previous next

How to Cook Corned Beef Brisket

posted in Main Dishes by Kathy Maister
difficulty rating

Brisket is the name of a particular “cut” of beef, which tells you what part of the cow it came from. Corned Beef is is a cut of meat (brisket) that has been cured (or pickled) in a seasoned brine. For this recipe you will need to purchase a corned beef brisket.

Cow Drawing Source: Wikipedia

Buying and cooking big pieces of meat like a roast or even a whole chicken can seem daunting if you have never done it before.

You may also be thinking: “That’s way too much meat for me to cook at once.” But cooking large pieces of meat or a whole chicken can, in the long run, be a huge time saver. Leftovers can be used for tomorrow’s dinner, or you can freeze them for future use.

Flat Cut Brisket

Corned beef brisket, (also known as salt beef if you live in the UK) is great when served with potatoes and your favorite vegetable. (Some people cook everything in the same pot. The beef cooking water gets really fatty and I think it’s better to cook the potatoes and vegetables separtely.) Be sure to buy some rye bread as well, because the leftovers make GREAT sandwiches.

This recipe is REALLY simple. All you need to do to cook a corned beef brisket are three things:

  1. Put the corned beef brisket in a large pot
  2. Cover it with water
  3. Bring it to a boil then simmer for 3-5 hours

When buying a brisket you can choose between a point cut and a flat (or plank) cut.

The point cut is a rounder, thicker cut with more fat on it then the flat cut.

This photo of the leaner flat cut shows off the grain of the meat beautifully. This is really important when it comes time to cut the brisket. It MUST be cut across the grain or it will be just about impossible to chew!

Briskets come shrink-wrapped. It’s best to cut open the shrink wrap packaging in your (CLEAN!) sink. Although this flat cut brisket had very little juice in it, the point cut package was filled with brine which you don’t want all over your counter tops! Rinse the meat off with cool running water.

The point cut I bought came with its own packet of spices. (It didn’t say what spices, but they did smell really good!)

Since the flat cut didn’t come with its own spices, I decided to add about 10 peppercorns and about 1/8 teaspoon of cloves to the flat cut.

Each of these briskets weighs about 3 pounds. That should be enough to feed about 4-6 people.

When cooking large pieces of meat you have to make sure you are choosing the correct cooking method that is appropriate to the cut of meat.

Corn beef brisket requires long, slow, moist cooking, either on the stove top or in the oven. (How to Cook Like Your Grandmother has an excellent photo-tutorial on cooking corned beef in the oven.) I’ll show you the stove-top version.

Set the brisket in a large heavy pot with a lid.

Cover the brisket with water.

Cover the pot and bring it to a boil.

Then reduce the heat to simmer and let simmer about 4 hours.

By then it should be really tender. The meat will have also shrunk by about a third!

Point Cut – Cooked

Plank/Flat Cut – Cooked

Again, remember that when you are slicing the brisket, be sure to slice the meat across the grain!

If you cook your brisket the day before you are planning on eating it, it will be much easier to cut perfect slices. After slicing your corned beef brisket it will then reheat beautifully in the microwave.

Cutting Point Cut

Cutting Flat Cut

At the grocery store, while buying my corned beef brisket, I met a college student planning to cook a St Patrick’s Day feast for 15 of his friends.

Sean Carr, a 20 year old civil engineering student at Northeastern University, cooks his corn beef brisket in a covered roasting pan with 2 inches of water at 325 degrees for 5-5.5 hours.

If you are cooking several briskets for a party, this is actually a very clever way to do it. I would add that you should lay the meat in the pan with the fattiest side up. Set the pan on middle rack in the oven. Carefully pour boiling water around the briskets and seal the pan with a tin foil cover.

Sean said his briskets “came out tender, juicy and delicious!”! He also said, “Most college students survive on Mac and Cheese and Ramen (noodles), but I do my best to break away from that mold”. Good for you, Sean! Maybe between you and your roommates will learn to cook by the time you all graduate!


P.S.: Looking for more meat recipes? My beef stew is a great stew for beginner cooks to make!

If you are new to startcooking, or are a regular visitor here, please consider subscribing for free.


Genie said:

I’ve always wanted to cook brisket, but have never done it. Your instructions are so clear and simple, I think I’m going to give it a try! Thanks for the terrific explanation.

Jon said:

Translation Alert

It’s been a while since I’ve done one, but can I just point out for British readers that what the Americans call corned beef is what we call salt beef.

