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Homemade Pastrami from Brisket – The Cure

In this recipe, I will walk you through the easy steps of curing your own brisket to turn it into something absolutely juicy, tender and mouth watering!
Course Entree, Main
Cuisine American, Hot Smoking
Prep Time 30 minutes


  • 1 Packer brisket (A flat or trimmed version is fine)
  • 2 TBS Pickling spice (store-bought)

Curing Brine

  • 1 gallon Water cold
  • 1 tablespoon Curing salt #1 (heaping)
  • 3/4 cup Coarse kosher salt (Morton's)
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar (dark recommended)


Trim the Brisket

  • Trim all of the fat from the larger point end and to at least 1/4 inch or less on the flat end. If the brisket has plenty of fat marbling, you can remove all of the fat.

Make the Curing Brine

  • Add the curing salt and the coarse kosher salt to the water and stir until it becomes clear (about 2 minutes)
  • Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved.

Toast the Pickling Spices

  • Heat an iron skillet over high heat and place pickling spices in the pan to toast. Keep the spices moving for about a minute or until you smell their aroma.
  • Transfer toasted pickling spices to the curing brine and stir.

Begin the Cure

  • Place the meat into a large food-safe plastic, glass or non-reactive container. Pour brine over the meat to cover.
  • If necessary, weigh the meat down with a plate and/or a zip top bag filled with water to keep the meat submerged.
  • Cover the container and place in the fridge.

The Wait

  • Keep the meat in the fridge for 6-10 days flipping the brisket every day for more even brining/curing.