How Long To Cook Corned Beef

Corned beef is a delicious and flavorful dish, but achieving the perfect cooking time can be a challenge. The key is to simmer the corned beef until it is fork tender, resulting in tender and juicy meat.

While there is no exact cooking time for corned beef, a general guideline is to cook it for 45-50 minutes per pound. However, it’s important to note that the cooking time may vary depending on the size and shape of the corned beef. It’s always best to use a low simmer and check for tenderness with a small piece.

Key Takeaways:

  • To cook corned beef to perfection, simmer it until it is fork tender.
  • A general guideline is to cook corned beef for 45-50 minutes per pound.
  • Cooking time may vary based on the size and shape of the corned beef.
  • Always check for tenderness with a small piece.
  • Using a low simmer is recommended for best results.

What is Corned Beef and How is it Made?

Corned beef is a beloved and flavorful dish made from a brine-and-spice-cured beef brisket. The curing process is what gives corned beef its distinctive pink color and tender texture. So, how exactly is corned beef made?

Traditionally, corned beef is brined with a combination of pickling spices. These spices typically include bay leaves, peppercorns, and allspice, which infuse the meat with a rich and aromatic flavor. Some recipes may even incorporate additional warming spices like ginger and cinnamon to enhance the overall taste.

In modern times, corned beef is conveniently packaged with a spice packet containing the necessary seasonings. However, for those who prefer a personalized touch, pickling spices can be used as a substitute.

The process of brining and curing corned beef takes time. The beef brisket is immersed in the brine solution, allowing the flavors to penetrate every delicious layer. Over the course of several days or weeks, the meat absorbs the flavors and undergoes a magical transformation into corned beef.

Corned Beef

Once the brining process is complete, the corned beef is ready to be cooked. Whether boiled, slow-cooked, or prepared in other creative ways, this deliciously pink and spice-infused meat is a staple in many kitchens.

Now that you know how corned beef is made, let’s delve into some popular cooking methods and recipes to bring out the best flavors in this classic dish.

How to Cook Corned Beef on the Stove Top

To cook corned beef on the stove top, follow these simple steps:

  1. Place the corned beef in a stock pot.
  2. Add the spice packet, dark beer, and enough water to completely cover the corned beef.
  3. Bring the liquid to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot, allowing the corned beef to simmer.
  5. Cook the corned beef on low simmer for 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours, or until it is fork tender.
  6. Once fork tender, carefully remove the corned beef from the liquid and place it on a cutting board.
  7. Let the corned beef rest for at least 20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
  8. During this resting period, you can add vegetables like cabbage, potatoes, and carrots to the cooking water.
  9. Simmer the vegetables in the cooking water for an additional 25 minutes, or until they are tender.

Now you have a perfectly cooked corned beef that is tender and flavorful. Remember to let it rest before slicing for the best results.

simmering corned beef

Tips for Cooking Corned Beef

When it comes to cooking corned beef, there are a few tips that can help you achieve the best results. Whether you’re slicing, seasoning, or using different cooking methods, these tips will ensure a delicious and tender corned beef experience.

Cut Across the Grain

When slicing corned beef, it’s important to cut it across the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the lines or fibers that run through the meat. By doing so, you’ll end up with more tender slices. Cutting across the grain helps to break down the tough muscle fibers, resulting in a more enjoyable eating experience.

Utilize the Flavorful Fat

Corned beef typically has a thin layer of fat on one side, which adds flavor to the meat. When cooking or serving corned beef, it’s best to leave the fat intact. This will help to keep the meat moist and flavorful throughout the cooking process. However, if you prefer to trim the fat, make sure to do so after cooking, as it adds a delicious dimension to the flavor.

Try the Instant Pot Method

An Instant Pot can be a game-changer when it comes to cooking corned beef. This versatile electric pressure cooker can cook a 3.5-4lb corned beef in about 90 minutes, including a 15-minute natural release. The Instant Pot method ensures a tender and flavorful result without needing to simmer it for hours. It’s a convenient and efficient way to enjoy a delicious corned beef meal.

Instant Pot Corned Beef

What To Serve with Corned Beef

Corned beef is a delicious and flavorful dish that can be made even more enjoyable with the right side dishes. Whether you’re serving it for St. Patrick’s Day or simply craving a hearty meal, these accompaniments will elevate your corned beef experience.

1. Cabbage

Cabbage is a classic side dish that pairs perfectly with corned beef. Its mild and slightly sweet flavor complements the rich and savory taste of the beef. You can prepare the cabbage by sautéing it with butter and a touch of salt and pepper, or by braising it for a softer texture.

