corned beef

The Best Ways to Cook Corned Beef

Welcome to our guide on how to cook the best corned beef. Corned beef is a classic Irish-American dish perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any time of year. It’s made from beef brisket cured in salt and spice brine, giving it a unique and savory flavor.

Cooking a corned beef and cabbage recipe can be intimidating, but it’s simple. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to make recipes to perfection, whether you’re using a slow cooker, stovetop or oven. We’ll also provide tips on selecting the best meat cut, preparing and serving it.

So, whether you’re an experienced cook looking to perfect your corned beef recipe or a beginner looking to try it for the first time, this guide has everything you need to know to make the best corned beef brisket that’s tender, flavorful and delicious. So, grab your apron and let’s get started!

corned beef

The Traditions of Corned Beef and Cabbage with St. Patrick’s Day

Corned beef and cabbage have become a popular traditional meal for St. Patrick’s Day, particularly in the United States. However, this dish did not originate in Ireland, nor is it a traditional Irish dish, as most people assume.

In the mid-19th century, many Irish immigrants came to the United States, and corned beef was more affordable and readily available than other meats such as pork or bacon. In Ireland, beef was expensive and not commonly consumed, as cows were primarily used for dairy production.

In the United States, corned beef was often paired with cabbage, as cabbage was a cheap and abundant vegetable that could be easily grown. The combination of corned beef and cabbage became popular among Irish immigrants and eventually became associated with St. Patrick’s Day.

While corned beef and cabbage may not be a traditional Irish dish, it is a delicious recipe that has become a beloved part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States and is enjoyed by many as a nod to Irish heritage and culture.

corned beef and cabbage

Types of Cuts of Corned Beef

Corned beef is a classic dish made using the brisket cut of beef, which is considered the best cut for making your dish. Brisket is a tough and flavorful cut from the cow’s breast or lower chest. It’s a heavily exercised muscle, which gives it a lot of flavor but makes it tough. However, with proper preparation, brisket can become incredibly tender and juicy, resulting in the best meat.

To make corned beef, the brisket is brined or cured in a mixture of water, salt, sugar and spices for several days to several weeks. This process infuses the meat with flavor and tenderizes it, resulting in tender meat. Once the brining process is complete, the cured corned beef brisket can be cooked using a variety of methods, such as boiling, slow cooking, baking or pan-frying, to create delicious and flavorful dishes.

While brisket is the traditional cut of beef for making corned beef and cabbage, other cuts, such as beef round, can also be used. However, it is important to note that round tends to be less flavorful and more prone to drying out than brisket, so it may require extra attention during cooking to achieve tender corned beef.

Flat Cut

The flat cut is the most common cut of corned beef. It’s a leaner cut from the bottom of the brisket and has a flat, rectangular shape. Flat cut corned beef is excellent for slicing and is often used in sandwiches or for serving as a main dish.

Point Cut

The point cut is a thicker, fattier cut from the brisket’s upper part. It has a triangular shape and is often more tender and flavorful than the flat cut. Point cut corned beef is excellent for slow cooking or braising and can be used in dishes like stews or casseroles.

Round Cut

While brisket is the traditional cut of beef used for corned beef, some people prefer to use round instead. Round is a leaner cut from the cow’s hind leg and is often less flavorful than brisket. Round cut corned beef is best used in dishes that will be sliced thinly, such as sandwiches.

In general, it’s best to stick with brisket when making corned beef and cabbage, as it’s the most traditional and time-tested option. However, if you prefer a leaner cut of meat, you can experiment with other cuts and see how they turn out. Remember that leaner cuts may require more attention during cooking to prevent them from drying out. The key to delicious corned beef is the brining process and the correct cooking method.

corned beef

Ways to Cook Corned Beef and Cabbage

Cooking corned beef is a traditional and well-liked dish. There are several methods for cooking it to achieve the desired flavor and texture. Boiling is the most common method, but you can also slow cook, bake, grill, or pan-fry your corned beef. Each method has its distinct flavor and cooking process, so it’s worth trying them all to find the best fit for you.

The most common method for cooking corned beef and cabbage is boiling. Put the meat in a large pot, cover it with water or beef broth, add a seasoning packet and boil before lowering the heat to a simmer. Cook for 2 to 3 hours or until the meat is tender and cooked to your liking. You can flavor your boiled corned beef with vegetables like carrots, onions and potatoes, herbs and spices like bay leaves, garlic and peppercorns.

