Easy Pastrami Recipe

I’m making an attempt at purging my freezer in the basement so that we can get it cleaned out and thawed. On my way to doing that, I came across some corned beef that I wanted to use up. My initial thoughts are always to make corned beef hash, as I really do like corned beef hash, but then I decided to make an easy pastrami. I love a good pastrami sandwich, so I figured why not take my spin on an easy pastrami recipe. To say the least, it was dynamite!

Easy Pastrami Recipe

Now you can go a bunch of different direction with this and make your own spice blends, and brine it if you want to, but the brisket was already brined, so I went with just a lot of cracked black pepper. Again, super simple, and extremely delicious.

Let’s get started.


  • 3-4 pound corned beef brisket
  • Black pepper, enough to generously coat the corned beef
  • Smoker

Start by rinsing the corned beef with cold water. Pat dry.

Cover the corned beef with black pepper. I used some great pepper I purchased from the Milwaukee Spice House. Once the corned beef is rubbed, cover and place in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Homemade Pastrami Recipe

Next is the smoke. Prepare your smoker, and get it going to about 225 degrees. You can probably go with your favorite wood, and in this case I used apple wood chunks. Smoke the brisket, fat side up, for about 4 hours, then continue cooking for about another 4 hours. You want the internal temperature to be about 180 degrees.

How to make pastrami

Remove it from the smoker, and place it into a large pot to let rest, and cool. Once cooled place it in the refrigerator overnight. The following day, place the corned beef onto a steamer rack, adding water to the bottom of the pan, and cover. I used my Chinese steamer for this. If you do not have one, just add it to a wire rack on a large baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil, and steam for about 2 more hours, adding additional water when needed. Just make sure the water does not come in contact with the corned beef.

Remove, and slice.

I cannot tell you how awesome this was, and trust me, it did not last long. My boys loved it, and I was already in heaven. I served it onto a sandwich, slathering a bit of Dijon mustard on it.  I wish I would have made about twice as much!

It is a process, but it is well worth the time and effort. Hope you enjoy!

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

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