It’s NOT a Reuben

It’s NOT a Reuben

It’s not a reuben, it’s not pastrami, it’s not a “brisket”, what it is, is good…….. VERY GOOD.

On the way to the store to pick up some last minute supplies, my wingman asked me what we were going to do about a rub. Well now that was indeed a head scratcher. Corned beef brisket by it’s very nature is salty, very salty. So a rub with salt was out of the question, I didn’t want anything sweet, and garlic would only enhance the saltiness. So after some discussion we decided to go naked. No rub, no seasoning, no sauce. Just meat and smoke. Just about as pure as you can get. I’m not going to lie. This made me as uncomfortable as one of those dreams we all have of standing in front of our class wearing nothing but our underwear. But WOW I’m glad we did!

What to expect: The saltiness of the brisket really enhances the smoke, and the smoke tames the salt. By adding sauerkraut, pickled onion and jalapenos, it will balance the salt out more and give it a little bite from the jalapenos. The swiss cheese will give it a touch of creaminess and the slight “funk” that you get from swiss cheese. Finally a good bavarian mustard will just put everything over the top.

Yield: About 6 servings from an average brisket. We’re not talking full packer cut here, just those pre packaged ones you get in the meat department. I really wish I knew the size and weight we got but that ship has sailed. Oops?


  • 24 hours for soaking the corned beef brisket
  • 3-4 hours for smoking.
  • 10 minutes for assembly.
  • ??? minutes for eating
  • 3-5 days for basking in your glory.

What you will need:

  • 1 corned beef brisket (low sodium if you can find one)
  • ½ a large red (purple) onion
  • 3-4 jalapenos
  • About a cup or so of apple cider vinegar
  • A large jar of saeurkraut
  • A good quality German mustard
  • Kaiser rolls

How we did it:

Begin by rinsing the brisket under running water, it’ll be kind of slimy, remove as much of that as possible.

Soak the brisket overnight. The object here is to remove as much of the salt as possible. The more you change the water the more salt you will remove. However I personally wouldn’t set an alarm and get up in the middle of the night to change it. Two or three changes should be good. It will not look appetizing when it comes out of the water. It’ll look like a gray, slimy, mess. Don’t panic it will be fine.

If using a grill, set the grill up for indirect cooking. Otherwise set your smoker up and bring to º225 – 250.

While the coals are taking light, remove the brisket from the water, and dry.

Once you’re up to temp oil the grates and place brisket on the grill or smoker.


The brisket after it’s started to take on a little color

Once you have the meat on, thinly slice you red onion and jalapenos. Place in a bowl and cover with cider vinegar.


Once the meat hits an internal temperature of º190 remove and slice into thin strips being sure to cut across the grain.

Once the meat is sliced drain off the onions and jalapenos, toss with the sauerkraut.

Toast the buns on the grill. Not a requirement, but it does class it up a might.


Once your buns are all nice and toasty, build your sandwiches.

After the sandwiches are built, place back on the grill to melt the cheese.


All that’s left now is to plate and enjoy.

Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.


Posted by on March 27, 2018 in Uncategorized


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