How To Make Smoked Pastrami {A Step-By-Step Tutorial

How To Make Smoked Pastrami {A Step-By-Step Tutorial

CALLING ALL SMOKED PASTRAMI FANS: It’s time to smoke your own deli meat!!

The long days of summer have come to an end, and we can’t think of a better way for you to spend a beautiful fall day than tending a smoker to make your own pastrami. Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process, so we have put together a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

Deli-Style Pastrami, also known as Jewish barbecue, originated from what is now Romania and emerged in New York by Jewish immigrants in the 19th century. Today it remains to be the best selling deli meat and is found on most deli menus. Very few delis still cure and carve their own pastrami due to the lengthy process of brining, drying, seasoning, smoking, and steaming the meat. 

Pastrami should not be confused with corned beef. The two are very different in that corned beef is not smoked and pastrami is. A good pastrami that is ultra smoky and super-seasoned with a peppery rub, marbled with melting fat and melt in your mouth tender. Although David and I have never had the pleasure of visiting the great deli capital of the world in New York City, so we can only imagine the delicious smoked pastrami that we made is just as good in comparison. Our homemade pastrami develops layers of flavor process of brining, drying, seasoning, smoking, and steaming the meat.

Smoked pastrami does take a lot of time and effort, but we are about to step you through the entire process. Once you taste your very own smoked pastrami, it will be all worth it! Besides, slow smoked meat is always the best meat you can put in your mouth. Why settle for anything less?

Here, let us step you through the process…

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

How to Make Smoked Pastrami:

Things Needed:

Ingredients:

  • 5-pound beef brisket
  • Brine Solution:
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 ounces curing salt
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ tablespoon ground cloves
  • 2 quarts water

Rub:

  • 3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

The Brisket & Curing It

Select a brisket that is in the 5-pound range. Brisket is not as cheap cut of meat like it was years ago. It can be very expensive, but if you shop around you should find a nice cut. For good pastrami the quality of the meat is very important, so don’t get all cheap, save up if you have to and buy the best brisket you can find. A local butcher with grass-fed, grain finished beef should be your best friend.

Rinse the brisket under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Trim the brisket to leaving a ¼-inch cap of fat to melt over the meat while smoking. Any less and the brisket will dry out; any more, and will prevent the seasoning from penetrating the meat; set aside.

Combine all the brine ingredients together, except for the water in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to ensure there are no clumps. Add the water and stir until the salt has dissolved.


A quick note about Curing Salt:

When making the brine, it is important to know that even though a small amount of curing salt is needed, you cannot substitute the curing salt with another salt. The curing salt contains sodium nitrate that keeps any nasty bacteria from growing during prolonged curing. Also, if you feel your blood pressure rising by the amount of the salt used, RELAX! Most of the salt will be poured off and the meat will be soaked out and never be eaten.

This is our first time curing meat. When we set out to smoke this pastrami, we didn’t realize how difficult it would be to find curing salt at the store. I called several grocery stores, home good and sporting goods stores, like Cabela’s, Tractor Supply and Rural King. I finally found a bag of Morton’s Tender Quick Home Meat Cure stocked at a nearby Wegmans — A word of advice, make sure you have the curing salt before you buy the meat.

Oh, and don’t worry about the color of the salt! Just because the curing salt isn’t pink doesn’t mean your pastrami won’t have that nice classic pink color, like we feared about ours. The classic pink color of the meat comes from the sodium nitrate found in the curing salt regardless of the color of the curing salt. Pink curing salt is actually dyed pink so that it doesn’t get confused with table salt.


Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

To help the curing salt penetrate the meat to keep bacteria from spoiling the meat as it cures, use a meat injector, if you have one, to inject the brine into the brisket. To do this, you will need about ½ cup of the brine solution. Inject some of the brine every one to two inches, about half-way into the thickness of the meat to form small pockets. If you don’t have an injector, you can cut the meat every two to three inches with a knife wherever the meat is more than an inch and a half thick.

Place the meat inside a large 2-gallon zip-top bag and pour all the brine inside. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as you can and seal tight. Place the bag inside a deep casserole dish large enough to hold it or double-bag to ensure it doesn’t leak.

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

Leave the meat to cure inside the refrigerator for about six days (minimum of 5 days / maximum of 7 days). Flip the bag of brisket and brine once every 24-hours to ensure even contact with the meat.

The result of the curing process is corned beef.

Pour Off The Brine & Soak the Corned Beef

This is probably the most important step before the meat goes onto the smoker. David and I failed to remove enough salt from our corned beef before smoking and although the smoked pastrami turned out beautifully it was a little too salty for our liking.

