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#1 Dipole


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Posted 23 September 2018 - 12:07 PM

I saw this advertisement and decided it was time to make a pastrami

Tri-Tip Add.jpg


The recipe I use is:

Pastrami Original Recipe.jpg  Pastrami Scalable Recipe.jpg

I have attached the recipe files in a .zip.  The spreadsheet is useful for scaling the brine and so on.


So I went to the store and got a tri-tip.

Selected Tri Tip.jpg


Pastrami is usually made from a well marbled brisket.  This cut is not available in small amounts, so I use something else.  Tri-Tip isn't the best, it will be a bit dry, but not too bad.  Use the cut untrimmed, you want as much fat on it as possible.


Weigh the meat.

Weigh the Meat.jpg

This cut came in at 3lb 7oz, (3.4375lb.)  Enter the value into the title on the spreadsheet


I have been brining with this container.  A 4 liter food service thing.

Brining Container.jpg


Now lets see if the meat fits.

Try to Fit the Meat.jpg


The fun part about making pastrami is that you can always make two pastrami's.

Cut the meat so that it will fit.

Cut the Meat and Fit.jpg


Now for the fun part.  Making the brine.


You will need salt, prague powder #1, sugar, and garlic.

I will be adding some vitamin C too.

Brine Ingredients.jpg


You need to get the volume of brine to make.

I will borrow an old greek technique and do that by filling up the container with water.

Fill with Tap Water.jpg


Now pour the water off into a bowl.

Pour off to get Volume.jpg


Now you can use a measuring cup to get the volume of the water.  Throw the water out.

Enter the value into the spreadsheet, in the cell below the meat weight.

Print out a copy of the scaled recipe.


Now the brine can be made.

My container needed 8 cups of water to cover the meat.


8 cups of brine will use:


4T     Salt, pure

1.6T  Cure, #1(Prague powder #2, pink salt)

1.6T  Sugar

3.2T  Garlic, chopped

0.5t   Ascorbic Acid

~.8t   Baking Soda


Cure #1 is Prague Powder #1, also called pink salt.

It is 1 part Sodium Nitrite, 15 parts Sodium Chloride.

So it is 6.25% nitrite in salt.

A little red food color is added to make it look different from salt.

I bought it in bulk at a restaurant supply store.


The nitrite makes the meat turn red.

Nitric Oxide binds with the myoglobin in the beef.

I think is also keeps the contams from growing too.

I read that the nitrosamines that are produced by the nitrite can be eliminated by adding ascorbic acid(vitamin C).

The acid needs to be neutralized otherwise the nitrite will form nitrous acid and decompose into nitric oxide and you will smell something very similar to chlorine gas.


So, add 8 cups of clean water to the bowl.  I use RO water, demineralized water.

Add the salt, cure, and sugar.


Remove a little water into a cup.

Add the ascorbic acid to the water, mix.

Using a 1/4t spoon drop some baking soda into the water.

It will start to fizz.  Swirl the solution until it stops fizzing.

The carbonate neutralizes the acidity and releases carbon dioxide.

Continue to add baking soda until the fizzing stops.

Carefully pour the solution into the brine.

Excess soda will sink to the bottom of the cup.


Sodium Erythorbate can also be used.  It is the same thing, easier to use too.  Just add it in.


So now you have the brine put together.

Put Brine Together.jpg


Now stir to dissolve the salts and sugar.

Finished Brine.jpg


Time to work on your knife skills and chop the garlic.


Get what you think will be at least enough garlic, 3.2T in this case

Personally, I think you cannot have too much garlic, so this is a minimum amount.



Break the garlic up into cloves.

Garlic Cloves.jpg


Use a chopping knife to cut off the base of each clove

and crush the clove with the side of the knife.

Cut and Mashed Garlic.jpg


Scrape the mess off the cutting board, Clean the board and knife.

The mess off the Cutting Board.jpg


Peel the garlic.

Peeled Garlic.jpg


Chop, chop, chop.

Chopped Garlic.jpg


Now toss the chopped garlic into the brine container.

Garlic into the Pot.jpg


Pour in the brine.

Pour the Brine in.jpg


Cover the brine.

Cover the Brine.jpg


Put the brine into the refrigerator for 7 days.

Cure in the Refrigerator.jpg


Step one is complete!

The brine will turn pink after a while.

The brine will develop nice smell, nothing funky.


In a week, I will finish the pastrami.

I will smoke it rather than just slow cook it.

Attached Files

Edited by Dipole, 23 September 2018 - 12:15 PM.

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#2 Juthro


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Posted 23 September 2018 - 01:19 PM

Pulling up a chair!  I love me some cured and smoked meats!


What kind of smoker set up are you running, if you dont mind me asking?

Edited by Juthro, 23 September 2018 - 01:22 PM.

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#3 coorsmikey



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Posted 23 September 2018 - 02:35 PM

Thank to you Dipole I was inspired to make my first homemade Pastrami last week. It turned out a lil to salty so next time i will let it soak in the clean cold water for longer. I added some other item to mine though, Coriander, Dill,mustard seed and a ton of pepper corns. I will definitely be watching fro good deal on roasts to do some more. 

