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Has anyone had any experience making pastrami.

I made some home made corned beef and it was wonderful.

I understand that pastrami is smoked corned beef.

I'm looking for the type of wood used and the final temp of the meat and any special techniques.

I did a search on this forum but I didn't et much infor.

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Made it a few times from corned beef. Biggest "problem" I had is with saltiness. If you smoke a corned beef, you need to soak it in water for an extended period, changing the water every so often, to get the salt out. I rubbed mine with pepper corn, coriander seed, garlic and a little ginger. Then I smoked it (I used hickory) until internal temp was about 190 to 195. My son and his pals loved it although I was just OK with it. You might look into brining your own brisket to make the corned beef. There are recipes on here for doing it. Just be careful about the salt.
Rob - Do another search and use the "Search All Open Forums" function. Should get around 70 hits. One example can be found here .

As Dave G mentions, you really need to soak the corned beef for an extended period in several changes of water to leach out the salt - 24 hours at a minimum for a decent sized brisket.

Pecan and cherry seem to be popular woods for pastrami.

Finish temps vary widely based on personal preferences. When finished, need to foil, towel, and rest it in a cooler for a couple of hours.
MainelyDave has a great site that I have used for a resource many times. He has a couple different pastrami pages:

I have made it a few times myself and it turned out pretty good, except for the first time. That's when I learned that it takes plenty of soaking time in fresh water to get the salt out of a commercial corned beef.
In my experience,taking it to 165�-170� leaves a tough piece of meat.

A knife will often not leave it tender enough to eat,because you have a thicker slice.

An inexpensive slicer will usually not do the thin slices, that are required at that internal.

At 190�+/- you will have broken down the collagen and the meat is tender enough to eat,sliced less thinly.

1.e.,the meat could be cooked done at 120�,but I'd sure hate to chew a 1/4 in thick slice. Wink
Thanks Tom

I have my brisket corning as we speak. It will be ready for smoking on Friday night.

I'll smoke it to 190 or so and try cutting it with a knife and on my slicer. It a globe with a 10 inch blade (smaller commercial model). I cure and smoke my own bacon and slicer with this slicer.


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