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Oven-Smoked Pastrami

You can enjoy the deep, woodsy flavor of smoked brisket even without a smoker. Wood chips, a deep roasting pan, and aluminum foil come together to make your oven a makeshift smoker.

Oven-Smoked Pastrami


  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and finely ground
  • 2 tbsp whole black peppercorns, toasted and finely ground
  • 2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp curing salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 5 lbs beef brisket
  • Aluminum foil
  • 4 cups wood chips, soaked in water
Prep time
30 minutes
Cook time
180 hours


  2. In a bowl, combine the curing ingredients. Place the brisket on a flat surface and press half of the curing mixture into the brisket. Let sit for 30 minutes, or until the meat begins to darken in color. Flip the brisket to the other side and press the remaining curing ingredients into it. Let sit for another 20 minutes.
  3. Place the brisket in a very large releasable plastic bag. Place the bag into the refrigerator and let sit for 6-7 days. Flip the bag every 1-2 days.
  4. Remove the brisket from the bag and pat dry. Place the brisket on a metal cooking rack, and then place that rack on a metal baking sheet. Place into the refrigerator and let sit, uncovered, overnight.
  5. Remove the brisket from the refrigerator and let rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours. While the meat is resting, place one rack in the your oven at the lowest position. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  6. Take a roasting pan and place one very long aluminum foil sheet lengthwise along the bottom. Then take two long sheets and place them width-wise along the bottom. Shortly, these will be crimped and create a tent around the meat.
  7. In the roasting pan, scatter the wood chips in an even layer. Place a wire rack that sits at least 1 ½ inches above the chips into the roasting pan. Place the brisket, fat side up, on the rack.
  8. Fold the aluminum foil together, crimping the edges closed. It should form a tall tend around the brisket allowing the smoke from the wood chips to circulate but not escape.
  9. Place the pan on two stove burners and heat on high heat until steam begins to form. Then place the pan into the oven until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. About 5-6 hours.
  10. Remove the pan from the oven, but keep the oven on. Carefully open the foil tent to slowly let the steam come out. Remove the pastrami. Discard the foil and wood chips.
  11. Place the pastrami back in the roasting pan, fat-side up. Boil 10 cups of water and pour into the pan until the water level reaches halfway up the pastrami. Cover the pan with foil. Increase the oven temperature to 325 and place the pastrami back into the oven. Let cook for about 3 hours, or until fork tender.
  12. Remove the pastrami from the pan, and let rest 20 minutes. When ready, slice thinly.
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