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I started soaking my corned beef brisket (4.5lbs) Thursday after work. I changed the water bath once before going to bed around 9pm. Friday it was changed about 4 more times. Friday evening I sliced off the fat cap. I tried to keep it in one piece the best I could. I applied my rub all over the brisket, then put the fat cap back on and applied rub on that, then stored it in the fridge in the garage until Saturday morning.

Saturday morning: Clear blue sky's with a very strong wind!! I mean it felt like I was living on Jupiter!! The smoker was brought out of the garage, it was already foiled and loaded with about 3oz of Oak. At 8:am I loaded the brisket, inserted my probes, two for the brisket and one for the firebox, closed the door.....(all together now).........set it (225).............and forget it!!!

By 5:30pm the temps (internal) hit 185 degrees and I took it out, foiled and let it rest on the counter for at least 45 minutes.

I opened it up and started slicing it with my carving knife.....the big long one and made some real nice cuts. Talk about shrinkage!!! It looked like a typical meteorite, I figured about a 50% yield overall.

My wife and the kids loved it and raved about it all night. I wasn't that impressed???? Maybe because it was still hot.


Sunday afternoon I made myself a Reuben with the smoked Pastrami and it was fantastic!!!! Hmmmmm.....cheeeeeezus!! was it good, it was better than any store bought. I couldn't keep my son out of it.
I guess it has to be refrigerated until completely cool before eating. My son took a Pastrami sandwich for lunch today. My wife is picking up another corned beef brisket today.

I was thinking of making a permnant counter in my garage for my smoker and smoking in there. It will sit right in front of a window, the garage is 30 feet by 24 feet with 14 foot ceilings.....not quite sure though?

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Smokin Tex is just another branding for a Smokette? At what temperatures? See my post below on Smoked Corned beef. That took almost 24 hours in a Smokette to 200, I would have pulled it at 190 but got tied up and didn't get home in time. I know my 009 runs below the set temperature, but the thermometer I normally check that will had crapped out. But the shrinkage was minimal, I was really surprised. I didn't weigh it before and after like I normally do, but judging from the shrinkage on the rack, it seemed less than an inch all around, and I was also surprised how juicy it really was considering the total time and how much I missed my mark.

I read a lot of the other posts in the current Brisket 202 and tried to keep the temperature on the unit down, and also the meat external temperature below boiling, like recommended by SmokinOkie and others.

After that success I was reading in the book "Stocking Up" about corning your own. It mentioned that you could use something other than brisket, which interested me, because there sure are a lot of cuts with more pronounced muscles and less fat, that if you look around don't cost a whole lot more money than plain brisket, and usually a lot less than corned beef except this St. Patrick's season.
Smoking Tex was dialed in at 225 degrees, the firebox probe showed it being very accurate for most of the smoke. The corned beef brisket was a 4.5 lb cut. No, I have not tried to corn my own brisket, figure it would be too much. Soaking the corned beef was enough trouble, since I kept it in the frige in the garage...had to keep running back and forth.

Reuben sandwich...made easy:
Empty plastic bag of sourkrout in pot, add brown sugar to sweaten it up and let er simmer for a while.

BREAD is the most important when BUILDING a Reuben.
Add one pad of butter on flat griddle already hot, place bread slice down and start building in layers. Add smoked pastrami, swiss, krout, 1,000 Island, fresh ground black pepper and repeat to add layers. Top with other slice of bread, lift sandwich with spatula, add another pad of butter and gently flip sandwich over. Once it's all nice and toasty, sit down with cold bottle of beer, several slices of kosher dill's and eat sandwich. If made properly, juices should run down your arm and elbow!!!!

Mine ran about 8 pounds I would guess, it was a full brisket that started at about 10, I had to cut the end off in order to get it to fit on the rack overlaying the last wires slightly, both front and back. I boiled that remaining tip, after all it was St. Patrick's Day.

The Ruben sounds great. The last time out I forgot to buy some sauerkraut and swiss, looks like I may need to make a special trip!
My dinner tonight is a pastrami reuben from the pastrami I smoked yesterday. I did almost exactly as you did, Dan. I soaked my brisket (about 3.5 lbs) for two days wih a few changes of water and I smoked it at 225 in my Smokette. I used 2 oz of pecan. It too 8 hours (I will never figure out why a small cut like this can take longer per pound that a full packer), but it looks great. I haven't cut it yet...

I have corned my own, several times, and they come our great! i didn't this time due to a lack of time. I used a brine and cure it in the basement fridge for three weeks, turning it over every other day. You can also use a dry cure which is a little less hassle.

Mainely Dave has some good info on his site regarding corned beef and pastrami.
I am corning 2 venison roasts right now.

I inject with a TenderQuick, brown sugar, & granulated garlic mixture.

Then I make another brine of TenderQuick, pickling spices (I used McCormicks), brown sugar, & bay leaves. To this brine I added what was left from the injection brine.

