Instant Pot Pastrami

Just add spicy brown mustard and rye bread for an instant classic

sandwich made with homemade Instant Pot pastrami.
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Pressure Release and Marinate: 4 hrs 25 mins
Total: 6 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 1 roast
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
738 Calories
54g Fat
7g Carbs
52g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 738
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 54g 70%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Cholesterol 278mg 93%
Sodium 2761mg 120%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 52g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 6mg 33%
Potassium 498mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pastrami is a breeze to make at home with a little help from your Instant Pot! All you need is a cut of corned beef and various spices to make it from scratch. It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook the corned beef in the Instant Pot, but plan on at least 5 additional hours for marinating and baking. Or, cook the corned beef a day in advance and let it marinate in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake it.

So, what do you do with that perfectly seasoned homemade pastrami? Sandwiches are classic, and who doesn't love hot pastrami on rye slathered with mustard or a tangy, delicious Reuben sandwich. Add thinly sliced pastrami to a grilled cheese sandwich or sub. Or, you might want to serve your sliced pastrami as part of a charcuterie board for a gathering of friends and family. Cubed pastrami can also stand in for corned beef or ham in a casserole or pasta salad.

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds corned beef

  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke

  • 3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (or sweet paprika)

  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for homemade instant pot pastrami
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Place a rack in the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water.

    rack in the instant pot
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. Rinse the corned beef thoroughly to remove excess salt. If the corned beef included a seasoning packet, discard it or save it for another use. Brush the liquid smoke over the meat, if using. Place the corned beef on the rack in the Instant Pot, fat-side up.

    corned beef in the instant pot
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Lock the lid in place and ensure the pressure release knob is in the sealing position. Choose the pressure cook or manual setting and set the time for 75 minutes, high pressure.

    instant pot overhead shot
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. When the time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure and remove the lid. Transfer the corned beef to a plate.

    corned beef from the instant pot for homemade pastrami
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. When the corned beef is cool enough to handle, place it on a large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Combine the spices and rub the mixture all over the meat.

    spice coated homemade pastrami
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  7. Wrap the corned beef securely in foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 36 hours.

    instant pot corned beef

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  8. Preheat the oven to 300 F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place a rack on the baking sheet. Unwrap the meat and place it on the rack. Bake for 45 minutes.

    homemade pastrami with spice coating.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  9. Let the pastrami cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then slice and enjoy!

    sandwich made with homemade Instant Pot pastrami.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

How to Store

  • Refrigerate leftover pastrami in an airtight container within 2 hours of cooking. Pastrami will last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • For longer storage, you may freeze pastrami. Wrap the sliced pastrami securely and place it in an airtight container or zip-close freezer bag. Freeze the pastrami for 1 to 2 months or up to 2 years if vacuum-sealed. 

Tips

  • The fat layer on the corned beef is what makes the meat so tender and flavorful, so avoid trimming it until the pastrami is ready to slice and eat.
  • The brine around corned beef is salty, so make sure to rinse it thoroughly under cold water before cooking.
  • For neat, tender slices cut corned beef thinly and against the grain.

Flat cut or point cut—what's the difference?

Corned beef generally comes in two cuts—flat cut and point cut. Flat cut is the best choice for lean slices, while the point cut is fattier and more tender. Either cut will work, but the flat cut will be leaner and will yield neater slices.