Do You Love Pastrami?

Actually, you can… but it is $48/lb.! Which makes the kit I ordered for my brother (with the loaf of rye, mustard, and a pickle) seem pretty reasonable (if you can consider anyway that $48/lb for pastrami reasonable)!


Scott - When making pastrami, I’ve only corned/cured it myself. I’ve never been all that happy with commercially prepared corned beef anyway, but the main reason is I wanted to start as cheap as possible (but also with at least choice grade meat) so I just bought the packer, broke it down into flat/point, and proceeded to corn from there and then re-spice after corning for the pastrami step. I and one daughter are big fans of the point - although I do remove a bunch of the fat, it’s got so much marbling that it’s really my favorite. My son and another daughter prefer the less fatty flat and I only leave a scant 1/4 inch of the cap on it. The first time I made it, I made the kids pastrami Ruben sandwiches with homemade kraut on a marbled rye and they were like “why haven’t you made this before!??”

Also @shrinkrap - I’ve dry brined beef steaks and roasts but for corning I’ve only done it wet. I’m not sure how well the pickling spice mixture would get into it during the cure if I tried to do it as a dry brine.

Poultry I always wet brine, and also pork loins and pork chops (although now that I’m typing this I’m wondering why it is that I dry brine steaks, but wet brine the pork - seems a bit inconsistent… oh well, hobgoblins and all that!).

Edit regarding price. When I first started several years ago I could get a 16 pound packer at $7/lb that would net out about 12.5 pounds after trimming. I kept track of weight through the first time I processed it (lot of water loss in cooking) and I’m pretty fuzzy on it by now, but if I recall correctly I netted out about $11/lb. Now brisket is $12/lb here so it’d be closer to $19/lb.

Edit2 - I ran into this recipe from Tori Avey to do the pastrami without needing to smoke it. But her recipe has changed. A few years ago there was some controversy in the comments regarding amount of Prague1, where she was wrong and the commenter was right, based on my own calculations. I’m glad I read comments first and made it otherwise per instructions and it was really quite good (don’t tell my Texan friends).

Turns out she had gotten the recipe 2nd hand and checked back with the originator, who assured her it was right. But it wasn’t, as she eventually learned after consulting a foodie professor. But beside changing the amount or Prague #1 they’ve made other alterations. I haven’t followed her exact recipe since it was changed.

I got the original pickling spice recipe from Guga because Tori’s recipe just says “use pickling spice” and I didn’t have any on-hand, but had all the basic ingredients. I just needed to know how they went together.

Guga’s a bit of a goofball (tending toward extreme “experiments” like where he put a brisket in sous vide for a month) but I’ve learned quite a bit from him, too.

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Good for you. I wish I had the kitchen gear/space/patience to do this myself, but instead I just go the back way down the hill by the lake to a Holiday market to get Boar’s Head (which is edible, where the Safeway’s deli brand is not).

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I’m really quite happy to eat anything Boar’s Head as long as someone else is buying!

The stuff that fills the meat cases here in March is “Murphy & David”. Not a big fan but my MIL buys it and of course I will eat it enthusiastically (e.g., “I really enjoy corned beef”) if that’s what she’s invited us over for.

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I personally detest pastrami.

The only pastrami I will tolerate is from The Hat.

Quote from Amazing Ribs regarding Katz pastrami;

Chef Kohn says they soak the meat for 3 to 4 weeks in a salty, spicy briney wet cure of salt and sodium nitrite, a curing agent. What comes out is essentially corned beef, but their pastrami process is different from their corned beef process because their corned beef is dry cured, not soaked in a brine. At least that’s what they tell me.

P.S. Langer’s on the way!

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(post deleted by author)

Never really liked this guy from Bon Appetite, but found this interesting…

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Awesome! What did you order?

It’s here!



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It’s good, although I’m hesitant to eat much, since I have a lot of conference left today. The pre-packages pickle seems different from the one with husbands. patty melt.

I got a half pound of pastrami I’m hoping to take home, but the refrigerator in the room doesn’t seem cold.

Take it to the concierge desk and have them freeze it for you (it is quite good from frozen). The pastrami in your second pic looks amazing! Now I am bummed I am making my sweet & pungent shrimp tonight (which is one of my favorite recipes).


I never would have thought of that!

“Now I am bummed I am making my sweet & pungent shrimp tonight (which is one of my favorite recipes).”

Poor you!

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Langer’s’ is exceptionally good pastrami. In the LA Metro area we, OTOH, have a chain called The Hat which SAYS it’s pastrami but is a whole different thing. It’s very thinly sliced, usually very fatty, and I notice their actual menu calls it “roast beef” even though it’s listed under “ Pastrami Sandwiches”. Caveat Emptor.


The Refuge, San Carlos CA
Top notch pastrami. Flavor is a tad milder than Langers or Katz’s, but the texture is perfect. I’m going to ask them not to toast the rye next time.


That’s funny because my daughters just LOVE Brad! They think he’s funny (“Wooter”) but mainly like his episodes relating to fermented stuff, which we do a lot of.

This is a better link to a dry brined pastrami.

Seems like it wouldn’t work with a point.

Serious Eats has a recipe I turn to over and over for dry brined “perfect pan seared pork chops”.

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Apparently, Brad and Bon Appetit took a lot of flack for that episode -


It’s a superior product. It’d be too much to ask for the management to consider adding tongue sandwiches and whitefish salad (let alone a passable take on chopped liver) to the menu, considering it’s not a deli but in reality a serious Belgian beer joint with a serious hook for non-beer drinkers. And we’re thankful for the pastrami as it is – oh, we said that already.

By the way, the Akron burger gets rave reviews from those we know.

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