more appealing. So you can firm the crust by putting it on a hot grill or in the oven or under the broiler for a few minutes. The best crust comes from the full smoke.
          Last edited by fzxdoc; February 21, 2016, 08:39 AM.

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            #20
            The ultimate expression of the brisket!

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              #21
              Thanks for the info! I have four chunks, so maybe I'll try it both ways? We shall see. I'll post an update when it is finished.

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                #22
                That would be awesome, Injun joe !

                Kathryn

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                  #23
                  I have made 4 and smoked them all the way, I can't imagine they would be better steamed. Before serving I take the slices and steam them for just a short period to reheat, and they are excellent and have not had a problem with the bark.

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                    #24
                    That's great news because I decided to go smoker all the way, partially out of laziness. They have about 8-10 hours left. I'm starving!

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                      #25
                      I'm doing 3 pastramis this coming week and will take all three of them to 203 or probe tenderness, whichever comes first. I'm going to compare pastrami made from the flat with that made from the point. I've only done flats for pastrami before, so it will be fun to do the side-by-side comparison.

                      I'm going to do exactly what I did for the last cook: Take to 203 (thereabouts), take out, let cool a bit, then put in fridge overnight. Slice cold; take the chill off the slices in a hot skillet and then make sammies in my panini press.

                      I'll be taking one of my pastramis to a friend who is in Knoxville undergoing radiation treatments for prostate cancer. He has no side effects, so far, so I'm hoping my pastrami may aid in the cure. Fingers crossed for that!

                      Kathryn

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                        #26
                        Work kind of got the best of me for awhile and I finally have a little free time. Thanks a bunch to all who offer up knowledge around here. My pastrami turned out great a few weeks ago and I'm really happy with it, considering it was my first attempt. Because fieldwork came up, I resorted to keeping them in the fridge for five days in ziploc bags with the rub on them before I got a chance to smoke them. I wasn't sure about leaving them that long or how the rub would adhere, but it worked out pretty well. Other than some ancho substitution in the rub, I followed Meathead's recipe closely and I can't think of anything I would change. It's delicious!

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