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PostPosted: 15 Oct 2012, 23:06
by BBQFanatic
Pastrami is a prepared meat that I have always really enjoyed and fell in love with at Katz Deli in NY, succulent, served with pickles and mustard on rye bread. I had a few pieces of brisket point left over from a competition. This does take a few days to prepare, but is well worth the effort. I like the dry brining approach, but I know that other people will use a wet brine - Hey ho!


Dry Brine
- 1x Brisket point or flat +- 2kgs
- 4x Tablespoons Sea Salt
- 2x Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2x Tablespoons dried coriander seeds (in a pan then crushed)
- 3-4 Bay leaves shredded
- 1x Tablespoon of crushed garlic
- 1x Teaspoon of crushed chilli flakes
- 3x (8 grams) Teaspoons Prague Powder #1 (93.75% Table salt and 6.25% Sodium Nitrite)

Rinse and dry the meat. Take the dry ingredients above and mix well. Take the garlic and rub into the meat, then rub the remaining mixed dry items for the dry brine into the meat. Place the meat into air tight sealed bags and squeeze as much air out of the bags before sealing.

Place the sealed bags in the fridge and turn daily for 3-4 days. On the day you are going to smoke the meat, rinse off all the spices. I was worried about the salt content, so I placed the meat in the a bowl of water for 45mins with a plate on top. Remove from the water, dry thoroughly and then add the dry rub.


- 2x Large handfuls of coriander (roasted in a pan and crushed)
- 2x Tablespoons of pepper
- 1x Tablespoon of garlic powder


Smoke for 3-5 hours at 225F until it hits an internal temp of 165F. Wrap in foil with 2x Tablespoons of butter and put back in the smoker for 1hour. Remove from the smoker, vent for 15 minutes then wrap in foil and let it rest for 1 hour. Slice thinly and serve on warm white bread with pickles, cheese and a splash of hot sauce.


I only realised after 3 days that I had used the too little Prague Powder in my dry brine (1x teaspoon instead of 3x), so I didnt get the pink colour all over that I was looking for. Lessons learn!

Re: Pastrami

PostPosted: 15 Oct 2012, 23:11
by Chris__M
Not long ago, I tried my hand at making Salt Beef, which (as you possibly already know) shares the same brining technique, but is cooked differently. I used a wet brine.

I rinsed mine after the brine, but didn't soak/wash it; and regretted it. The texture of the meat was near perfect, but it was way over salty. I'll know next time - I thought I would get the salt beef stage right, before trying the slightly more complex pastrami.

Re: Pastrami

PostPosted: 16 Oct 2012, 08:06
by Pecker
A good way to serve/eat pastrami is in sandwiches with Dijon mustard, cucumber and red onion. Put a little maldon and garlic pepper on the cucumber.

Great combination.

Steve W

Re: Pastrami

PostPosted: 17 Oct 2012, 13:05
by joker smoker
Toby cooks some excellent pastrami. Hopefully he will join this thread soon.

Re: Pastrami

PostPosted: 19 Oct 2012, 10:09
by Jonty
That looks good. I do have a question about the Cure#1 though, that seems like an awful lot of cure for 2kgs of meat. I've just checked the ratios of salt/nitrite in my cure and it's the same as yours and the reccomended useage is 2.5g per kg of meat.

Please don't take this as a criticism, I'm just interested as to if there's any reasoning behind the quantity.

Re: Pastrami

PostPosted: 24 Jun 2014, 09:32
by UKEgger
I know this is an older thread by rather than create a new one thought I'd add to it.

Whilst looking at the smokedust uk website i came across a pastrmai cure and rub, having had some really good patrami whilst living in New york though I had to give this a go.

So after a week of curing the brisket and then seasoning and smoking. Smoked with apple chunks added to the lump to an internal temp of 165F, I ended up with
Cooking by Jason Braby, on Flickr

then after slicing

Cooking by Jason Braby, on Flickr

It tastes fantastic and something I will do again for sure (once I get through the mountains I have) really recomend people try it.

One question I have is that it took a long time to get to the right intenral temp, must have been well over 12 hours, either my meat was too thick or my thermometer is broken.