Discovering the Secrets of Delicious Pastrami Rub: A Beginner’s Guide

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Understanding Pastrami Rub: The Basics

Pastrami is a beloved dish that is enjoyed by many around the world. When it comes to preparing this flavorful meat, the pastrami rub is the most crucial element. The pastrami rub consists of a combination of spices applied to the surface of the meat to give it its signature taste. Commonly used spices include coriander, black pepper, garlic, mustard seeds, and paprika.

Choosing the Right Spices

Selecting the right spices is a crucial step in preparing a great pastrami rub. The spices you choose will determine the flavor profile of your pastrami. When choosing your spices, it’s essential to make sure that they are fresh and of high quality. A good rule of thumb is to purchase your spices whole and grind them yourself before mixing them with the other ingredients.

Preparing the Rub

To prepare the pastrami rub, combine the spices in a bowl and mix them well. The next step is to apply the rub generously to the meat, making sure to cover all sides. Once you have applied the rub, wrap the meat tightly and let it rest in the refrigerator for several hours to allow the flavors to penetrate.

Cooking the Pastrami

Once you have prepared the pastrami with the rub, it’s time to cook it. The most traditional way to cook pastrami is to smoke it, but it can also be boiled or roasted. Whatever method you choose, it’s important to ensure that the meat is cooked thoroughly and that it has reached the desired internal temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pastrami Rub

What is the Difference Between Pastrami Rub and Corned Beef Rub?

The main difference between a pastrami rub and a corned beef rub is the addition of paprika to the pastrami rub. Paprika gives the pastrami its distinct red color and smoky flavor.

Can I Adjust the Spices in the Pastrami Rub?

Absolutely! The beauty of making your own pastrami rub is that you can adjust the recipe to your liking. Experiment with different spices until you find the flavor profile that suits you best.

Can I Use Store-Bought Spices for Pastrami Rub?

While it’s always best to use fresh and high-quality spices, you can use store-bought spices if that’s what’s available to you. Just make sure that they’re not expired or stale.


Pastrami rub is the cornerstone of making a delicious pastrami that melts in your mouth. Understanding the basics of pastrami rub and how to prepare it will help you take your pastrami to the next level. By choosing the right spices, preparing the rub carefully, and cooking the pastrami to perfection, you can make a mouthwatering dish that everyone will love.


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