Mr. Jodie Christian said:

I’m a male single parent with (3) teenagers; sent them shopping, they brought back a large brisket and two cabbages – they said “We want this”. Thanks for the tips. It was a breeze and I’m their hero in the kitchen. They probably think I know everything about cooking. I don’t; my laptop does!

Kathy Maister said:

I delighted to hear of your success Mr. Jodie! You might want to check out my recipe for Pork Roast – it is just as easy to prepare!

pat t said:

I’m having Corned Beef & Cabbage for a group on St. Pat’s Day and I work. Can I put my 3 briskets in the crokpot or roaster on Sunday and warm up on Monday. Will they still be tender? Thanks, Pat

janine said:

I have to cook brisket for 25 on Monday…can I cook in the oven slowly, or does it have to be in water? Also, can I add 2 to a pan?

BPowell said:

I started “corning” meat when we moved to Alaska and had large cuts of caribou and moose to mess with. It really cames in handy when we hunt ptarmigan, a grouse like bird with deep red breasts that have a strong flavor. We collect 30 or 40 of these breasts and corn them for a feast. We make a brine of salts, sugar, garlic and pickling spices and soak the meat in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, then rinse and cook as in the directions on this site.

janine said:

Hello again, still wondering about my oven cooking method for corned beef. And do you know if i still place the season packet in with the meat and water? Help, please

Orb said:

Janine, you will need a couple inches of water when cooking it if you go the roasting pan in the oven route. The water will make it tender and moist. The seasoning packet is optional most corked beef briskets come packed in a seasoned brine solution. If you decide to add the seasonings from the packet, just open the packet and sprinkle over the topside of the meat.

Kathy Maister said:

Pat – Many people prefer to cook corned beef ahead of time. It is easier to cut perfect slices when corned beef is cold. It will still be moist and tender after re-heating.

Thanks Orb for all that good advice for Janine!

The USDA also has some great advice on how to cook corned beef in the oven, stove top, slow cooker and microwave.

“OVEN METHOD: Set the oven for 350 °F or no lower than 325 °F. Place brisket fat-side up. Barely cover the meat with water—about 1 inch—and keep the container covered throughout the cooking time. Allow about 1 hour per pound.”
I would sprinkle the spice packet into the water.

BPowell, I’m impressed!

coleen said:

Thank you kathy for your info on oven cooking im going to make it that way tomorrow !!!

Jeff & Mary said:

I am cooking 3 briskets avg. 4 lbs ea. at the same time in a very large pot on the stove. Would I have to cook it for 12 hrs or 4 hrs?

Azmodeus said:

A friend of mine cooked corned beef for approx. 35 folks each year. He used the oven method. It works perfectly – I know because I carved all the stuff. Make sure you have a long bladed, very sharp knife. Serated is not particularly good for this job. Rutabega, white potatoes, carrots, cabbage and lots of horse radish are essential, as well as a lot of something strong and flavorful to drink.

Shana said:

can you over cook corned beef? Mine is about 4 lbs ..directions suggested 3 hrs in the oven it is still rubbery to me? Is it overdone..or not done enough??

duece said:

I just found this site while searching to see how other people cook corned beef. Yes…corned beef is very easy to cook regardless of what method you use. My personal favorite method is by slow cooker (won’t heat up the kitchen) or by using the pressure cooker if I am in a bit of a hurry. I don’t think you can mess it up unless you let it go dry. After the meat is done I strain all of the solids out of the juice and throw in some quartered red potatoes (less starch). When the potatoes are done I pull out the spuds and in goes the cabbage. It makes for one heck of a meal and the next day, out comes the reuben sandwich.

Azmodeus said:

I did mine (3#) in oven, starting with boiling water on it to cover, then sealing dutch oven lid. Added the seasoning pouch contents too. Convection oven at 330 degrees for 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Perfectly tender. Tent and keep warm. Bring remaining broth to boil and add rutabega qubes, 1/2d red potatoes and small carrots – cool till tender, remove to large dish and add butter – keep warm. Reboil broth and add wedges of cabbage and large onion chunks – cook till tender and treat as above. Slice meat and serve.

Paul said:

great tips. thanks!

Joyce said:

I would like to cook 3 corn beef packages with a total of almost 11 lbs. in an electric roaster. Is this possible and at what temperture and for how long. thank you

Burnt said:

With the help of this I got to show up my mother. Hah, “you’ll ruin it”. Even had a fit over it.

Best corned beef ever. So tender, so tasty, it was so very good. Boiled it for an hour, then threw it in a pan with some new potatoes and some carrots and poured some of the broth in. Ran it at 400 for about an hour. Cooked some white rice in the rest of the broth. So very yummy.

Maybe next time she wont run her mouth in the kitchen lol.

Appliance Parts said:

Your “recipe” looks fantastic! I would really love to be able to try it out. Actually I have to admit I was never a good cooker when it was about Corned Beef Brisket, and my husband really enjoyes it! So you kinda’ saved me! :D

Kathy Maister said:

Thanks Everyone for all your great comments!

Remember that you MUST slice brisket across the grain, otherwise it will be very, very tough!

Everyone seems to have had great success cooking brisket either on the stove top (like I did) or in the oven. I actually like cooking it a day or two ahead of time. It is so much easier to cut when it is cold and it re-heats very quickly in the microwave.

cj palacio said:


Cathy Adams said:

Hi; I have tried everywhere to find a receipe for corn beef brisket. Food TV and a ton of receipe books. I finally got your page on my computer, and now have a recipe to cook my corn beef Thank- You so much. The next time I need to know anything about cooking I will surely go to your site. Thanks

Tammy said:

Does anyone have a brine recipe for soaking the brisket?? I cannot find a brisket already in a brine.

startcooking team said:


Brine is a salted and often seasoned water used for preserving and pickling foods, in this case preserving the brisket before cooking it. Try Googling brining beef brisket and you will discover thousands of recipes

Cathy Adams,

Congratulations and welcome!

greg andrews said:

This question may seem obvious to some, but what is the best way to dispose of the “brine” or cooking water after cooking is completed? Simply pouring it down the drain may well cause clogging. The knowledge you all demonstrate hopefully will come up with the best answer!

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Greg, great question! I have a garbage disposer so I just pour it all down the drain with no problems. If you DO NOT have a garbage disposer, I would drain it through a strainer and let the liquid go down the drain and any solid matter would then go in the trash can.

Does anyone else have any other thoughts?

Lena said:

Hi, I tried out your roast pork recipe on Sunday and it turned out great!! Easy peasy!! The beef brisket recipe sounds easy enough but I’d like to try it out in the pressure cooker I just bought. Could you or anyone give me the method using a pressure cooker esp the timing? Many thanks.

I love your website. The step by step instructions with the pictures make all the difference.

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Lena,

Here is a chart on pressure cooker cooking times which looks really good! Good luck and I hope it turns out as well as the pork did!


Lena said:

Thanks Kathy, it’s a very comprehensive chart and I will most certainly try your recipe using the oven method sometime soon.

greg andrews said:

Thanks, Kathy! You’ ve reassured me about the proper disposal method. I should also have added that normally I cut the liquid with a kitchen detergent in order to break up the fat and then put it down the disposal. For anyone especially concerned, adding some drain cleaner would be even a stronger way to ensure no buildup in the pipes!

Kathy Maister said:

Disposing of kitchen waste is tricky. I saw Julia Roberts recently on Oprah showing how she “composts” everything. That is clearly not an easy solution! (My relatives in New Zealand made it all look much easier than what Julia was showing Oprah!)

PapaGeo said:

As a widower of 4 yrs now Corn Beef Briskits are a great dish an easy to cook for a couple meals. However, Im looking for ideas for OTHER side dishes than cabbage or potatos to go with the briskit as I dont mind leftovers but I like to have different sides with it to mix it up. Iv done the baked potatoes an boiled w/the meat also, an several diff veggies. Any OTHER ideas for side dishes??


Kathy Maister said:

PapaGeo, my compliments to you for expanding your cooking horizons! If you look in the Recipe Index at the top of this page it will take you to all of my recipes including a section called Soups Salads and Sides and Sauces. There you will find tons of videos and photo-tutorials on many vegetables and side dishes. Some foods always go hand and hand but it is fun to shake up the menu now and again with a few surprises. Good Luck!

jfl said:

I cooked 1 1/2 lbs of corned beef (simered) for 75 minutes and it came out tough. What did I do wrong I have more 1 and 1/2 lbs cuts and want to get it right

Kathy Maister said:

JFL, are you sure you cut the meat across the grain? If not, then it will end up really stringy and tough.

jfl said:

Yes I did cut it along the grain. I was wondering how long I should have simmered it for, say per lb or should any corned beef be cooked for 3-4 hours regardless of size.


