To those of you that read here, this is probably somewhat of a surprise. Yup, I ventured outside the box. I can't explain why either. I walked by the butcher at the supermarket as they were breaking down these briskets. They were brought out and looked pretty good, actually. So, I got a bug up my ass to make pastrami. Threw it in a brine based loosely on Ruhlman's. 3 days later, she was smoking. Now, I'm not real good at this smoking thing, other than hot smoking the bacon(which anyone can do). I smoked it on the Big Green Egg, which, by itself can present temperature control issues. I read Ruhlman says hot smoke at around 180 degrees. I was shooting for 200. I soaked a whole bunch of hickory to get the fire really good and smoky, and it was. Threw it on right at about 200 degrees.........perfect. However. I removed my T-bone(on the other grill) and went inside to eat, seeing that my temerature was fine, and there was ample smoke. Upon completion of my steak, I returned outside to find the Egg fired up to over 350 degrees. OOPS. Anyway, tinkered with it for the better part of an hour. Only able to get it down to 275, didn't want to play with it too much. Two hours into the process, I decided to probe it. Ruhlman says hot smoke to 150 degrees internal temprature. I figured 2 hours to be roughly halfway. Well, the probe told another story. I poked that poor hunk of meat in about 10 places to confirm I read correctly. My lowest reading was 175 degrees.......What the hell? I removed it and brought it in. The picture is what it looked like 10 minutes out of the smoke. I'm not sure if two hours is the right amount of time, as Ruhlman doesn't offer up any time estimates. But, two hours was enough time tonight to smoke a wonderfully flavored, perfectly cooked pastrami. It looks ok as well. I only just managed to drag myself away from it. But, not before I shoveled about half a pound down my throat. I'm blown away by how delicious this is. I hope I can recreate my comedy of errors to produce another one of these. Seeing as I'm not eating this until tomorrow, I'll steam it then. So, next time you see nice slabs of brisket freshly cut, beware the bug that got up MY ass, or just make pastrami! Oh, also, please excuse my deplorable photography. I bought a new camera, breaking it in. Not that my photos taken prior were anything to write home about.