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Homemade Pastrami

Some like it hot! Pastrami is simply cured and smoked beef brisket that's deliciously tender and spicy. Create it at home to choose the volume of spice that fits your palette.

  • Difficulty3/5
  • Prep time30 mins
  • Cook time5 hrs
  • Serves6
  • Recommended HardwoodMesquite


Beef Brisket Flat, fat trimmed to 1/4-inch1, 4- 5 lbs.
Water1 gallon
Garlic, peeled and smashed6 cloves
Juniper Berries5
Bay Leaves, broken into pieces3
Kosher Salt3/4 cup
Brown Sugar1/2 cup
Morton's TenderQuick curing salt (optional)2 Tbsp.
Whole black Peppercorns1 Tbsp.
coarsely ground Black Pepper3 Tbsp.
Coriander Seeds3 Tbsp.
Yellow Mustard Seeds1 Tbsp.
Bay Leaves2
Brown Sugar1/4 cup
Sweet Paprika2 Tbsp.
Kosher Salt1 Tbsp.
Ground Cinnamon1 tsp.
Ground Clove1/2 tsp


Plan ahead! This requires overnight time.

For the brine, bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in the garlic, juniper berries, bay leaves, salt, brown sugar, curing salt, if using, whole peppercorns, and allspice berries. Let cool completely, then immerse the meat. (Weight it down with a plate if necessary.) Refrigerate for 3 days.

For the rub, in a spice grinder or small food processor, combine the black pepper, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, and bay leaves. Pulse until coarsely ground. Stir in the brown sugar, paprika, cinnamon, and clove.

Remove the meat from the brine and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle and pat the rub on the brisket. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).

Remove the plastic wrap from the beef brisket and arrange on the grill grate. Smoke the meat for 3 to 4 hours.

Wrap the brisket tightly in foil. Increase the temperature to 250, and continue to cook the brisket until the internal temperature is 175.

Allow the brisket to cool to room temperature, leaving it in the foil. Transfer the brisket to a baking dish, and weight it with foil-covered bricks or cast iron skillets. Refrigerate overnight. Slice thinly against the grain for serving. (A meat slicer is preferred to a knife.)

  • Difficulty3/5
  • Prep time30 mins
  • Cook time5 hrs
  • Serves6
  • Recommended HardwoodMesquite

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