Well up until this weekend I had smoked things and cured/brined things, but never done a pastrami or anything else that combined techniques. I didn't wade in to this at all, I just went for it. My coworker has a pass to restaurant depot, so I picked up a 10.5 lb choice brisket at just $3/lb.
From there it went in brine for 7 full days at which time I drained and rinsed it. I toasted tricolor peppercorns and coriander seeds, ground them coarsely in a mortar and pestle and coated the brisket. That hung out for 2 more days then it hit my kettle grill set up for smoking. Lump mesquite charcoal and soaked applewood chips. Smoked at 225-250 for 6 hours. I finished it by wrapping in foil in the oven at 250 for 2.5 hours. Very happy with the results. Slapped it on Russian rye with Russian dressing, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut. Damn fine meal.
I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed the pastrami.


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I love sauerkraut and have made it before, but I don't have anywhere cool to let it ferment, my apartment has been reaching the 80s almost every day and I'd be a little concerned about spoilage at those high temps. I do plan on doing some in the fall after it has cooled down again.
It was actually much easier than I thought it would be. The curing portion requires minimal working time, the smoking just required that I tended it once an hour or so once I had it dialed in. Every day the smoking conditions are a little bit different due to temperature and humidity and such so the first hour or 2 I check it more often, 3-4 times per hour, but once dialed in I would just add more wood chips every hour and more lit charcoal every other hour. Not too much work for something so delicious. I think it would be fun to have a WFF smoker get together. Everyone brings a different smoked meat to the party.


John or "LC"
I'm impressed. I am lazy, and have always started with corned beef. The pastrami turned out on a home smoker can be as good as any in a New York deli. I'll have to try the hard way sometime, starting with brisket.
Unfortunately I'm moving this weekend to a place that doesn't allow charcoal grills.....I'm keeping mine, I'll just have to do all my smoking in a park or at someone's house. I'm going to change a few things next time I do it, but there will be a next time. Maybe in October and I can bring it to Lone when the fishing gets hot again.

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