Smoked Pastrami

Smoked Pastrami

This smoked pastrami is rich, peppery, moist, tender, and will stack up against pastrami at any high-end deli. Pastrami is usually made with beef navel, which isn’t available at most grocery stores, so we’re using brisket flat instead. The cut is easy to find, reasonably economical, and offers a robust, beefy flavor.
Servings 16
Prep Time 5 days
Cook Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 5 days 7 hours


  • Z Grills 11002B Pellet Grill with Wi-Fi
  • Z Grills Cherry Wood Pellets
  • Medium Pot
  • instant-read thermometer
  • Large Non-Reactive Container
  • Food-safe Spray Bottle


  • 7 pounds USDA Choice brisket flat
  • ½ gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons pink curing salt, not Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 bay leaves, crushed
  • 2 quarts chilled water

Spice Rub

  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
  • ¾ cup coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth


  • Rinse the brisket, pat it dry and trim the fat cap, so it is 1/8 inch thick.
  • Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot.
  • Reduce to a simmer once boiling, then add the kosher salt, sugars, pink curing salt, coriander seeds, pickling spice, mustard seeds, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves.
  • Simmer for 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove the brine from the heat and set it aside for 15 minutes to cool down.
  • Add the cool water until the brine temperature reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Transfer the brisket to a large non-reactive container.
  • Pour the brine over the brisket, cover the container, and refrigerate for 5-6 days. Flip the brisket flat once every day.
  • Remove the brisket flat from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Preheat your Z-Grill (preferably with branded wood pellets) or other wood pellet grill to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Crush the coriander and mustard seeds with a meat mallet, mortar and pestle, or rolling pin.
  • Add to a bowl with the black pepper and garlic powder. Mix to make the spice rub.
  • Apply the vegetable oil to the brisket, then add the spice rub. Apply the rub all over the brisket flat.
  • Transfer the brisket to the grates, close the lid, and smoke for 5-6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165-170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fill a spray bottle with beef broth and spritz the beef with beef broth every hour.
  • Increase the pellet grill’s temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the pastrami from the smoker and rest for 30-40 minutes.
  • Thinly slice the pastrami against the grain using a sharp knife or load it onto a deli slicer, then serve as desired. It tastes great sandwiched between two slices of toasted bread with mustard and sauteed onions.


You can also use ice to cool down the brine more quickly. You will need 3-4 pounds.
Calories: 240kcal
Cost: 55
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Beef, Dinner, Smoked

About The Author

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Z Grills

Z Grills is a grill manufacturer with over 30 years of experience within the industry. With over 650,000 pellet grills sold and 85 million cooks made, trust us.

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