how to make brisket pastrami

How to make Pastrami (using brisket flats!)

It’s the meat made famous by the Jewish delis of New York, learn how to make smoked brisket pastrami.


home made pastrami

It’s the main ingredient in Reuben sandwiches, but delicious on it’s own or sandwiched between rye bread. Pastrami is what happens when you take corned beef to the next level – by smoking it! Commercial production sees the pastrami made tender by steaming in large industrial units, but this home-friendly version uses your oven to recreate the delicious dish.

For this recipe I used a fullblood wagyu brisket, which gave an even richer and more luxurious finish.


pastrami using brisket flat

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home made pastrami

How to make Pastrami (using brisket flats!)

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4 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Jess Pryles



1 x brisket flat, about 56lb

For the cure:

8 cups water

½ cup sugar

½ cup Morton’s coarse kosher salt

2 teaspoon pink curing salt

4 tablespoon pickling spice

For the rub:

4 tablespoons coarse black pepper

2 teaspoons mustard powder

2 tablespoons coarsely ground coriander

2 teaspoons garlic powder

4 tablespoon pickling spice


  1. Trim the brisket flat of any remaining fat.
  2. Combine water, sugar and salt in a small pan and place over low heat. Stir until sugar and salt have dissolved, then allow mix to cool. Once cooled, add in curing salt and spices.
  3. Lay brisket in a large container and cover with cure mix. The meat must be completely immersed. Cover and place in fridge for 5-6 days.
  4. Remove brisket flat from brine/cure. It will be a pale grey in color, this is normal. Discard the cure and replace with plain water. Allow brisket to soak 1-2 hours.
  5. Combine all ingredients for the rub in a bowl. Remove brisket from the water and use paper towel to pat dry.
  6. Season the brisket well with the rub, pushing and massaging it into the surface. The rub should be very concentrated and “crusty”. Place the rubbed brisket back into the fridge, uncovered, overnight.
  7. Fire up a smoked to 250f. Place the brisket into the smoker, and smoke for 4-6 hours until an internal temperature of 165f is reached.
  8. Heat an oven to 250f. Remove brisket from smoker, and tightly wrap in 3-4 layers of cling wrap, then 2 layers of foil.
  9. Place brisket into oven to continue cooking until it reaches 205f internal temperature, which may take another 4-6 hours.
  10. Slice and serve warm pastrami – it’s recommended you serve with pickles, mustard and rye bread.

10 thoughts on “How to make Pastrami (using brisket flats!)”

    1. I can’t stand coleslaw with beef, only with fish. I also hate pastrami with Rye, better with Italian bread and yellow mustard, pickled jalapeno slices and just a hint of sweet relish. I think this is the best recipe, but I add my personal touch with 1/4 cup of chopped roasted New Mexico Green Chili for flavor and for heat.

  1. It turned out really good to everyone who tried it, but it tasted more like corned beef than pastrami to me. I was honestly a little confused/disappointed, and initially couldn’t figure out what was missing to make it taste more like pastrami.

    I did some research, and found out that Pastrami isn’t made from brisket, it’s made from the deckle cut of the cow. This is a corned beef recipe, not a pastrami recipe. Still tastes good though!

  2. Jewish deli pastrami is not smoked. Its fine if you want to make smoked brisket flat and call it “pastrami” but don’t tell people its that same as a jewish deli or that’s it’s real pastrami. Real pastrami is brined and a whole different process.

    1. “Jewish deli pastrami is not smoked.” Not sure what pastrami you’ve been eating (or serving?)… Jewish pastrami, including classics like Katz’s deli’s, is made by brining, rubbing, smoking, boiling, and possibly steaming at the end.

  3. Avatar photo
    Daniel Russell-Cooper

    This is a beauty, whenever i buy brisket these days, I smoke the point and make this recipe from the flat. I’ve made this multiple times and if done properly it is an absolute winner. Also gives me excuse to fire up the offset two weekends in a row. I get requests from the family for this pastrami whenever we have a get together. Easy to follow, takes time and patience but the result is worth it. Brilliant stuff, thanks for a great recipe.

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