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Old 10-05-2012, 01:58 PM   #1
This is not your pork!
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 04-24-12
Location: Linz, Austria
Question Pastrami from Start to Finish: Missing Details

I have been reading about pastrami production all week, and although there is quite some info available, it's hard to settle on a procedure. The most appealing one comes from Mr.BBQ and outlines as follows:
  • Brine brisket for 2-3 days
  • Dry meat, apply rub and let marinade/cure in the fridge for another 4-10 days
  • Smoke for 4-8 hours till IT 175F
  • Steam for 2-4 hours before serving
Other procedures work with way longer brining for up to 4 weeks, but that's quite a long waiting time. I am not so sure about dry curing, brining just seems to make more sense.

So I already have the following for my first try in pastrami production:

Nice and not too large brisket with 7.19 lbs

The only curing salt I could find, which is a mixture of several ingredients, destined for curing and reddening

This curing mixture contains in unspecified quantities:
  • Table Salt (iodized)
  • Sugar
  • Monosodium Glutamate (flavor enhancer)
  • Coriander
  • Caraway
  • Pepper
  • Sodium Nitrate (preserving agent)
  • Sodium Ascorbate (antioxidant agent)
  • Juniper Berries
  • Garlic
  • Allspice
The instructions on the curing mixture tell the following:
Originally Posted by Poekel Fix Wuerzmittel

Wet Curing

Rub meat well with curing mixture and put in container. After 3 days boil off water, let cool down and put in container to cover meat completely. Keep room temperature between ~ 46F and 50F. Let cure for about 2 - 3 weeks depending on meat size.
Dry Curing
Rub meat well with curing mixture and put in container. Room temperature should be max. 59F. Let cure for about 1 - 2 weeks depending on meat size.
The shown bag contains 4.41 lbs of that curing mixture, and it is supposed to be good for 132.28 lbs of meat, so for my brisket with 7.19 lbs I am supposed to use 108.67 grams ~ 3.83 oz. of the curing mixture.

I am a little confused right now due to the different proceedings, which supposedly all should lead to a similar result.

Does brining for just 2-3 days + marinading/curing in rub for 4-10 days sound reasonable?

What about the brine? How much water? Does 2 quarts of water boiled with addition of 100 grams of that curing mixture sound reasonable?

The rub will not contain that curing mixture, but the following ingredients:
  • 4 tbsp Sal Marina Natural
  • 4 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 3 tbsp coriander
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
I think I will start with brining tomorrow, so if you have any thoughts on this, please tell.
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