Kathy Maister said:

One hour/pound is what the USDA recommends for stove-top cooking.

Perhaps another 15 – 30 minutes of simmering would have helped. Also make sure there is enough water in the pot to cover the meat, and place the meat with the fat side up in the pan.

BTW – When slicing corned beef, along the grain is not the same as across the grain.

You could try the oven method of cooking corned beef. (described in the link above)

Let me know what happens with the next one!

Good Luck!

Jessica said:

I have found a new way to serve corned beef that my whole family loves and you can eat just about any kind of side dish with it. We love to eat it this way in the summer with a baked potato or a pasta salad. You cook the corned beef the same as you would any other time. When it is nice and tender place it on a foil lined baking sheet. Mix together approx. 1 cup of brown sugar adding enough yellow or brown mustard to make it a moist glaze.Glaze the beef and put under the broiler until brown and bubbly, flip it over and do the other side the same.We also do it on our grill instead of using the broiler. I personally don’t like mustard or anything sweet but this is something truely different.It isn’t really sweet nor do you taste the mustard it changes into something very unique.My family and I are glad I took a chance on it and made it.It is our favorite way of eating corned beef.Also instead of cooking the cabbage with the beef we slice it into 1/2 inch slices and sautee it in butter on the side. I hope you enjoy this as much as our family does.

Kathy Maister said:

Thanks for the great sounding recipe Jessica!
Do you prefer the point cut or the flat cut?

Jessica said:

I prefer the point cut. We had the flat cut tonight for the first time in a long time and was very dissapointed with it. It was a lot drier than the point cut.At least that is what we thought. I cooked two of same size. One was a little more moist than the other but was a little tougher. The more tender one was like sawdust in your mouth. In the 20 plus I have cooked prior I have never had that happen. The only difference I could come upon is that we ussually get the point cut,for it’s usually cheaper. I have to buy 2-3 for my family so it can get costly. Has any one else experienced this with the point/flat cut?

kate said:

has anyone ever heard of “pressing” your cornbeef after its has cooked?

Kathy Maister said:

Good question Kate!

I have never tried making Pressed Corned Beef, but the section below on Pressed Corned Beef is from the “The National Cook Book” book, by Marion Harland And Christine Terhune Herrick (written in 1896 and reprinted in 2001!!!!).

Amazingly enough it is still available from Amazon: National Cook Book

Pressed Corned Beef

“Select a firm piece for this purpose. The brisket is good, or for those who like a streak of fat and a streak of lean, the plate-piece is excellent, but this must be chosen carefully. Tie the meat tightly in a piece of cotton cloth that has been shrunk, making the beef take the shape you wish it to have when cold. Lay it in a pot and. cover it with cold water, and put into this a stalk of celery, half a carrot sliced, a sliced turnip, an onion, and a few cabbage-leaves. Let the meat simmer gently. The time of cooking will depend upon the size of the piece of beef. Six pounds will require between four and five hours’ cooking, but it must be very slow boiling – only the quietest of bubbling at the side of the pot. A hard galloping boil will cook the taste out of the meat and reduce it to a mass of insipid shreds. When the beef is done leave it in the water until this is nearly cold, then take it out and lay it between two flat surfaces and put heavy weights upon it. It should remain thus all night. In the morning remove the cloth, trim the beef into comeliness, if there are any ragged edges, and garnish it with watercress, or parsley and small pickles.”

Kate if you give this a try, be sure to let us know how it turns out!


Dorothy Carey said:

What seasonings do you put on corn beef ? the pack of seasoning that comes with so of the corn beef wasn’t with the one I brought.

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Dorothy, There are all sorts spices you can add including pickling spices, cinnamon and peppercorns, just to name a few. Here is a link to quite a few different Corned Beef Brisket recipes that I am sure will inspire!

Nicole said:

Thank you all for the tips. I am a newlywed and constantly looking for easy recipes to impress my hubby. I didn’t learn to many tricks at home as my parents were more the frozen lasanga and powdered potato spud type!! I am going to try my corned beef and potatoes tomorrow! Wish me luck!

