Selecting a corned beef for pastrami

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by billbo, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I know that for doing pastrami you can start out with a store bought corned beef brisket. Is there anything I should be looking for to select a good corned beef for brisket?

  2. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Personally, I like to buy the flat cuts and not the points. I think the points have way too muchfat in them.
  3. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    For the 2 pastramis I have knocked out, I have used the flat cut corned beef, a 3 lb'r, and about a 4 lb. piece. Even when buying corned beef for corned beef and cabbage I prefer the flat cut to the point cut.
  4. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The flat is better in my opinion, unless you get a packer and seperate them.
  5. I'd also add, look for one that's roughly the same thickness across the cut - I saw a bunch at the store that we thick on one end, and thinner on the other. I wouldn't think that such a beast wouldn't cook evenly [​IMG]

    In addition, I don't think I'd buy one smaller than 2 - 2.5 lbs, as I would be worried that it would dry out.

    All in all, good luck with the pastrami! In fact, I'm enjoying the last of my Pastrami right now - going to have to make another soon! [​IMG]
  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Like most here I would pick the one that is even the whole piece of meat more even smoking and they are really good. Make sure when you soak your corned beef for several hours fry a piece and see if you got enough salt out. We kinda light it salty but we like the way you get them in new york city.
  7. I have to agree with my distinguished posters above based on my pastrami experience:
    1. the bigger you can buy the better. It will lose a lot in the smoke, and even more in the foil.
    2. point cuts are usually cheaper, but less uniform and more fat (you get what you pay for).
    3. I've heard tell of the "packer cut" but haven't sought it out yet, but soon plan to do so.

    In the back of your mind file away the plan to stock up on briskets around St. Patrick's Day when they run almost a dollar cheaper per pound. They freeze very, very well.

    Good luck & don't forget the q-view!
  8. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just did a point that was perfect,,,,almost. it was trimmed to 1/8", straight grain and even in thickness but it was to salty to start with. something like 1100 mg of sodium per serving. Don't quote me there. But after soaking for 6 hours it was still to salty for me , but the wife likes it alot.. I need to try to cure my own next time

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