082/18: Hang Fire Pastrami with Pretzel Buns

082/18 – Hang Fire Pastrami with Pretzel Buns:

I was reading the Hang Fire cook book again the other day, it’s a great book and I have cooked a lot of dishes out of it but I spotted the Hang Fire Pastrami with Pretzel Buns and fancied cooking it again.

The first time I cooked it I really enjoyed it:

BBQ27/17: Hang Fire BBQ Pastrami

The Hang Fire Cookbook is currently £14.99 on Amazon.

The Meat:

3kg of Brisket flat from Turner and George – £27. It was a lovely slab of meat with some great colouring.

The Prep:

The brisket was already pretty well trimmed, I just took off a few bits of hard, thick fat then made the cure: Maldon Sea Salt, Soft Light Brown Sugar, Prague Powder #1 (£10 on Amazon), Bay Leaves, Garlic Powder, Allspice and Black Pepper. Everything went into a large pan and was slowly heated until the salt and sugar dissolved then I took the pan off the heat and left the mix to cool down.

I got the Foodsaver vac pac (£195 on Amazon) out and rolled out a large bag to put the brisket in before pouring the cure mixture in. The next part required my wife to help me as it was tricky to hold the bag without the cure coming out and get it in the vac pac machine to draw out the air and seal it but we managed!

The Brisket went into a tray in the fridge and was flipped over every day for 5 days.

On the day of the cook I made Pretzel Buns from the same book, I was really happy with them. Think they were my best yet. Yeast, Water, Flour, Salt, Sugar and Butter. Mixed, rested then rolled into 8 smooth balls and left to prove. Next up you poach the dough – bicarb of soda, water and malt extract. The Malt Extract was £4.82 on Amazon. Once poached the dough balls go back on the tray, brushed with an egg wash then slashed on top and baked for 20 minutes. I rotated the trays half way through, top to bottom and front to back.


The brisket had been removed from the cure and rinsed under cold water for 2 hours with a water change every half hour. It was patted dry and should have had a rub of Paprika, Soft Light Brown Sugar, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Coriander Seeds and Allspice added but for some reason I forgot to do this and didn’t spot my mistake until 6 hours in the cook!

The Cook:

I hadn’t cooked on the WSM for a while so fired it up with 2 bags of Heat Beads onto which I dumped half a chimney of lit lumpwood charcoal (Oxford Charcoal Oak). Top vent fully open, 2 bottom vents closed and 1 vent half open. Left for half an hour then WSM rebuilt with a full water pan of hot water. Left again to settle for half an hour and it sat at 250f all day!

Brisket on and a big oak log lobbed in the bottom.


8 hours later! No rub, no spritz, nothing. Just left alone for 8 hours with a good waft of oak! It took 8 hours for the meat to hit 74c in most places. Pastrami

Next the brisket got 3 hours in the oven at 170c sitting on a rack over a deep tray of warm water to steam it.


Time to Slice:

After 3 hours steaming in the oven it was time to come out. It was so soft!


Time to Serve Up:

Pretzel Bun, Russian Dressing (this recipe), loads of pastrami, pickles, more russian dressing and bun lid on.


I couldn’t wait to eat this, looked fantastic!



So, I made a major error not putting the rub on before it went in the smoker. However, it tasted fantastic! I will cook this again soon and put the rub on this time to see what the different taste is like. Last time I cooked this the pastrami was a bit hard, this time it couldn’t have been any softer. Smelt and tasted great, I was inhaling it as I sliced it! Only wish I had cooked more of it!

Great lunch at work the next day, 2 rolls were quite heavy and felt substantial!

Cook Difficulty: 4/5 
Cook Duration: Long: 4/5
Cook Equipment: Weber Smokey Mountain
Cook Method: Low and Slow
Charcoal: Heat Beads and Oxford Charcoal Oak
Smoking Wood: Oak Log
Cook temperature: 250F
Cook time: 11 hours
Internal temperature: 94c
Notes: 1: Remember to put the rub on!!


If you like the look of this recipe The Hang Fire Cookbook is currently £14.99 on Amazon.




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