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Unread 01-15-2010, 05:37 AM   #1
Cracklin Jeorge
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Default Pastrami preference - question

I am going to transform a corned beef into a fine chunk of pastrami this weekend and I have reviewed several recipes. There seems to be a difference of opinion as to whether or not to soak the corned beef first to remove the brine. Some recommend soaking the corned beef in fresh water for 6 to 12 hours before seasoning and smoking. Others skip this step and let the seasoned Corned beef cure in the fridge for 6 -12 hours prior to smoking. Oddly enough the recipes that soak in water do not cure the seasoned brisket.

Is there a preferred method?
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Unread 01-15-2010, 05:47 AM   #2
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i've not tried it, but if i ever did, i would follow thirdeye's recipe:
http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogs...-pastrami.html
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Unread 01-15-2010, 06:10 AM   #3
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Thank's Rick. Stop down for a sandwich!
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Unread 01-15-2010, 06:21 AM   #4
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OK, now that I've drooled all over my shirt looking at third eye's pics, checked the calendar and resigned myself to wait till Sunday for my Pastrami sandwich... I just need to find the top to my pressure cooker and figure out what I'm going to eat on Saturday!
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Unread 01-15-2010, 06:23 AM   #5
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I like my Pastrami with Mustard and Pickles.

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Last edited by NorthwestBBQ; 01-15-2010 at 07:00 AM..
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Unread 01-15-2010, 06:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracklin Jeorge View Post
I am going to transform a corned beef into a fine chunk of pastrami this weekend and I have reviewed several recipes. There seems to be a difference of opinion as to whether or not to soak the corned beef first to remove the brine. Some recommend soaking the corned beef in fresh water for 6 to 12 hours before seasoning and smoking. Others skip this step and let the seasoned Corned beef cure in the fridge for 6 -12 hours prior to smoking. Oddly enough the recipes that soak in water do not cure the seasoned brisket.

Is there a preferred method?
I always soak mine for 12 hours in cold water and then rub with mustard cracked pepper. The soak does not remove the cure just extracts some of the excess salt. I find it way too salty without the soak.

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Unread 01-15-2010, 06:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthwestBBQ View Post
I like my Pastrami with Mustard and Pickles.

Nice pic Northwest BBQ... My stomach growls in your general direction!
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Unread 01-15-2010, 07:20 AM   #8
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Time to get started. I've never tried Bea's Best before but it claims to be a mild cure. Tricky Bea, she hide the fat side. Needs a little trim... but don't we all? Time for a good soaking. I'll be back.
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Unread 01-15-2010, 08:10 AM   #9
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Jeorge, When I smoke my corned beef, I always soak for at least 24 hours and change the water 4 times.
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Unread 01-15-2010, 08:16 AM   #10
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What kind of rub are you using? Below is one I recommend.

1 cup cracked black pepper
1/3 cup coriander seed
1/3 cup paprika
1/3 cup granulated garlic
1/3 cup granulated onion
-Toast the pepper seeds and coriander in a dry pan until fragrant, then process in a coffee grinder.
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Unread 01-15-2010, 08:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracklin Jeorge View Post
Time for a good soaking. I'll be back.
You might want to get that in a larger volume of water. You want to have plenty of water so the salt can displace.
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Unread 01-15-2010, 08:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JONESY View Post
What kind of rub are you using? Below is one I recommend.

1 cup cracked black pepper
1/3 cup coriander seed
1/3 cup paprika
1/3 cup granulated garlic
1/3 cup granulated onion
-Toast the pepper seeds and coriander in a dry pan until fragrant, then process in a coffee grinder.
Here is the one I use:
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons ground mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon ground chipolte pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
As far as soaking...I have only made pastrami once from a packaged corned beef brisket (the other times I cured my own brisket), and I let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours, but no soaking.
I have since read on here that everyone else soaks theirs.

I did not have any issues with saltiness on mine, even with the salt in the rub, but it may have been beginners luck
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Unread 01-15-2010, 08:44 AM   #13
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I always soak mine too, otherwise it is way too salty I have read that some folks put a cut potato in the water to help draw out the salt, then cook up the potato. I usually soak 2 days changing the water a couple of times a day.
After a couple of days in the drink, I rub mine down with Monterey Steak Seasoning and throw it on the Egg.
Another trick to test the saltyness is to slice s piece off and fry it up and taste it - if still too salty keep soaking.
Good luck and enjoy!
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Unread 01-15-2010, 09:50 AM   #14
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I normally soak for 24 hours with a potato cut in half to absorb the salt and change the water at least twice. Then I rub it and let it sit with the rub overnight.
YMMV
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Unread 01-15-2010, 09:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ique View Post
I always soak mine for 12 hours in cold water and then rub with mustard cracked pepper.
If you rub it with mustard like that, it's much closer to Montreal Smoked Meat than to a pastrami. Similar and good, but not the same.

If I buy my own corned beef, I never soak it. If I cure my own, I do.

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