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Smoked Pastrami Corned Beef

Hey there, folks! Today, I’m diving into the world of mouthwatering delights with a topic that’s close to my heart (and stomach) – smoked pastrami corned beef! If you’ve never tried this delectable creation, you’re in for a treat. Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure as I share my personal journey to pastrami perfection.

smoked pastrami corned beef

How to Make Smoked Pastrami from Corned Beef

Alright, folks, here’s the lowdown on turning that humble corned beef into a smokin’ sensation:

  1. Prep Like a Pro: First, give that corned beef a good rinse to eliminate excess saltiness. Pat it dry, and we’re off to the races!
  2. The Pastrami Rub: Now, this is where the magic happens! Whip up a blend of crushed coriander seeds, black peppercorns, garlic powder, and a touch of brown sugar. Slather that bad boy all over your beefy buddy. The key here is to get every nook and cranny coated for maximum flavor.
  3. Time to Rest: Once it’s all rubbed down, let it rest in the fridge. Overnight is the sweet spot, but a few hours will do if you’re in a pinch.
  4. Fire Up the Smoker: Get your smoker at a steady 225°F (about 107°C for my metric pals). Toss in some flavorful wood chips—I’m a hickory fan myself, but cherry or oak work wonders too!
  5. Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Pop that pastrami in the smoker and let it go low and slow. We’re talking about 6-8 hours here. Trust me, the patience pays off in the end!

The Pastrami Rub: A Symphony of Flavors

Let’s chat about that pastrami rub for a hot second. It’s like a flavor explosion in your mouth! The coriander brings a citrusy zing, the peppercorns give it a nice kick, and the garlic and brown sugar? Well, they’re just the cherry on top! Don’t skimp on this step, folks—it’s what elevates your pastrami to legendary status.

smoked pastrami from corned beef

Wood Whispers: Choosing the Right Smoking Companion

Now, when it comes to wood, the world is your oyster. Hickory, cherry, oak—each brings its own unique flavor profile. Personally, I’m all about that hickory goodness. It lends a robust, smoky depth that plays beautifully with the pastrami rub.

Condiments: The Final Flourish

Now, let’s talk about the essential accessories for your pastrami sandwich. For me, it’s all about that classic combo of mustard and pickles. The tangy mustard pairs perfectly with the rich, smoky pastrami, while the pickles provide a refreshing crunch.

But hey, let’s not limit ourselves! Some folks love a good slather of Russian dressing or a slice of Swiss cheese on their pastrami sandwich. It’s all about personal preference, so go wild and experiment to find your ultimate pastrami partner in crime.

Plating Perfection: Serving up Smoked Pastrami

It’s showtime! Grab some rye bread (freshly baked if possible) and load it up with slices of that beautifully smoked pastrami. Slather on the mustard, pile on the pickles, and, if you’re feeling fancy, toss in some sauerkraut. Pop on the top slice of rye, and you’ve got yourself a pastrami masterpiece.

how to make pastrami from corned beef

And there you have it, my friends—a journey from corned beef to pastrami perfection! It’s a bit of an adventure, but trust me, the end result is worth every second. So go on, give it a whirl, and let me know how it turns out in the comments below!

Thanks a million for joining me on this smoky ride. Until next time, keep smokin’ and lovin’ your grub!

Smoked Pastrami Corned Beef

Craving a smoky, savory masterpiece? Try our delectable smoked pastrami corned beef recipe and savor every delicious bite.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Soaking 8 hours
Servings 8


  • 1 4-5 pounds corned beef brisket
  • Wood chunks hickory, oak, mesquite, or cherry
  • Mustard and pickles or your preferred condiments
  • Slices of rye or sourdough bread

For the Pastrami Rub:

  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar


Preparing the Corned Beef

  1. Start by purchasing a high-quality corned beef brisket from your local butcher or supermarket.
  2. Rinse and Soak: To reduce the saltiness, rinse the corned beef under cold running water. Place it in a large container and cover it with cold water. Let it soak in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours, changing the water every 4 hours. This step is crucial, so don't skip it.

Creating the Pastrami Rub

  1. Mix the cracked black pepper, coriander seeds, garlic powder, paprika, and brown sugar in a small bowl. This flavorful rub will be the secret to your pastrami's deliciousness.

Smoking the Pastrami

  1. Preheat your smoker or grill to approximately 225°F (107°C). While it's heating up, drain and rinse the soaked corned beef one last time. Pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. Wood Selection: Choose your wood chunks for smoking. Hickory, oak, mesquite, or cherry wood all work well. Soak the wood chunks in water for about 30 minutes to create a flavorful smoke.
  3. Apply the Rub: Liberally coat the corned beef brisket with the pastrami rub you prepared earlier. Make sure to cover all sides evenly, pressing the spices into the meat.
  4. Smoking Time: Place the corned beef on the smoker grate and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part. Add the soaked wood chunks to the smoker box or create a foil pouch with the wood. Maintain the smoker's temperature around 225°F (107°C).
  5. Smoke the corned beef until it reaches an internal temperature of about 195°F (90°C). This can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, so be patient and keep that smoker going!

Resting and Slicing

  1. Once the pastrami reaches the desired internal temperature, remove it from the smoker. Tent it loosely with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. This rest period allows the juices to redistribute and results in a juicier pastrami.
  2. Slice it thin: After resting, slice the pastrami as thin as you like. A sharp knife and a steady hand are your best friends here.
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