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Pastrami. Temperatures and dryness.

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    Pastrami. Temperatures and dryness.

    Meathead, if you are perusing the posts: did you revise the Pastrami smoking done temperature from 190/200 to 165 at some point? I just noticed that the recipe I had downloaded some time ago and what is posted now seems to be different.
    Which leads to my second question: I do the close to Katz's Pastrami recipe without any variation and get great taste BUT
    often have really dry Pastrami. Now it might be that I have been using the old temperature of 190 but I want to know how others have been doing. Thanks for any help.

    I thought I noticed that, too. But I've only done two pastramis, taking both to the higher temps, and the first one was great. The second was dry. Though, I've also noticed people on the PBC thread saying they take the pastrami to 203 in the cooker, and then back up there again in their steamer.


      Yep, did that a couple of weeks ago. +/- 200F in the PBC, rested for a day in the fridge, and then steamed to 203F before eating. Mrs. B declared it the best pastrami she's ever had. We got two meals for two people out of it, jsut short of 3 pounds of brisket in raw state.

      That was my test run, next time I'm going for volume ! It's way too much work to do small amounts.


        I did mine to 203 in both my WSM and steamer and was not dry. I left a good amount of fat on the top.


          Like @BruceB, I'm a PBC owner and my pastrami was one of the best meats I've done on it. Absolutely perfect in texture, moistness and flavor. I also took it to 203-206 in the PBC (finished in a 225 degree oven after double wrapping at 180 deg internal) and and then back up to 203 the next day when I steamed it. Not dry at all.

          I'm ready to do another one!

          Last edited by fzxdoc; April 11, 2015, 07:45 AM.


            Meathead recommends only 160 on the initial smoke, then 203 on the steam. My cheap Select easily took 200+ on both the smoke and the steam.


              Originally posted by Jerod Broussard View Post
              Meathead recommends only 160 on the initial smoke, then 203 on the steam. My cheap Select easily took 200+ on both the smoke and the steam.
              I saw that too, Jerod, but when he mentions it taking 10 hours depending on the thickness, I figured he meant to have enough smoke for it to reach 160 and then it can finish without smoke with a total cook time approximating 10 hours. I guess I was reading it the way I wanted to do it!

              It turned out great taking it to 203 on both smoke and steam for me, as I said earlier.

              Here's the part that I must have misinterpreted in Meathead's Pastrami recipe:

              Smoke it fat-side up over indirect heat until it reaches 160°F. Add wood when the smoke dwindles. If you wish you can smoke it for 3 to 4 hours and finish it indoors, but this stuff can take all the smoke you throw at it, so outdoors is better. It could take 10 hours or more depending on the thickness.



                Interestingly (well, at least to me), the first pastrami I did appeared to be about a third of a packer. That is it had both flat and point. It was beautiful. The next one was from a corned beef made from just the point, and I think it was prime, but it was a couple of weeks ago, and I didn't write it down. This one was a little dry. The flavor was great, and it glistened, but there was a little bit of a plastic feel to it. And you don't want that. It could be that, for this piece of meat, I should have stopped at something closer to 190.


                  Well now I'm worried. I put a couple 4 pounders on (Sam's club corned beef) a couple hours ago and they are already at 155. I'm wondering if I should pull them or not?

                  I've never pulled any kind of pork or beef at that low a temp. I'm planning on steaming tomorrow to 200 or so, so wondering when I should pull them off the smoker?


                    FJ Abraham: Take one off at 160, and let the other go a while. Let us know the difference!


                      Corning the brisket makes it more dried out to start with. So the end result is probably more likely to be less moist since you are starting with meat that has had some moisture pulled out. Mine was not dry but not brisket juicy either. Lower and slower maybe? Other recipes I have read say to pull at lower temp then steam till tender



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