How to Cook Corned Beef Perfectly, A Perfect Way

Smoke rising around a slow cooked beef brisket on the grill grates of a smoker barbecue, in a grilling concept with space for text on top and bottom

How to Cook Corned Beef Perfectly, A Perfect Way

There's nothing like the taste of corned beef during the holidays. The soft and tender texture makes it perfect for sandwiches, potatoes, carrots, and much more. However, learning how to cook corned beef can be a bit of a challenge.

From barbecuing to boiling in a pot, there are various ways to make corned beef how you like it. It also depends on if you want traditional corned beef, corned beef hash, or a corned beef sandwich. The options are endless. Read through our guide to learn more about making the perfect corned beef.

What Is Corned Beef?

Smoke rising around a slow cooked beef brisket on the grill grates of a smoker barbecue, in a grilling concept with space for text on top and bottom

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Corned beef is essentially beef brisket. While beef brisket is barbecued or oven-cooked and ready to eat, corned beef is made by taking the beef brisket and adding salt brine and pickling spices. You also have to cure the beef brisket.

Making corned beef is usually in a pot of boiling water or beer. You can also bake it in the oven or return it to the barbecue.

The tradition of making corned beef is usually associated with St. Patrick's Day. When Irish immigrants arrived in America, they ate corned beef with cabbage. They chose cabbage because it was one of the cheaper vegetables. They also sometimes had potatoes and carrots along with corned beef and cabbage.

Today, corned beef is still wildly popular, made during the holidays, especially on St. Patrick's Day. It's typically made with a flat-cut brisket. It's a great alternative to ham or beef. The taste of corned beef depends on how you make it. While the taste is typically described as spicy or sweet, it can also be salty or sour. When brined, the corned beef gives off a salty flavor.

How Is Corned Beef Cooked?

Learning how to cook corned beef can give you more ideas for what to have for dinner or a holiday meal. While there are many ways to cook corned beef, we will look at one of the most traditional ways of making corned beef.

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Traditional Corned Beef

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  • Author: MomsWhoThink.com


Units Scale
  • 2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 4 teaspoons whole black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 5 teaspoons pink curing salt
  • 10 cups ice
  • 1 5-6 pound flat beef brisket, fat side trimmed if desired
  • 2 large carrots, medium diced
  • 1 celery stalk, medium diced


  1. Use a Dutch oven to preheat the stockpot. You'll mix the mustard seeds with black peppercorns, cloves, coriander, and bay leaves.
  2. Add water, sugar, and salt. Wait until everything comes to a boil.
  3. After mixing everything, you'll need to bring it to a cool by adding ice.
  4. Add brisket to the pot.
  5. Cover and place the brisket in the pot for about ten days. Ensure that the beef is submerged.
  6. After 10 days, rinse the beef and return it to the pot with the cover on it.
  7. Heat up the pot and cook on a simmer until tender. It should take about 3-4 hours.
  8. It is optional to add cabbage, potatoes, and carrots.

Common Mistakes Made When Cooking Corned Beef

When cooking corned beef, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Some of the most common mistakes are also the easiest ones to avoid.

If you want to cook your roast beef perfectly, you should avoid these mistakes that can ruin your corned beef.

  • The first mistake is not rinsing your corned beef after brining it. If you don't rinse it, the taste could be extremely salty because you didn't remove it.
  • The next mistake is not completely submerging it in the pot of water for ten days. This could also ruin the flavor and taste of the corned beef.
  • The final mistake you should avoid is not cooking the meat long enough. You want to ensure the meat can be pulled apart with a fork after cooking it for 3 to 4 hours.

Now You Know How to Make the Best Corned Beef

Making corned beef is a special treat for everyone at home. It's a delicious meal that needs to be crafted with care. Knowing how to make corned beef also opens your world to new holiday recipes, especially on St. Patrick's Day.

This guide offers some ideas on how to get started making the perfect traditional corned beef. It may take work and practice, but it's always worth it. You'll create a savory and salty corned beef that you can use to eat with vegetables or make a delicious sandwich.

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