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Old 02-04-2011, 06:07 PM   #1
Apr 2009
Indian Mills, NJ
Posts: 292
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I got into smoking meats a month or so ago... I have produced some really delicious meats so far. I think I am hooked.

Anywho... I am huge pastrami fan... so I started to research how I to make it yourself.. there is not a ton of information out there. I compiled some recipe's and set out to give it a shot.

I started with an 8 pound brisket flat with the fat cap still on. I had to ask for this special as the packages flats were all fully trimmed and then halved.

Trim the brisket to 1/8 inch fat cap. In some spots it was thicker when I got it, in some spots it was thinner. This took some time.

After that I dry rubbed the cure all over every inch of the meat. All the cureing recipes I could find used a product called Morton Tender Quick which has the necessary Sodium Nitrites and Nitrates. I could not find this stuff and did not want to order it online so I called around.. I found a product called sweeter than sweet that a local butcher used for curing hams.

1/4 cup sweeter than sweet
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp granulated garlic
2 tbsp ground corriander.

I sanitized a homer bucket and lid and then dropped the cure rubbed brisket in the bucket and let it sit in my lagering fridge for 5 days (39 degrees). I opened the bucket and flipped the pastrami to be over once a day. I started the cure on friday... I smoked the pastrami on wednesday.

On "Brew" day. Remove the meat from the bucket and rinse rinse rinse. Get off any left over rub. After rub is removed place meat back into bucket and fill with cold water until submerged. I let it soak in this mixture one time for 45 minutes.

After the soak pat try with paper towells. Apply smoking rub.

Smoking Rub:
3 tbsp Ground Pepper
1 tbsp ground corriander
1 tbsp granulated garlic

I needed a bit more of this rub so I made a second batch of it.

From there it's just basic smoking. 225 until center hits 165 degrees (yes this is different than the cooking temperature of a non cured brisket). I used a combination of apple,oak, and hickory chips.

After the low and slow smoke (mine took about 6 hours), wrap the pastrami in 3 layers of tin foil and let rest for 2 hours.

Open and enjoy!!

Very delicious and far exceeded my own expectations. Pictures to come if there is any of it left! Next time I will take pics of the process.

This recipe was adapted from this website... which was the best source I could find.

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Old 02-06-2011, 04:57 PM   #2
RedHouse's Avatar
Oct 2010
Posts: 189

I just made some pastrami using that recipe last week. It turned out awesome! I only wish I had done two! Made some hash with it too. Now I need a slicer.

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Old 02-07-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
dataz722's Avatar
Oct 2007
Middletown, De
Posts: 37,060
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Did you check the nitrate content of the sweeter than sweet? You would have to adjust the recipe accordingly if it wasn't the same as tenderquick.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:16 PM   #4
drac0's Avatar
Mar 2010
Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 145
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That looks awesome! I may have to give this a try. I've been wanting to smoke a brisket again, since its been a long while for me, but pastrami is one of my favorites too..

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Old 02-07-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
Apr 2009
Indian Mills, NJ
Posts: 292
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I found the contents.. I think.. but it was similar to tender quick.. not the same.

I did not adjust the recipe because all of the advise I got said to go ahead and do it with just the sugar and salt.. no cure needed.

From what I could tell, the nitrate and nitrite were simply to fight off bacteria. Since it was my first attempt and a $50 dollar brisket I wanted some in there.. but I was'nt really worried about it.

When I do this again I will use just kosher salt, sugar, and pepper/corriander... no cure.

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Old 02-07-2011, 04:30 PM   #6
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azscoob's Avatar
Jun 2009
Lake in the Hills, IL
Posts: 7,454
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Oh hell yeah, my wife will be irked that I am undertaking yet another project! I have the slicer, and it is calling to me, it wants homemade pastrami!
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:16 PM   #7
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Cape Brewing's Avatar
May 2008
Norton, MA
Posts: 13,499
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nice... I am making a ton of sausage and other cured meats Weds night and pastrami is one of them.

We'll see how it comes out. I'm pysched you had good success though.
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