My husband grew up on NY style corned beef and pastrami. Unfortunately, there just aren't any good deli's here. I decided to learn to make pastrami. It's basically corned beef that is covered in a spice mix and smoked. The secret to it being juicy and tender is to steam it after smoking. It sounds like a lot of steps but it's basically just time spent waiting! We do have an electric smoker, but it can be done with indirect heat on a grill.
1Remove the corned beef from the package and rinse well. Set in a large bowl of water to soak in fridge for at LEAST 6 hours changing water a few times. This removes some of the salt and is important.
2Drain and dry well.
3Crush your spices in a mortar and pestal or spice grinder. Keep it coarse.
4Cover the meat on all sides with the mix.
5At this point you can go directly to the smoker or wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
6Wen you are ready to smoke, set your smoker at 225.
7Insert meat thermometer into the meat and place directly on the rack, fat side up.
8Add your wood chips or pellets, light wood like apple is good. Hickory is too heavy. Change: I did one today and mixed some hickory with the apple, we liked it. Of course, it's a little heavier smoke taste. Fill you water holder.
9Smoke until the internal temperature is 150. Probably 2 to 3 hours.
10Remove from the smoker to a broiler pan or any pan with a rack. Put water in the bottom of the pan and cover tightly with foil.
11Bake/steam in the oven at 250 until tender. Can take from 3 to 5 hours depending on size.
12Can be served hot. To slice thin, chill overnight and slice on an electric slicer.