Another popular method for producing tender and juicy meat is slow cooking. Slow cooker corned beef brisket is easy to make using a crock pot, adding chopped vegetables, herbs and spices to the meat, and cooking for 8 to 10 hours on low heat. Another option is to bake corned beef and glaze it with stone ground mustard and brown sugar to flavor the dish. Grilling corned beef adds a smoky flavor while pan-frying is a quick and easy way to prepare this dish.

Your preferences and cooking style will determine how you cook your corned beef and cabbage. Whatever method you use, allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before slicing it against the grain to ensure tenderness and juiciness.


When cooking corned beef, boiling is the most common method used. This cooking technique involves putting the beef in a large pot, covering it with water, bringing it to a boil and then reducing the heat to a simmer. The meat is then cooked for 2 to 3 hours or until tender and cooked to your liking.

To add some flavor to your boiled corned beef, add some vegetables, such as carrots, onions and potatoes, to the pot. These vegetables not only add flavor but also make for a well-rounded meal. You can add some herbs and spices, such as a bay leaf, garlic and peppercorns, to the water for extra flavor.

When boiling your corned beef and cabbage, it’s important to keep an eye on the water level to make sure it stays covered. Add more water, or even beef broth, for extra flavor to the pot if the water level is too low. You should also skim any excess salt, foam or impurities that rise to the water’s surface to keep the broth clear.

Once the beef is cooked to your liking, remove it from the pot and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it. This resting time allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making for a more tender and flavorful result.

Boiling corned beef and cabbage is a straightforward and delicious way to prepare this classic dish. With a few simple additions, you can elevate the flavor and make a satisfying and hearty meal perfect for any occasion. Try this traditional cooking method of corned beef, and you’ll see why it’s so popular!

Slow Cooking

Slow cooker cooking is a popular and effortless way to cook corned beef that results in tender and succulent meat. The slow cooker, or crock pot, lets you cook food over a long period. This lets the meat absorb the flavors of the cooking liquid and spices.

To make crock pot corned beef, rinse the brisket under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Then, place the meat in the slow cooker and add enough beef broth to cover it completely. Next, add chopped vegetables, such as sliced carrots, herbs and spices to infuse the meat with even more flavor.

Turn the crock pot to the low setting and let the slow cooker corned beef cook for 8 to 10 hours. This extended cooking time makes the meat tender, juicy and flavorful. Alternatively, you can use an instant pot to make corned beef in less time. Add the meat, broth and seasonings to the instant pot, and cook on high pressure for 90 minutes.

To ensure the meat stays fresh and flavorful, it is important to store it properly. Once the slow cooker corned beef has cooled down, keep it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic or aluminum foil before placing it in the refrigerator. It is best to consume the leftovers within 3 to 4 days, after which the quality may deteriorate.

Alternatively, you can freeze the slow cooker corned beef for 2 to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Just label the container with the date and contents for easy reference. When ready to use the frozen corned beef, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Slow cooking with a crock pot or using an instant pot is a fantastic way to cook corned beef, resulting in melt-in-your-mouth, tender meat throughout. You can make a delicious, hearty meal with simple ingredients and a crock pot or instant pot. Your whole family will enjoy it. Next time you want corned beef and cabbage, try slow cooking or using an instant pot. It’s easy and makes the meat tender and juicy.


Corned beef is a delicious and popular dish that can be made even more flavorful by adding simple ingredients. Baking is a great way to make it, and adding ingredients like mustard and brown sugar can help to enhance corn beef beyond its already delicious taste.

To start, preheat your oven to 350°F. Then, place the meat in a baking dish and spread a layer of mustard over the top. Next, sprinkle a layer of brown sugar over the mustard, and add any vegetables or seasonings you like. Some classic options include mashed potatoes with carrots, onions, and garlic.

Once you’ve added your desired ingredients, cover the dish with foil and bake for 2 to 3 hours or until the beef is tender. The mustard seeds and brown sugar will create a delicious glaze on the meat, enhancing its savory flavor. Adding vegetables and seasonings will also help to make a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

When the beef is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it against the grain. This will help to ensure that the beef is tender and juicy. You can also serve the vegetables and cooking liquid alongside the meat for a complete and satisfying meal.

