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Pastrami Beef Short Ribs

  • 6-10 hours + 72 hour brine
  • 10 Servings
  • smoker
  • expert

No matter how you bbq short ribs, you’re going to be happy. But that velvety smooth texture and rich flavor gets a special kick with the spicy, tangy pastrami spices – and finds a special place in the hearts of everyone who tries it. This recipe is the genius brainchild of Ken Hess, who fused two smoky ideas to create this crowd-pleaser.


  • Corning Brine

    • 1 Gallon Water
    • 1 1/2 Cups Kosher Salt
    • 3/4 Cups Granulated Sugar
    • 3/4 Cups Brown Sugar
    • 1 Tbsp and 2 tsp Tinted Cure Mix #1 (Pink Salt)
    • 4 Bay Leaves (crushed)
    • 1 Tbsp Juniper Berries (crushed)
    • 10 Whole Cloves
    • 1 Tbsp Crushed Black Peppercorns
    • 1 Tbsp Crushed Coriander Seeds
    • 1 Tbsp Mustard Seeds
    • 5 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
    • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • Pastrami Spices

    • 1 Cup Coarse Ground Black Peppercorns
    • 1/2 Cup Coarse Ground Coriander Seeds
    • 1/2 Cup Onion Powder
    • 1/2 Cup Granulated Garlic Powder
    • 1/4 Cup Ground Juniper Berries
  • Short Ribs

    • 1 Whole Snake River Farms American Wagyu Short Rib Buy Now +
    • Corning Brine
    • Pastrami Rub


Corning Brine

  • Combine all of the brine ingredients in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, then cool and store overnight in the refrigerator.

    12-24 hours

Pastrami Spices

  • Grind the peppercorns and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder for the best results. Start with a full cup of each before you grind them.

    5 minutes
  • After grinding, combine the peppercorns and coriander seeds with the onion powder, garlic powder and the ground Juniper berries.

    1 minute

Short Ribs

  • Place the whole short rib in a 2 gallon zipper bag. Then pour the cold brine in the bag. The bag should hold the full gallon of brine. Let the rib brine for a minimum of 48 hours. Flip the bag over each day.

    48 hours
  • Remove the short rib from the brine. Pat dry with a paper towel. Liberally coat the rib with the pastrami rub. Do not be afraid to go heavy with this rub!

    5 minutes
  • Set up your charcoal grill for indirect smoking/grilling, bring the cooker to 275 degrees.

    Place the short ribs meat side up in the smoker. Smoke the ribs for two hours at 275 degrees. Next, reduce the temperature to 250 degrees. Smoke until the rib reaches an internal temperature of 185 degrees.

    4-8 hours
  • At this stage, wrap ribs in butcher’s paper, or place in a large paper grocery bag. Once wrapped, place back in the smoker until the ribs reach an internal temperature of 203 degrees.

    1-4 hours
  • Remove from the smoker and allow the rib to rest in the paper for 20-25 minutes before serving.

    25 minutes