How to Reheat Pastrami – Top 4 Methods

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Pastrami is best eaten hot. It is sold cooked so you just need to reheat it. Although you can eat pastrami cold, if you want to, it would not taste as good as when it is hot. So, how do you reheat pastrami?

Pastrami is deli meat made from beef round or brisket. It can also be made from turkey or lamb. The meat is dried, smoked, seasoned (mustard seed, coriander, paprika, salt and, pepper), dried again, and steamed. Pastrami is then sliced, packaged, and ready for selling.

In the supermarket, you can find Pastrami in the Cold section. When you get home, you can keep your pastrami fresh by storing it in an air-tight container or wrapped in aluminum or plastic wrap. Pastrami remains fresh in the fridge until its use-by-date on the package or 4 -5 days.

You can slice pastrami thinly for a sandwich. You can also slice pastrami thicker to be served with vegetables and potatoes.

If you want to make a pastrami sandwich, you may reheat it. Here are four ways on how to reheat pastrami.

4 Effective Methods of Reheat Pastrami

Method 1: Reheat Pastrami in the Microwave

How to Reheat Pastrami

Microwaving pastrami is one of the easiest and quickest methods on how to reheat pastrami. Reheating pastrami in the microwave will keep pastrami tender, too, as long as you have good quality meat that is not sliced too thin.

Thin pastrami slices will heat quickly in the microwave. It is best to use a dampened paper towel to cover the meat first before microwaving pastrami so it does not become chewy and dried up.

Reheat just enough slices of pastrami for the number of sandwiches.

  1. Place the thin slices of pastrami on a microwave-safe plate. You can lay the slices of pastrami on top of one another. Do not go overboard, though, so the pastrami slices will heat evenly.
  2. Cover the pastrami slices with a dampened paper towel.
  3. Set the microwave to low power and reheat for about 20-40 seconds. It may take longer, about 20-30 seconds more depending on the number of pastrami slices you are reheating.

The dampened paper towel over the slices of pastrami is like steaming the meat to retain its moisture. You can also opt to sprinkle the pastrami with a little water and cover it with pierced plastic wrap.

Microwave the pastrami no more than 1-2 minutes or it may dry the meat.

Method 2: Reheat Pastrami in the Oven

Reheat Pastrami in the Oven

The oven is a great way to use on how to reheat pastrami slices especially if you are reheating several slices. Reheating pastrami slices in the oven will make it crispier.

The beauty of reheating pastrami in the oven is you can also simultaneously toast the bread. In short, you will not only be reheating your pastrami but will be heating the entire sandwich.

You need to be careful, though, because the pastrami may become too dry. The trick is to bake the meat for only a shorter period.

  1. Preheat your oven to 3500F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil – upside down.
  3. Lay the slices of pastrami atop the aluminum foil.
  4. Sprinkle a little water on the pastrami.
  5. Close the aluminum foil.
  6. Bake the pastrami for about 5 to 10 minutes or until warm enough.

Baking an entire sandwich with the pastrami already on the bread:

  1. Preheat your oven to 2000F.
  2. Sprinkle the pastrami with a little amount of water and place it in a sandwich.
  3. Place the sandwich on the baking sheet.
  4. Cover the sandwich with aluminum foil (loosely).
  5. Bake your sandwich for 10-15 minutes.

The key to reheating pastrami in the oven is sprinkling it with the right amount of water. It will make the pastrami juicy because water creates steam. Steam will keep your pastrami moist.

You can also opt to reheat your pastrami in an oven toaster. It will heat up quickly so you have to keep a close watch on it.

Method 3: Reheating Pastrami in a Steamer

Reheating Pastrami in a Steamer

Steaming is one of the best ways on how to reheat pastrami. Steaming makes the meat more tender. This is actually how most Delis serve pastrami.

There are many ways to steam pastrami – on an electric pressure cooker or multi-cooker, steamer, or makeshift Steamer.

