Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jun 7, 2010 02:18 PM

Making Pastrami from Scratch, so confused

Anyone have any links or ideas to NYC deli like pastrami at home. Willing and able to smoke and then steam the beast, but confused if its slow BBQ style smoked corn beef, or a brisket that is not corned and then just smoked (which I think is just smoked brisket, not pastrami). Some recipes have only oven cooking, some say smoke it, some say to cook it like a brisket. Some say to use corned beef, other say don't corn it, just use the speice rub. Then all the good pastrami I have had in NYC is always in a steaming table, moist, juicy and tastes fatty.

One other thing, why are all the recipes that I see on making pastrami result is a product that is so darn lean looking. Katz's and carnagies is full of fat and pulls part, rather than seeming likes its lean brisket. Do they not use a brisket?, or just a certain part of the brisket.

Oh, so many quesitons. Please help end my confusion. Maybe its easier to just order the stuff.

That's what I want to make at home. Any links, ideas, greatly appreciated. Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. I asked this very question last year about this time and got a wonderful response and ended up making two pastramis using their advice (thank you fourunder for your contributions way back then BTW)
      Here is the thread:

      1. I followed the Charcuterie recipe almost down to the T. Only change was that I brined for longer since the weather didn't cooperate.

        For the smoking, my husband set the smoker box and hot coals on one side of the grill, and then placed the meat on the other side. This method allowed us to smoke for a full hour before reaching temperature.

        I then steamed it in the oven. Great for the first day. After this first day, I sliced the pastrami and then re-steamed on the stovetop; just enough to warm it up.

        This is so worth the effort! I haven't had pastrami this good since my early childhood in New York City. Not even sure you can find pastrami of this quality in the city anymore.

        I posted a review of the process here:

        and would be happy to post more details if you would like.

        1. Years ago a neighbor gave me this recipe for pastrami which I am quite sure isn't authentic but it makes unbelievably good sandwich meat: Simmer corned beef for 2-3 hours in water with a generous amount of mixed pickling spice. Wash the spices & stuff off the meat and lay meat on a baking dish. Stud it with whole cloves. Mix brown sugar and mustard and slather it all over the meat. Bake slowly to glaze the topping, with which you keep basting the meat. Cool and slice thin. Very good on rye bread.

          1. ALL OF YOU GUYS/GALS ROCK. thank you. Going to try and find the plate and start picking. Make it this weekend. And another cook book to buy. lacking inspiration these days, so good cook books are always a plus. Again, chowhounds rock. thank you.