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First Attempt at Pastrami. Any tips?

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    First Attempt at Pastrami. Any tips?

    I have a full packer brisket from Costco, so I'm going to separate the point and the flat and use the point for pastrami and smoke the flat as brisket. I did check out the sticky here but I don't have a sous vide set up, so just a smoker.

    I'm planning on sticking with Meathead's recipes.

    https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...e-katzs-recipe

    https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...ed-beef-recipe

    Any advice for a first-timer on pastrami? I am inclined to simply smoke the point all the way to 203 as I like a good bark. Per the recipe, this would avoid having it sit in the fridge for a week after cooking.

    #2
    Cure the point as per the calculator. Desalinate. Rub Smoke. Next to bacon, pastrami is one of the easiest cured meats you can do. If you have to let the cure go a bit longer than the recipe, that's fine. Don't go less.

    I don't know why you'd let it sit after cooking, much less for a week. Maybe overnight to firm things up.
    Last edited by rickgregory; October 4, 2020, 11:44 AM.

    Comment


    • zero_credit
      zero_credit commented
      Editing a comment
      This line was a bit unclear to me.

      “ Cook. Place the meat on the smoker or on the indirect heat side of the grill. If you plan to steam it before serving for maximum tenderness, you only need to smoke it with indirect heat until it reaches the stall at about 150°F. You can wrap in foil and refrigerate for a week if you wish or proceed to the steaming step. “

    • rickgregory
      rickgregory commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh that means "up to a week". It's cured and smoked, so it's safe for that long but you really don't need to. You *do* need to steam it though.

    #3
    Sounds like a good plan to me. I always smoke all the way to probe tender. Wrap if the bark gets to where you want, or just go unwrapped.

    Comment


      #4
      Take the point to 210 before taking off the smoker.

      Comment


        #5
        I loved it. The wife said pepper was strong for her. Good luck!

        Comment


          #6
          Be sure to not skip the desalination step after the corned beef cure.

          you can smoke then steam or just smoke all the way, which I think is easier and gets you bark also.

          Important-> make 3x as much as you think you’ll need. This stuff disappears all too quickly.

          Comment


          • texastweeter
            texastweeter commented
            Editing a comment
            Desalination is a must.

          #7
          Remember--Recipes are only a guide. Baking is a science; cooking/BBQ/Smoking is an art.
          don't forget pictures, thanks in advance.

          Comment


            #8
            After a few tries with following Mh's recipe exact, I began treating my pastrami brisket the same as regular brisket in all respects (including wrapping after the stall)and I much prefer that myself and so does my wife & kids. Heck with steaming and all that mess, I don't need authentic, I need "good for us"!

            Comment


            • Razor
              Razor commented
              Editing a comment
              Nothing wrong with that.

            #9
            Well, it is in the brine now so I will report back in about a week or so.

            Comment


              #10
              Be sure to desalinate. I like to let the rub sit on the brisket (I do whole packers or the flat myself) for a few days on a wire rack uncovered. I find it helps the bark stay put, as I am one of them that steams the first way of the cook.

              Comment


                #11
                I've only done pastrami twice. I've used a flat for both.
                First one, I cured myself, smoked to 160, and steamed for 3 hours. Tasted great. Was super tender. Only thing that wasn't 100% was the bark was soft. It was a choice grade brisket flat.
                The second one I did was a store bought corned beef flat. I'm assuming it was select grade. I smoked to 185. Bark was good and set. Steamed for 2 hours. It came out good but not great. Taste was spot on. Was mostly tender and moist-ish, but a step down from the first one. Bark was still soft. Smoking through the stall made it shrink up more, as well. I think the biggest difference was in the grade of meat to start.

                Going forward I plan to 1) cure myself, 2) smoke to 160, 3) steam til done, 4) firm the bark up in the oven.
                Just my 2 cents. I've only done this twice, so not the most experienced.

                Comment


                  #12
                  Last few times I just smoked all the way and think it’s just easier. I only steam now to reheat leftovers.

                  Comment


                    #13
                    Smoke all the way for me too. I have a packer in the fridge that I am going to split and cure as soon as I get some time.

                    Comment


                      #14
                      I have spit a whole packer and made pastrami twice according to meathead taking to the end of the smoke came out perfect both times. I portioned when rested... vac seal and froze. It is excellent!!! Oh the corned beef was astounding as well!

                      Comment


                        #15
                        I found success separating the point and curing the flat. That's now what I'll likely do most of the time. Everything is better with some cure (this is for a short time partial cure more for flavor than preservation.

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