How to Cook Corned Beef

Although it’s commonly associated with St. Patrick’s Day, corned beef is also a great dish to make. This meat, a type of brined brisket, is usually sold pre-cooked. 

However, if you’re not ready to cook it raw, it’s best to wait until it’s done cooking before consuming it. The key to a tender and flavorful meal is to allow the meat to cook for at least several hours.

See our corned beef per person calculator when serving it to a crowd.

How to Make Corned Beef?

A traditional method of making corned beef involves placing a single beef brisket in a pot of salt water and spices for around five to eight days. This process can is very easy to make at home.

Aside from beef, this blend also includes herbs, garlic, and black peppercorn. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same list of spices commonly used in the same manner in making pickles.

Corned Beef Brisket Recipe

In a large roasting pan, prepare the beef by removing excess fat. Pat dry and place the fat side up in the pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the spices, cloves, and allspice. Then, add the brown sugar, black pepper, and spices and mix well. Place the mixture over the top of the brisket.

Cover the meat with aluminum foil and roast in the pan for 2 hours. Pull the foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour more. Let the meat rest for 15 minutes.

What Is Corned Beef?

A type of meat known as brine-and-spiced beef brisket, referred to as corned beef commonly has a pink color due to its curing process. The curing process involves the addition of large rocks of salt called corns.

In addition to bay leaves, spices used for making brined corned beef include herbs such as cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Also, some mixes may consist of other warming spices such as cinnamon and ginger.

When cooking corned beef, don’t trim the fat on one side. It ensures that it has a better flavor and is easier to slice. An elliptical version of the meat is a little sturdier and is excellent for making even slices.

What’s the Best Way to Cook Corned Beef?

The best way to prepare corned beef is to cook it on the stove. It is the technique that most people have used for their entire lives, and it requires no special equipment.

Homestyle Corned Beef Cooked On The Stove
Homestyle Corned Beef Cooked On The Stove

Prepare the corned beef brisket in a large Dutch oven or pot by adding aromatics such as carrots, celery, and onions. These vegetables will help bring the liquid to a boil and release its flavor. You can also add various spices to the cooking liquid, such as bay leaves, black peppercorns, and aromatics.

In a large pot, bring the aromatics, carrots, onions, and celery to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the mixture to cook until tender, about 3 hours. You can then remove the meat from the pot and discard the spices and aromatics.

How Long to Boil Corned Beef?

You should boil corned beef for 3 to 4 hours. The traditional way to prepare corned beef is by boiling it. This method works by cooking the meat, tenderizing it, and drawing out the excess salt. Although the salt used in brine is responsible for the flavor and texture of the meat, it can also be very salty if the meat is left to ferment.

How To Boil Corned Beef

In a large pot, combine the meat, water, and a couple of spices. Add a couple of garlic cloves, a carrot, and stalks of celery to the pot—Cook the meat for about 3 to 4 hours.

How to Cook Corned Beef in the Oven?

Before you bake the meat, you must remove the salt from it. You can do this by simmering it for a couple of minutes to remove the salt. Then, drag the water and draw out more of the salt.

Set the fat side up in a baking pan and cover the meat with foil. You should place it in the oven for 2 hours. When the meat cooks, remove the foil and set it on a baking sheet. You can also add brown sugar or mustard to the meat to add flavor and brown the crust.

How to Cook Corned Beef in the Slow Cooker?

One of the easiest ways to achieve tender results is slow-cooking your meat. This method works well for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time at home. Just put the meat in the slow cooker and let it cook for a couple of hours.

In a slow cooker, combine the potatoes and vegetables with the aromatics, such as carrots, onions, and celery. The vegetables will help keep the cooking liquid warm and tender, and they’ll also add flavor to the stock.

How to Cook Corned Beef in the Stovetop?

One of the easiest ways to cook corned beef and cabbage is in a gentle boil. This method is trendy among people, and it’s also very safe to do. Although some people may not like to cook the meat, this method ensures that the flavor of the water is still strong.

Ensure that meat is not overcooked. You can do this by reducing the heat to low and letting it cook for a couple of hours.

You need a large pot with a lid to hold all your vegetables and small corned beef. I usually use a 5.5-quart Dutch oven.

In a large pot, add the meat and cover it with water. Doing this will allow the meat to absorb as much water as possible.

If you buy pre-cured corned beef, you should also bring it with a small packet of spices. You can also add some bay leaves and a couple of herbs to the pot.

Once the meat is ready, bring it back to a boil and lower the heat to low. Let it cook for about 2 hours.

Lower the water level as necessary to cover the meat. After 2 hours, add the vegetables and continue to cook uncovered until tender. You can also discard the bay leaves.

How to Cook Corned Beef in the Instant Pot?

