7 Day Pastrami

Beef Pastrami
From Habanero Smoker

There is no definitive recipe for pastrami. As a matter of fact it does not have to be beef. You can use any type of meat, poultry or even salmon. Pastrami is just highly seasoned meat, though my personal preference is beef; brisket flat cut. You can make pastrami from commercially made corned beef, but if you want to taste a real good pastrami cure it yourself with a dry cure; or corn your own beef with a wet brine (pickle).

The following is a conglomeration of several recipes I had found on the web, but I mainly relied on the cooking technique outlined at this site Weber Bullet. This came out great. I would recommend making pastrami, and feel free to experiment with the ingredients in the dry rub.

Pastrami Dry Cure Ingredients: (Original)

I always get better results by using a dry cure, instead of using a wet brine cure.

•1/4 cup Morton Tender Quick (or Basic Dry Cure)
•1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
•1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
•2 Tbsp granulated garlic powder
•2 Tbsp ground coriander

This is enough for 4 – 7 pounds of brisket.

Pastrami Dry Cure Ingredients: (Updated)

Though the above recipe cure obtains good results, I often have and odd amount of rub left over that I can't use. This recipe will help reduce the waste of ingredients. Hopefully I will soon get around to posting my steaming method.

•1 Tbsp Morton Tender Quick (or Basic Dry Cure) per pound
•1/2 Tbsp dark brown sugar, packed per pound
•1/2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper per pound
•1 tsp granulated garlic powder per pound
•1 tsp ground coriander per pound


1.Trim surface fat of an untrimmed brisket flat to 1/8”, this is important so that the cure fully penetrates the meat; yet it leaves enough fat to keep the meat moist. If you do a whole brisket or thicker cut of meat, you will need to prepare a wet cure and inject the meat.

2.In a small bowl, mix Morton Tender Quick, sugar and remaining ingredients. Mix all ingredients well, making sure to break up any lumps of sugar, no matter how small. I found that the bare hands work best. Rub mixture into all sides of brisket, and work it in well (do not shake off any excess that is on the meat). I prepared a 5 ½ pound half flat (point end), used about ¾ of the mix, and the meat was fully cured.

3.Next place brisket into a two gallon Ziploc bag; expel as much air as possible, and make sure the seal is secure. Refrigerate and allow to cure 4 days, turning the brisket over every 12 hours, or at least daily. After 4 days of curing, remove the brisket from the bag, and thoroughly rinse under cold running water. After rinsing, place the meat in a container and cover with cold water. Let the meat soak for 30 minutes, change the water, and let soak for another 30 minutes. This helps reduce the saltiness from the meat. Pat dry with paper towels and apply rub.

Note - If your brisket weighs 7 pounds or more, or if it is under 7 pound but unusually thick; you will need to add an extra day to the curing time.

Dry Rub Ingredients:

•3 TBS. coriander seeds (4 TBS. if you don’t have white peppercorns).
•2 TBS. black peppercorns
•2 TBS. yellow mustard seeds
•1 TBS. white peppercorns
•2 TBS. of granulated garlic
Makes enough rub for one brisket flat.

Smoking/Cooking Directions:

1.Combine the first four ingredients, and coarsely grind in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Pour ground mixture into a bowl, add the granulated garlic and remix. Apply the dry rub to the brisket generously, working the rub into the meat by pressing it in with the palms of your hands. Air dry in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours before before placing it in the smoker.

2.Remove brisket from the refrigerator and place it on a tray, fat side down, and place in a pre-heated Bradley Smoker, at 220 degrees F. Apply 3 hours of smoke. I used 2 hours of pecan, and finished with 1 hour of apple. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 – 165 degrees F. You can also use a smoking temperature of 250 degrees F.

3.When the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 160 – 165 degrees F, take it out of the smoker. Wrap the brisket in one layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Wrap it in a towel, and place it fat-side up in a cooler or microwave oven for two hours (if just going into the microwave you don't need the towel). Remove brisket from the cooler (or microwave) and remove the foil and save. Wrap brisket in plastic wrap, and then wrap it in the foil you just saved. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 day, two is better. When ready to eat thin slice the pastrami across the grain for a tenderer slice. You can either eat it cold or warm it up.