How to Turn Corned Beef into Pastrami in an Instant Pot

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I always enjoy good pastrami on rye, and now I proudly make my own pastrami. Can take up to 2 days to make but so, so worth it!


Units Scale
  • 2 1/25 lb. corned beef brisket
  • 2 tbsp of liquid smoke
  • 23 tbsp of freshly ground black peppercorns (I used a coffee grinder)
  • 2 tbsp of ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp of dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tsp of ground mustard powder


  1. Rinse brisket under cold water for 1 minute.
  2. Pat dry and brush all over with the liquid smoke.
  3. Place the trivet (handles facing up) and 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot.
  4. Rest the brisket on the trivet fat-side up.
  5. Secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 60 minutes.
  6. While the corned beef brisket is cooking, mix together all 8 of the dry spices in a bowl until well-blended, and then transfer onto a large plate and spread it out.
  7. When the pressure cooking is done, allow a 15-minute natural release and then follow with a quick release.
  8. Use the handles of the trivet transfer the brisket to a plate and let cool for 10 minutes.
  9. Dab the brisket with a paper towel to remove excess liquid, then transfer it to the spice lined plate (the pastrami) by rubbing in all the spices on the plate ensuring that it is completely covered, and then securely wrap it in foil and refrigerate for a minimum 12 hours and up to 2 days.
  10. This allows the corned beef to truly undergo a metamorphosis into pastrami!
  11. Remove the pastrami from the fridge and, while still wrapped in foil, allow it to come to room temperature for 1 hour.
  12. Preheat the oven to 145C / ± 300F.
  13. Open the foil around the pastrami with the fatty side facing down (the top of the pastrami should be fully exposed), creating a cradle/wall around the perimeter of it to keep any fat or seasonings from dripping while cooking.
  14. Once the oven is heated, place the foil-bottom pastrami directly on the middle oven rack (not resting on a baking sheet) and place a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack to catch any fat drippings or spices that may fall off the pastrami while cooking.
  15. Cook for 60 minutes.
  16. Place the pastrami on a cutting board, discard the foil and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes
  17. With a good knife, cut into thick slices and serve on some Rye Bread with some pickles and/or coleslaw


Prepared, tried, and tested by Melanie from The Recipe Hunter: Tried and Tested Recipes from Home Chefs 


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