Home Smoked Pastrami Steak: Shortcut to Flavor

Smoked Pastrami Steak: Shortcut to Flavor

by Brad Prose
pastrami spiced porterhouse steak

This post is sponsored by Omaha Steaks. These posts and affiliate links enable me to maintain and operate this site which is free to the public. I only partner with brands that I personally use and believe in.


Pastrami flavors without the brine.

Making pastrami from scratch is a true task of love – I’m talking about buying the brisket, making the brine, and tossing the ruby jewel on the smoker. The process takes a long time and I’m not always down for the labor. I do NOT want to skip my pastrami though, so I had to come up with an alternative. This smoked pastrami steak is the best way to enjoy pastrami without having to brine: It’s smokey, salty, spicy, tangy, and extremely beefy. It’s begging for beer and side dishes.

You could use the pastrami spice rub for any steak, but for sharing with family I really love the Private Reserve Porterhouse OR the Tomahawk Ribeye from Omaha Steaks. The variation of fat, due to the different cuts that make up both of these cuts makes a delicious solution to carry the spices. Other great cuts would be anything larger, but not too thick. I wouldn’t use it on a Prime Rib roast, the spices won’t penetrate through.

pastrami spiced tomahawk ribeye, sliced
Smoked pastrami tomahawk ribeye

The method for cooking a pastrami-spice steak

There’s a reason I made this recipe with a huge cut of beef: it needs smoke! We’ll want to reverse-sear this, allowing the flavors to build and creating that smokey bark we know and love for pastrami. To reverse-sear, you essentially “bake” the meat to a specific temp before resting & searing. This ensures that it’s completely even temperature on the inside, useful for very large cuts. The reason it’s essential for this recipe is that you generate smoke flavor for pastrami by reverse-searing on your smoker.

Watch here for full process:


For tips for Reverse-Searing check out this guide called Reverse Seared Tri-Tip Steaks which covers the entire process in great detail.


reverse searing the pastrami steak

Pastrami Rub for Steak

Any enthusiast probably has their own mix, and this one is mine. I’m always changing up my flavors with pastrami based on the type of meat that I’m cooking with. This pastrami-spiced porterhouse is fatty and beefy, and I wanted to use this particular blend to bring out the most of the flavors.

You might notice one big fact: There’s no salt. Typically larger cuts will benefit from using a dry-brine process, allowing for the steak to dry out and take in extra flavor by salting and setting in the fridge. Porterhouse is one of those. I’ve also used this method for ribeyes and tomahawk steaks. You’ll be able to use this rub for any cut of steak, adjusting the salt to your preference!

Here’s my rub recipe:

  • 3 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chile flakes (optional)

I highly recommend using whole spices and toasting them for the best experience. Premade spices just won’t carry the same aromatics. Trust me when I say that this recipe, and any rub recipe, will be improved if you take the extra steps.

Don’t forget the mustard!

Check out my recipe for Pickled Mustard Seeds to pair with this Pastrami spice recipe.

pickled mustard seeds on pastrami spiced steak
Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
pastrami porterhouse

Smoked Pastrami Steak

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 80 min
  • Total Time: 90 min
  • Yield: 34 1x
  • Category: Grilling
  • Method: Reverse-Sear
  • Cuisine: Steak

Description

This smoked pastrami steak is the best way to enjoy pastrami without having to brine: It’s smokey, salty, spicy, tangy, and extremely beefy.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 Porterhouse Steaks OR 1 Tomahawk Ribeye
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt per pound*

Pastrami Rub

  • 3 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chile flakes (optional)

For Searing

  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter

Instructions

  1. Mix the black peppercorns, coriander, and fennel seeds into a spice grinder and grind to a coarse texture. Combine the rest of the ingredients. 
  2. Salt the steaks first, then add the pastrami rub. Allow to sit in the fridge uncovered, for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Set your grill for indirect heat, or preheat your smoker. You want to maintain 200-225˚F.
  4. Place the steaks on the smoker. Smoke the porterhouse steaks for roughly an hour until the internal temp is 115˚F. Let them rest with loose foil over the top.
  5. Heat up an iron skillet, on the stove or your grill. Add in the neutral oil and make sure the pan is rippling hot. Right before you add in the steaks, add in your butter (1/2 the amount if you’re searing 1 steak at a time). Sear for 30 seconds and flip, repeatedly, for approximately 5-6 minutes until the internal temperature is 127-130˚F (medium-rare). Let the steaks rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Notes

Rule of thumb for dry-brining beef is about 1/2 tsp per pound, so use accordingly.

Keywords: pastrami, steak, reverse sear, beef

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating