Mouthwatering Deer Pastrami Recipe | Field to Table

Have you ever made a recipe that was so good you had no leftovers? Have you ever made a recipe that you thought would be easier and better than a more lengthy, time-consuming one? Goodness takes time and shortcuts don’t help. Patience during the hunt is import. Patience is important when you’re making smoked deer pastrami too.

I tried two different recipes the first time I made smoked deer pastrami. One recipe was a traditional smoker recipe. You made the brine, you soaked the roast for six days in the brine, and then you put in on the smoker for half a day. The other followed a similar brining process but instead of smoking, you put it in the oven.

Hands down, the smoker version of the deer pastrami wins. It is more savory, moist, and we never have leftovers. That’s the recipe I’m sharing with you today. It’s delicious and perfect to take to holiday parties on your appetizer tray.

Smoked Deer Pastrami

This is a tasty way to use up those oddball smaller roasts from your deer that you're not quite sure what to do with.
Prep Time6 days
Cook Time5 hours
Keyword: best pastrami, deer pastrami, Field to fork, Field to table,, pastrami recipe, smoker recipe
Servings: 12 people


  • Large pot
  • Bowl and lid
  • Smoker
  • Meat thermometer


  • 4 pound deer roast trimmed
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Curing Salt #1
  • 2 teaspoons whole yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper


  • Boil the water in a large pot. Add the brown sugar, kosher salt, curing salt, mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander, allspice, crushed chili, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves. Boil and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat source. Add the ice to the brine mix, and stir it until the ice is melted.
    Place the deer roast into a bowl that is deeper than the roast is tall. Pour the cooled brine and spices over the roast, ensuring that the roast is covered. Ad the lid and place the covered bowl into the refrigerator for six days. Turn, or flip, the deer roast once a day.
    After six days, prepare and pre-heat the smoker. Use your favorite smoking wood (I use applewood) to heat the smoker to 200°F.
    Remove the deer roast from the brine, pat it dry, then use the pepper to coat the outside of the roast. Place the roast directly on the smoking rack (add a drip pan below, if needed), with the thicker end of the roast pointed closer to the heat source. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of the thick portion of the roast. Close the lid of the smoker and smoke on at 200°F  for five hours, or until the roast's temperature reaches 160°F.
    After the roast reaches 160°F, remove the thermometer. Next, use tongs to lift the roast and wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Re-insert the thermometer into the roast. Continue to smoke the roast at 200°F until the center reaches a temperature of 180°F.
    Remove the roast from the smoker, keep in wrapped in the foil, and let it rest at least 30 minutes.
    Use a meat slicer or sharp knife to cut the roast, against the grain, into thin slices.
    Deer pastrami can be served in many ways. I like to roll the slices and add them to a charcuterie board. You can also cut the slices to serve with sour kraut and mustard on your favorite crackers. An old favorite is to use the pastrami for sandwiches. I also like to add the tasty slices to my quesadillas.

As always, if there are flavors you like more than others, adust the recipe to make it your own.

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Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and a range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast. 

Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to outdoors, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.

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Mia Anstine
MAC Outdoors LLC
PO Box 31
Ignacio, CO 81137-0031

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