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What did I do wrong? (making pastrami with camerons stovetop smoker)


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What did I do wrong? (making pastrami with camerons stovetop smoker)

nyc1986 | Jul 23, 2012 12:06 PM

Ok, So I bought 2 cuts of beef brisket expecting to make pastrami. The first cut (which I believe is the cut that deli's use and was more expensive with less fat) and the second cut (which was a cheaper, fattier cut).
I brined for 6 days with cloves, peppercorns, salt, sugar, etc. (I couldn't find pink salt)
I dry rubbed for one day with mustard seeds, peppercorns and coriander.
I then bought a Cameron stove top smoker since I live in a tiny NYC apartment and there are barely any areas to BBQ.
I smoked on low for 2 hours on the stove top under low heat and when I uncovered, it looked like the meat had been steamed. So I turned it up to medium which is when the smoke started to come and you can tell the meat was smoking by all the smells.
After an hour, I put it in the oven for around 4 hours under 200-225.
Each piece was around 2 lbs and I sliced it, the inside was brown like brisket and dry.
I used hickory wood chips that came with the smoker and when I was washing it, the chips were black.
I read all of the directions and it didn't say to soak the wood chips and it said to use the rack (so that the meat wasn't sitting on top of the fat) but now i'm thinking maybe I should have let the meat smoke and cook on top of the fat and used the oven instead of the stove top.
What do you think? What did I do wrong? This was my first time using this smoker and making pastrami (which I would LOVE to make from home!)

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