How to Make Pastrami - Food Fanatic
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How to Make Pastrami

      4 Servings


For the brine:
  • 5 pounds Turkey Breast
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons juniper berries, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • 8 cloves Garlics, smashed
  • 1 pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
For rub:
  • 4 tablespoons juniper berries
  • 2 tablespoons Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
To cook:
  • 1 cup hickory wood chips or chunks


  1. Start by making the brine, in which the meat will soak for several days. Combine the water, sugar and spices in a saucepan and heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Allow the brine to cool before transferring it into a large resealable zip-top bag. We recommend double-bagging it in case of any leakages and placing it into a pan. 
  2. Place the turkey into the bag and seal. Allow to soak for 2-3 days.
  3. After brining, remove the turkey from the bag and rinse well. Dry with paper towel and set on a chopping board.
  4. Make the dry rub by pulsing or processing the rub ingredients in a blender or food processor. 
  5. Generously coat the turkey with the rub, ensuring all of the breast has been covered. Place the turkey in a large airtight container and place in the fridge for 24 hours. 
  6. To cook the turkey, fold a large sheet of heavy duty aluminium foil, approximately 2ft in length, in half and fold in half once again. Fold the edges up on one of the halves, similar to that of a small pizza box.
  7. Soak the hickory chips in water for about 15 minutes.
  8. In the meantime, position an oven rack about 4 inches below the broiler and pre-heat to high. Drain the chips and place in the folded foil section you created. Broil for about 5 minutes, stir and broil for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold the ‘top’ part of the foil over and crimp it closed. Use a knife and create several small holes in the foil to release the smoke. Place into the oven and pre-heat for 250 deg F.
  9. Place the turkey in a roasting, breast side down, and roast for an hour. For a convection oven, increase heat to 325 deg F, or to 350 deg F for a standard oven. Turn the turkey and roast until the internal temperatures reaches 160 deg F. 
  10. Transfer to a chopping board and cool until you are able to handle the turkey. Slice thinly and serve warm or store in an airtight container for sandwiches later. 
Turkey pastrami photo
Source: Food Network