In an InstantPot, combine the ingredients for the corned beef. When the pressure is activated, place the meat on the trivet. You can also add beer, garlic, and water to the pot and let it boil.

Seal the cover and set the pressure cooker to high. Let it cook for 90 minutes. Once the pressure has built up, remove from the heat and allow to rest for a couple of minutes.

Recipe For Corned Beef In an Instant Pot

The pressure should be released using the quick-release method, which should take around 5 minutes. After removing the lid, transfer the meat to a baking sheet and allow it to rest for about 15 minutes.

Try making a corned beef and cabbage dinner in the pressure cooker if you’re craving a full meal. After the meat rests, remove the lid and place the vegetables and baby carrots in the bottom of the pot. Set the manual setting to high and let it cook for 5 minutes.

How to Cook Corned Beef in the Air Fryer?

Heat the oil to 360 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius in an air fryer. Fry the corned beef until it cooks well. Rinse it under running water to remove excess brine, and then pat dry.

Put the corned beef in an aluminum foil basket and air-fry it for 1 hour. Then, open the basket and let the meat juices flow through it.

For best results, close up and cook for about 40 minutes. Depending on the internal temperature, it can take up to 145 degrees F or 63 degrees C.

If you’re planning on serving the meat before it fully fries, open the foil and air-fry it for about 5 minutes. After that, remove the basket and allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes.

When checking for doneness, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. It should be at a minimum of 145 degrees F.

This is my least favorite method.

Sous Vide

To ensure that the container is secure, pour water into it and secure the sous vide circulator. Set the cooking temperature based on the time and cooking times in the note section. Let the water reach the desired temperature.

To prepare the corned beef, rinse it well and use the packet to season it. Then, place it in a vacuum or freezer bag and seal it. You can also utilize the water displacement technique to remove the air from the bag or use the vacuum sealer to close it.

Place the bag into the water bath when you reach your desired temperature. Let the bag sit for at least 36 hours.

Pull the bag from the water and set it in a large bowl. You can then use it to make other vegetables and cabbage. You can slice the corned beef and serve it or cook it off the fat side. I also like to add a glaze and air fry it.

How to Serve Corned Beef?

Aside from being great with this meat, many other great side dishes can go along with it. However, I highly recommend not to use the poaching liquid for vegetables. It can cause them to become very acidic, making them not very enjoyable.

While the beef is cooking, roasting vegetables can be a great idea. You can also add some sweet potato fries to the meal.

This recipe is an excellent combination of corned beef and green beans. If you love both of these things, then make creamy cabbage. It is a simple and delicious recipe that you can do in the slow cooker or on the stove.

Some creamy cauliflower can be a great addition to beef when it comes to cheese. You can quickly cook it. The cheese sauce also goes well with the meat.

What Cut of Beef Does Corned Beef Come From?

In the past, you could put any meat through the curing process to create what’s known as corned beef. In the U.S., this meat originates from beef brisket, a traditional Jewish cut of tenderized meat traditionally served at Jewish delis.

The beef brisket is a type of meat commonly used to make corned beef. It’s a tough cut that’s usually served whole. It’s typically weighed around 10 pounds when it’s cooked whole.

How to Cut Corned Beef?

There are two types of cuts of corned beef that are commonly sold at supermarkets: the flat cut and the point. While I highly recommend using the flat cut, you can also use the point for sous vide cooking.

The pointcut is a fattier version of the cut with more connective tissue, making it more palatable. However, it can also result in a more rigid texture.

Although I didn’t use sous vide to test the pointcut, I would highly recommend using it if you want to improve the results. The higher the temperature, the quicker the connective tissues can break down.

How To Flavor Corned Beef
How To Flavor Corned Beef

How to Season Corned Beef?

You can make your own unique flavored corned beef by choosing the spices you want to use. It is similar to how some of the best barbecue masters make their dry rubs.

You can also use a curing salt known as pink salt made from sodium nitrite, which helps prevent food from going bad while being stored. It is not the usual white table salt. If you can’t see it at your local butcher or market, you can order it online.

How to Make Tender Corned Beef?

A standard corned beef usually takes two to three hours to cook. The meat comes from a tricky type of cut known as brisket. It’s essential to break down the connective tissue to get tender results. Some individuals prefer to cook their meat in plain water, while others add beer to the mix to tenderize it.

Aside from wine, beer is also a great way to tenderize and break down the meat. It’s the same principle as using a combination of wine, citrus, and spices in a marinade. In this case, the beef simmers with two bottles of pale ale.

Slow cooking is a technique that involves slowly cooking meat to tenderize it. It can take around two and a half hours to achieve the desired results.

Cutting Corned Beef The Correct way is important to make it tender also.