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First Attempt at Pastrami. Any tips?

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  • zero_credit
    Club Member
    • Mar 2020
    • 701
    • Near Chicago, IL
    • Current Pride and Joy:

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      Joule

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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.
  • rickgregory
    Founding Member
    • Aug 2014
    • 1249
    • Seattle, WA

    #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.
  • Red Man
    Club Member
    • May 2018
    • 1316
    • Western Washington

    #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

    • Jerod Broussard
      Moderator
      • Jun 2014
      • 10014
      • East Texas
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      #4
      Take the point to 210 before taking off the smoker.

      Comment

      • HawkerXP
        Club Member
        • Jul 2016
        • 6560
        • Virginia
        • 2 Weber Performers, 1 kettle, 1 Smoky Joe and a PBC
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        #5
        I loved it. The wife said pepper was strong for her. Good luck!

        Comment

        • Polarbear777
          Club Member
          • Sep 2016
          • 1914

          #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.
        • bbqLuv
          Club Member
          • Jan 2020
          • 1876
          • Milwaukie, OR

          #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

          • Huskee
            Administrator
            • May 2014
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            #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.
          • zero_credit
            Club Member
            • Mar 2020
            • 701
            • Near Chicago, IL
            • Current Pride and Joy:

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              B&B Charlogs/B&B Lump

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

            Comment

            • texastweeter
              Club Member
              • Jul 2017
              • 2932
              • Republic of Texas

              #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

              • BFlynn
                Charter Member
                • Oct 2014
                • 950
                • Third Coast

                #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

                • shify
                  Club Member
                  • Jun 2017
                  • 557
                  • Westchester County, NY

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

                  Comment

                  • klflowers
                    Club Member
                    • Sep 2015
                    • 3778
                    • Tennessee

                    #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

                    • DiverDriver
                      Club Member
                      • May 2019
                      • 270
                      • Fort Wayne Indiana

                      #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

                      • ddmcwhirter
                        Charter Member
                        • Nov 2014
                        • 141
                        • Leon Springs northwest of San Antonio, Texas

                        #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.

                        Comment

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