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Turkey Pastrami

User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)


Turkey pastrami is a low fat alternative to beef pastrami and it tastes just as good. This method is easier than making your own beef pastrami.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: Makes about 2 pounds of pastrami


  • 2 1/2 pounds turkey breast
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon dry juniper berries, crushed
  • 1/4 cup black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 3 bay leaves


In a saucepan combine the water, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, whole cloves and garlic. Allow to cool. Place turkey breast in a nonreactive container and pour cooled mixture over it. Make sure that the turkey breast is completely covered. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours.

Prepare smoker for a smoke at about 220 degrees F. for 2 1/2 hours. Combine juniper berries and coarsely ground black pepper. Remove turkey breast from brine mixture and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and cover with juniper berry-black pepper rub. Make sure you press the rub into the surface of the turkey. Place turkey breast in smoker, skin side down and smoke for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove from smoker and allow to cool. The turkey pastrami will continue to gain flavor the longer you let it rest. You can wrap it tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

User Reviews

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 4 out of 5
Less Time Smoking, Member Clair36

It produces a more tender pastrami if you smoke it for 45 minutes and finish in the oven @ 220 degrees. Also best to use a remote temperature probe with temp set @ 165

3 out of 5 people found this helpful.

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