Easy Homemade Pastrami

Easy Homemade Pastrami

Chef John 15886

"Great pastrami is not the easiest thing to find west of the Catskills, so a few years ago I embarked on a mission to find a way to turn the common corned beef into something similar. My goal was to come up with a reasonable substitute that could be done in less than a day at home, without a smoker, or any other special equipment. Impossible? No!"

Ingredients 15 h 45 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 4709 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 1 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 4709 kcal
  • 235%
  • Fat:
  • 383.9 g
  • 591%
  • Carbs:
  • 32.6g
  • 11%
  • Protein:
  • 273.2 g
  • 546%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 980 mg
  • 327%
  • Sodium:
  • 22099 mg
  • 884%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

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  1. Mix garlic and vegetable oil in a small bowl. Set aside for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C).
  3. Combine black pepper, paprika, coriander, dry mustard, white pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Coat aluminum foil with prepared garlic oil. Lay corned beef brisket on foil and brush with remaining garlic oil.
  5. Cover all sides of corned beef brisket completely with pepper mixture, reserving 1 to 2 tablespoons.
  6. With fat side of corned beef brisket up, wrap in the sheet of aluminum foil. Place wrapped corned beef on another sheet of aluminum foil with the seam and fat side down. Place double-wrapped corned beef on a third sheet of aluminum foil (seam down), and wrap again.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 6 hours.
  8. Remove pastrami from the oven and let cool to room temperature, about 3 hours.
  9. With pastrami still wrapped in aluminum foil, place in a freezer bag or other plastic bag and refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours.
  10. Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
  11. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  12. Remove pastrami from refrigerator, unwrap, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle top with 1 to 2 tablespoons of remaining pepper mixture.
  13. Place pastrami in the oven, 6 to 8 inches below broiler heat. Broil briefly to brown surface, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pastrami from the oven and slice thinly, about 1/8-inch slices.
  14. Heat a large skillet over low heat.
  15. Heat pastrami slices in the skillet with a few drops of water until fat begins to turn from white to translucent, about 5 minutes.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • Serve warmed pastrami slices on rye bread with mustard and a pickle
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Reviews 20

  1. 21 Ratings


This was really, REALLY good. It was not hard at all, even though there were a lot of steps. Once I applied the rub, it was just a matter of triple-sealing the meat. The number of steps just looks intimidating. Mine came out a nice dark pink. I bought a rectangular shaped corned beef for even slices, which I recommend. My meat was also leaner than the meat in the video. I was able to trim most of the visisble fat.

Susie Z

I love reviewing recipes that I have tried. This one is difficult for me. Even though it came out delicious and everyone including the little grandchildren loved it and asked for more and more, it did not really come out like the one in Chef John's video. The instructions were easy to follow. There was just one thing I did differently. I could not bring myself to use 1/4 cup of pepper for the rub and therefore I adjusted the measurements of the other rub ingredients accordingly. The pastrami roast came out delicious and so tender. It was brown like a brisket, not red like a pastrami! That was not a problem for my family, but it made it a little difficult to review since it is supposed to be pastrami!


I have never like the store bought pastrami I've tried in the past, but as it is a favorite of my husband's decided to try this recipe. Followed recipe to the letter. Delicious and a big hit at my house - I even liked it.