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Nicole, do remember to be sure to slice the brisket across the grain!
Good Luck,

Mariana Villasenor said:

Since three years ago, I’m married with a lovely American-Irish, and living here in U.S.A . I have never cooked Corn Beed, So because I want to cook this delicious meet, I will do it tomorrow, I will follow all your instructions I have read from you guys, I will leave my commentary later, of how it was, ok.

startcooking said:

Good Luck Mariana!
Be sure to cut it across the grain as shown in the photo above – otherwise it will be very tough.

Mariana Villasenor said:

Dear Guys:

My Corn Beef was a success!! I follow all your instructions exactly as I red. Still my father-in-low loved it ! Every body was so happy with it.!!

Thank so much! Now I am part of Irish because I Know to cook their tipical meet. I love you.

good luck in your fantastic page.

startcooking said:

Congratulations Mariana!
Now you need to try my Irish Bread and Irish Coffee!

Eric said:

I really appreciate the simplicity and graphic details of your corned beef recipe. I followed your directions tonight and my corned beef turned out very nice. Super tender too. Thanks said:

Hi Eric – Thanks!
As they say…a picture is worth a thousand words!

kate said:

Hi Kathy!

My boyfriend keeps insinuating that I should learn to whip up one of his mom’s old specialties – corned beef and cabbage, but much to my dismay it’s not quite as easy as his other favorite – chicken parm. I got ambitious and decided to corn my own beef using a recipe for a dry rub (as opposed to some of the liquid brine ones I had seen) whose only real “active” ingredient was kosher salt and then placed my rubbed down meat in a ziplock bag between two baking trays with heavy cans on them in my fridge. Then I got worried about food safety as I thought kosher salt might not be enough to keep meat from spoiling in my fridge for 8-10 days like the recipe said. My mom suggested I ask you!

Do you have any words of reassurance that my surprise will be safe to eat? Your website is great – the sweet & sour meatballs were a real party hit :)

startcooking said:

Hi Kate,

WOW! You are being adventurous!

Let me begin by saying I have never corned my own beef. I did just do a bit of research and discovered that most people use a liquid brine to corn their beef.

The University of Minnesota is an excellent food resource. They have recommendations on Processing Meat in the Home which you might find helpful. (Scroll half way down the article and you will see information on Corning as well as Dried Beef.

Clearly this process takes at least 10-12 days and may require re-salting every 5 days or so.

Good Luck and be sure to let me know how it turns out.


Lars said:

i want to be part of your mailing list so that I can receive weekly updates from you. Please add me.

startcooking said:

Hi Lars,
At the top of this page you can choose how you would like my updates to be sent to you. Just click on the e-mail or RSS feed option, follow the commands, and you will be all set.

kate said:

Kathy –

Thank you greatly for your encouragement re: corning my own beef for my boyfriend. After reading the info that you found for me I decided I would be all right sticking to the America’s Test Kitchen dry rub method. It turned about GREAT!! My boyfriend said it was “EXACTLY” how it was supposed to taste :)

Thanks for your help!

startcooking said:

That’s great news! ATK is a really reliable site with very high standard when it comes to testing recipes. I’m glad to hear the dry rub worked for you!

Frank said:

You can find a really good brine for corning a beef brisket, at Food Network, Alton Brown, but it takes two weeks to brine, very good though.

Cathy said:

Help. I wasn’t paying attention. Didn’t use any water in the roaster pan. The pricey corned beef flat trimmed brisket is TOUGH. too tough to even chew normally. My hubby is POd. Can I salvage it by RE-boiling in brine water low gas heat for a hour?, or leave in crockpot for 3 hrs soaking in brine water?

Tessa said:

Is it better to buy corned beef with garlic, or without?

elaine said:

Ihave a flat cut beef brisket and want to do it in the crockpot-do I do it with the juices it came with?Do I add cabbage with the juices? Help!!!

Krista said:

There’s nothing better than a corned beef and vegie dinner with white sauce! I cook my corned beef with honey, vinegar and pepper corns (very tasty)

Mary said:

Inadvertently posted this to the chicken marsala link (sorry). Has anyone tried a slow cooker method? I didn’t see any comments about it, just a link to a recipe.

startcooking said:

Hi Everyone!

Two weeks is the norm for “corning” your own beef brisket. Alton Brown is usually very good, so I would give his recipe a try if you really want to do the brining yourself.

You may have already turned it into shoe leather! I have very strong doubts that you will be able to salvage your corned beef brisket. But what the heck, why not cover it with water and keep cooking it and see what happens. Good Luck!

Garlic is a great seasoning, but that decision is totally up to your own personal tastes.

