Smoked Corned Beef Quesadillas

Share on Facebook61Tweet about this on Twitter1Pin on Pinterest23Share on Google+1Email this to someonePrint this page
Print Friendly


Happy St. Patrick’s Day and welcome to this edition of the smoking meat newsletter.  This week we are going to learn how to make smoked corned beef quesadillas also known as pastrami.

I am going to show you how to make some of the best smoked corned beef or pastrami you have ever eaten and then we will slice that up thin and use it to make some extraordinary quesadillas that your family and friends will be talking about for weeks to come.


Order the Recipes for My Rub and Sauce!

If you have benefited from the newsletter and/or the website, purchase the recipes and you’ll be glad you did, I promise!!

Amazing, Tasty, Easy to make using ingredients you probably already have and it supports the website and the newsletter.

A wonderful combination!!

Special: Order the recipes for my rub and my sauce and I’ll also give you the Complete 28 page, 5 chapter eCourse in PDF format FREE!

Order Recipes | Read Testimonies


Smoked Corned Beef

Let me show you how to prepare and smoke up a corned beef to perfection then I’ll show you how to make them into quesadillas below.

What You’ll Need

How to Prepare the Corned Beef Brisket

Remove the corned beef brisket from the packaging and discard the seasoning packet if there is one.

Rinse the corned beef brisket under cold water and place it in a foil pan fat side down.

Corned beef brisket fat side down

Optional Step: The corned beef is pretty salty by default due to the corning process.

If you want to remove some of the salt, you can soak it in cold water in the fridge replacing the water every 30-45 minutes or so.

Do this for at least 3 hours but it can be continued for as long as it takes to remove the sodium.

Once you feel that enough salt has been removed, slice off a small piece and throw it in the frying pan, give it a good sizzle and taste it to see if your assumptions are correct.

At this point, you can choose to soak longer or move on with the preparation of the corned beef.

I love to use my rub on corned beef but I always make a fresh batch and omit the salt from the recipe.

Even if you soak the corned beef as described above, it will still have enough salt so that you will probably want your rub to be salt free.

Lucky for you, my rub is low on salt anyway;-)

With the corned beef brisket in a foil pan fat side down, or laying on a cutting board or counter if you don’t have a foil pan, apply about 1 heaping tablespoon of dijon mustard to the top of the meat.

Spread it out with your hands or use a brush to make it easy. Be sure to get some on the sides as well.

Brush on some Dijon mustard

Apply the mustard to the top and sides

Sprinkle a generous amount of rub on the top and sides of the corned beef brisket.

Apply rub to the top and sides of corned beef brisket

Flip the corned beef over to fat side up and repeat the steps with the Dijon mustard and my rub.

We are going to be placing the corned beef directly on the smoke grate for maximum smoke penetration but the pan makes a great way to carry the meat out to the smoker.

Tip: You can also use a Bradley rack for this purpose (which I love) and you never have to remove the meat from the rack until it’s done cooking and ready for slicing.

At this point the corned beef brisket is ready for the smoking part of this recipe. If you have not done so already, go get the smoker ready.

Getting the Smoker Ready

I opted to use the Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain smoker for this recipe so I filled the water pan with about 1 gallon of hot water and lit the burner. I also filled the chip box with pecan pellets and set it aside.

As I have mentioned before in previous articles, I have been using pellets instead of wood chips/chunks in this smoker and I am consistently getting 3-5 hours of smoke out of a single fill.

I am going to be shooting for about 250 degrees so I turn the gas knob to HIGH and that is where it will stay untit the meat is in place on the bottom grate just above the water pan where it will get plenty of smoke as well as steam action which I hope will help to make it tender and tasty in the end.

Once the smoker is heated to 250 degrees and climbing, I add the wood chip box to the smoker which gives me just enough time to go get the meat and place it on the grate before the smoke starts.

Smoking the Corned Beef Brisket

The meat is placed directly on the grate, fat side up.

Corned beef brisket placed directly on grate

If you are using the Bradley rack, lay the rack with the brisket fat side up on the grate of the smoker and close the door.

If you are using the propane smoker like mine, leave it on set on HIGH until you see smoke coming out of the top.

If the smoker starts getting too hot, you can crack the door open just a bit to keep it at bay while the smoke is getting going.

Once the smoke starts and the smoker is up to temperature, you can back the heat off enough so that it maintain 250 degrees throughout.

Below are some other wonderful and recommended smokers that I use regularly and have written information about..

Information on Popular Smokers

Here’s some information that I have written on various smokers. I hope to include more very soon.

Note: In colder weather, it is advisable to preheat the smoker at least an hour or more before you are wanting to use it. Keep the door closed as much as possible and even skip basting if necessary to maintain proper smoking temperatures.


You can expect this corned beef brisket to take about 7-8 hours to finish but if you are using an electric, charcoal or gas smoker, you only need to apply smoke for about the first 4 hours.

After that, you can finish with just heat if you so desire.

To help the brisket to tenderize and to help power it to the finish line, you can place it in a foil pan fat side up once it reaches about 160 degrees.

Into pan at 160 degrees

Leave it in this configuration until it reaches 195-200 degrees.

Let it rest for about 30 minutes before attempting to slice it.

Finished smoking

Rested and cut in half

Slice the corned beef into 1/8 inch slices using an electric slicer or a very sharp knife.

All sliced up

Tip: Keep everyone out of the kitchen while you are slicing. I ended up being a little short on slices due to everyone grabbing slices and stuffing them into their mouth as it came out of the slicer.

Apparently the smoky flavor of the corned beef with the crusty mustard/rub exterior made it impossible to wait!


