How To Cook Perfect Corned Beef, for St. Patrick’s Day and Beyond

How to Cook Corned Beef Four Ways

Here are four ways to cook corned beef. Learn step-by-step how to use these methods to cook this Irish favorite.

1. Boiled Corned Beef

Corned Beef and Cabbage I
  1. Place the brined corned beef in a large pot or Dutch oven along with the liquid and spices that accompanied it in the package.
  2. Pour in enough water to cover the beef, then bring the water to a boil on the stovetop.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover the pot.
  4. A three-pound corned beef could take three hours or more to become perfectly tender. Check the meat occasionally, adding more water if necessary. The beef is ready when it pulls apart easily.Tip: For a one-pot feast, you can add shredded cabbage and chunks of potatoes and carrots to the pot during the last half hour of cooking.

2. Oven-Braised Corned Beef

Braised Corned Beef Brisket
  1. Use a large roasting pan or Dutch oven, with or without a rack, depending on the recipe you use. It could take about one hour or more per pound to cook, depending on the thickness of the roast.
  2. Since corned beef needs to cook with moist heat, you’ll cover the pan or wrap the roast with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
  3. Check the liquid as it cooks, replenishing it if needed. You can add vegetables during the last hour of cooking.

3. Slow-Cooked Corned Beef

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
  1. Popping everything into the slow cooker is the easiest, most convenient way to cook corned beef.
  2. If you’re cooking carrots and potatoes with the meat, consider adding them about halfway through. A four-pound roast will take four to five hours on HIGH, or eight to nine hours on LOW.
  3. Cabbage doesn’t take much time to cook, and can be added in the last hour.

4. Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Corned Beef

Pressure Cooker Corned Beef Brisket
Pressure Cooker Corned Beef | Photo by Barbara Wilson Stender

Fork-tender brisket in a fraction of the time. That’s the beauty of using your pressure cooker or Instant Pot multi-cooker to make corned beef.

  1. Place corned beef on the trivet of your pressure cooker. Add any additional seasonings. Pour just enough water to cover.
  2. Cook the corned beef on high pressure for about 90 minutes. Release the pressure.
  3. If you want to make it corned beef and cabbage, add carrots and and cabbage to the liquid surrounding the meat once and cook again on high pressure for about 10-15 more minutes.

How to Make Your Own Corned Beef Brine

If you’d like to prepare your own corned beef from a fresh brisket, allow about a week for the brisket to soak in the brine.