Adding mustard and brown sugar is a simple and effective way to enhance the rich flavor of your meat. Baking the beef with these ingredients is a low-maintenance cooking method that allows you to infuse the beef with flavor without constant attention. So why not add mustard and brown sugar to your next batch of baked corned beef and see how delicious it can be?


When cooking corned beef, grilling is a fantastic method to add a delicious smoky flavor to the meat. Grilling imparts a delightful smoky taste and adds beautiful char marks to the beef, creating a visually appealing presentation.

To grill corned beef, start by preheating your grill to medium-high heat. It is essential to make sure the grill is adequately heated to make sure the beef is cooked evenly. Additionally, preheating your grill will help prevent the meat from sticking to the grill grates.

Once the grill is heated, place the corned beef on the grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes on each side. The cooking time for making it will vary depending on the thickness of the meat and your desired level of doneness. To achieve medium-rare beef, grill for about 10 minutes on each side. For medium to well-done beef, grill for an additional 5 to 10 minutes on each side.

When grilling corned beef, it is important to keep an eye on the internal temperature of the beef using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the beef should reach 145°F for medium-rare, 160°F for medium and 170°F for well-done. Remember to insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the beef to guarantee an accurate reading.

Grilling is an excellent method for cooking corned beef that adds a wonderful smoky flavor to the meat. To get good results, heat the grill to medium-high, cook the beef for 10 to 15 minutes on each side, and use a meat thermometer to make sure the beef reaches the desired internal temperature. So, fire up the grill and enjoy a mouthwatering corned beef that will surely be a hit at your next gathering!


Pan-frying corned beef is a quick and simple way to prepare this beloved dish. It’s a great option if you’re short on time or just looking for an easy way to cook it.

Start by heating up some oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. You want enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan but not so much that the beef ends up swimming in it. You can use any oil, but vegetable, canola or olive oil are all good choices.

Once the oil is hot, carefully add the corned beef to the pan. Taking care of this is important, as the oil can splatter and burn you. Use tongs or a spatula to gently place the beef in the pan, being careful not to overcrowd it.

Let the corned beef cook on each side for 3 to 4 minutes or until it is browned and crispy. The exact cooking time on the fat side will depend on the thickness of the beef and how well-done you like it. If you prefer your beef more well-done, you can cook it a bit longer on each side.

When the beef is done, remove it from the pan and rest for a few minutes before slicing it against the grain. This will help to make sure that the meat is tender and juicy. Pan-fried corned beef is delicious but also great in sandwiches, wraps, or salads.

Pan-frying it is a quick and easy way to cook this classic dish. You can have a tasty and satisfying meal in no time with just a few simple steps. Remember to be careful when adding the beef to the pan and let it rest before slicing it. Enjoy!

corned beef and cabbage

Tips to Secure Perfection

Corned beef is a beloved dish that has been enjoyed for generations and is perfect for any occasion because it is a flavorful and tender cut of meat. Whether you’re looking to cook a hearty meal for your family or impress guests with your culinary skills, corned beef is a great choice.

While corned beef may seem daunting to prepare, don’t be intimidated! You can make it perfectly every time with a few tips and tricks. From choosing the proper cut of beef to finding the perfect cooking method, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, these tips will help you make the best corned beef you’ve ever tasted.

Following these tips ensures your beef is tender, juicy, and flavorful. Whether cooking it for a special occasion or just for a weeknight dinner, these tips will help you make the most of this classic dish. So, impress your friends and family with your outstanding corned beef skills!

Avoid Overcooking

One of the most important tips is to avoid overcooking your corned beef. Overcooking instant pot corned beef can result in a tough and dry texture, which is far from ideal. To prevent this, cook the meat to the desired level of doneness and remove it from the heat source. Allowing it to rest for a few minutes will allow the juices to redistribute and the meat to continue cooking as it rests.

Cutting Your Brisket

Another important tip is to slice your corned beef against the grain. This means cutting across the muscle fibers, which results in smaller pieces of meat that are easier to chew and digest. Slicing against the grain also helps to keep the beef tender and juicy, so it’s an important step in ensuring a great final result.

