Have you ever bitten into a mouthwatering pastrami sandwich and thought, “I wish I could make pastrami this tasty at home”? Well, now you can! With this easy recipe, you’ll learn how to transform an ordinary turkey breast into slices of seasoned, smoked perfection that rival the best deli-made pastrami.
By brining the turkey in a savory salt solution infused with aromatics and spices, you’ll yield ridiculously moist, flavor-packed meat ready to send your sandwiches over the top. And hot-smoking the brined turkey breast gives it that quintessential pastrami smokiness and irresistible crusty edges that keep you coming back bite after bite.
Even better, you likely have most of the ingredients on hand to whip up a crave-worthy batch today. Once you discover how effortless it is to make your own deli-style turkey pastrami from your own kitchen, you’ll feel like a true deli maestro. So put on your proverbial apron, prep the brine, and get ready to learn this mouthwatering recipe that will become a regular in your homemade lunchmeat rotation.
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Turkey Pastrami Perfection
Making turkey pastrami is all about the brine. This savory wet mixture tenderizes the meat and gives it seasoned flavor straight through.
For the brine, you’ll need:
- 1 gallon water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons coriander
- 1 teaspoon curing salt
- 1 whole boneless turkey breast (4–8 lbs)
The brine infuses the turkey breast with seasoned saltiness and makes it irresistibly juicy.
Essential Tools for Smoking Turkey Pastrami
To take your turkey breast from bland to brilliant, you need to smoke it after brining. This adds smoky flavor and gives it the distinctive pastrami taste.
- A smoker or grill with lid for smoking
- Wood chips: go for strong-flavored varieties like hickory or mesquite
- Meat thermometer
- Cooler and ice for ice bath
- Knife and cutting board for slicing
With these essential tools, it’s easy to impart a deep, smoky flavor to the brined turkey.
Transforming Turkey into Pastrami Perfection
Ready to make this sensational smoked meat? Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Whisk together the brine ingredients until the salt and sugar dissolve.
- Submerge turkey breast in brine and refrigerate for 12–24 hours.
- Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse. Pat dry.
- Prepare the smoker with wood chips, heating to 225°F.
- Smoke the turkey for 4-6 hours until the internal temperature reaches 155°F.
- Remove the turkey and place it in an ice bath to stop cooking.
- Chill the turkey completely in the fridge.
- Slice the turkey thinly across the grain.
- Enjoy on sandwiches, in salads, and more!
And just like that, you’ve turned an ordinary turkey breast into deliciously seasoned pastrami, ready to enjoy.
Satisfying Ways to Serve Smoked Turkey
Turkey pastrami is extremely versatile. Here are some mouth-watering ways to eat it:
- Pile high on rye bread for classic pastrami sandwiches
- Add sliced pastrami to any salad for instant protein
- Stuff into a wrap or pita with veggies and cheese
- Fry up for a hearty turkey pastrami hash
- Layer on crackers or flatbread with mustard for an easy appetizer
- Add to omelets or scrambles for a protein and flavor boost
However you use it, this brined and smoked turkey will quickly become a go-to meal ingredient. The homemade flavor blows away any deli counter.
Turkey Pastrami Q&A
Get answers to common questions about making and using turkey pastrami:
How long does turkey pastrami last? Properly stored in the fridge, it will last up to 2 weeks. Freeze any extra for longer storage.
Can I use a turkey breast with skin? Yes, though it may need longer brining and smoking time. Remove the skin before eating.
What wood is best for smoking? Hickory and mesquite give the strongest, most classic pastrami flavor.
What meat thermometer should I use? A digital instant-read thermometer gives the quickest and most accurate reading.
Can I make turkey pastrami without curing salt? Yes, though it won’t have the traditional pink pastrami color. The brine will still infuse lots of flavor.
More Amazing Smoked Meat Recipes
The brine used in this turkey pastrami recipe works great for all kinds of meats. Try making these sensational smoked creations:
- Pastrami-style smoked beef brisket
- Maple-cured smoked pork loin
- Brined and smoked chicken
- Smoked salmon brined in dill and black pepper
Let your imagination run wild! Brining and smoking intensify the flavor of any meat.
Craft Your Own Turkey Pastrami Masterpiece
Now you’ve got all the secrets for making killer turkey pastrami at home. With this easy brine-and-smoking method, you can skip the deli counter and have incredible smoked meat anytime. Impress your taste buds with your own homemade pastrami sandwiches and more!
What’s the best turkey pastrami recipe?
This recipe! With its flavorful brine and smoking method, it produces incredibly moist, seasoned pastrami that’s better than anything you can buy.
How can I make a turkey pastrami sandwich?
Slice your homemade pastrami thinly and pile it high on rye or pumpernickel bread with mustard, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and other favorite sandwich fixings.
Where can I find turkey pastrami near me?
Making your own is the best way to get high-quality turkey pastrami. Check your local butcher or deli counter to see if they carry it fresh.
Is there halal turkey pastrami?
Yes, you can use halal turkey in this recipe to make pastrami that complies with Muslim dietary laws.
Where can I buy turkey pastrami in the US?
Look for raw, whole turkey breasts at your grocery store meat department or butcher counter. Make sure it’s boneless for easy brining.
How many calories are in turkey pastrami?
A 3-oz serving of turkey pastrami has about 130 calories, depending on the curing method. It’s leaner than traditional beef pastrami.
What’s a good smoked turkey pastrami recipe?
This one! It brines the turkey breast for maximum flavor and juiciness, then heats it to get that distinctive pastrami taste.
Can I use butterball turkey for pastrami?
Yes, butterball whole turkey breasts work great. Their thicker shape holds up well to brining and smoking.