All Things Barbecue’s staff chef, Tom Jackson, walks you through brining and smoking your own pastrami at home. This simple process will result in the best pastrami you have ever eaten.
Homemade Pastrami Recipe
For the Brine:
- 1 gallon water
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp pink salt (sodium nitrite)
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp pickling spice
Note: Depending on the size of your brisket, and the container in which you are brining, you may need to multiply this recipe. You will need enough brine to cover the brisket in the brining container.
For the Rub:
- 1/4 cup black peppercorns, toasted, coarsely ground
- 1/4 cup coriander seeds, toasted, coarsely ground
For the Pickling Spice:
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp red chile flakes
- 1 tbsp allspice berries
- 1 tbsp whole cloves
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground mace
- 1 small cinnamon stick, crushed
- 2 bay leaves, broken in to pieces
In a dry hot skillet, toast the coriander, peppercorns and mustard seeds just until fragrant. Be careful not to burn them. Crack the spices on a cutting board, under a heavy pan.
Combine the toasted spices with the remaining spices. Store in a sealed container.
Combine all brine ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.
Place brisket in the brining liquid. Weigh it down with plates to make sure it is fully submerged. Refrigerate for 3 days.
Remove brisket from brine, and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Coat the brisket with the rub. Preheat your cooker to 250°F.
Smoke at 250°F until internal temperature reaches 150°F. Double wrap the brisket in foil, and continue smoking until pastrami is tender when probed with a thermometer (190°F-205°F). Allow meat to rest half an hour. Slice thinly and serve.
This recipe was prepared on a Yoder Smokers YS640 Pellet Grill.