Adding Extra Flavor

Feel free to experiment with different spices, herbs, or vegetables to add extra flavor to your corned beef. You can add these to the cooking liquid or marinate the meat before cooking it to infuse it with extra flavor. Adding some mustard or horseradish sauce to the finished dish can also help to enhance the flavor and add some zing.

Leftover Ideas

Finally, if you have any leftovers, don’t let them go to waste. You can use it in a variety of dishes, such as sandwiches, salads, casseroles, or even tacos. Corned beef also freezes well, so you can store corned beef in the freezer for later use.

corned beef hash

Being Creative with Corned Beef

Corned beef is a tasty ingredient that can add a lot of flavor to a variety of dishes beyond the classic corned beef and cabbage. There are countless creative ways to incorporate it into your cooking and add a delicious twist to your meals. Here are some easy and fun ideas to get you started.

One simple way to use it is to make a Reuben sandwich with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing on rye bread. You could also make corned beef hash by dicing it, mixing it with cubed potatoes, onions, and bell peppers, and cooking it until crispy.

Another creative way to use it is to make corned beef and cheese sliders. Layer sliced meat and Swiss cheese on slider buns, brush with butter and mustard and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. You could also try making tacos by shredding leftovers and serving them in a taco shell with shredded cabbage, avocado, and a spicy sauce. With these ideas, you can turn a classic St. Patrick’s Day dish into a versatile ingredient that you can use all year round.

Reuben Sandwich

A Reuben sandwich is a classic deli-style sandwich made by layering slices of corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and creamy thousand island dressing between slices of toasted rye bread. The savory and salty flavors of the corned beef pair perfectly with the tangy sauerkraut, while the melted Swiss cheese and thousand island dressing add a delicious creaminess that brings all the flavors together.

Whether you enjoy it for lunch or dinner, a Reuben sandwich is a delicious way to enjoy slices of tender and flavorful corned beef.

Corned Beef Hash

Mix diced fork-tender corned beef brisket with cubed potatoes, onions, and bell peppers for a flavorful breakfast or brunch dish, and cook until crispy. The combination of tender beef and crispy potatoes, onions, and peppers creates a satisfying and hearty dish perfect for any meal of the day. Whether you’re looking to use leftovers or want to enjoy this classic dish in a new way, this recipe will surely become a favorite.

Corned Beef and Potato Pie

Try making a slow cooker corned beef and potato bake for a comforting and easy-to-make meal. First, layer sliced potatoes and corned beef in a slow cooker. Then, pour a mixture of cream, eggs and cheese over everything. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown and bubbly.

This dish is perfect for a hearty breakfast or a comforting dinner, and the slow cooker makes it easy to prepare and serve.

Corned Beef Tacos

Looking for a fun twist on traditional tacos? Use your leftover corned beef to make delicious tacos! Shred your leftovers and serve in a taco shell with shredded cabbage, creamy avocado, and a spicy sauce. This unique combination of flavors and textures will satisfy your cravings and add some excitement to your taco night.

Give it a try and see how easy it is to elevate a classic dish creatively!

Corned Beef and Cheese Sliders

To make delicious corned beef and Swiss cheese sliders, start by layering thinly sliced cooked corned beef and Swiss cheese on slider buns. Then, brush each bun with melted butter and mustard for extra flavor. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the buns are golden brown. Serve warm as a party appetizer or a quick and easy lunch. For a variation, you can add sliced pickles or sauerkraut to the sliders for a tangy kick.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Egg Rolls

Try making corned beef and cabbage egg rolls for a tasty and creative corned beef recipe. Fill egg roll wrappers with your leftovers, finely chopped cabbage, grated carrots and diced onions. Roll them up and fry them until crispy for a satisfying crunch. Serve them with spicy mustard or sweet and sour sauce for dipping.

These egg rolls are a fun way to put a twist on traditional corned beef and cabbage while still enjoying its classic flavors.

Corned Beef Shepherd’s Pie

Make a delicious corned beef shepherd’s pie for a comforting and hearty meal. Begin by layering mashed potatoes, tender corned beef, and mixed vegetables like peas, carrots, and onions in a baking dish. Bake until the top is golden brown and bubbly and the flavors melded into a mouthwatering dish. This dish is perfect for using leftovers and makes for a satisfying dinner that’s easy to prepare.

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but there are endless possibilities for incorporating corned beef into dishes. Experiment with different flavors and textures to create unique dishes.