Explanation Needed ? Steamed Pastrami !?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by dick bullard, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. In the last week I have watched a couple shows on the tube which showed delis making pastrami....

    All the curing and brining seemed to fit right in with what I know about making pastrami.....

    The puzzling part was how they heated it prior to slicing.....think they mentioned "steam bath", but what they showed was placing the meat in a steaming hot water bath! Some even mentioned the meat was too tender afterwards to use a mechanical slicer so they had to hand cut it...!!!

    The meat was all fully smoked prior to this process.......make sense ???

  2. Hi there. That's correct. The "Traditional" way its done is to smoke the meat to about 150 to 160 degrees internal temperature. Then when you are getting ready to serve it steam it, covered, either on a rack or in a pan with about 1 inch of water for about 3 hours. I have done it and it works get. Of course I don't have a mechanical slicer so I can't comment on that part. Hope that clarifies what they were talking about.
  3. I do the following. Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees, put boiling wanter in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place a rack in the pan and then the pastrami. Cover tightly with foil and put it in the oven for three hours. It turns out great. I have also heard, but not tried, you can slice it after smoking it and when you are ready to serve you can put slices on a plate, cover with damp paper towels and microwave it until warm. I do think microwave ovens do toughen the meat a bit though.
  4. q dawg

    q dawg Smoke Blower

    I've seen the same show....and the pastrami is actually floating in steaming water.....!

    Doesn't that pull the flavor out of the pastrami ? Seems like it would...

    Sounds like a great way to finish it off though....might have to try that on my next pastrami smoke....!!!

    Q Dawg
  5. warthog

    warthog Smoking Fanatic

    Tastes fine coming out of that steamer. You need to go to a good kosher deli and find out what real pastrami tastes like. Getting hungry just thinking about a nice pastrami on rye.
  6. declan294

    declan294 Newbie

    So I tried a Pastrami for the first time last night. I started with a store bought corned beef and made sure it was a high amount of solution. Let it soak for 6 hours changing the water every hour. Then used a rub recipe I found on-line. I didn't touch any of the fat cap, and smoked it to 170IT, it was so tender just coming off the smoker that it was hard to not start making sandwiches right there. However, because it was my first time I will listen to those that came before me, and cooled the meat and refrigerated it, and will steam it before serving, one of the easiest things I have made on the smoker. 

    One question, has anyone ever finished it on the smoker and sent from a rest straight to table? If so when did you stop smoking it, any other tips or tricks. I would love to do this for a party sometime, but it would be so much more convenient to start the smoke in the morning and then serve once it is done, and rested as opposed to refrigerating for 6 or more hours then steaming for 2-3 then slicing. 

    Any thoughts are appreciated. 
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    An IT of 200+ is too done for me. I want Pull Apart, bite through slices, not falling apart. Pastrami can be tender from 170 to 190 without being mushy. The Smoke then Steam is what Deli's do to Smoke/precook many pastrami's in one day and control the amount of smoke the owner wants on the meat. Smoked to 150 they are cooked but not tender. They refrigerate the mostly cooked Pastrami, then reheat and finish cooking with steam. This traditional Deli method got carried over to home prep but not necessary, unless you want a light smoke flavor or are cooking ahead. If you are making one or two Pastrami's for home, that will be eaten when done and like them smokey, Smoke to a tender IT you like, eat some hot and refer the rest. You can steam to reheat, 150°, in a pot over simmering water or a covered pan in the oven. For hot Sammies, slice and pan fry...JJ
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017

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