Elaine and Mary,
I do not own, nor have ever cooked with a crock-pot (slow cooker) (or a pressure cooker!) so I am not able to offer any advice about how to adjust this recipe to work with a crock pot. There are tons of crock pot specialists on the internet which may be more helpful…sorry :(

That sounds really tasty!


Frank said:

Yes I know two weeks is normal for corning a beef brisket I was just letting people know how long it takes should have been clearer in statement, however I have also done a dry rub in a large baggie that was ready in 10 days that was just as good as a brine. I have cooked them in a crockpot but prefer to cook low and slow in oven wrapped in tinfoil, then boil in hot water for an hour after I take it out of oven, usually about 3 hrs at 275 then boil 1 hr. always comes out tender and juicy…

Home made cooking recipes said:

Your post is very elaborate. Many of us know about corned beef but not as detailed as you presented to us today. So you see, it is like working on boneless beef or veal. You mentioned that the brisket goes with potatoes. Maybe someday you will give us a recipe like Brisket with Potatoes. Thanks.

startcooking said:

Frank, you really know your stuff!

Can you share with us the difference in taste or texture from cooking your brisket in a crock pot vs. the stove top and oven method?

Home Made,
Here are some potato options:
Potatoes – Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes – Microwave Baked (video)

Potatoes – Microwave Baked

Potatoes – Oven Baked

Potatoes – Roasted

Potatoes, How to Choose and Use

Frank said:

Happy to contribute. Like with all cooking, there are always times when it just doesn’t turn out. Most recipes say to use fresh cut beef, I have used frozen with just as good results as fresh. A lot of the taste is in the spices used, have to be to users taste. Start with a basic corned beef brine and experiment with different spices each time. As for cooking in a crock pot, a lot of people like to use them but my wife and I both love the oven cooked method. It turns out juicer and pinker more like how corned beef should look. The crock pot method always turned out dryer and tougher. I have used saltpeter to keep that pink color. You can order it at Walmart pharmacy, but use it carefully and follow Alton Browns recipe to start. That was the first one I used and adapted from there. Rinse in fresh cold water for at least an hour after brining before cooking. Happy Cooking and Better Eating

startcooking said:

Thanks Frank!

I have no doubt that many of my readers will find your comments very helpful.

For beginner cooks, I strongly recommend buying a corned beef brisket (which has already been brined) rather than buying a brisket and brining it yourself.

As I said at the beginning of this post:

Brisket is the name of a particular “cut” of beef which tells you what part of the cow it came from. Corned Beef is is a cut of meat (brisket) that has been cured (or pickled) in a seasoned brine. For the recipe above you will need to purchase a corned beef brisket.


Linda said:

Apple cider vinegar–just a splash–and a slow cooker is my way of cooking it that gets rave reviews

startcooking said:

Great tip – Thanks!

Joan said:

Did not see the ans. to this question. I am cooking two flat cuts{about 3 lbs, each} in the same pot on stove top. How many hrs? Thanks. J.

startcooking said:

Hi Joan,
I can’t even begin to imagine how large of a pot you would need to cook them at the same time on top of the stove. I would recommend you try the oven method instead.

Mike from Indiana said:

Is it possible to cook or smoke a brisket on the grill? This sounds very appealing to me as I like alot of smoked foods on the grill.Has anyone tried this and had any success or have a recipe for doing this ? I would think this would work as like cooking in a Dutch Oven over open fire.Any help would be appreciated. I will try this method and post if I dont get a response by St Paddys day ;-). P.S I have a 3 lb flat cut Corned Beef Brisket that will be used

Frank said:

Mike I have never cooked one this way, but don’t see where that would be any different than cooking a brisket for BBQ as they do in Texas, low and slow. although smoking it will turn it into a pastrami, still great… Happy Cooking

Annette Madrid said:


A few posts: one person wanted to know disposal methods of the brine (boiling water) ~ let me tell you that our dog (once it is cooled, of course!) get some ladled onto her dog food and the only danger there is that they might go on strike once the brine is left off their (normally dry) dog food…… :>)

Secondly, I have been preparing a corned beef and cabbage feed for half my town (this is my 20th annual, someone reminded me!) and I always boil for 3-4 hrs (I’m talking a total of approx 50+ lbs of brisket) in two very large pots, outside on a propane burner (used for crab boil) then tonight I’m turning them off about 1 a.m. I allow them to cool overnight so they are able to be handled easier and sliced; I put them in foil and reheat in the oven and then serve @ dinner time on a steam table/chafers.

