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homemade pastrami recipe


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Step 1

Make the brine in a suitably sized container by mixing the water with the other brine ingredients and whisking until the salt and sugar are dissolved.

Step 2

Trim the brisket of excess fat according to your preference. If using a whole brisket, trim the fat between the flat and point. (For a good look at that process, see our post on Brisket Burnt Ends.)

Step 3

Submerge the brisket in the brine and refrigerate it for 7–10 days, turning it over in the brine every day or two.

Step 4

The day of the smoking, prepare the rub by coarsely grinding the coriander and the pepper and mixing them both with the other ingredients for the rub.

Step 5

Preheat your smoker to 250°F (121°C) using your choice of smoking wood. If using your Smoke to monitor the air temp, set the High-temp alarm for 250°F (121°C) and the low-temp alarm for 225°F (107°C).

Step 6

Remove the beef from the brine and discard the brine carefully so that you don’t contaminate your kitchen with beef juices.

Step 7

Rinse the cured beef under cold running water, then dry it all over with paper towels.

Step 8

Apply the rub liberally all over the brisket, including in the gap between the flat and point.

Step 9

Put the beef on the smoker and insert a probe into its thickest part. Set the high-temp alarm for 150°F (66°C) and smoke the beef.

Step 10

When the high-temp alarm sounds, verify with your Thermapen ONE and remove the pastrami from the smoker.

Step 11

If you are going to finish cooking the next day, let the pastrami cool to room temperature, uncovered, before wrapping or covering it and refrigerating it. If you are doing it all in one day, just continue to the steaming step.

Step 12

Heat your oven to 275°F (135°C).

Step 13

Set a rack in the bottom of a roasting pan and pour nearly 1/2″ of very hot water into the bottom of it.

Step 14

Place the pastrami on the rack, cover it tightly with foil, and place it in the oven.

Step 15

Insert a probe from your Smoke and set the high-temp alarm for 203°F (95°C).

Step 16

Steam the meat until the high-temp alarm sounds.

Step 17

Verify the internal temperature with your Thermapen ONE. Remember that this doesn’t need to feel super tender, as it will be sliced very thinly.

Step 18

Remove the pastrami from the oven and either start carving it right away or cool it to make into cold cuts later.

Step 19

Eat it, eat as much of it as you can!