Pastrami for Dummies

Discussion in 'Beef' started by raykinney, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. raykinney

    raykinney Newbie

    Ok guys, I saw a post from a guy that had found corned beef on sale and was going to buy a bunch of them to make pastrami. Is that all it is, smoked corned beef???? I found recipes that called for brining it for like 3 weeks, but if store bought corned beef brisket is a shortcut, I'm game!
  2. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's pretty much it. The store bought corned beef has already been brined (corned). You can also use the seasoning packet that comes with it to coat the meat before smoking.
  3. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    reasn its called corned i beleive is the meat is packed in salt pellets aprox the same size as corn kernals.
  4. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Seems there's a bunch of info on pastrami here...didja try a search?

    And..I thought it was brisket...not corned. But I very well may be wrong.
  5. I think after a brisket is brined it makes corned beef, then if smoked it is pastrami.
  6. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brisket would be the prefered cut of meat to brine for corned beef and then smoked into pastrami. I've seen round used also.
  7. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  8. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  9. 13spicerub

    13spicerub Meat Mopper

    yup, take the corned beef you'd buy in the store. soak it in water for about a day or so, change the water every few hours. this draws out the salt. then grind up equal parts of peppercorns, corriander, and juniper berries. rub it on, then smoke that sucker. and there you have delicious homemade pastrami
  10. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  11. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    sorry to confuse you bubba, but that is how it got its name...

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Corning is a form of curing; it has nothing to do with corn. The name comes from Anglo-Saxon times before refrigeration. In those days, the meat was dry-cured in coarse "corns" of salt. Pellets of salt, some the size of kernels of corn, were rubbed into the beef to keep it from spoiling and to preserve it.[/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Today brining -- the use of salt water -- has replaced the dry salt cure, but the name "corned beef" is still used, rather than "brined" or "pickled" beef. Commonly used spices that give corned beef its distinctive flavor are peppercorns and bay leaf. Of course, these spices may vary regionally.[/font]
  12. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good job Erain of un confusing BBQBUBBA, I was also wondering your source, that explaines it.
    I would hate to see HIM confused.[​IMG]

  13. raykinney

    raykinney Newbie

    Thanks all.......not such the dummy that I DO know what "corned" was, just wasn't sure it was the same brining as for Pastrami. I gotta try one now, along with one of these "fatties" you guys are all raving about! Just not sure which filling I will try first, they all look good.
  14. Actually... the term corn means a small, hard particle or substance (specifically when referring to a grain or seed). So the "corns" of salt were termed that because they were small, hard particles of salt..... just the same as us New World people started calling maize corn (because of the small hard kernels). I guess it's like "what came first, the chicken or the egg?", but since people were corning beef way before we referred to maize as corn.... I'd say the name wasn't directly related to the vegetable we call corn.

    I'm just trying to feel smart for a day... sorry if I confuse anyone else. :eek:D
  15. Two things:

    Isn't corned beef boiled after brining? And if so, wouldn't you be "cooking it" twice if you make Pastrami from corned beef?

    Has anybody tried Steven Raichlen's (BBQ University) Pastrami On The Grill kit? It seemed pretty expensive ($9-$10) if all you get are the spices and directions.
  16. t-bone tim

    t-bone tim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    T loins , you don't boil it first , just rub with pepper and corriander and straight into the smoker , cool and slice .
  17. I guess what I meant was, when you buy a corned beef brisket from the store, is it already boiled? And if you buy a corned beef brisket from the store to make pastrami, is it raw beef just brined but not boiled yet or is it already boiled? Isn't corned beef boiled? Am I saying this the right way?

    Tim, are you saying to buy a "ready-to-eat" corned beef brisket and rub, then smoke? I thought corned beef brisket, besides having possibly different spices than Pastrami, was also boiled after brining. I DO understand that to make it Pastrami, it needs to be smoked, I just thought if you take the shortcut of buying corned beef, there was an extra step somewhere in-between that was already done with CB that isn't with Pastrami: boiling.

    Sorry for the confusion, I've never had corned beef so don't know how it comes when you buy it.
  18. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    EVERY recipie i see for doing a pastrami from a fresh brisket........does NOT ever call for boiling the peice of meat

    steaming or braising to reheat, to eat maybe. But thast about it
  19. YES, I follow that part, Pastrami gets smoked, corned beef gets boiled, but when you get a corned beef to make a pastrami, has it previously been boiled?

    I DO FOLLOW the proper way to make a Pastrami from SCRATCH, using a fresh brisket: You brine the raw brisket, rub it & smoke it; no boiling in any step.

    I just wonder if you take the corned beef "shortcut" to make Pastrami, has it previously been boiled somewhere along the way?

    Or is corned beef sold as raw/brined when you buy it and you'd normally take it home and boil it? That wouldn't make sense if deli-bought, hence it was previously boiled... right or wrong?

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