Search for recipes, cooking guides, how to videos, and tips from our chefs.

David Alan Grier's Homemade Pastrami

  • up to 7 days
  • 4-6 Servings
  • smoker
  • expert

One of the finest projects a home cook can undertake is creating pastrami. With a little bit of time and care, you can create a cut that blows away what you’ll find mass produced and sold at a grocery store.

Decorated stage, film and television actor – not to mention passionate foodie – David Alan Grier developed this stellar recipe for his food blog. Enjoy!


  • Brine Mix

    • 6 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
    • 6 Tbsp light brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp honey
    • 1 Tbsp curing salt (pink salt/curing salt #2)
    • 1 tsp fresh garlic (chopped)
    • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
    • 3 bay leaves (chopped)
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 5-7 lbs. Snake River Farms Beef Brisket, cut from the point Buy Now +
  • Spice Rub Mix

    • 1/4 cup whole black peppercorns
    • 1/4 cup whole coriander seeds
    • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 2 tsp onion powder
    • 1 Tbsp paprika


Brine Mix

  • Mix the brine ingredients together in a food-safe container and refrigerate until cold, an hour or so. Rinse the brisket and submerge it in the brine. I stuffed everything into a giant ziplock bag.

    I brined my brisket for six days, turning it daily to ensure a proper cure. After the six days, I removed the brisket and dried it for 24 hours while uncovered on a rack in the fridge.

    Up to 7 Days
  • Soak the brisket in your sink for 12 hours, changing the water every few hours in order to draw out some of the salt.

    12 Hours
  • Heat your smoker or grill to 225-275 degrees (using pecan wood for smoke) and cook for about 4 hours.

    4 Hours
  • Allow to rest for at least an hour and up to several.

    Slice and serve.

    1 Hour

Spice Rub Mix

  • Mix all the spice rub ingredients. FYI, I doubled the rub recipe because I’m always afraid of running out. Needless to say, I had a bunch left over.

    5 Minutes
  • Rub the dried brisket with sesame oil and apply the spice rub mix to the whole surface area of the meat.

    5 Minutes