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Smoked Pastrami Steak

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Pastrami steak is the perfect fusion of tender steak and bold, smoky pastrami flavor. Experience the best of both worlds in each mouthwatering bite.

NY strip pastrami steak

If you love pastrami but need a quick and easy alternative, then this pastrami steak recipe is for you. The steak is seasoned with our special pastrami spice blend and smoked to perfection. The trick to achieving that slightly cured flavor is pre-salting the steak.

Why you should pre-salt steak

Pre-salting allows the salt to penetrate deep into the meat (cure), enhancing its flavor from the inside out. The salt will slowly draw out moisture that reabsorbs back into the meat, carrying the salty flavor. Another advantage is the tenderizing effect. As the salt draws out moisture, it also breaks down proteins, resulting in a tender and melt-in-your-mouth texture. This is beneficial for tougher cuts of steak, as the salt helps relax the muscle fibers.

Pastrami Spice Rub

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 New York strip steaks or boneless ribeye steaks
  • 2 tablespoons pastrami rub (ground fine) – this rub contains spices like coriander seed, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, paprika, garlic, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Olive oil (for skillet searing)
  • Instant-read thermometer or temperature probe

Wood recommendations

  • Oak: is a classic choice for smoking meats, especially pastrami. It offers a moderate to strong flavor that enhances the rich smokiness of pastrami steak. We recommend using this on thick-cut steaks. 
  • Pecan:  is sweeter and milder than oak. It will produce a pleasant smokiness but won’t overpower the pastrami steak, allowing the beefy flavors to shine.

Should I use a binder?

Yes, you can certainly use a binder like yellow mustard or mayonnaise for pastrami steak, but it isn’t needed if the rub is fine ground. If you choose to use a coarse ground rub, using a binder will help keep the seasonings in place.

How to make pastrami steak

  • Rub each steak with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, coating both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. For steaks thicker than 2″, leave on for 8-12 hours.
  • Remove steaks from the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before cooking, unwrap, and season liberally with fine ground pastrami spice rub.
Steak on a pellet grill
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Smoker

  • Prepare your pellet grill (or smoker) for 250 degrees F. 
  • Next, place the seasoned steaks on the grill grates, secure the temperature probe, and close the lid.
  • Once the internal temperature reaches 115-118 degrees F., it’s time to sear the steak. You can do this using your grill, side burner, or on a stovetop in a cast-iron skillet. 
Reverse searing pastrami steak

Reverse searing pastrami steak

  • Remove the pastrami steak from the grill and place on the cutting board.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast-iron skillet until it’s hot. Place the pastrami steaks in the skillet, and sear each side for 2-3 minutes until they reach an internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F.
  • Place the seared pastrami steaks on a clean cutting board and rest them for 8-10 minutes before serving.

Other ways to serve pastrami steak

  • Steak charcuterie board: Arrange pastrami steak slices alongside mustard, toast rounds, swiss cheese, grilled vegetables, and Russian dressing. 
  • Pastrami Hash: Transform leftover pastrami steak into a hearty breakfast or brunch option by making a pastrami hash. Our Brisket Hash recipe will get you started!
  • Loaded Smoked Potatoes: Use chopped steak on baked potatoes and sour cream, chives, cheese, butter, and more.
  • Pastrami Steak Salad: Create a vibrant salad featuring sliced pastrami steak. Toss together a bed of fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers, and drizzle with a dreamy, delicious Comeback Sauce
  • Pastrami Sandwich, deli style on rye bread with sauerkraut, or make a pastrami burger!
grilled meat on brown paper

Storing Leftovers

Store smoked pastrami steak in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze in vacuum-sealed bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator before reheating.

NY strip pastrami steak

Smoked Pastrami Steak

Pastrami steak is the perfect fusion of tender steak and bold, smoky pastrami flavor. Experience the best of both worlds in each mouthwatering bite.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Derrick Riches and Sabrina Baksh

Ingredients

  • 2 New York strip steaks or boneless ribeye steaks
  • 2 tablespoons pastrami rub ground fine
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Olive oil for skillet searing

Instructions

  • Rub each steak with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, coating both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. For steaks thicker than 2″, leave on for 8-12 hours.
  • Remove steaks from the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before cooking, unwrap, and season liberally with pastrami spice rub.
  • Prepare your pellet grill (or smoker) for 250 degrees F.
  • Next, place the seasoned steaks on the grill grates, secure the temperature probe, and close the lid.
  • Once the internal temperature reaches 115-118 degrees F., it’s time to sear the steak. You can do this using your grill or on a stovetop in a cast-iron skillet.
  • Remove the pastrami steak from the grill and place on the cutting board.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast-iron skillet until it’s hot. Place the pastrami steaks in the skillet, and sear each side for 2-3 minutes until they reach an internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F.
  • Place the seared pastrami steaks on a clean cutting board and rest them for 8-10 minutes before serving.
  • Store leftover pastrami steak in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze in vacuum-sealed bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Protein: 23g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 4128mg | Potassium: 355mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg
Derrick Riches
Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.

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