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67 Ratings
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  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 2

Make smoked pastrami from corned beef with this easy recipe. Great pastrami is not the easiest thing to find west of the Catskills, so a few years ago, I embarked on a mission to find a way to turn the common corned beef into something similar. My goal was to devise a reasonable substitute that could be done in less than a day at home, without a smoker or any other special equipment. Impossible? No!

Recipe Summary

40 mins
6 hrs 10 mins
12 hrs
18 hrs 50 mins
1 4-pound pastrami


Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Mix vegetable oil and garlic in a small bowl; set aside for 1 hour.

  • Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C).

  • Combine black pepper, paprika, coriander, dry mustard, white pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl; set aside.

  • Cover a baking sheet with a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil; coat with prepared garlic oil. Lay beef brisket on the oiled foil sheet and brush with remaining garlic oil. Cover brisket completely with pepper mixture, reserving 1 to 2 tablespoons.

  • Wrap brisket, fat-side up, in the sheet of foil. Place wrapped corned beef on another sheet of aluminum foil with the seam- and fat-sides down. Place double-wrapped brisket, seam-side down, on a third sheet of aluminum foil; wrap again.

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 6 hours.

  • Remove pastrami from the oven and let cool to room temperature, about 3 hours. Do not remove the foil.

  • Place foil-wrapped pastrami in a freezer bag or other plastic bag; refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours.

  • Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.

  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  • Remove pastrami from the refrigerator, unwrap, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle top with 1 to 2 tablespoons remaining pepper mixture.

  • Place pastrami under the broiler and cook until surface browns, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pastrami from the oven and cut into thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick.

  • Heat a large skillet over low heat.

  • Warm pastrami slices in the skillet with a few drops of water until fat turns translucent, about 5 minutes.

Chef's Note:

Serve warm pastrami slices on rye bread with mustard and a pickle.

Nutrition Facts

4709 calories; protein 273.2g; carbohydrates 32.6g; fat 383.9g; cholesterol 979.8mg; sodium 22099.4mg. Full Nutrition