I'll leave it cure in the fridge until Monday evening when I soak it and put it in the Smokette.

I did this at Christmas time and it turned out great. Maybe this time I'll have some pics & a full recipe for Smokin' to post.

For those of us who don't have access to venison, what type of roast from the cow or the pig would you recommend and how big/ thick?

Please do do the pictures and the recipe thing.

By the way the Dakotah stuffer works great (but not to get off post), sure beats anything else.
Hi RendezvousQ,

Glad you like the water stuffer!

For the pastrami most use a brisket flat, but I would think a nice bottom or top round would work just as well. I have used top round for making dried beef. You can also use turkey breast (what I will use on my next attempt.)

I've never witnessed pork being transformed into pastrami though.

Thickness depends on your preference and on what's available. For me, I wouldn't want to go much over 3-4". Just remember. The thicker the cut, the longer the cure time.

Hope this helps.
Glad to see others enjoying the Pastrami. I love it. I'll have to try the water rinse for the longer times. I've just been going a couple hours, changing the water a couple times.

I did a couple this year. The first one was eaten up by the family within a day. I used the Foodsaver and froze the rest.

Went to the store the day after St. Patrick's Day looking for some bargains, but they had sold out of all everything. Rats.

While I'm posting, sorry I haven't added anything to the site for quite a while. I do have a posting ready to put up this weekend, on a lime/cilantro marinated smoked shrimp thing I did a while back. Should have it on by Sunday.
I smoked a corned beef brisket once before, but after reading this thread I soaked one in water baths for 36 hours. My 3.5 pounder took exactly eight hours at 225 degrees to reach 190 degrees internal. Used three ounces of maple and no rub whatsoever (looking for a baseline). You know what? It is amazing how many ways you can tweak the flavor of beef and it still comes out so tasty! Thanks for the advice.
Originally posted by BaltimoreBayside:


Sunday afternoon I made myself a Reuben with the smoked Pastrami and it was fantastic!!!! Hmmmmm.....cheeeeeezus!! was it good, it was better than any store bought. I couldn't keep my son out of it.
I guess it has to be refrigerated until completely cool before eating. My son took a Pastrami sandwich for lunch today. My wife is picking up another corned beef brisket today.

dan [/qb]
Hey Dan-

I think that most meats are best "fresh off the smoker". With that said, I ALWAYS like the smoked corned beef better the day after. It seems to me that the smokiness intensifies after a day in the fridge.

I usually make Reubens with these, and the meat flavor is always better when it sits for a day, even though I am he-heating it.

I can't explain why, but I don't have to! I just have to enjoy it!

Also, I agree with the soaking to remove some of the salt. If I'm boiling corned beef the salt doesn't really bother me. If I'm smoking it and making it into Reubens, the final product can be WAY salty. I think the smoke intensifies the salt flavor, then you add kraut and butter on the bread, some pickles on the side, pretty soon you got a whole lotta sodium.

What do you guys like to use for a rub on these? Just cracked black pepper? I've been playing with different rubs, but I'm not totally happy with where I'm at on this.

The pastrami thread comes up here every March, but I wish it came up more often. Corned beef is good stuff any time of year!


For seasonings, I have used a combo of pepper, coriander, mustard, a touch of garlic, and throw in the corned beef packet of seasonings for good luck. I use everything in whole form, and crack it just a bit for an authentic crust. I also borrowed a tip from the archives, I think it was Andi, and weighted it down with a 12-pack of cokes for 24 hours in the fridge after seasoning.

I've only done two, but after reading all the posts, soaked both for 20-24 hours, and have had no salt issues.

As far as eating the next day- how can you stand it? I'll agree, it is great on a sandwich the next day, but we had big ol' sammiches when that puppy came off the CS, too! Big rolls piled high, some mustard and onions....yum!
After reading that GeiyserQ had never tried corning pork, I thought I would give it a try. I was helped in that decision by a local market that had pork loin roast for $1.29 per pound, so I bought about 8 pounds worth.

Yesterday I salted the meat to 8 % by weight. Today I will add a cure consisting of 8 oz. sugar, 1/2 cup Tender Quick, 1/2 Tbs. baking soda, and 2 quarts of water, one medium onion, and 8 cloves of chopped garlic (4 pieces of meat).

Will cure in my refer for at least 2 -3 weeks, before going any farther. Will update you when it is all finished. Cool
I read too much about pastrami yesterday! Got a point cut corned beef ($.69/lb. St. Pat's special) out of the freezer yesterday, thawed it with several water changes, and it's now soaking. When I get home this afternoon, I'm gonna throw the spices on it, weight it down in the fridge, and start cooking tomorrow morning. Sandwiches tomorrow night.

I also want to try corning some briskets after my current stash of CB's runs out. This pastrami is good!

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