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How To Cook Corned Beef


How To Cook Corned Beef

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How To Cook Corned Beef

How To Cook Corned Beef

Corned Beef: A Culinary Delight

Corned beef, a traditional Irish dish, is a brined and cooked beef brisket that is enjoyed worldwide. Its distinctive flavor and tender texture make it a popular choice for holidays and special occasions. Cooking corned beef may seem intimidating, but with the right ingredients and techniques, you can achieve a perfect dish that will impress your guests.


  • 1 corned beef brisket (3-5 pounds)
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 quarts water


  • Large stockpot or Dutch oven
  • Thermometer


  1. Prepare the Brisket: Rinse the corned beef brisket under cold water to remove any excess salt. Trim off any excess fat and place the brisket in a large stockpot or Dutch oven.
  2. Add Vegetables and Spices: Add the quartered onion, unpeeled garlic cloves, pickling spice, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and salt to the pot.
  3. Cover with Water: Pour 3 quarts of cold water over the brisket and vegetables. The water should cover the meat completely.
  4. Bring to a Boil: Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
  5. Reduce Heat and Simmer: Once the water boils, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the brisket is tender. Check the tenderness of the meat by inserting a fork. It should slide in easily.
  6. Test Temperature: Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the brisket. It should reach 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare, 170-175 degrees Fahrenheit for medium, and 180-185 degrees Fahrenheit for well-done.
  7. Remove and Rest: Once the desired temperature is reached, remove the brisket from the pot and let it rest for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.


  • For a more flavorful broth, use a combination of water and beef broth.
  • Add vegetables such as carrots, celery, and potatoes to the pot for a complete meal.
  • If you don’t have pickling spice, you can use a combination of coriander seeds, mustard seeds, allspice berries, and cloves.
  • Corned beef can also be cooked in a slow cooker. Place the brisket and vegetables in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
  • Leftover corned beef can be used in sandwiches, salads, or soups.


  • Why is corned beef so salty?
    Corned beef is cured in a salt brine to preserve it. The saltiness level can vary depending on the method and duration of brining.

  • What does pickling spice contain?
    Pickling spice is a blend of spices that typically includes coriander seeds, mustard seeds, allspice berries, and cloves. It adds a distinctive flavor to corned beef.

  • Can I use a different cut of beef instead of brisket?
    Yes, you can use other cuts of beef such as chuck roast or rump roast. However, the cooking time may vary.

  • How can I prevent the corned beef from drying out?
    Check the water level periodically and add more water if needed. You can also wrap the brisket in foil before wrapping it.

  • What are the best side dishes for corned beef?
    Popular side dishes for corned beef include mashed potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and rye bread.

  • Can I freeze cooked corned beef?
    Yes, you can freeze cooked corned beef for up to 3 months. Allow it to cool completely before freezing.

  • How long should I reheat corned beef?
    To reheat corned beef, place it in a covered dish with some of the cooking liquid. Reheat in a preheated 325 degrees Fahrenheit oven for about 30 minutes, or until warmed through.

  • What can I do with leftover corned beef?
    Leftover corned beef can be used in a variety of dishes such as sandwiches, salads, soups, or hash.

  • How can I tell if corned beef is spoiled?