Making the Smoked Corned Beef Quesadillas


  • Large flour tortillas (2 per quesadilla)
  • Olive oil, butter or other cooking oil
  • Swiss cheese
  • Smoked Corned beef
  • Sauerkraut
  • Spicy mustard sauce (recipe below*)

Place a tortilla on your cutting board or counter top

Flour tortilla

Add the cheese

Add cheese

Tear the smoked corned beef into pieces and lay them randomly on top of the cheese.

Smoked corned beef brisket pieces

Add some sauerkraut here and there.

Add the sauer kraut

Top with more cheese (can’t have too much of the good stuff!)

Top with more cheese

Top with another flour tortilla

Top with another flour tortilla

Brush oil onto the pizza stone right where you plan to place the quesadilla. (helps the browning process)

Lay the pizza stone onto the pizza stone on the Big Green Egg or other ceramic cooker set at 375 degrees F.

Note: You can also place on a pizza stone or cookie sheet in the oven preheated to 375 degrees F.

Cooking the quesadilla on the Big Green Egg

Wait about 5 minutes or until it gets brown enough for you.

Brush oil onto the top of the quesadilla and flip over onto pizza stone.

Quesadilla flipped over

Remove from pizza stone when finished and cut into about 8 equal slices

Finished quesadillas

Serve hot with my spicy mustard sauce*


These were delicious and the mustard sauce that I made using my own barbecue sauce really made them even more special in my opinion.

You could change these up a little by using a different kind of cheese such as cheddar, a mexican mix or even provolone.

If you don’t like sauerkraut, you can use another form of sour such as pepperoncini’s.


*Spicy Mustard Sauce


Combine well and place into a condiment cup or small bowl for dipping


Jeff’s Rub and Sauce – Order Today!

Smoked a Pork Butt last night and applied the mustard and your rub…Just finished it off with your bbq sauce! I have to say that this turned out awesome and much better than I used to make!   thanks for the rub/sauce recipes! ~ Troy

Hello Jeff I recently purchased your recipe for rub-n-sauce and just wanted to let you know that its off the chart. well worth the cost. I am cooking for about 50 family and friends at lake Texoma this weekend and cant wait to see everybody’s reaction ~ Jack

Jeff, You truly are the man. Bought your rib rub and your sakes alive sauce and love them both. Keep up the good work helping people like me learn to cook good BBQ with smoke. ~ Matt
Jeff, I was smoking a Boston butt Saturday night for dinner Sunday and decided to try your bbq sauce. I have to say this is hands down the best sauce I’ve ever had and I’ve tried a lot of them. Its very easy to make, inexpensive and taste excellent. I will be using this recipe for a long time. ~ Doug
I’ve made tenderloins for years both on the smoker and not, but the use of Jeff’s rub and sauce made them amazing.  my family loved them. ~ Kathleen

I think the above testimonies say it better than I ever could.

How can you argue with unsolicited testimonies sent in just because folks who purchased the recipes wanted to let me know how good they were?

You deserve the very best and it is completely within your grasp!

Only $18.95 and worth every penny.

Not only do you get the best rub and sauce recipe available, you are supporting this website and helping to make sure the bills get paid so we can keep on doing what we do to teach thousands and thousands of people across the world the art of smoking meat.

Order Recipes | Read Testimonies


Here’s What to Expect Once you Order

Here’s how it works:

  1. You order the recipes
  2. My automated system sends you a download link in an email
  3. You click on the link to download the recipes and the free gift to your computer

If you DON’T get the email with the link within 10 minutes:

  1. Check your spam/junk folder (sometimes they get caught there)
  2. If you can’t find it, email me and let me know you didn’t get it
  3. I will send the recipes and login info to you as an attachment in an email
  4. You let me know you got it, we are both happy campers!


Smoke Corned Beef Rollups (Pinwheels)

Here’s a link to a page on how to make smoked corned beef rollups using flour tortillas, cream cheese, sauerkraut and of course, smoked corned beef served with that delicious spicy mustard sauce


Free Smoking Meat Newsletter

Share on Facebook61Tweet about this on Twitter1Pin on Pinterest23Share on Google+1Email this to someonePrint this page


  1. Kevin says

    Great recipe, will be trying it this St. Pat’s day with my Big Green Egg. Just one comment though from an experience Pizza cook. Don’t put oil on the pizza stone. Pizza stones are porous and will absorb any moisture. And unlike cast iron, it won’t “season” and become non-stick. It will just become smoky/smelly when cooking on it after absorbing the oil. Only dough should touch the stone, if you need to prevent sticking, use a sprinkle of corn starch. If you want to use oil to brown the tortillas, do it in a pan (or directly over the grate). And never use soap to clean a pizza stone. Shouldn’t even need water, just scrape it with a spatula (the black marks and stains are character). Though you can use water if desired, just make sure to let air dry for a day before using again or you’ll steam whatever you’re cooking.

  2. Kenn Mochel says

    Just started receiving your newsletter,many thanks for tips and methods. I also smoke corned beef, using similiar techniques. I find I like my results better by finishing the brisket by steaming after obtaining the desired level of smoke.This tenderizes and lightens the salt level in the meat, with the added bonus of the steaming water which is turned into a flavorful broth great for using in baked beans,stews, or soups. I could probably use beer or cider for steaming liquid, but the results with plain water have been pretty great..

  3. Mike Smith says


    When your using the pellets, how many are you putting in your pan. I'm using the Masterbuilt XL and using a cast alum. pan for my chips.

    • says

      I tend to just fill the box up to the top and let her rip but that is in my propane smoker. For a Masterbuilt, I would think you could do the same. Does the cast aluminum pan have a lid or is it open at the top?

      • Mike Smith says


        It is open, and has worked fine with chips and small chunks , I'm just looking for a less steep learning curve;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>