Homemade Pastrami

1 corned beef (follow this recipe up to the cooking portion)
3 tablespoons whole coriander
3 tablespoons whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

Soak the meat 15 minutes in cold water. Rub with paprika and sugar. Using a mortar and pestle or other grinder, grind the peppercorns and coriander until broken down but still coarse. Rub into the meat on all sides. Refrigerate overnight.

Place on one rack of your smoker. Place two chimmneys‘ worth of unlit coals in the coal ring. Add 3 chunks mesquite then add one chimney worth of lit coals on top. Place 3 additional chunks of mesquite on top of the lit coals. Reassemble the smoker. Fill the water bowl with warm water. Smoke for 5 hours keeping the temperature between 225-275.

Smoke for 6 to 6 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature is 165. Wrap tightly in foil and place in a cold oven or cooler for 1-2 hours before slicing.*

*If you can, wait until the next day to slice, the flavors are even better. What we did was make the pastrami to eat the next day one one rack and a Texas style brisket to eat the same date for dinner on the second rack.

My thoughts:

I am more of a corned beef girl myself but there is something to be said about smoked meat. For some reason I thought it would be tricky but it really wasn’t. You’re basically starting with a corned beef then rubbing it with spices and smoking it. Easy-peasy. I was excited that it came out tasting so much like deli pastrami. It was inexpensive to make my own too, brisket is much cheaper (especially on sale as it is often this time of year)per pound than deli meats and think how much more impressive serving homemade pastrami is!


  1. I so wish I had a smoker (or a yard for that matter) so I could try this! I just had the best ever pastrami at Mile End Deli in Brooklyn. Yours looks pretty darn tasty, though!

  2. Beau @ somethingedible

    I've been smoking with pecan wood a lot lately; now you've got me wondering how well that'd work for pastrami. Anyhow, it's not even 9am and now I'm hungry for lunch. Nicely done!
    (Hot Mister Mustard FTW!)

  3. It is like you are a mind reader as I woke up this morning and thought it was about time to brine a brisket and my family will be happy if I make it into pastrami. It has been such a mild winter we have been "smoking" every week. Sunday we are smoking our chicken wings!

  4. Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat

    This looks awesome! I have a smoker I never use so it may be time to pull it out!