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Smoked Corned Beef Brisket (Pastrami)

After eating this stuff right out of the smoker and seeing how good it tastes and how easy it is make, you might just make this a a lot more often at your house.
Course Entree
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings 6
Author Jeff Phillips


  • Corned beef brisket flat
  • Olive or Vegetable oil
  • Jeff’s Texas style rub


Step 1: Season the Corned Beef

  • Rinse the corned beef brisket under cold water
  • Lay the meat in a pan (recommended) so you can season it on all sides without making a huge mess.
  • Brush vegetable or olive oil onto all sides of the meat to help the rub to stick
  • Apply a generous portion of my Texas style rub to all sides of the corned beef brisket
  • My corned beef had a seasoning packet which included seeds of fennel, coriander, mustard and caraway along with allspice, cinnamon, pepper, dried chili and pieces of bay leaf. I decided to go ahead and use it on the very top of the beef to enhance the color and flavor.
  • If your’s does not have a seasoning packet, you can add on some common pickling spices (available in a small can where you purchase spices)
  • You can season the night before if you wish or you can perform this task right before you are ready to smoke the corned beef. Your choice.
  • Once seasoned, the corned beef brisket is placed on a rack to make it very easy to transport the beef to and from the smoker.

Step 2: Smoking the Beef

  • Set up your smoker for cooking indirect at 225-240°F using cherry wood if you have it. Any there smoking wood will work fine.
  • If you have a water pan, use it. A little humidity in the smoker goes a long way toward helping the meat to not dry out as bad in the smoker.
  • Once the smoker is ready to go, place the corned beef brisket flat in the smoker on a rack or directly on the grate.
  • Monitor the temperature of the brisket using a digital probe meat thermometer so you will know exactly when it’s done.
  • The meat is safe to eat when it reaches 160°F but is usually cooked to 190°F or higher to allow it to get more tender.
  • You can expect this to take from 6-10 hours depending on the thickness of the corned beef brisket that you are using. The thicker is is, the longer it will take to reach it’s done temperature.

Step 3: Slice and Serve

  • When the meat is done cooking, it can be held for 3-4 hours (if needed) wrapped in foil until dinner time as long as it is kept at or above 140°F.
  • To serve, slice the meat up into ¼ inch pieces.