The Pastrami Project V2.0

Wow! I just noticed that it has been 4 years since I started this blog. Time sure has gone by fast! When I started writing, this was a food blog with a emphasis on doing things yourself (because you really can make things at home that are much better than store bought or from a restaurant!) My Pastrami Project is a great example of that. It is very easy to make at home, the ingredients are inexpensive and it is better than anything that I can buy or order! Over the last 4 years I have made some changes to the original recipe that I believe make it even better yet so here is version 2.0!

The first thing that I changed was the cut of beef. I now use a tri tip roast instead of brisket. The meat is a little less dense and it has a bit more marbling. I have even used top sirloin before and it turned out good!

The other thing that I changed was the curing salt. Morton’s Tenderquick is an easy and foolproof salt for curing your meat (Just add 1 tablespoon per lb), but it is sometimes hard to locate (even on Amazon) and the price varies widely as such. My new recipe calls for Pink Curing salt (Prague Powder#1) It’s readily available, easy to use and averages about $6 to $8 per lb, but one teaspoon is all that is needed to cure 5 lbs of meat, so it’s pretty economical. (I figure that it cost me 8 cents for the pink curing salt in this recipe!)

I hope that you will try my version 2.0, and if you do- let me know what you think!


Pastrami V2.0

What you will need:

  • 1 tri tip roast (trimmed of most fat) 3 lbs
  • Pink Curing Salt (readily available on Amazon)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Brown Sugar
  • Black Pepper
  • Ground Coriander (If you live near a Winco store they sell this in their bulk section)
  • Garlic Powder

The recipe below is for a 3 lb roast. If your making a larger amount just make it proportional. Just remember that the pink curing salt needs to be 1 teaspoon for every 5 lbs of meat!

Step 1

Trim tri tip of excess fat and then stab meat with a paring knife approximately once per square inch. Insert meat into a 1 gallon Ziploc bag or Tupperware that is large enough to hold everything without leaking.

Curing Rub

  • 1/2 teaspoon of Pink Curing Salt (Prague #1)
  • 3 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Black Pepper (I like coarse ground)
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Coriander
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder

Mix rub well and empty into container with meat. Shake bag to cover meat with rub. At this point I usually open container and add 2 tablespoons water- just to get the process going!

Put Ziploc bag into refrigerator and turn over once or twice a day for 7 days so the curing rub can work it’s magic!!.

After 7 days, remove from refrigerator rinse off all of the curing rub and soak in a bowl full of water to remove the excess salts. After half an hour or so- dump the water and refill with fresh and soak for 15 min more. Lay meat out on a cutting board while you mix up the dry rub.

Dry Rub

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Apply rub to the meat and place in your barbecue to hot smoke to an internal temperature of 150f. If you don’t have a barbecue you could just finish this off in the oven, but I love the smokiness that the hot smoking adds!

Cut yourself off a piece and enjoy what you just created… the best pastrami around!


Slice the meat thin and against the grain for an awesome pastrami sandwich or pastrami burger!


Another great thing you can do is take the whole pastrami roast to your next picnic like I did on this outing!


About CastIronDan

I'm a married father of three from Apple Valley, CA that enjoys Cooking, Roasting Coffee and HomeBrewing.
This entry was posted in BBQ, curing meat, DIY and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to The Pastrami Project V2.0

  1. Congratulations on 4 years of blogging! This homemade pastrami sounds amazing, I’m going to totally try this! That pastrami burger looks sooo delicious also. I can’t wait to start gathering all my ingredients. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. Kelsie O says:

    This looks so delicious!

  3. Well done Dan, and well written. This certainly looks like something that I would like to try. Better yet, maybe I can get Steve to try making it.

  4. sarahfoto says:

    Mmmm that looks yummy!

  5. Lacey says:

    1) This looks beyond amazing.
    2) 4 years!?! Congrats!

  6. SinginHinn says:

    Wow, that looks good, even if I am veggie! I’ve always thought that cured meat somehow needed months to prepare, but it looks like that’s not the case? Just a few days for the salt rub, and a few hours for the dry rub/hot smoke? is that about the same for any cured meat?

  7. Dan, this looks amazing! I may just try this…but I hope I don’t mess it up!

  8. Wow Dan!! love pastrami but never ever thought of making it myself!! You make it look do-able!! And congratulations on your 4 year mark of blogging– it does go fast!!

  9. Paul Rossetti says:

    Hey Cast Iron Dan!

    What temperature do you usually cook the pastrami at on the barbecue?

  10. Hi! We just finished smoking this. We are a bit confused about whether to steam it in the oven or not. In your original version, you steamed it, but not this one. Is that because of the cut of meat?

    • CastIronDan says:

      Hi Heather! Yes, in my original post I did steam it ( I actually used a steamer on the stove) but I found that tri tip was more tender and didn’t really need steaming. Dan

      • Thanks for replying so quickly! I figured it was because of the cut. The meat juices on our tri-tip were still quite red, so we steamed for just an hour. it was awesome, but the bottom was just a little drier than we would have liked. Next time, we will just smoke it to temp and call it good. We are so glad we tried this!! Thank you so much for posting. If you are okay with it, I would like to repost your pastrami blog on my site.

      • CastIronDan says:

        Glad you tried it and liked it!! Feel free to repost!

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