2. Colcannon

A traditional Irish dish, colcannon combines mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale. The creamy and smooth mashed potatoes, flavored with the slightly bitter cabbage, create a delightful contrast to the tender corned beef. To make colcannon, boil peeled potatoes until tender, mash them with butter and milk, and mix in cooked cabbage.

3. Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to comfort food, mashed potatoes are a go-to choice. Their creamy texture and buttery taste make them an excellent accompaniment to corned beef. Whip up a batch of fluffy mashed potatoes using butter, milk, and a pinch of salt. Serve them alongside your corned beef for a satisfying combination of flavors.

These side dishes provide a harmonious balance to the flavors of corned beef. Whether you prefer the simplicity of cabbage, the traditional touch of colcannon, or the comforting classic of mashed potatoes, any of these options will complement your corned beef perfectly.

Side Dish Description
Cabbage Mild and slightly sweet, it pairs well with the savory corned beef
Colcannon A traditional Irish dish made with mashed potatoes and cabbage
Mashed Potatoes Creamy and buttery, they provide a comforting accompaniment to corned beef

Corned Beef Recipe

Looking for a delicious corned beef recipe to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Look no further. This simple recipe will have you simmering up a fork-tender corned beef that pairs perfectly with baby potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. The addition of butter, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley adds a delightful burst of flavor to this classic dish.


  • 1 (3-4 pound) corned beef brisket
  • 1 pound baby potatoes
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small head of cabbage, cut into wedges
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Place the corned beef in a large pot and add enough water to cover.
  2. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat and cook the corned beef for approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until it is fork tender.
  3. Add the baby potatoes, carrots, and cabbage to the pot and continue cooking for an additional 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Remove the vegetables from the pot and toss them with butter, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.
  5. Slice the corned beef against the grain and serve it alongside the buttered vegetables.

Enjoy this delicious corned beef recipe with your family and friends. It’s the perfect dish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or to enjoy any time you’re craving a hearty and flavorful meal.

corned beef recipe

Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

In this traditional corned beef and cabbage recipe, we’ll show you how to create a hearty and flavorful dish using a Dutch oven. The combination of tender meat, cooked vegetables, and a savory broth makes this recipe a classic favorite.

To start, place the corned beef with the spice packet in a Dutch oven and cover it with water. Simmer the meat over low heat until it becomes fork-tender, ensuring that all the flavors meld together perfectly.

Dutch Oven Corned Beef and Cabbage

Once the corned beef reaches the desired tenderness, add some halved potatoes, carrot pieces, and cabbage wedges to the Dutch oven. Allow the vegetables to cook alongside the meat, soaking up the delicious flavors of the broth.

After the corned beef and vegetables are cooked, carefully remove the meat from the Dutch oven and set it aside to rest. Meanwhile, leave the vegetables and broth in the Dutch oven to preserve the rich flavors.

Slice the corned beef against the grain for tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat. Arrange the sliced meat on a serving platter and surround it with the cooked vegetables, creating an inviting and visually appealing presentation.

This traditional corned beef and cabbage recipe is perfect for a festive St. Patrick’s Day celebration or any time you’re craving a comforting and satisfying meal. The Dutch oven ensures even cooking and enhances the flavors of the meat and vegetables, making it a go-to choice for this classic dish.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef Recipe

If you’re looking for a hands-off cooking method for your corned beef, using a slow cooker is a great option. This slow cooker corned beef recipe yields tender and flavorful meat, perfectly complemented by a medley of vegetables. Let’s dive into the details.


  • Quartered baby potatoes
  • Carrot matchstick pieces
  • Bite-sized onion pieces
  • Water
  • Corned beef brisket with the spice packet
  • Beer
  • Coarsely chopped cabbage


  1. Place the quartered baby potatoes, carrot matchstick pieces, and bite-sized onion pieces in the slow cooker.
  2. Add water until the vegetables are partially submerged.
  3. Place the corned beef brisket with the spice packet on top of the vegetables.
  4. Pour beer over the corned beef for added flavor.
  5. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 7 hours.
  6. After 7 hours, open the slow cooker and stir in the coarsely chopped cabbage.
  7. Cover again and cook for 1 more hour until the cabbage is tender.
  8. Once cooked, carefully remove the corned beef from the slow cooker and slice it across the grain for tender meat.
  9. Serve the sliced corned beef with the cooked vegetables for a complete and delicious meal.


Here are a few tips to enhance your slow cooker corned beef experience:

  • Make sure to cut the vegetables into small, uniform pieces for even cooking.
  • Choose a good quality corned beef brisket with the included spice packet for optimal flavors.
  • Consider using a dark beer for added depth of flavor.
  • If you prefer softer vegetables, you can add them to the slow cooker earlier in the cooking process.
  • For a more pronounced spice profile, you can add additional seasoning to the spice packet or create your own custom spice blend.

