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Cheater Pastrami – Easy Homemade Pastrami Recipe

Cheater pastrami recipe - easy homemade pastrami by smoking a corned beef brisket

A few years ago I made homemade pastrami. I “corned” a beef brisket and then smoked it to make authentic homemade pastrami. Well, that’s a lot of work. I wanted to explore one of the cheater pastrami recipes that I have been reading about. Basically you just put a simple dry rub on a corned beef brisket (bought from the store already corned) and then smoke it. It turns out that this makes some really tasty cheater pastrami!

Cheater pastrami recipe - easy homemade pastrami by smoking a corned beef brisket

Around St. Patrick’s Day you’ll find some really good deals on corned beef. Even though it’s not even close to St. Patrick’s Day, I still managed to pick up a corned beef “point” brisket. Costco usually has a bunch and you can always ask your butcher.

Cheater pastrami recipe - easy homemade pastrami by smoking a corned beef brisket

The night before making the pastrami open the package and put the corned beef into a casserole dish or ziptop bag and totally submerge it in water. This will help get rid of some of the salt. Corned beef is really salty. A good overnight soak will help out a lot and significantly improve your pastrami results.

Dry rub for homemade cheater pastrami

Corned beef usually comes with a small spice packet. Throw this out. It’s really easy to make a simple pastrami dry rub. I took a few tablespoons of coriander seed and put it in to a small food processor. This essentially cracks open the coriander seed to make it really fragrant. I mixed a 50/50 ratio of black pepper with the coriander seed and mixed it up.

Cheater pastrami recipe - easy homemade pastrami by smoking a corned beef brisket

I set up my ugly drum smoker for 275-300 degree heat with apple wood. The corned beef will take about 2 hours to smoke.

Cheater pastrami recipe - easy homemade pastrami by smoking a corned beef brisket

I smoked the corned beef until an internal temperature of about 170-180 degrees. At this point the corned beef comes inside for some authentic steaming. Real NY deli style pastrami is steamed right before slicing. This is a little trick to take the homemade pastrami up a few notches. I found that on the Katz’ Delicatessen website so it must be legit!

Cheater pastrami recipe - easy homemade pastrami by smoking a corned beef brisket

I used a large pot and put a little steamer basket in the bottom. I put about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom and turned the stove on high.

Cheater pastrami recipe - easy homemade pastrami by smoking a corned beef brisket

After about 30 minutes of steaming the smoked corned beef was at 200 degrees. Oh was it tender!

Cheater pastrami recipe - easy homemade pastrami by smoking a corned beef brisket

I let the pastrami rest for about 30 minutes prior to slicing.

One note regarding the corned beef selection. I chose the brisket point. I think this was a mistake. The brisket flat corned beef is more even which makes it cook more evenly and also slice easier. However, this was really tasty and I will most certainly make it again when I’m craving a pastrami sandwich.

Cheater Pastrami From A Corned Beef Brisket

An easy cheater pastrami recipe made from a store bought corned beef brisket that is smoked and then steamed.
Prep Time21 hrs
Cook Time3 hrs

Ingredients

  • • 1 Corned Beef Brisket
  • • 2 T Black Pepper
  • • 2 T Coriander Seeds cracked in a food processor

Instructions

  • Soak corned beef brisket overnight in water to remove salt.
  • Mix pepper and ground coriander and rub all over the rinsed corned beef.
  • Set up smoker for higher heat 275-300 degree smoking.
  • Smoke corned beef until internal temperature of about 175.
  • Set up steamer basket and steam the smoked corned beef until internal temperature of about 200 degrees.
  • Rest for 30 min.
  • Slice thin.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Just got a small one from Safeway on sale, gonna follow your recipe, sounds good!

  2. Just got a small one from Safeway on sale, gonna follow your recipe, sounds good! P.S. $1.99lb, what a deal, gonna go back tomorrow and get more if they still have any left!

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