When curing is over and you are ready to smoke the corned beef, pull the meat out of the brine and discard the brine solution. Rinse the corned beef under cool running water. Place the corned beef inside a deep casserole dish or bowl, cover it with cold water and allow it to soak in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. This will remove the excess salt from the corned beef and leave behind enough to flavor the pastrami nicely.

Rub the Corned Beef for Smoking

The flavors inside the corned beef have already started to become complex, so a simple coarse black pepper rub is all we used to crust the outside of the smoked pastrami.

Remove the meat from the water, give it a final rinse with cool water and blot dry with paper towels. Generously sprinkle the corned beef with coarsely ground black pepper on all sides pressing it into the surface to help it adhere; set aside while preparing the smoker.

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

Fire Up the Smoker or Grill!

Smoking is a form of indirect cooking and usually takes place over a period of hours over low temperatures. For our smoked pastrami, David used is 18-Inch Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. This smoker comes with a porcelain-enameled bowl, lid, center section and water pan, ideal for smoking pastrami because the water keeps the meat moist and helps control the temperature, not to mention the fact that the vapor enhances the smoke flavor of the meat.

Soak the maple chips in a bowl of warm water for about 30 minutes before placing atop the coals. For this project, we decided to use maple wood chips. We chose maple because of its mild sweet flavor. We didn’t want to overpower the flavor with a strong wood smoke like what you get from hickory or mesquite. Maple seems to be the most popular for smoking pastrami, but any fruit wood or mild smoking wood will do.

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

Preheat the smoker or grill to between 225 and 250 degrees F. To maintain this low temperature, use only half as much charcoal as usual. (A half chimney-full.) Set up your smoker for what is called the burn-down method. To do this, fill the charcoal bed with unlit coals and add only a few lit coals to the very top. The coals on top slowly light the ones underneath and burn down slowly over time.

Fill up the water bowl with warm water. 1 gallon of water should last about 2 to 3 hours. Check the water pan every couple of hours to ensure the water hasn’t evaporated completely. Add more water as necessary, but make sure that it is preheated. Cold water will drop the temperature inside your smoker.

If using a charcoal grill, set it up for an even indirect heat with a drip pan of water directly underneath the meat to stabilize the temperature.

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

Smoking the Pastrami

When the coals are ready to cook, place the corned beef on the hot grate over the drip pan, fat side up, toss a hand full of the soaked wood chips and some dry wood chips onto the coals and cover the grill.

David likes to use a combination of dry and wet wood chunks, alternating between the two. The dry gives a quick intense smoke and brings the heat up. The wet wood chunks provide a lower, slower smoke and bring the heat down. Heat adjustments can be made using this technique. Bring the temperature up to 225 degrees F, using the vents to regulate the temperature.

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

Knowing the temperature inside your smoker or grill is crucial. Even if your smoker or grill has a temperature gauge, we still highly recommend that you purchase a digital BBQ thermometer such as Smoke™ from Thermoworks. Thermoworks thermometers are some of the most accurate thermometers money can buy. This particular model was designed for competition BBQ teams and professional chefs. It has a two-channel alarm uses probes to accurately read the temperature of the meat and the pit.

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

Smoke comes with a digital receiver that beeps and vibrates at alarm, taking all the guesswork out of smoking meat. The receiver displays temperatures and alarm settings on large LCD screen, so you don’t have to wonder what your meat is doing while raking leaves or watching the game on TV.

You will need to add fresh coals and more wood chunks to each side of the grill every hour for at least the first 4 to 5 hours.

Low and slow

Check the temperature of the grill every hour, staying as close to 225 degrees F as possible. Resist the temptation to open the lid unless you need to add more charcoal or soaked wood chips to maintain temperature and smoke.

Never Mind the Stall

When the internal temperature of the pastrami reaches about 150 to 160 degrees F, the surface evaporation of the pastrami causes the meat’s internal temperature to plateau. Pitmasters call this “the stall.” Don’t panic. Just wait out the stall.

Traditionally, pastrami is taken off the smoke at 150 degrees F and then it is steamed until it reaches an internal temperature of about 200 degrees F. Since we used a water smoker with the water pan, the meat had been steaming the entire time it cooked anyway. We decided to treat this just like we would our beef brisket and wrapping the meat in aluminum foil for the duration of the cooking. The meat steams inside the foil, although it may not be as intense.

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

Test for Doneness

Smoke the pastrami until a nice “bark” (outside crust) forms and the internal temperature of the meat is about 190 degrees F, about 4 to 6 hours.

