Pastrami production

Pastrami is cured and smoked beef and is one of the classics of the Jewish deli scene in New York, among other places. It is usually served lush and warm in toasted bread as a sandwich.

How to do it:


Required material

  • salting
    • cutting board and sharp knife
    • curing tub (e.g. plastic container with lid)
    • Fridge with 2-5°C temperature
    • Pot for preparing the brine
  • Smoke
    • Smoker chips (we use hickory)
    • Smoker / smoker that can set temperatures
  • Ferment
    • Sous vide accessories or steamers

The salting

Pastrami is wet, that is, cured in a seasoned brine. Since the aromas of the brine only penetrate the meat when the brine tastes of spices, it is first boiled and then cooled again.

The curing time depends on the thickest part of the piece of meat. We cured the boiled fillet from grass-fed cattle used here (approx. 2.4 kg after trimming) for 14 days.


  • Beef (e.g. brisket, cheek, boiled fillet)
  • Curing brine (per kg trimmed meat)
    • 2.25 liters of water
    • 150g untreated cane sugar
    • 90g nitrite curing salt
    • 5g coriander seeds
    • 3g black peppercorns
    • 3g mustard flour
    • 3g red pepper berries
    • 1g cinnamon stick (crushed)
    • 2g fennel seeds
    • 1g allspice corns
    • 0.3g chili flakes
    • 0.3g dried bay leaf
  • Mixture for rubbing (Rub)
    • 60g juniper berries
    • 70g sugar
    • 70g peppercorns
    • 40g coriander seeds
    • 10g dried garlic
    • 10g salt
    • 7g chilli flakes


  • salting
    • Remove fat and tendons from the meat and weigh.
    • Calculate the amount of water and spices needed for the brine
    • Boil water and spices and let cool completely
    • Place the meat in a suitable pan and pour the cold brine over it
    • Cure at 2-5°C, calculate 2 days per cm of thickness
  • Smoke
    • Preheat the smoker (smoker, ceramic grill) to 105°C and set it so that the temperature can remain constant for a few hours
    • Remove the meat from the brine and wash with cold water until no more spices stick
    • Dispose of brine
    • Rub the meat on all sides with the spice mixture (rub)
    • Place the meat in the smoker, ideally with a core temperature probe
    • Put the smoking chips on the embers and close the lid
    • Smoke up to a core temperature of 65°C at a constant 105°C (approx. 3-4 hours)
  • Ferment
    • Boiled fillet pastrami:
      • Further cooking is not absolutely necessary, but helps to combine all the flavors: 65°C sous vide for 6 hours
    • Beef Brisket or Beef Cheek Pastrami:
      • Cook sous vide at 65°C for 72 hours so that the collagen contained can be converted into gelatine
    • Slice and serve or refrigerate until needed
  • To store
    • Thinly slice pastrami and divide into desired portion sizes
    • vacuum in bags and refrigerate or freeze


  • Either cut open and serve freshly cooked or
  • Take the sachet out of the fridge and heat it up in a water bath at 70°C for 30 minutes