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Pastrami Internal Temp?

I bought a 6 pound brisket today and plan on putting the cure on to make pastrami for next sunday.  Just wanted to give myself a while to field a few different opinions on the internal temp of the finished brisket.  Do I only cook to 165 or take it up to 200 like you would for a bbq brisket?  I plan on doing it at 225 degrees grid temp with a combo of hickory and apple.  Should I plan on the same cook time as a regular brisket?  Apologies for all the questions.  I've never tried to make pastrami before.  Thanks for the feedback in advance.


  • 195 to 205.
    Chesapeake, VA
  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,986
    I think it depends on how you want to serve it. If you want to slice it really thin when it is cold for sandwiches a lower IT is recommended. If you want a wet pastrami not sliced so thin (this the way I like it) then I pull in the 190-205 range depending on tenderness.

    A good read is Thirdeye's recipe:
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs, Humphrey's Weekender, Superior Smokers SS-Two, MAK 1-Star General, Hasty Bake Gourmet, Santa Maria Grill, Thai Charcoal cooker, Webers: 18.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG, 22.5" Kettle Premium, WGA Charcoal, Summit S-620 NG

    Bay Area, CA
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,944
    Likewise, as above. Thirdeye has a lot of info. For me, there are 3 important things. Soak a corned beef at least 48 hours, w. several water changes. To be expected, rub w. a lot of cracked coriander and black pepper. Smoke till at least 195. Then, once cooled, slice thin and steam. The last little bit of steaming makes the thin slices soo tender.

    Good luck, but its not too hard.. I do pastrami at least once a year when corned briskets are cheap. Great sandwiches for a few weeks.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,703
    There are a couple of schools of thought on this.  Since it's corned, it's going to have a head start on tenderness - basically it's brined.  That helps soften up connective tissue.  I've done it several ways.  You can smoke it to 160 with the pepper and corriander, then refrigerate, then steam until tender (might be 160-195).  Or, you can smoke it until tender in one shot.

    I tried an experimental process that I served up at Salado where I did the corning in sous vide at 138 for 72 hours, then reheated to 131 in water bath, then threw it on a HOT fire to give it a sear.  So the meat never got above 140.  I liked the end result - you don't have a lot of fat render out, but there's a lot of juiciness and it's very tender.  I'm going to play with this again, maybe go 4 days at 138, then do a smoke to 150 at a low temp. 
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  • jerrypjerryp Posts: 230
    I planned on starting with an uncorned brisket and brining it for 6 days. I saw a youtube video sort of wagging a finger at starting with a corned beef brisket. Like I said, I've never made it, but have consumed some awesome pastrami at a good jewish deli in Baltimore. I wanna try to make it as authentic as is possible.
  • billyraybillyray Posts: 1,173
    edited March 2013
    Took a corned piece of brisket and made pastrami the other day. I used the following recipe, the #1 way, but added some additional cracked pepper and it was outstanding. This is the best one I've done so far. 4 pounder at 250 indirect for about 6 hours with pecan wood to 170 internal temp. We'll never by pastrami out again.

    480 x 640 - 152K

    608 x 340 - 65K
    Felton, Ca. 2-LBGE, 1-Small and waiting on a mini
  • billyraybillyray Posts: 1,173
    Here's the pics.
    Felton, Ca. 2-LBGE, 1-Small and waiting on a mini
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 653
    Isn't this just pastrami flavored corned beef?
    Medium, and XL eggs in Galloway NJ.  Just outside of Atlantic City.  
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,944
    edited March 2013

    rtt121 said:
    Isn't this just pastrami flavored corned beef?
    If the corned beef is soaked long enough, only a portion of the cure is left, and most if not all the spicing gone. The pastrami spices and smoking flavors take over.
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 653
    Hmm.  I'll have to try it and compare to my scratch pastrami.
    Medium, and XL eggs in Galloway NJ.  Just outside of Atlantic City.  
  • MO_EgginMO_Eggin Posts: 186
    I recommend the "close to Katz's" recipe found here:
    LBGE, St. Louis, MO
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