The size and weight of the meat is something to take into consideration. Monitor the meat thermometer to help check for doneness. Even a simple instant-read thermometer will be your best friend when smoking meat and it always tells the truth!

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

Holding & Steaming

When the pastrami reaches 190 degrees F, wrap the pastrami in foil, leaving the thermometer probe inside the meat and leave on the smoker or grill for at least 1 hour. This is called “Holding”. Holding helps tenderize by allowing some carryover cooking which helps melt tough connective tissue and allows the surface parts that have dried out during cooking to absorb some juices. When the meat is wrapped in foil the smoked pastrami will warm another 10 degrees. The ideal temperature of a properly smoked pastrami is 200 degrees F. Once those tissues get broken down the smoked pastrami will pretty much melt in your mouth. Any hotter than 200 degrees F could overcook your pastrami, which results in dry, chewy meat — no thank you!

Another thing to keep in mind is that the pastrami can increase another 10 degrees even it has been removed from the smoker or grill. This is also the point at which you would let the smoker start to cool down.

The Cool Down & Slicing

No matter when you slice the pastrami, ALWAYS allow your smoked pastrami to rest, covered at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before carving.

How you slice your pastrami is crucial to maximize tenderness and can be a bit of a challenge because there are two muscles and the grain flows in different directions. Pastrami is easier to chew if you cut it across to the grain. Cut with the grain and it can be stringy and chewy. Turn the meat fat side up so the juices will run onto the meat as you slice. Slice thinly using the sharpest knife you own, a mandoline or food slicer.

If serving right away, slice off what you need as instructed above, then wrap the pastrami in foil and continue to let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight, until ready to carve the rest.

Chilled meat carves better. We found that when the smoked pastrami was chilled overnight in the refrigerator it sliced beautifully on our mandoline. If you are lucky enough to own a food slicer, then have at it!

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

Serving

Perfectly cooked pastrami should be moist and juicy. You can serve it simply sliced on a plate if you so desire, but this complex smoky meat is most enjoyed thinly sliced and served warm loaded on freshly baked rye bread, laced with Swiss cheese and dripping with creamy homemade thousand island dressing.

Reheating, Storing & Freezing

Steam it!

Wrap the thinly sliced pastrami in aluminum foil or place the slices in a steamer basket over a boiling water. A few ounces of sliced pastrami should steam for about 10 to 15 minutes and larger portions for up to 30 minutes, until heated through.

Alternatively, you can place the sliced pastrami on a rack over a pan of water in a preheated 350 degree F oven, until heated through.

You can wrap unsliced pastrami in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 to 10 days. Or to further extend the life you can freeze the smoked pastrami for up to 3 months.

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!

This Jewish delicacy easily feeds a large crowd, so a meaty indulgent smoked pastrami would be great to take to the game for tailgating or watching the football games with family and friends this fall!

Enjoy the smoke!

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here's a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!
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Smoked Pastrami

Smoked pastrami may seem like a complicated and lengthy process. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial to help bring something different to your table this fall!
Course Deli Meat, dinner, Main Course, Sandwich
Cuisine American, Jewish, Kosher
Keyword deli meat, Pastrami, smoked
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Curing Time 7 days 8 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 465kcal
Author Debbie Spivey

Ingredients

  • 5 pound beef brisket

Brine Solution:

  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 ounces curing salt
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ tablespoon ground cloves
  • 2 quarts water

Rub:

  • 3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

Instructions

The Brisket & Curing It

  • Rinse the brisket under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Trim the brisket to leaving a ¼-inch cap of fat to melt over the meat while smoking. Any less and the brisket will dry out; any more, and will prevent the seasoning from penetrating the meat; set aside.
  • Combine all the brine ingredients together, except for the water in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to ensure there are no clumps. Add the water and stir until the salt has dissolved.
  • To help the curing salt penetrate the meat to keep bacteria from spoiling the meat as it cures, use a meat injector, if you have one, to inject the brine into the brisket. To do this, you will need about ½ cup of the brine solution. Inject some of the brine every one to two inches, about half-way into the thickness of the meat to form small pockets. If you don’t have an injector, you can cut the meat every two to three inches with a knife wherever the meat is more than an inch and a half thick
  • Place the meat inside a large 2-gallon zip-top bag and pour all the brine inside. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as you can and seal tight. Place the bag inside a deep casserole dish large enough to hold it or double-bag to ensure it doesn’t leak.
  • Leave the meat to cure inside the refrigerator for about six days (minimum of 5 days / maximum of 7 days). Flip the bag of brisket and brine once every 24-hours to ensure even contact with the meat.
  • The result of the curing process is corned beef.

