While at my local butcher looking for something to smoke, I spied a beautiful little corned beef that the butcher had cured in house. Not seeing anything else that caught my eye, the decision was made - time for a pastrami redux! Following up on my first Pastrami, I decided to try branch out to another technique I had seen - namely, steaming the finished pastrami after smoking. The corned beef, weighing in at nearly 4 lbs! Unlike the last pastrami I made, this one was not a flat cut, and had much less marbling and a nearly non-existint fat cap... differences that would come back to haunt me latter... The corned beef was a bit too salty for my taste, so I soaked it in ice water for an hour to pull some salt out. After the soak, the corned beef was rinsed, dried with a paper towel, and a small sample cut for a fry test. The results, just the right level of salt! Also departing from my previous attempt, I rubbed the entire corned beef with corse fresh ground pepper, rather than a more complex spice blend. Fired up the smoker with a mixture of oak and apple wood pellets, and let the temperature stabilize between 225° and 250° (temps fluctuated a bit due to the wind). The sweet smell of TBS (2:15 pm) Placed corned beef, a tin of kosher salt (experimenting with smoked salt), and a couple of brats for snacking, into the smoker - aiming for 225° chamber temp. (3:15 pm) After an hour in the smoker, the brats hit an internal temp of 160°, so out they came. Despite their slightly shriveled appearance, the brats came out juicy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! While snacking on the brats, I noticed that the smoking chamber was fluctuating between 200° and 230° due to the wind, so changed the smoker to the 250° setting. Temps stabilized at ~230°. (4:15 pm) Inserted probe thermometer and turned the pastrami - internal temp of 110° (7:15 pm) Internal temp of 149° - pulled the pastrami from the smoker, and let it rest for 30 minutes. (7:45 pm) Steamed the pastrami, aiming for an internal temp of 165°. (8:20 pm) Pulled the pastrami from the steamer - reached an internal temp of 165°. Allowed the pastrami to rest in a covered cambro for 45 minutes, then put in the fridge overnight. In the morning, took a slice to see how we did. The verdict was mixed... The first thing I noticed was the somewhat dry interior. Also related to the lack of moisture, I noticed that some of the slices were shredding like pulled pork. At this point, I decided to pull out the meat slicer, and see what we had to work with. Set the slicer to the second smallest thickness, and sliced away. All in all, the pastrami had a great flavor - even if it was very lean, but I learned a few items with this smoke: I need to stick to the flat cut when making pastrami - this allows for more even cooking, and the flat cut tends to have more marbling. A lean cut of meat doesn't really make for good pastrami - a nice fat cap and interior marbling makes a HUGE difference in the end product. In my opinion, 165° was too done for pastrami - I've seen others discuss taking theirs well above this point, but I think it dries out too much. Next time, I'll pull at 140° and steam to 160°.