chitala383

Making pastrami

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I've decided to make some home made pastrami and have it ready for memorial day. I got a 5 pound brisket from Costco and it's currently brining in the fridge. Water, Salt, curing salt, garlic, peppercorns, allspice, cloves, Mustard seeds. Sunday night I'm gonna take it out, season with pepper, coriander, and paprika, let it sit in the fridge uncovered overnight, then smoke it in the morning. Here's my question. I've read numerous ways to cook the pastrami. Should I smoke it to 160, the wrap it in foil and continue to cook in the smoker until 204? I've also read to smoke it to 160, then let it cool, then steam it to 204. Thoughts, experiences?

Edited by chitala383

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First, don't leave it open overnight, after you put the secondary spices on, wrap it as tight as you can in plastic wrap.

 

As to smoking, I do mine to about 160 or so, then have it thinly sliced. I then steam the slices shortly before putting it on a sandwiches with mustard and Swiss, or a Reuben. 

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I dunno....I just think that after sprinkling with the rub on the surface, wrapping it as tight as you can is like putting pressure on it to push those flavors into the meat, as well as helping the moisture draw it in.

 

Tear off a large piece of plastic wrap and lay it on a counter. Put the meat at one end closest to you, and start sort of rolling it in the plastic away from you. Once you have the top and bottom covered by plastic, hold the tag end of the plastic and pull the meat tight towards you and roll some more, keeping it very tight. Continue this process of pulling and rolling until you have 3-4 layers of the wrap.

 

Let it sit in the fridge like that overnight.

 

If you do an advanced search with me as the author and pastrami as the keyword, you will find threads, some with pictures, on this topic.

Edited by Steve in Mass

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I have read you can use corned beef for this.  I have also read not to do it.  Is there a reason for this.  Never done it before.  Love pastrami.. ..

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Corned beef is brisket. Brining the brisket like i am is essentially turning it into corned beef. The difference between corned beef and pastrami is that after the brine corned beef gets boiled or steamed to cook, pastrami gets seasoned then smoked.

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This^

 

I use store bought corned beef that I get on sale CHEAP in March the week if Saint Patrick's Day. Those you need to soak in plain water a bit to remove some of the salt, though. I use the point cut.

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Fwiw I think I'm going to smoke it to 160, let cool, then steam whole to 204. I like pastrami cold mostly, so I don't want to have to stream individual slices. I'll return with pictures and my findings. Hopefully it doesn't suck. Haha

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I have it cold some times as well. For that, I have never steamed it. The smoke to 160 is always enough for me. The steaming I do is just to warm it for hot pastrami sandwiches, not really to cook it to a higher temp.

 

Have never had it be tough cooked just to the 160 or so.

 

The 200 thing is probably related to the pulled pork theory of that lower temp coast, pause, and then the sudden rise to 190-200 to break down the last bit of collagen. But not sure that would apply here.

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10 hours ago, chitala383 said:

Fwiw I think I'm going to smoke it to 160, let cool, then steam whole to 204. I like pastrami cold mostly, so I don't want to have to stream individual slices. I'll return with pictures and my findings. Hopefully it doesn't suck. Haha

Do this ^ it won't suck.  The meat needs to be taken to the high temp for the breakdown into juicy tenderness to happen. 

 

Then when you reheat, it will be ready to go.

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Pastrami has been in the smoker at 210 since 9:15, it's not 1:00 and internal temperature is at 155. I just wrapped it and I'm gonna bring it up to 180. Pictures to come when it's finished.

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On 5/24/2018 at 4:15 PM, chitala383 said:

Why don't leave it open?

The directions say wrap it tight in plastic wrap. Prolly because it would dehydrate.

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