Nutritional Information:

While the exact nutritional values may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes, here is a general overview of the nutrition you can expect from a slow cooker corned beef recipe:

Calories Fat Carbs Protein
Approximately 350-450 calories per serving Varies depending on preparation and trimming of the meat Varies depending on the addition of vegetables and beer Approximately 25-30g per serving

Enjoy this easy and flavorful slow cooker corned beef recipe for a delicious meal that practically cooks itself!

Leftover Corned Beef

Don’t let your leftover corned beef go to waste! With proper storage and a little creativity, you can enjoy its delicious flavors even after St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s what you need to know:

Storage: To keep your leftover corned beef fresh, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. This will help maintain its moisture and flavor for up to 3-4 days.

Reheating: Leftover corned beef can be enjoyed cold or reheated in various dishes:

  1. Sandwiches: Layer thinly sliced corned beef on rye bread with mustard and Swiss cheese for a classic Reuben sandwich.
  2. Hash: Chop the corned beef into small pieces and cook it with potatoes, onions, and bell peppers for a hearty breakfast hash.
  3. Soups: Add diced corned beef to your favorite soup recipes for an extra punch of flavor.

By getting creative with your leftovers, you can enjoy the flavors of corned beef in new and exciting ways!

Remember to follow food safety guidelines and handle your leftovers properly to avoid any risk of contamination. Now, let’s dive into some variations and additional recipes to explore the versatility of corned beef!

Variations and Additional Recipes

Looking to add some variety to your corned beef dishes? Explore these delicious variations and additional recipes that showcase different flavor profiles and cooking methods, allowing you to discover new and exciting ways to enjoy this classic dish.

1. Mustard and Horseradish Variation

Add a tangy kick to your corned beef by incorporating mustard and horseradish. Spread a mixture of Dijon mustard and horseradish on top of the cooked corned beef before serving. The bold flavors of mustard and horseradish perfectly complement the rich and savory taste of the beef.

2. Onion and Garlic Variation

Enhance the flavor profile of your corned beef by adding onions and garlic. Sauté sliced onions and minced garlic in a pan until golden and fragrant. Serve the cooked corned beef alongside the caramelized onions and garlic for a mouthwatering combination of savory and aromatic flavors.

3. Herb-Rubbed Variation

Elevate your corned beef with a flavorful herb rub. Combine chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley with olive oil and rub the mixture over the beef before cooking. The herbs infuse the meat with a delightful fragrance and add an earthy freshness to every bite.

4. Slow Cooker Delight

If you prefer a hands-off approach, try cooking your corned beef in a slow cooker. Place the beef, along with your favorite vegetables like carrots and potatoes, into the slow cooker. Add a mixture of water, broth, or beer for added flavor. Cook on low for several hours until the beef is tender and falls apart effortlessly.

5. Corned Beef Hash

Transform your leftover corned beef into a hearty breakfast or brunch by making corned beef hash. Sauté diced corned beef with diced potatoes, onions, and peppers until crispy and golden brown. Serve with a side of fried eggs for a satisfying and flavorful meal.

6. Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich

Create a classic deli-style sandwich with thinly sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing on rye bread. Grill the sandwich until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted for a deliciously satisfying combination of flavors and textures.

These are just a few examples of the variations and additional recipes you can explore when it comes to corned beef. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients, spices, and cooking methods to create your own unique twists on this beloved dish. Let your culinary creativity shine and savor the delicious results!

Nutritional Information

The nutritional content of corned beef dishes may vary depending on the specific recipe and ingredients used. It is recommended to refer to the particular recipe to determine the exact nutritional values. However, corned beef can be a good source of protein and may also provide important vitamins and minerals, especially when paired with nutritious vegetables and sides.

While the exact nutritional values may differ, corned beef typically contains calories, fat, carbs, protein, and vitamins. The calorie content can vary depending on the serving size and cooking method, but on average, a 3-ounce serving of corned beef contains around 210-250 calories.

Corned beef does contain a moderate amount of fat, primarily due to the marbling and layer of fat present in the meat. The fat content can contribute to the flavor and moistness of the corned beef. The exact amount of fat may vary, but on average, a 3-ounce serving of corned beef provides approximately 10-15 grams of fat.

In terms of carbs, corned beef generally contains a minimal amount, as it is primarily a protein-based food. On average, a 3-ounce serving of corned beef provides less than 1 gram of carbs. However, the carb content can increase if the corned beef is served with starchy sides such as potatoes.

When it comes to protein, corned beef is a good source. A 3-ounce serving typically provides around 20-25 grams of protein. Protein is essential for various functions in the body, including muscle repair and growth. Adding vegetables and sides rich in vitamins and minerals can enhance the overall nutritional value of the meal.

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