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Unread 03-20-2008, 12:45 PM   #1
YankeeBBQ
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Default About Pastrami / Smoked Corned Beef

I've been reading some stuff on the web about Pastrami and it seems traditionally the Pastrami is Steamed whole for about 3 hours after it is smoked. The famous Deli's in NYC buy their Pastrami already smoked and steam it in the restaurant.

I see that a lot of people smoke their Pastrami to 170 to 180 degrees. Those of you who have done this do you steam the Pastrami after you smoke it ? I was just thinking maybe I should only cook to 165 to 170 Degrees.

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Unread 03-20-2008, 12:57 PM   #2
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I do not know for sure but I think i read the steaming is more of a NY city tradition. I have never been there so I am not sure. I take mine to 180-185 and the broil it w/ swiss cheese. I like mine dry not wet.
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Unread 03-20-2008, 01:21 PM   #3
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Ive made and ate pastrami all my life including making my own pastrami (article and procedures to do so are located on my blog..) I have never steamed my pastrami, about as close as I have come to doing that is letting it get happy in the old crock pot. Usually just smoke it slice it and serve it.
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Unread 03-20-2008, 01:30 PM   #4
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I steam mine for a few minutes before it goes on the sandwich. I do them like Firehouse Subs. Layer some pastrami, squirt a little italian dressing over it, top it off with some provolone. When it gets all hot and gooey, slap it on a toasted bun with mayo and spicy mustard.
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Unread 03-20-2008, 01:43 PM   #5
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I don't steam it. I take it to 170, wrap it in foil and add a little beef broth. Back in the smoker to 195. Slice and serve.

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Unread 03-20-2008, 02:03 PM   #6
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Steve, Katz's, Second Avenue and Sarges "Hold" the meat in a steam locker to keep temp, because they sell so much it really does not stay around that long to break it down to pot roast consistancy. I have never steamed one after cooking it. it is much better reheated in foil the second day however.
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Unread 03-20-2008, 02:07 PM   #7
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I have been making Pastrami for a few years now. This year I tried the corned beef thing. I cut the packer into thirds, flat in half and the point. I soaked that thing for about 48 hours with 5 or 6 water changes until that meat was almost white. After seasoning and smoking it is still too salty for my tastes. I looked at Boss Mans BBQ home page and found his method of making Pastrami is the same one I have used for years. I think it was origonally from a guy named Rick. Anyway, you guys owe it to yourselves to try it at least once. I think if you do, you will leave the corned beef (the first step in the recipe) to the Irish. It makes a far superior product. I sell all I can make for $8.00 a pound.
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Unread 03-20-2008, 02:08 PM   #8
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Steve, I just did two briskets for pastrami in the Chubby.
I cold smoked them for 3 hours at 80 degrees, Ice in the water pan and a hotel pan of ice in the cooking area. Then I cooked them in the convection oven to 180 degrees. Checked it with my grey thermopen
Cooled, then slice on the deli-slicer. It tastes great!
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Unread 03-20-2008, 02:10 PM   #9
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I have never gotten the same texture and tissue breakdown when steaming pastrami at home that I have eaten in deli's. I think that deli's are using steamers which are more like a steam cabinet. Possibly the steam is hotter or can circulate more effeciently...

I have been pressure cooking for 20 minutes following smoking to 150* or so and although not quite like deli steamed, I really like it. The internal temperature will rise into the 180*'s during the pressure finish.
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Unread 03-20-2008, 02:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Anchorman View Post
Steve, I just did two briskets for pastrami in the Chubby.
I cold smoked them for 3 hours at 80 degrees, Ice in the water pan and a hotel pan of ice in the cooking area. Then I cooked them in the convection oven to 180 degrees. Checked it with my grey thermopen
Cooled, then slice on the deli-slicer. It tastes great!
Is Pastrami normally cold smoked ?
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Unread 03-20-2008, 02:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yelonutz View Post
I have been making Pastrami for a few years now. This year I tried the corned beef thing. I cut the packer into thirds, flat in half and the point. I soaked that thing for about 48 hours with 5 or 6 water changes until that meat was almost white. After seasoning and smoking it is still too salty for my tastes. I looked at Boss Mans BBQ home page and found his method of making Pastrami is the same one I have used for years. I think it was origonally from a guy named Rick. Anyway, you guys owe it to yourselves to try it at least once. I think if you do, you will leave the corned beef (the first step in the recipe) to the Irish. It makes a far superior product. I sell all I can make for $8.00 a pound.
NUTZ
I may give that a try sometime. This is my first time trying the corned beef thing and I've already purchased the meat.
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Unread 03-20-2008, 02:34 PM   #12
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The one I did recently I had some straight off the pit and then also the next day I steamed a couple leftover chunks. I liked the steamed better, it broke down and tenderized the pastrami a bit more.
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Unread 03-20-2008, 02:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ique View Post
The one I did recently I had some straight off the pit and then also the next day I steamed a couple leftover chunks. I liked the steamed better, it broke down and tenderized the pastrami a bit more.
That's what I was thinking. That's why I'm wondering what temp I should cook them to if i plan on the steaming stage. How did you steam it ? I was thinking of putting it right over the waterpan on the backwoods to steam, maybe put a hotel pan over it ??
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Unread 03-20-2008, 02:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeBBQ View Post
That's what I was thinking. That's why I'm wondering what temp I should cook them to if i plan on the steaming stage. How did you steam it ? I was thinking of putting it right over the waterpan on the backwoods to steam, maybe put a hotel pan over it ??
I cooked it at 250* until 180 internal on my Backwoods. Let it cool off stored overnight in the fridge. Next day just brought a few inches of beef broth to a simmer in a pot and put the pastrami chunks in, covered until warmed through.

If you want to do it all in one step I would wrap in foil at the end with a cup of liquid.
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Unread 03-20-2008, 03:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeBBQ View Post
Is Pastrami normally cold smoked ?
I follow the recipe from the Culinary Institute of America, Garde Manger text. I have done it this way atleast 8 times and always satisfied.

You know us fancy book learnin' cooks, always following a recipe.
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