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Can you smoke a corned beef?

Njchicaa Mar 16, 2014 09:18 AM

I had the genius idea to make corned beef and cabbage for the first time ever while at the grocery store. Unfortunately, when I got home my husband told me the smell of cooking corned beef makes him nauseous. Soooooo I am toying with the idea of trying to smoke it outside next weekend instead. It is a 4 pound cured brisket. Am I crazy?

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  1. Wahooty RE: Njchicaa Mar 16, 2014 09:41 AM

    You are NOT crazy. I've done it, and it turns out beautifully. I actually rubbed mine with cracked pepper and coriander seed and called it pastrami, but whatever you call it, it's delicious. You might want to soak some of the salt out before smoking, though.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Wahooty
      dimsumgirl RE: Wahooty Mar 16, 2014 09:43 AM

      Wahooty-- how long did you smoke it? I would love to try this as I bought a smoker and hubby loves corned beef but not cooked in water.

      1. re: dimsumgirl
        coll RE: dimsumgirl Mar 16, 2014 09:46 AM

        I hate smelling it too, which is why I cook it in the oven, braised in Guinness!

        1. re: dimsumgirl
          Wahooty RE: dimsumgirl Mar 16, 2014 09:50 AM

          No idea, honestly. I do my smoking on a kettle grill, and just fiddle with it trying to keep the fire going but the temperature low until the meat thermometer says it's done. Sometimes that means finishing the cooking in the oven...it's not the most reproducible method, but it's fun. :)

          1. re: dimsumgirl
            c oliver RE: dimsumgirl Mar 16, 2014 09:56 AM

            Here's a link from the Bradley smoker forum:


        2. coll RE: Njchicaa Mar 16, 2014 09:45 AM

          Just bought a couple of lbs from our local BBQ place. He did it very subtly though.

          1. MGZ RE: Njchicaa Mar 19, 2014 06:05 AM

            Njchicaa, this may be too late for the "wearing of the green", but here is a link to a discussion, I had with fourunder, about my different experiments with making smoked/barbecued corned beef: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/838041

            The pertinent subthread starts about halfway down and goes on for quite a bit. There's also some more when I came back some time later. Hope it it helps.

            5 Replies
            1. re: MGZ
              Njchicaa RE: MGZ Mar 21, 2014 02:15 PM

              Thanks. I am planning to do it either tomorrow or Sunday so it isn't too late.

              1. re: MGZ
                fourunder RE: MGZ Mar 27, 2014 09:46 PM

                MGZ and scoobadoo97,

                Have either of you uses Woodburner's approach?


                1. re: fourunder
                  MGZ RE: fourunder Mar 28, 2014 05:26 AM

                  Short answer: "Yes and No"

                  It's fundamentally the same technique we discussed the past couple years in the thread I linked above. It seems I have needed longer cooking times, which is most likely borne out of not maintaining the temperature of the chamber (or a faulty thermometer). I have not, however, tried woodburner's "pastrami rub" having opted to try more barbecue-y flavors.

                  1. re: fourunder
                    scubadoo97 RE: fourunder Mar 28, 2014 07:41 AM

                    Woodburner advocates a straight smoke at 250f to an internal of 185-190.

                    I've done that but finish higher at 200-205

                    I still advise a steam finish which I think keeps it moist

                    1. re: scubadoo97
                      Veggo RE: scubadoo97 Mar 28, 2014 08:19 AM

                      Spoken by a truly good and experienced grill man.

                2. monkeyrotica RE: Njchicaa Mar 20, 2014 11:44 AM

                  This is the Weber Smokey Mountain recipe, but I've done it on a Weber Kettle using the charcoal snake method (stack two rows of briquettes around the perimiter of the grill, pile two more rows, and pile lit ones on the end of the "fuse." Lumps of wood on top of the snake.


                  1. scubadoo97 RE: Njchicaa Mar 20, 2014 07:03 PM

                    I smoked some a couple weeks ago. Delicious.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: scubadoo97
                      c oliver RE: scubadoo97 Mar 20, 2014 07:05 PM

                      Drool. Could you elaborate on everything please? Rub, temp, time. I WANT this, scoobie. Thanks.

                      1. re: c oliver
                        scubadoo97 RE: c oliver Mar 20, 2014 07:14 PM

                        The first pic is a brisket I brined for 10 days using Rhulman's corned beef recipe. The second one was a Mosy brand prepared corned beef from Costco. Made a pastrami rub of ground coriander, mustard seeds, black pepper and salt. Used yellow mustard as the glue. The meat was coated for a day after a day of purging and a day of drying in the fridge.

                        Smoked at 225-250 over pecan wood until it hit 180 then steamed in the oven until it was 205 internal

                        1. re: scubadoo97
                          c oliver RE: scubadoo97 Mar 20, 2014 07:17 PM

                          Thanks. With the Costco one, did you rinse off and toss the included seasonings? I've FINALLY found a source for brisket out here on the Left Coast. It's been a challenge.

