Smoked Pastrami

by Kevin H. on March 14, 2013 · 9 comments

Smoked Pastrami Recipe

The recipe is a culmination of much research and my awesome cousins Dan and Tim.  Last year at Memphis in May, over a three-day period we cooked ribs, pulled pork, brisket, smoked chicken, salmon, Memphis sausage & cheese, beef tenderloin, smoked brats…and much more.  But you know what the best thing we ate was, that we were all talking about for days?

This Pastrami.

Smoked Pastrami Recipe

Dan brined it for weeks in California, where he lived at the time, and actually packed it in ice in his suitcase and brought it to Memphis.  How dedicated is that?  Since then, Tim recreated at our family Christmas gathering, and it was so ridiculously good that 3 of these 10lb suckers were eaten and gone in about 30 minutes.

I needed no further motivation to try it myself.

I won’t bore you with all the details here, as many of them have been given this week with the Brine and Rub.  Pictured above you see the brisket soaking in water.  This process pulls some of that salty brine out of the meat.  I soaked it for about 5 hours, but it could have soaked a lot longer – even overnight if possible.

Smoked Pastrami Recipe

From there it’s as simple as patting the brisket dry and covering both sides in delicious rub.  Let it sit like that for at least 30 minutes so it adheres well to the meat before moving to smoker.

Smoked Pastrami Recipe

Then it’s all about the internal temp.  I used a blend of hickory and apple wood and smoked this big beauty for about 4 hours.  And yes, those are bacon wrapped potatoes you see.  That’s a fun and tasty little side dish treat for you…and why the heck not, you know?

Smoked Pastrami Recipe

After smoking, I wrapped in an aluminum pan and cooked until the internal temp hit about 200.  After letting it rest for 30 minutes I sliced it and was absolutely smiling from ear to ear when I saw that the process had worked and this beef brisket was now a pink colored pastrami.  Such a neat process.

Smoked Pastrami Recipe

So thank you to my cousins for inspiring me to make this delicious meat.  I will say, it’s a time consuming process to go through a 3 week brining period on top of spending a half day smoking it….but it’s one of my most favorite things I’ve ever done.  I’m telling you it’s delicious.  And the sandwiches we had the next several days were out of this world.  Plan it out and try at least once.  I think you’ll be surprised at how much you like it.

Smoked Pastrami Recipe

Smoked Pastrami

Smoked Pastrami

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Brine Pastrami as instructed for at least 2 weeks, if not 3 weeks.
  2. Soak in water overnight to draw out some of the salt.
  3. Pat dry and cover both sides with Pastrami Rub.
  4. Smoke at 225-250, using a mix of hickory & fruit wood, for at least 4 hours or until internal temp hits about 160.
  5. Place the brisket in an aluminum pan with a bit of liquid - apple juice, water, or whatever you want - and cook until the internal temp is around 200. Another good indicator is when your thermometer slides into the meat like butter.
  6. Let rest for at least 30 minutes, slice thin.
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