Pastrami meat is a deli meat that has been cooked in a five-step process. They can use meats such as beef brisket, roast beef, chicken breast, lean ham, or turkey. Pastrami meat is dried, smoked, seasoned, dried some more, and cooked, depending on your preference.
It can be eaten cold, yet to get the best taste at home, you may wonder about the best way to heat your deli pastrami beef. Luckily, there are several ways you can heat pastrami slices, with some better than others and some more labor-intensive such as steam, oven bake, pan-fry, microwave.
The quickest way to reheat pastrami meat is in the microwave. First, cover the pastrami with a damp paper towel. Then, microwave for 1 – 2 mins, and you’re ready. However, while the fastest, it doesn’t make it the best way to heat your deli pastrami beef.
In our guide, you can learn more about all the ways how to heat pastrami. By the end, you’ll know the best way to reheat pastrami and also the right way to heat cold pastrami slices in the microwave. (Learn How To Tell When Radishes Are Bad)
How Do You Reheat Pastrami In The Oven?
The brisket cut of beef is used to make pastrami. Spices like paprika, coriander, mustard seed, salt, and pepper are used to cure it for several days.
During the cooking process, the pastrami is slowly roasted to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before being delivered for slicing or packaging. If you bought pastrami deli meat, you’d want to enjoy a hot pastrami sandwich. The best way to do this is to reheat it in the oven until golden brown.
Here’s the right way to oven heat your deli meat.
- Preheat the oven to 325 F.
- Put a layer of foil on a baking sheet.
- Lay your fresh deli meat in a single layer.
- Heat for five to seven minutes.
The USDA recommends any reheated meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 F for safe eating. It should be easy with beef pastrami as it is sliced thin. You can also check using a meat thermometer before eating.
You can reheat corned beef in much the same way, yet your corned beef needs wrapping in foil. Place the wrapped corned beef on your baking pan and heat for 5 minutes. It will be essential to use your meat thermometer on your corned beef to make sure it is heated all the way through.
Can Pastrami Be Served Hot?
Although sandwiches are the most popular and traditional method to serve pastrami, the meat can be prepared and served in a variety of ways, both hot and cold. However, served cold, in any way; deli pastrami never tastes as good as when served hot.
How Do You Cook Packaged Pastrami?
Although it may be lower quality pastrami than you get from your deli, you can get a few slices packages from the supermarket. (Read Butter Substitute For Mac And Cheese)
The key is how to heat these effectively.
Reheating pastrami in a water bath
Check the label for hot water compatibility before reheating pastrami in a water bath. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil after that.
Turn the heat to low, submerge the pastrami in its package, and cover the saucepan after it has reached a boil. Pastrami should be heated for 5 minutes.
Reheating unopened delicatessen pastrami in this manner is suggested. However, it is advised that you use the microwave if it has been opened.
Here are all the other ways you can reheat sliced pastrami for that delicious pastrami sandwich that has juicy beef brisket, house-made mustard, tomato slices, a few lettuce leaves, and lashings of swiss cheese.
How to reheat pastrami with steaming
Check the label for hot water compatibility before reheating pastrami in a large pot of boiling water.
Turn the heat to low, submerge the pastrami in its package, and cover the large pot of boiling water. Heat your pastrami for 5 minutes.
If you have a steamer, use this steaming method.
- Turn on your steamer.
- Bring the water to a simmer in your steamer.
- Place your pastrami slices in the steamer.
- Cover with the lid and steam for 1-2 minutes.
- Check your pastrami and steam longer if needed.
You can keep extra pastrami slices warm by leaving them in your steamer. Once you have warm pastrami, remove meat as you use it.
Also, steaming pastrami can be done in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Add some water, place the pastrami and set to steam.
To stop your meat from sitting in water, raise it from the bottom of the pot. Most Instant Pots come with a metal rack with legs.
Aftermarket trivets help to remove pastrami easier as they have handles. Put the trivet in the pot and add water until it nearly reaches the trivet.
Place the pastrami on top of the trivet and steam it this way. You can also use a pouch made from aluminum foil for the meat to rest inside. Don’t have a fully enclosed foil wrap, so the steam enters.
Water can drip from the Instant Pot lid while steaming, so the foil wrap can keep this water drops off your meat.
