Smoked Pastrami

Smoked Pastrami - Slliced
Smoked Pastrami - Slliced

Smoked Pastrami

This is yet another fantastic recipe from Meathead at crew at Amazing Ribs – A Smoked Pastrami Recipe That’s Close To Katz’s.
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Course: Smoked
Cuisine: American, BBQ, Jewish



  • Put the corned beef in a pot slightly larger than the meat and cover it with cold water in the fridge for at least 8 hours. This removes excess salt. Trust me, you need to do this or you will be gulping water all night after your meal.
  • Rinse the meat, and dry it. Then rub Olive Oil all over it, this will help the rub stick to the meat. Apply the rub liberally and press it into the surface to help it adhere. Put it in the fridge for a minimum of 2 days. Don't wrap it. The rub just sticks to the plastic wrap.
    Smoked Pastrami - Ready for the Smoker
  • Set up your grill in 2 zones for smoking or set up your smoker for indirect cooking at 225°F. Fruit wood, like Cherry or Apple, works best for this. then Place the meat on the smoker or on the indirect heat side of the grill. If you plan to steam it before serving for maximum tenderness, you only need to smoke it with indirect heat until it reaches the stall at about 150°F. You can wrap in foil and refrigerate for a week if you wish or proceed to the steaming step. The downside is that steam softens the crust. You can skip the steaming and smoke it up to 203°F and have a nice firm smoky bark, but the meat will not be quite as tender. But it will be tender. And delicious. Your call. Try it both ways and pick the method that suits you best. This one was smoked to 155F and then wrapped and refrigerated for bout 18 hours.
    Smoked Pastrami - After Smoking to 155F
  • We steamed the meat before serving until the internal temperature was 203°F in an electric frying pan by placing a baking rack in the pan and filling it with water to just below the top of the rack. We set the pan temperature at about 225°F. If you have a bamboo or metal steamer in which the meat will fit, you can use that or you can make a steamer by putting a wire rack in a baking pan. If necessary you can sit the rack on wads of foil to keep it out of the water. In this case, set the stove up for medium low and Unwrap the meat and put it on the foil in which it was wrapped or the steam will wash off much of the rub. Do not slice the meat first. If you made a steamer with a baking pan, cover it with foil. If the pan is steel don't let the foil touch the meat. The salt, the water, the steel, and the aluminum can interact and create electrical charges that can melt the foil! This is a phenomenon called the "lasagna cell" because it happens to lasagna often. You'll need to steam it an hour or two until heated through to 203°F. Add hot water as needed, making sure the pan never dries out. Don't rush this. Take it all the way to 203°F. Note that the crust tends to get soft when you steam. No doubt about it, a hard crust is more appealing. So you can firm the crust by putting it on a hot grill or in the oven or under the broiler for a few minutes. We used the broiler for this.
    Smoked Pastrami - Ready to Slice
  • Now comes the good part, slice the pastrami AGAINST THE GRAIN to attain maximum tenderness.
    Smoked Pastrami - Slliced
  • As you can see from the photo, we made sandwiches with homemade cole slaw, pickles, mustard, and, of course, the Pastrami on sourdough bread. Mmm mmm good!
    Smoked Pastrami Sandwich