Sous Vide and Smoked East Coast Pastrami


Pastrami is something that takes a lot of time and patience, but it is so worth it in the end. Pastrami is really just corned beef that is smoked and covered with extra spices. This recipe is a combination of several different cooking techniques and has been tweaked down to perfection. This is a hit at every party that I go to. I never get to bring any home because it is always gone by the end of the night.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
23 hrs 10 mins
Additional Time:
5 days 45 mins
Total Time:
6 days 25 mins
1 12-pound brisket


  • 12 pounds beef brisket


  • 1 gallon water

  • 2 cups white sugar

  • 1 ½ cups kosher salt

  • 10 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 4 teaspoons pink curing salt

  • 1 gallon ice cubes

Pickling Spice:

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds

  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Trim off the fat cap of the brisket and poke some holes in the meat with a paring knife.

  2. Bring water to a boil in a large pot on the stovetop. Remove from heat; as it starts to cool down, add white sugar, kosher salt, garlic, and pink curing salt.

  3. Find a food-grade, nonreactive container with a lid; pour in brine and ice, then add the brisket. Keep brisket in brine for 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator. Flip the brisket every 24 hours.

  4. After brining, pull the brisket out of the container and rinse under cold water.

  5. Heat a pan over low heat. Toast coriander seeds, peppercorns, and mustard seeds in the hot pan, about 2 minutes. Remove and transfer to a food processor; add red pepper flakes, cloves, ginger, and bay leaves. Grind well.

  6. Use 1/2 of the spice mixture to coat the brisket; seal in a food saver bag. Reserve remaining spice mixture. Place brisket in a sous vide at 137 degrees F (58 degrees C) for 18 hours.

  7. Remove from sous vide, cut open the bag, and set out to dry and rest on a wire rack from a smoker for 30 minutes. Use remaining pickling spices to re-coat the brisket.

  8. Place a wire rack into the smoker. Add wood chips according to manufacturer's directions and heat to 225 degrees F (107 degrees C).

  9. Smoke brisket until browned, tender, and no longer pink in the center, about 5 hours. Pull brisket from the smoker and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Editor's Notes:

Always brine foods in a food-grade, nonreactive container such as a stainless steel or enameled stockpot, a brining bag, or a food-grade plastic bucket.

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of brine ingredients. The actual amount of brine consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

204 Calories
5g Fat
20g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 204
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 7340mg 319%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 400mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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