Pour Off The Brine & Soak the Corned Beef

  • This is probably the most important step before the meat goes onto the smoker. When curing is over and you are ready to smoke the corned beef, pull the meat out of the brine and discard the brine solution. Rinse the corned beef under cool running water. Place the corned beef inside a deep casserole dish or bowl, cover it with cold water and allow it to soak in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. This will remove the excess salt from the corned beef and leave behind enough to flavor the pastrami nicely.

Rub the Corned Beef for Smoking

  • Remove the meat from the water, give it a final rinse with cool water and blot dry with paper towels. Generously sprinkle the corned beef with coarsely ground black pepper on all sides pressing it into the surface to help it adhere; set aside while preparing the smoker.

Fire Up the Smoker or Grill!

  • Soak the maple chips in a bowl of warm water for about 30 minutes before placing atop the coals. For this project, we decided to use maple wood chips. 
  • Preheat the smoker or grill to between 225 and 250 degrees F. To maintain this low temperature, use only half as much charcoal as usual. (A half chimney-full.) Set up your smoker for what is called the burn-down method. To do this, fill the charcoal bed with unlit coals and add only a few lit coals to the very top. The coals on top slowly light the ones underneath and burn down slowly over time.
  • Fill up the water bowl with warm water. 1 gallon of water should last about 2 to 3 hours. Check the water pan every couple of hours to ensure the water hasn’t evaporated completely. Add more water as necessary.
  • If using a charcoal grill, set it up for an even indirect heat with a drip pan of water directly underneath the meat to stabilize the temperature.

Smoking the Pastrami

  • When the coals are ready to cook, place the corned beef on the hot grate over the drip pan, fat side up, toss a hand full of the soaked wood chips and some dry wood chips onto the coals and cover the grill.
  • David likes to use a combination of dry and wet wood chunks, alternating between the two. The dry gives a quick intense smoke and brings the heat up. The wet wood chunks provide a lower, slower smoke and bring the heat down. Heat adjustments can be made using this technique. Bring the temperature up to 225 degrees F, using the vents to regulate the temperature.
  • You will need to add fresh coals and more wood chunks to each side of the grill every hour for at least the first 4 to 5 hours.

Low and slow

  • Check the temperature of the grill every hour, staying as close to 225 degrees F as possible. Resist the temptation to open the lid unless you need to add more charcoal or soaked wood chips to maintain temperature and smoke.

Never Mind the Stall

  • When the internal temperature of the pastrami reaches about 150 to 160 degrees F, the surface evaporation of the pastrami causes the meat’s internal temperature to plateau. Pitmasters call this “the stall.” Don’t panic. Just wait out the stall.

Test for Doneness

  • Smoke the pastrami until a nice “bark” (outside crust) forms and the internal temperature of the meat is about 190 degrees F, about 6 to 8 hours.
  • The size and weight of the meat is something to take into consideration. Monitor the meat thermometer to help check for doneness. Even a simple instant-read thermometer will be your best friend when smoking meat and it always tells the truth!

Holding & Steaming

  • When the pastrami reaches 190 degrees F, wrap the pastrami in foil, leaving the thermometer probe inside the meat and leave on the smoker or grill for at least 1 hour. This is called “Holding”. Holding helps tenderize by allowing some carryover cooking which helps melt tough connective tissue and allows the surface parts that have dried out during cooking to absorb some juices. When the meat is wrapped in foil the smoked pastrami will warm another 10 degrees. The ideal temperature of a properly smoked pastrami is 200 degrees F. Once those tissues get broken down the smoked pastrami will pretty much melt in your mouth. Any hotter than 200 degrees F could overcook your pastrami, which results in dry, chewy meat — no thank you!
  • Keep in mind is that the pastrami can increase another 10 degrees even it has been removed from the smoker or grill. This is also the point at which you would let the smoker start to cool down.

The Cool Down & Slicing

  • No matter when you slice the pastrami, ALWAYS allow it to rest, covered at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before carving. How you slice your pastrami is crucial to maximize tenderness and can be a bit of a challenge because there are two muscles and the grain flows in different directions. Pastrami is easier to chew if you cut it across to the grain. Cut with the grain and it can be stringy and chewy. Turn the meat fat side up so the juices will run onto the meat as you slice. Slice thinly using the sharpest knife you own, a mandoline or food slicer.
  • If serving right away, slice off what you need as instructed above, then wrap the pastrami in foil and continue to let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight, until ready to carve the rest.
  • Chilled meat carves better. We found that when the smoked pastrami was chilled overnight in the refrigerator it sliced beautifully on our mandoline. If you are lucky enough to own a food slicer, then have at it!