Steaming Pastrami on an Electric Pressure Cooker or Multi-cooker

It can be faster to steam pastrami on an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, or multi-cooker. These kitchen gadgets use pressure to steam the water so it will boil at a much higher temperature and faster than boiling water on the stove.

You can also use the keep warm feature of these kitchen gadgets to keep your pastrami warm even throughout the day.

  1. Place a cup of water in the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Wrap the thin slices of pastrami in aluminum foil.
  3. Position the steamer basket with the pastrami slices on the pot.
  4. Cover the pot.
  5. Steam for about 15 – 20 minutes or until all sides are evenly heated.
  6. Remove the steam basket with the pastrami.

If you are reheating a large portion of pastrami, extend steaming time to about 30 minutes.

Steaming pastrami on the stove-top

You can use a pot with steamer or a Chinese Bamboo Steamer to steam pastrami on the stovetop.

  1. Boil water on the pot. After boiling, lower the fire to simmer the water.
  2. Wrap the thin slices of pastrami in aluminum foil.
  3. Place the pastrami slices on the steamer basket. You can lay your pastrami on top of each other.
  4. Cover the steamer.
  5. Steam for about 1 to 2 minutes,
  6. Drain the pastrami.

You can extend the steaming time to make sure your pastrami is thoroughly heated.

Steaming Pastrami on a Makeshift Steamer

You can make your own steamer if you do not have one.

  1. Create an elevated platform by folding the length of an aluminum foil that fits into your saucepot. Fold the aluminum fold to an accordion shape.
  2. Place the foil platform in the saucepot.
  3. Place water on the saucepan and bring it to a simmer.
  4. Place the pastrami slices (on a single layer) on your foil platform.
  5. Cover the saucepan with its lid.
  6. Steam your pastrami slices for 1-2 minutes.

You can also use a colander and place it on top of your saucepot instead of a foil platform. Make sure to keep the pastrami pieces as flat as possible.

Another option is to wrap your pastrami slices in aluminum fold and drop them in a saucepot with water. Make sure they do not touch the boiling water so they get exposed to steam.

Method 4: Reheating Pastrami in a Skillet

Reheating Pastrami in a Skillet

Frying your pastrami slices is one of the best ways on how to reheat pastrami. This is, however, a slow heat-up method reheating pastrami.

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Cover the bottom of the pan with about 3-5 tablespoons of water or beef stock or just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add in the pastrami slices when the liquid starts to simmer.
  4. Cover the pan and heat your pastrami slices for 1-2 minutes.

You can use oil if you want your pastrami to be crispier. Your pastrami will have crispy edges but it will not be moist. If you use oil, you do not need to cover the skillet.

Using stock or water to cover the pastrami completely will give you less crispy meat. Using beef stock will add more flavor and will make your pastrami softer.

You can also opt to reheat pastrami on a griddle or hot grill.

Reheating Pastrami Sandwich

You can also reheat an entire pastrami sandwich in the pan in one go.

  1. Put some olive oil or butter on a non-stick skillet.
  2. Heat skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the pastrami slices when oil or butter is heated up.
  4. Add the bread.
  5. Wait until the pastrami starts to sizzle.

Make sure the pastrami heats up before the bread becomes too toasted.

You can also opt to place cooked pastrami in buttered bread and heat the sandwich over medium heat. It should take about 3-4 minutes per side to get a golden brown sandwich and heated enough pastrami.


Everyone agrees that pastrami is best eaten hot. The four methods on how to reheat pastrami are easy and quick. The choice of what method to use depends on what you find most convenient. Many say steaming is the best way to reheat pastrami but takes the most work.

The best method to reheat pastrami also depends on the quality of the meat. For example, low-quality pastrami will not reheat well in the microwave.

While you can reheat pastrami on its own, making a sandwich and heating the whole thing is a better way to go.

Knowing how to reheat pastrami allows you to recreate your favorite deli right in your kitchen even if you are not a chef or do not have any fancy equipment.Have you tried reheating pastrami using any of the methods mentioned above? Do you have other ways on how to reheat pastrami? Share some of your thoughts in the comments section.

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