Oh yeah and Thanks to Juthro, I also cured some Canadian Bacon too. i was quite happy how that one turned out for be my first time.

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#4 Dipole


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Posted 23 September 2018 - 02:58 PM

I am at step #1, there is still more to do before all is divulged...

However, since you asked,

therefore you actually find this thread interesting,

I would be delighted to answer all questions.


I have a "Masterbuilt" water smoker.

I have it plumbed to natural gas.

It has a spot to put wood chips.

A bowl of water above that.

The smoker has a big door

and rails to setup wire racks.

I made heavy wire things that span

the inside of the smoker so I can

hang and smoke hanks of sausages.


The cured meat is coated with:


cracked black pepper

cracked coriander

chopped garlic


The coated meat is then slow cooked or smoked.

Smoked pastrami tastes and smells fantastic.


I have been preparing the thinly sliced pastrami

by putting it in a sauce pan with a little water.

Bringing to a boil while turning the pastrami over.

This will reduce the salt and get the fat on the move.

Pour off the water and proceed as you like.

You loose some flavor so use a small amount of water.


Leaving the salt in the finished pastrami

will help it keep better too.


I will provide pics of the smoker affair.

Edited by Dipole, 23 September 2018 - 03:00 PM.

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#5 coorsmikey



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Posted 24 September 2018 - 12:23 AM

Im working with a Treager pellet smoker. If you dont mind (time and $$$ permitting) I would like to grab a roast (with the most marbleized and fatty i can find) and get it soaking in the brine. Give it a good low and slow smoke on Sunday. Come back and post some pics to add to your thread here. Ha maybe which i doubt i will pull this off in a week, i can grind up some of my rye grain that normally use for spawn to make some rye bread. I can prolly use some info from your bread recipe with some substitutes  in ingredients and a few tweeks to make a loaf. I also had to pick all my cucumbers today in anticipation of a freeze tonight so I see some homemade pickles in the future too. 

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#6 Dipole


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Posted 29 September 2018 - 04:46 PM

A week has flown by, again.

Time to smoke the pastrami!


My smoker is one of these kind of water smokers.

The Smoker.jpg


The gas control and igniter...

The Smoker Control.jpg


...and the inside of the box.

The Smoker Opened Up.jpg


The wood chips are placed on the tray.  The burner box is underneath.

Smoke Tray.jpg


I will be smoking with hickory.

Hickory Smoke Chips.jpg


I start the smoker up at full heat to get her cleaned up.

I will turn the heat down later.


I like to moisten the chips to keep the fire down.

Get the Chips Wet.jpg


I wrap the chips in aluminum foil to keep the wood from igniting.

Divide up the Chips.jpg  Wraping the Chips.jpg


The cured meat will be coated with


1.4T Coarse Ground Black Pepper

2.1T Coarse Ground Coriander Seed

2.1t Chopped Garlic


Use more if you think it is not enough.

The Rub Ingredients.jpg


Get the brine out of the refrigerator.

Cured Meat and Rub.jpg


Remove the cured meat and toss the brine.

Pat the meat dry with paper towels.

Dried off Meat.jpg


Rub the spices all over the meat.  Now everything is ready for the smoker.

Stuff Ready to Go.jpg


The smoker is  nice and hot. 

Time to fill the water tray and put in the meat.

Prepped Meat and Full Water.jpg


I start off with one packet of chips.

The First Packet Addition.jpg


Now I turn down the heat to the spot that should end up at 220F.

The smoker is closed up and heating up.

Starting Temp.jpg


I run my smoker with the exhaust vent almost closed.

I want to keep the humidity at maximum so the meat does not dry out.

Top Vent is Mostly Closed.jpg


Soon the temp is getting close.

Almost There.jpg


The wood is smoking in about 3o minutes.

After an hour I add the second packet of wood chips.

The Second Packet Addition.jpg


By this time the temp is correct.

At Good Temp.jpg


It will be done in 2.5 hours.

Edited by Dipole, 29 September 2018 - 06:52 PM.

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#7 Dipole


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Posted 29 September 2018 - 05:59 PM

It took 3.5 hours to get the meat up to 165F.

End of Smoke (1).jpg  End of Smoke (2).jpg


Looks nice under the sun. 

Pastrami Under the Sun.jpg


All done.

Pastrami, Smoked.jpg


Apple smoke is really good too.

Bon Appetit


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#8 Juthro


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Posted 29 September 2018 - 06:12 PM

Looks good brother!


Wish I was there to taste a sample :)

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#9 Dipole


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Posted 29 September 2018 - 06:47 PM

Here is what the small end looks like from a previous pastrami.

Bon Appetit.jpg


Easy to do and no nitrosamines too.

Sounds like a possible presidential campaign slogan.

Edited by Dipole, 29 September 2018 - 06:47 PM.

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