Home Cured Texas Style Pastrami On Rye

What You’ll Need:

For the Cure

12 Cups Water (3 quarts), for the brine

1 Overflowing Cup Kosher Salt

¼ Cup Curing Salt (Pink Salt/Prague Powder #1)

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

½ Cup Packed Brown Sugar

¼ Cup Honey

3 Tablespoons Pickling Spice

4 Cloves Garlic, Minced

12 Cups Ice Water, for the brine

10-12 lbs. Prime Brisket with excess fat trimmed

For the Smoke

½ Cup Yellow Mustard

½ Cup Fresh Ground Black Pepper

6 Tablespoons Paprika

For the Pastrami on Rye

4-5 Slice of Pastrami… or more if you’re feeling crazy

2 Tbsp Russian Dressing:

  • ½ Cup Mayo (preferably Dukes… you’ll thank me later)
  • ½ Cup Chili Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Prepared Horseradish
  • 1 Tsp Pimentos (Jarred)
  • 1 Tsp Worcestershire
  • 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped

2 Slices Good Quality Rye Bread (show some love to the local baker)

1 spoonful Instant Sauerkraut:

  • 1 Head of Cabbage, cored and thin sliced
  • ½ Cup Distilled White Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 ¼ Cup Water

1 Favorite Pickle, mine is McClure’s

What You’ll Do:


  1. Mix all the curing ingredients together with 12 cups of water in a large stock pot and heat until everything dissolves. Let cool to almost room temperature and add 12 cups ice water.
  2. Place brisket into large container and cover with brine.
  3. Flip the brisket once daily.
  4. Cure Brisket for 14 days.


  1. Remove brisket from brine and pat dry
  2. Brush on the mustard then sprinkle the pepper and paprika evenly on both sides (don’t be stingy with the pepper).
  3. Set smoker to 225 (preferably using oak whether on a traditional or pellet pit)
  4. Place brisket in the smoker until internal temp reaches 165
  5. Remove from smoker and wrap with butcher paper and return to a 265 degree smoker
  6. Smoke until internal temp reaches 200-205.

Pastrami on Rye

  1. Let the Pastrami rest at least 30 minutes
  2. Slice Pastrami against the grain the width of a #2 pencil
  3. Make the Russian Dressing
    • Toss all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, set aside or refrigerate if using later.
  4. Make Sauerkraut
    • Set a large pot over medium heat and throw in the cabbage, vinegar, salt and water. Cover and cook for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Grab 2 slices of some tasty rye bread, lay the Pastrami on the bottom slice, top with the kraut and slather the dressing onto the top slice. Slam that top slice down and admire your creation. Serve with your favorite pickle and prepare for a spiritual experience.

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