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Need some advice after cooking my first pastrami

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    Need some advice after cooking my first pastrami

    HI All,
    I am a newbie here. I just cooked my first pastrami. I followed Meathead's recipe. I used a prepared 4.4 lb corned beef, 1 3/4" thick. Soaked in water for 12 hours, changed the water twice. Used Meathead's spice recipe. Weber kettle with SNS, BBQ Guru at 225 deg, apple wood. The cook took 14 hours. On the Weber for 11 hours at 225 deg, then the last 3 hours in the over at 235 deg to get IT of 203 deg. Incredible crust, great flavor, very tender, pretty moist. My question - why did it take SOOOOO long? I monitored the grill temp and IT with multiple different thermometers just to make sure I was getting accurate readings. Thank you!!!

    #2
    Don't smoke at 225. Smoke at 275. For some reason people treat 225 as 'the' temp and it's not. 275 will be fine and a lot faster

    Comment


    • Peaceful
      Peaceful commented
      Editing a comment
      OK, thank you. I just assumed 225 deg all the way through. I will give that a try next time.

    #3
    Once the bark is fully formed, it's fine to wrap in foil to speed the process along.

    Comment


    • Peaceful
      Peaceful commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you! I was thinking of wrapping in foil as it was taking so long, but I was concerned about softening the bark. Not so? Do you put it back on the grill naked to crisp/firm-up the bark?

    • fzxdoc
      fzxdoc commented
      Editing a comment
      Peaceful, I wrap pastrami in foil sometimes, depending on its desired ETA. Wrap tightly in two separate layers of heavy duty foil once the bark is good and set at about 180° internal and you'll still enjoy that great bark, just as Steve R. says.

      Kathryn

    #4
    When I first started grilling/smoking I also thought 225 was the "go to" temp, but like rickgregory said try a little hotter next time and you will be surprised at the drastic drop in time necessary. My "go to" temp on the kettle is 250 (will vary +/-20 degrees) but after I wrap will bump it up to 275. We do like pastrami too, I will be watching our local Walmart as they put flats and points on sale prior to St. Pats Day, bought 10 points last year which make fantastic pastrami.

    Comment


    • HawkerXP
      HawkerXP commented
      Editing a comment
      +1

    • Oak Smoke
      Oak Smoke commented
      Editing a comment
      I bought 8 of the Walmart points too. A friend had said that the Walmart points were fine to smoke without desalination. I tried one from Walmart and one from a local store right out of the package. They were rinsed and then rubbed with meatheads pastrami rub and cooked together so everything was the same. The Walmart was just fine, the other was way too salty.

    #5
    It's a stall just like any other brisket. With so much moisture inside it takes a while. I'm perfectly happy to use 225 when I have time, but sometimes 275 is better. Yesterday I used 275 because I didn't cook overnight, and it finished on time for dinner.

    Comment


      #6
      First. Welcome to the Pit!
      Second. If we can't see it. It never happened! Pictures, we must see pictures.....pictures of the good, bad or ugly cooks. Pictures of your dog, cat, sun rise and sunsets.

      Comment


      • Peaceful
        Peaceful commented
        Editing a comment
        OK, good, a reality-ist! :-))) Load pictures below

      #7
      First, welcome to The Pit.

      I shoot for 250° when I do a low and slow cook, but I don't worry as long as it stays between 225° and 275° if time is not a factor. If time is a factor, I'll try to keep the temp in the upper end of the range. Some here do cook even hotter with great results.

      I have never wrapped, but if I did, it would be after the bark is set and firm.

      The stall is the period where moisture is evaporating from the surface of the meat. That evaporation prevents, (or greatly slows), the rise in temp. If the meat has spent a week or so in a wet brine, and additional time desalinating in water, it will have more moisture that needs to evaporate, so it will take longer to cook.

      Comment


        #8
        I've got 3 pastramis on the smoker as I type this. Pit Barrel Cooker rocking along at 275°. Should take about 8 hours or to take the pastramis to probe tenderness which should be in the neighborhood of 203° internal.

        Meathead recommends 225° for all of the recipes he writes because he says his goal is to keep things consistent and simple, especially for those new to smoking and grilling. Plus he says he has all of his smokers dialed in at 225°.

        But the wonderful thing about smoking (which is always a learning experience for everyone) is that you can make adjustments based on your experience. You may want to goose your smoker temp up next time you do a long cook and see if you like the results.

        You've got yourself some great pastrami there. Enjoy.

        Kathryn

        Comment


          #9
          Hawker XP says pictures area must - here ya go!
          Click image for larger version

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          Comment


          • holehogg
            holehogg commented
            Editing a comment
            Dont care much how long it took if it looks like that. Fantastic first Pastrami. Nailed it.

          • willxfmr
            willxfmr commented
            Editing a comment
            Fine looking hunk 'o beef you got there. I'll just pile on to what everyone else has said and agree that 225* is fine if you have the time. In my experience, 250-275 can shave a couple hours off a long cook with no loss in quality.

          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Nicely done, looks great. I’ll take some of that

          #10
          Thank you all for you feedback and wisdom. I really appreciate it. I am learning grilling/smoking is one of the very few things in life where "eating you mistakes" is a REALLY GOOD THING. Thank again.

          Comment


          • willxfmr
            willxfmr commented
            Editing a comment
            Ah... I see you haven't made any big mistakes yet. When I was first learning how to BBQ, I always had it in the back of my mind that we were having whatever was on the smoker, or pizza delivery for dinner. Which one it was going to be was always a crap shoot. Sometimes, still is.

          #11
          Peaceful I had exactly the same problem with my pastrami the first time I made it. It took to long. Si, start at 225 until it stalls, wrap it in butcher paper !!!not foil!!!! and rise the temperature to 275. Now it takes about 3-4 more hours. Now you have a delicious pastrami with a good crust and you’ve saved time.

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