Steam pastrami in your slow cooker for 40 mins according to size and how much pastrami you want to steam.
Using an Instant Pot for steaming pastrami means you can use the delay timer for cooking automatically. Besides this, you have the keep-warm feature to keep your extra pastrami heated for serving.
Oven Bake Pastrami
You might prefer the pastrami to be crispier around the edges. You can accomplish this by heating the pastrami in the oven.
You can toast bread in the oven or even cook a whole pastrami sandwich in the oven; remember, the whole sandwich won’t include your crisp veggies, but you can have grilled cheese. Add veggies after the entire sandwich is cooked.
- Preheat the oven to 250–300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place some aluminum foil on a baking sheet, and place your meat slices on top of the foil.
- Bake for 5–10 minutes.
- When making a full sandwich, Place the sandwich on a foil-lined baking sheet. Preheat oven to 200°F and bake for 8–12 minutes.
How to reheat pastrami in a skillet
In a skillet, reheat pastrami by heating it over medium-low heat and adding a few tablespoons of water or beef stock to cover the bottom of the pan and the pastrami.
Add the pastrami and cover the pan with a lid when the liquid is warm.
Heat the pastrami for 1-2 minutes or until it’s warmed through.
With this frying pan method, you can stack slices up to 3-4 slices maximum. Just watch for overcooking.
You can also use medium heat in a non-stick skillet with some olive oil in the pan to toast your bread and fry your pastrami meat in the pan. You can use a separate pan or toaster for your bread. (Learn How Long Does Tuna Last In The Fridge)
Wait until meat sizzles and add cheese to melt for 30 seconds.
Serve meat on toasted bread, and your pastrami sandwich is ready.
The easiest method to use with the shortest cooking time for a quick pastrami sandwich is microwaving pastrami, as it can keep the meat tender.
In a microwave, thin slices will cook up rapidly, so microwave the pastrami for 1–2 minutes.
Trim off any excess fat as this could cook differently from the meat.
Cover the pastrami with a damp paper towel and then place on a plate and microwave-proof dish on low power until all the slices are warm.
Cook for 30 seconds and check on how warm it is.
You may need an additional 20 – 30 seconds. Depending on how many servings you are heating up.
When you use a wet paper towel to reheat pastrami in the microwave, you also use the power of steam, so your meat won’t dry out.
Sprinkle some water on the pastrami and cover it with a layer of punctured plastic wrap as an alternative to a wet paper towel.
If you microwave the meat for an extended period, you risk drying it out while cooking it.
You can also cook corned beef slices in the same way if you are out of deli pastrami yet fancy a sandwich.
How to store beef pastrami
Pastrami should be refrigerated. Keep it fresh by wrapping it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Pastrami will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days or until the use-by date.
Pastrami left out at room temperature for over 2 hours can develop deadly bacteria.
How to freeze pastrami slices:
- Cut pastrami into slices and set aside. Separate pastrami slices with wax or parchment paper
- Fill a heavy-duty freezer bag with the divided pastrami pieces.
- Remove as much air as possible from the packing before freezing the pastrami.
- Find a straw and suck the air out of a freezer bag, or use a vacuum sealer.
- The pastrami will last longer if no air can get it. Because vacuum sealing removes all air, there is no risk of freezer burn.
Can I freeze the whole pastrami?
To freeze the full pastrami, cover it in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and place it in the freezer. Whole pastrami is more freezer-friendly than sliced pastrami. Just consume your whole pastrami within six months.
How to thaw and reheat frozen pastrami
- To defrost pastrami, remove it from its packing and keep it in the fridge overnight.
- Run the pack under cold water if you need to thaw frozen slices quickly. Never defrost meat at room temperature, especially pastrami, or you’ll have bad meat.
- After defrosting the meat, reheat in the microwave using 20-second increments.
- Cover with a damp paper towel to avoid drying.
- You can also use any of the above ways.
- Trim excess fat, then cut meat thinly without the meat falling apart.
- Don’t re-freeze pastrami that has thawed.
- Meat can be eaten cold, but it will taste better after freezing.
How long does pastrami last?
If properly stored, pastrami will keep 4–5 days in the fridge and for three months in the freezer.
Pastrami spoils quickly when not refrigerated, and if it sits at room temperature for 2 hours or more, is pastrami healthy to eat? No, it isn’t, so toss it.