How To Smoke Pastrami [Woods, Dressings And Recipes]


Pastrami was originally a means of preserving meat, but is now used as a meat companion in its own right. Perfect in sandwiches or even served on its own, it’s one of the best ways to enjoy a flat brisket. Find out everything you need to know with our smoked pastrami recipe.

How to smoke pastrami

What is pastrami?

Pastrami is salted brisket coated in a layer of spices and spices. It is pickled, seasoned and then slowly smoked or steamed.

It has a lot in common with corned beef and actually has a very familiar cooking process. The main difference is the spice mix, and then it’s slowly roasted instead of boiled.

Why do we use the Brisket Flat?

Pastrami was prepared with either navy lamb or beef, and the cut of beef was increasingly modified as pastrami grew in popularity in Western Europe and North America. We like Brisket because it’s easier to get hold of than Naval, and we like Flat over Tip because it’s less fat and leaner, making it easier to use once smoked.

Pastrami marinade

As with much beef, we apply a good barbecue marinade to the pastrami before tossing it in the smoker. For this recipe, we use a simple black pepper and coriander mix with a thin layer of yellow mustard for glue. For this recipe, we used a simple seasoning with just three ingredients, but if you want more sweetness and spiciness, try our Smoked Pastrami recipe .

Why isn’t there salt in the fries? you may ask. Well, having soaked the breast in brine for almost six days, we already have a lot of salt embedded in the meat. Anything else would be overkill, and we don’t want to do all that work just to screw it up with a salty piece of meat.

Beef brisket for pastrami in the smoker with top rubs

The best wood for smoking pastrami

He chose cherry wood for this recipe. While we often use deeper, earthy woods for the brisket, the wood’s cherry flavors perfectly complement the spices and spices of the pastrami. It also helps develop that deep pink color we love to see in pastrami slices.

How to smoke pastrami

My full smoked pastrami recipe is below, but here are a few tips to get the most out of your cooked meat.

When it comes time to wrap the brisket in foil , be sure to wrap it as tightly as possible. This preserves the crust that the meat has developed in the meantime. If you leave too much room or the foil tears, the moisture in the smoker will ruin the crust.

When we return the wrapped brisket to the smoker, we increase the temperature to around 300°F. We don’t do this to expose it to smoke or wood, but to allow the connective tissue and fat in the meat to break down and break down. Doing this wrapped and at a higher temperature will help speed up the process.

Aim for an indoor temperature of 205-210°F. Ultimately, the internal temperature is what matters here, but also check the resistance when you insert the probe. If you don’t feel a lot of resistance, you know your pastrami is nice and tender.

If you plan to eat it the same day you cook it, let it sit for about an hour before slicing. This allows the juice to redistribute and makes it as tender as possible.

Instead, if you want to keep them, put them in the fridge and let them cool. You can slice it when it’s fully set and the meat should hold its shape perfectly.

When cutting, it is important to pay attention to the direction in which the muscle fibers run. Instead of cutting with the grain, let’s cut it perpendicularly. 

Do not throw away the juice left in the foil pack. If you save the pastrami for later, you can keep it in the juices or reheat it to preserve the flavor.

How long to roast pastrami

Pastrami must be smoked for a total of 7 hours. Once prepared and cured, roast at 250°F for 5 hours. Then wrap in foil and cook at 300°F for 2 hours. The pastrami is ready when it has reached an internal temperature of 66°C.

Smoked pastrami

This smoked pastrami recipe is unlike any other. Aged for several days before being cooked slowly and slowly over cherry wood, this is the perfect way to enjoy flat brisket.
Appetizer course , main course, side dish
American cuisine , Barbecue, Italian
Preparation time 6 days
Cooking time 8 hours
Total time 6 days 8 hours
Serving 8


  • Salzheimer
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Quit smoker
  • Cherry wood for roasting
  • Lake


  • 1 flat chest weighing 4-5 pounds

For the cucumber spice

  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon berries of all spices
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 bay leaf torn
  • Crush 1 cinnamon stick

For the brine

  • 4 liters of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of kosher salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 tea spoons of rose salt for hardening
  • 10 garlic cloves , chopped
  • 8 pounds of ice

For the pastrami rub

  • 4 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • Yellow mustard


For the cucumber spice

  • Place black peppercorns, mustard seeds, and coriander in a dry skillet over high heat. DO keep the pan moving so the ingredients cook on all sides. Roast until fragrant.
  • Remove from the pan and pour onto a napkin.
  • Distribute the seeds evenly and fold the napkin in half to cover the seeds. Use a pan to crush the seeds.
  • Pour the broken seeds in a little pain. Add all remaining pickling spice ingredients and mix well.

For the brine

  • Heat the water in a large sauce pan. Add all of the brine ingredients except ice, plus ¼ cup of the pickling spice.
  • Bring the water to a boil and stir well.
  • Once the salt and sugar dissolved, they stopped the fire.
  • Put ice in the brine bucket and pour into the brine solution.
  • Once the solution is achieved, dip the trimmed breast into the solution. If your bucket has a plate, you can use it to completely submerge the meat.
  • Put the bucket in the fridge. Leave on for 4-6 days.

For seasoning

  • Remove the brisket from the brine bucket. Run under cold water to remove excess spice or solution. Blot with a paper towel.
  • Mix in the black pepper and coriander to a little pain.
  • Apply a thin layer of yellow mustard to the surface of the breast from all sides.
  • Apply the spice mixture generously to all sides of the breast.

For the smoked brisket

  • Smoker at 250°F hot. If you’re using a charcoal grill, set it to indirect grilling and keep an eye on the temperature.
  • Transfer the breast to the smoker. Close the door and cook for 5 hours.
  • Remove the breast from the smoker and wrap tightly in foil.
  • Raise the temperature to 300°F and return the wrapped chest to the smoker.
  • Cook for another 1-2 hours. Check the internal temperature of the breast with the meat sample(you can do this through the foil) and aim for an internal temperature of 66°C(160°F).
  • Remove pastrami from smoker and foil.
  • Find muscle fibers running through the flesh and cut perpendicular to their direction. Serve and enjoy!

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