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  • Writer's pictureKevin Dam

The Best Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwiches in the City: A Guide for Foodies

Montreal Smoked Meat is a type of kosher-style deli meat that involves curing and smoking beef brisket. It’s a time-consuming process, but the end result is deliciously worth it. Here’s a basic recipe along with some tips and tricks to help you make your own.


  • Dish name: Montreal Smoked Meat

  • Cuisine: Canadian (Montreal)

  • Preparation time: 7-10 days (for curing)

  • Cooking time: 4-5 hours (for smoking and steaming)

  • Yield: Varies depending on brisket size


  • 1 whole beef brisket (5-6 pounds)

  • 1 cup kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon pink curing salt (Prague Powder #1)

  • 1/4 cup black peppercorns, crushed

  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds, crushed

  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

  • 1/4 cup onion powder

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika

  • Water (for the brine)


  1. Create a curing mix with the kosher salt, pink curing salt, and 2 tablespoons each of the crushed peppercorns and coriander seeds.

  2. Rub the brisket with the curing mix, ensuring it is fully coated.

  3. Place the brisket in a large plastic bag or covered container and refrigerate. Turn the meat daily for 7 to 10 days.

  4. After the curing time, rinse the brisket under cold water to remove excess salt and the curing mixture.

  5. Immerse the brisket in a container of clean, cold water and let it soak for 24 hours, changing the water 3-4 times.

  6. Remove the brisket from the water and pat dry. Apply a spice rub made from the remaining peppercorns, coriander seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.

  7. Prepare your smoker and smoke the brisket at 225°F (107°C) for 4-5 hours.

  8. After smoking, steam the brisket for 2-3 hours until it is tender.

  9. Slice the meat against the grain for serving.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Curing Time: Don't rush the curing process, as it's crucial for developing the flavor.

  • Spice Rub: Toast the peppercorns and coriander seeds before crushing them for a more intense flavor.

  • Wood Choice for Smoking: Traditionally, Montreal smoked meat is smoked with wood chips from maple or oak trees, which impart a distinctive flavor.

  • Steam, Don't Boil: Boiling can make the brisket tough, so be sure to steam it to finish cooking.

  • Slicing: Use a very sharp knife to slice the meat thin; the thinner the slices, the more tender they will feel.

  • Temperature Consistency: Use a reliable meat thermometer to maintain a consistent smoking temperature.

  • Rest the Meat: After smoking, let the brisket rest for at least 30 minutes before steaming; this allows the juices to redistribute.

  • Storage: If not serving immediately, the smoked meat can be refrigerated and steamed just before serving to maintain its tenderness and flavor.

Making Montreal Smoked Meat is indeed a labor of love, but the unparalleled taste of homemade smoked meat makes the process truly rewarding. Serve it piled high on rye bread with mustard, alongside a classic dill pickle. Enjoy your culinary journey to making this iconic Canadian delicacy

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