                          1. re: c oliver
                            scubadoo97 RE: c oliver Mar 20, 2014 07:23 PM

                            Soaked in water for a day. Didn't need the spice packet. The Mosy brand had a little over 1000 mg of salt per 4 oz. some of the ones I picked up yesterday had 450-500 mg and I usually soak those 8'hrs or so. Over night

                            1. re: scubadoo97
                              c oliver RE: scubadoo97 Mar 20, 2014 07:28 PM

                              Good advice; I appreciate it. Can't imagine not having a smoker now that we have one :)

                              1. re: c oliver
                                scubadoo97 RE: c oliver Mar 20, 2014 07:56 PM

                                Steaming apparatus. Boiling water in the pan and in the oven at 250

                                1. re: scubadoo97
                                  c oliver RE: scubadoo97 Mar 20, 2014 07:59 PM

                                  Not quite getting these pix re asparagus.

                                  1. re: c oliver
                                    scubadoo97 RE: c oliver Mar 20, 2014 08:10 PM

                                    Not asparagus. Apparatus

                                    1. re: scubadoo97
                                      c oliver RE: scubadoo97 Mar 20, 2014 08:20 PM

                                      LAUGH. OUT. LOUD. Thanks. Really.

                      2. re: scubadoo97
                        fourunder RE: scubadoo97 Mar 27, 2014 09:43 PM

                        wow...looks great....

                      3. n
                        NVJims RE: Njchicaa Mar 22, 2014 01:50 PM

                        Have 2 points in the smoker at the moment. Murphy brand on sale for $1.97 a pound. Gave them a thorough rinse and two soakings in water, tossed their spice packet, and gave them a rub of fresh ground pepper, coriander and Szechuan peppercorns. They are getting 2 hours of alder and hickory smoke and will be brought up to 160 in the smoker before being steamed to 195... Wish I could hurry the process up!

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: NVJims
                          c oliver RE: NVJims Mar 22, 2014 01:59 PM

                          How do you steam them please?

                          1. re: c oliver
                            NVJims RE: c oliver Mar 22, 2014 02:29 PM

                            big pot with a lid and a rack to keep them out of the water.

                            1. re: c oliver
                              scubadoo97 RE: c oliver Mar 22, 2014 03:11 PM

                              An asparagus steamer? ;)

                              1. re: scubadoo97
                                Veggo RE: scubadoo97 Mar 22, 2014 03:18 PM

                                Scuba, you are too modest. Your smoked pastrami a week ago Sunday is still resonating in my cranium!

                                1. re: Veggo
                                  scubadoo97 RE: Veggo Mar 22, 2014 04:08 PM

                                  Just snacking on some of the cheeses you left behind while making dinner tonight.

                                  The pastrami is a favorite of mine. I love making it. It's so darn easy and so tasty. Glad you and Stefan enjoyed it

                                2. re: scubadoo97
                                  NVJims RE: scubadoo97 Mar 22, 2014 05:03 PM

                                  An asparagus steamer might work for beef sticks, but a tamale steamer or my pressure cooker with the inserts to hold the points out of the water work great... Most Mexican markets sell some big inexpensive steamer pots that will fill the bill.

                                  1. re: NVJims
                                    scubadoo97 RE: NVJims Mar 22, 2014 06:38 PM

                                    I was teasing c oliver but you are correct

                            2. Njchicaa RE: Njchicaa Mar 22, 2014 03:21 PM

                              I soaked it overnight in water, let it air dry in the fridge this morning, and coated it with yellow mustard, ground coriander, mustard seeds, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. We shall see how it turns out tomorrow!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Njchicaa
                                ChristinaMason RE: Njchicaa May 2, 2014 12:45 PM


                                How did this work out for you? I want to try the same and could use some pointers on how long to pre-soak.


                              2. JMF RE: Njchicaa May 17, 2014 07:31 AM

                                Usually I make pastrami every year or so from scratch. Corning the beef with cure and spices first. Then the spice rub and smoking.

                                Today I'm making "Quick" pastrami. The past few days there was a sale on thick, 5 lb., flat, corned beef briskets at the local A&P. Normally $5.99 lb. (Crazy price) on sale for $1.99, with $2 off coupons as well. So I got 10! five pounders for apx. $8 each.

                                I soaked two in several changes of water for 36 hours. The rest I froze as is, in the package. They keep forever and defrost just fine.

                                Then dried them and coated them heavily in a fresh ground black pepper/coriander seed mix, plus a bit of assorted herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme, bay, etc.

                                I then vacuum packed them and let them sit dry marinating in the fridge for 48 hours.

                                I then pulled them out and let them air dry for several hours, and to come up to room temp.

                                I also put in a tray of partially smoked kosher salt. (Light.) And a tray of almost fully smoked sugar. (Dark) Since I hate to run the smoker without it being fully utilized.

                                I just put them in the smoker for 4 hours of hickory, and 1 hour of apple wood smoke. The smoker cabinet temp. is at 160F, with the controller set to get an IT of 150F and hold it until the smoke is done and it gets to temp.

                                Then I'll pull them and oven steam one and vacuum pack the other and freeze.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: JMF
                                  guitargirlcbr RE: JMF May 17, 2014 07:42 AM

                                  I can't believe you just posted this! I came on here looking for a tip or two on smoking a brisket like a pastrami! Thanks for the good advice!

                                2. e
                                  ePressureCooker RE: Njchicaa May 24, 2014 04:06 PM

                                  Wahooty is more on than they apparently realize, if you take a corned beef put a pepper and spice crust on it and smoke it, you can not only CALL it pastrami, it IS pastrami. That's the only difference between the two.

                                  I actually pressure cook (pre-cook) the corned beef in my pressure cooker, then put a crust on it, then finish in the oven, but now that I've got a pressure smoker, I'm going to have to do it in there instead.

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