Serving

  • Perfectly cooked pastrami should be moist and juicy. You can serve it simply sliced on a plate if you so desire, but this complex smoky meat is most enjoyed thinly sliced and served warm loaded on freshly baked rye bread, laced with Swiss cheese and dripping with creamy homemade thousand island dressing (recipe coming soon).

Reheating, Storing & Freezing

  • Steam it!
  • Wrap the thinly sliced pastrami in aluminum foil or place the slices in a steamer basket over a boiling water. A few ounces of sliced pastrami should steam for about 10 to 15 minutes and larger portions for up to 30-minutes, until heated through.
  • Alternatively, you can place the sliced pastrami on a rack over a pan of water in a preheated 350 degree F oven, until heated through.
  • You can wrap unsliced pastrami in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 to 10 days. Or to further extend the life you can freeze the smoked pastrami for up to 3 months.

Notes

We chose maple because of its mild, sweet flavor. We didn’t want to overpower the flavor with a strong wood smoke like what you get from hickory or mesquite. Maple seems to be the most popular for smoking pastrami, but any fruit wood or mild smoking wood will do.
Traditionally, pastrami is taken off the smoke at 150 degrees F and then it is steamed until it reaches an internal temperature of about 200 degrees F. Since we used a water smoker with the water pan, the meat had been steaming the entire time it cooked anyway. We decided to treat this just like we would our beef brisket and wrapping the meat in aluminum foil for the duration of the cooking. The meat steams inside the foil, although it may not be as intense.
Recipe adapted from TheHungryHounds.com

Nutrition

Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 175mg | Sodium: 2986mg | Potassium: 1029mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin A: 1% | Vitamin C: 0.8% | Calcium: 6.7% | Iron: 37.7%
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13 thoughts on “How To Make Smoked Pastrami {A Step-By-Step Tutorial”

  • The overly saltiness you encountered is more than likely the result of using TenderQuick as it contains salt in addition to the cure. I’d recommend getting a small scale with a capacity of 100 grams and a calibration weight to make sure you are using the exact amount of cure needed

  • The action of the cure is what gives the meat its color. In your first picture, the brown spot in the middle is where the cure didn’t penetrate.

  • You probably should emphasize more clearly that this recipe will not produce the same kind of pastrami that is eaten in New York City. Anybody who has eaten pastrami there and makes this will be at least very disappointed and probably angry at the wasted time, work and expense.

    Duplicating NYC pastrami is extremely difficult, because the few people who know how to make it guard their secrets vigilantly. Many have tried, and very few have succeeded. You don’t even include coriander in the rub, which is astonishing. I don’t see how you can even call it pastrami without coriander — you might just as well leave off the pepper.

    For people who have never eaten real pastrami (available only in NYC), it won’t matter, as long as it tastes good. They can tell themselves they’re eating pastrami, and they won’t know the difference.

    But since you’re not aiming for the real thing anyway, why go to so much trouble and expense? Forget “buy the best brisket you can find. A local butcher with grass-fed, grain finished beef should be your best friend.” You can get just as close to real pastrami by starting with a whole brisket of store-brand, vacuum-packed raw (not deli) corned beef from the supermarket, saving a LOT of work and money.

    Corned beef is cheap leading up to St Patrick’s Day, and any time of year it’ll cost a LOT less than the fancy brisket you call for. Remember — pastrami was invented to make very cheap, tough, nearly rancid meat taste good. You’re already off by a mile when you start with the premium beef you describe.

    If you start with corned beef, it’ll turn out just as close to real pastrami as starting from scratch, at a fraction of the cost — and the meat will be cured all the way through. Your photo shows a significant un-cured chunk (brown instead of pink) in the center of the thickest part, which isn’t good.

    You will also save about a week out of the prep time, and you won’t have to find a meat injector or curing salt, because the curing has already been done for you. Just skip the whole “The Brisket & Curing It” section and start with “Pour Off The Brine & Soak the Corned Beef”. NO ONE who eats the end product will know the difference, and you’ll have saved a ton of money, time, effort, and refrigerator space.

    There also seems to be a very significant error in your Nutrition Facts data. You say that one serving contains 31279 mg of sodium, or a little more than 31 grams. That is impossible. 31 grams is the amount of sodium in a little over half a cup of kosher salt. That’s like putting half a cup of salt on one sandwich. There CANNOT be that much sodium in this pastrami.

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