How to Make Pastrami

Reuben Sandwich with Russian Dressing recipe

This simple pastrami recipe is sure to delight beginners and pros alike. Nothing beats a big juicy Reuben sandwich filled with your own home-smoked, mouth-watering pastrami!

We also share our recipe for a delicious Russian Dressing that combines mayo, BBQ hot sauce, paprika and onion. This will take your Reuben to the next level. Be liberal with the amount you put on – you’ll be licking your fingers it’s that good!



Homemade Pastrami:

Russian Dressing

  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup BBQ Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Reuben sandwich:

  • 2 slices of rye bread
  • 1 tbsp sauerkraut
  • Homemade Pastrami
  • Russian dressing
  • Swiss cheese
  • Gherkins


  1. Add 4 litres of room temperature water to a big tub. 
  2. Add kosher salt, ground bay leaves, chilli flakes, cracked pepper, dried rosemary and 6.25% curing salt. Stir well.
  3. Optional: Place over a gentle heat and continue stirring until all salt and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, allow to cool completely.
  4. Add brisket to tub. Submerge completely. Place a weight (eg a dinner plate) on top to ensure the meat stays completely under the brine. Refrigerate for 4-5 days.
  5. Remove and rinse thoroughly, ensuring all excess salt, cure and spices have been removed (by this time, they’ve already done their magic and we no longer need them). Coat completely with Misty Gully Pastrami seasoning.
  6. Place in smoker or oven at 110°c for 3-4 hours, until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 70°c.
  7. Remove from smoker/oven and wrap tightly with foil. (Optional step – add a small amount of beef stock at this stage 30-50ml)
  8. Return to the oven/smoker and cook until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 94°c. This will probably take another 3-4 hours.
  9. If eating hot – leave brisket wrapped in foil, wrap in a beach towel and place in a cool place for at least 60 minutes before slicing and serving. If eating cold – allow to cool, then store in the fridge. It will last for up to 10 days.
  10. Enjoy!

Russian Dressing:

  1. Combine onion, mayo, BBQ hot sauce and paprika in a bowl.
  2. Mix well.


At Smoked and Cured, we provide a variety of beer brewing kits, sausage making equipment, and more. Browse our selection today!

Related Recipes

How to Make Smokey Old Fashioned with Bacon Cocktail

This cocktail recipe is a twist on an old favourite. The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail — one of the very oldest out there actually. It's a timeless treat made from a few basic ingredients that…

How to Make Quick and Easy Oven Jerky

This chilli and pepper jerky recipe is so quick to make and easy to do in your oven at home! Alternatively, you could also make this in a smoker. Make sure to choose a lean cut of meat with little…

How to Make Boerewors – South African Sausage

Boerewors are traditional South African fresh sausages that are perfect for the BBQ. You'll know them from their distinct spiral shape and unique flavour. This recipe includes coriander seeds,…