My good friend makes a Carlton original( ‘Papa Jakes’ seasoning), and also her own recipe of hot sweet mustard (sometimes I have used the mustard as a coating while finishing them in the oven, combined with brown sugar) The first time my chef friend did this, I was skeptical to say the least, but the brown sugar actually de-fats the meat and it was wonderful!

Sharon said:

I am preparing a flat cut today and thank goodness I read your tip on how to cut the meat. This would explain why a few years back when I attempted to make this, it was hard to chew.

John McDaniel said:

You forgot the garnish!

Serve with a sprig of parsley on top, and for the leprechauns, hide a 4 leaf IRISH clover in it! My great grandmother Murphy ordered a bunch in advance from the florist, so that everyone at the table had one on their plate.

startcooking said:

Brilliant idea -thanks John McDaniel!

I had no clue you could order 4 leaf clover from the florist!

Mike from Indiana said:


Thanks for the response.I am going to try the low and slow over indirect heat .I have two briskets to do so I will do one smoked (pastrami style) and one non-smoked (in the Giant Green Egg).I will post results from this tonight with details ;-) Thanks and Happy St. Patricks Day everyone!!!

Sue said:

Inglehoffer’s stone ground mustard is a must with corned beef and I also mix together mayo and some horseradish to dip it in! Try it-it’s really good!!! I also use that with filet mignon or any steak.

Sue said:

I tried the old boiled method for corned beef but I’ll tell you, there’s nothing like corned beef in the oven! When you boil it, in my opinion, you are boiling a lot of the flavor out of the meat. My family made one of each, and everybody liked the oven method better! As a matter of fact, that one was gone and the boiled version was still on the plate. The only thing about that is that you have to boil the cabbage and it doesn’t get the flavor of the corned beef but I add pickling spices to the water and that helps. I wrap the spices up in some cheesecloth, tie it into a pouch and drop it in the water so you don’t have those big peppercorns floating around. I also add some beer to give it even more flavor. I don’t know about you guys but I can’t wait to eat!!! Happy St. Patty’s Day to everyone.

startcooking said:

Thanks Mike, Frank, Annette, Sharon, John, Sue and Sue for sharing your corned beef experiences. For many who visit my web site this is their first time cooking a corned beef brisket.

Your comments are very helpful!


Drew @ Cook Like Your Grandmother said:

Thanks for the mention. I’ve had a bunch of people coming by to check it out. If you’re ever looking to take a day off and want a guest post, let me know. I’d be happy to write one up for you.

startcooking said:

Thanks Drew! I will definitely keep that in mind for the future.
I think you have a terrific web site!

Papa Tony said:

Toughness is not always the chefs fault..

I have cooked corned beef for, over 30 years. I started when I was about 13 years old, my single mother worked and I would start the cooking for her so that when she would get home, my brothers sister, mom and I could enjoy a great corned beef meal..
I have always used the stove top method, pretty much as you have described above in your tutorial.. I have found that bringing the corned beef to a quick rolling boil for about 3 minutes is an important part of the process, I feel this helps seal in flavor, and may help improve tenderness. I then simmer the corned beef for about 50-60 minutes per pound as recommended…
When a brisket turns out tougher than another, and my process has been the same for years, I came to the conclusion that not every cow, processor, and brisket is the same.. So please don’t be discouraged, sometimes its just the luck of the pick when purchasing a tasty brisket…

Rachel said:

When do you put the spice in? I have to make it tonight so I will put it in right away and it looks like that in the picture, but for future reference….

This was very helpful, I’ve never made corn beef on my own, only with the help of my mom :D

startcooking said:

Papa T. your knowledge and experience is most appreciated!
Rachel, in the cooking water at the very beginning of cooking your brisket.

Trudy said:

I just started using a slow cooker and need some advise. No matter what type of meat I use, it always comes out stringy. What am I doing wrong? Too long? Not long enough?

startcooking said:

Hi Trudy,
Unfortunately, I do not own a slow cooker and have zero experience using one. If you Google slow cooker I am sure you will discover tons of sites on how to use one.
Good Luck,

Jeff Bale said:

I came on this page to learn how to make corn beef out of a brisket and I got instructions on how to boil meat! Folks, if you can’t figure that out, don’t try to poach an egg!

Jeff Bale said:

One other item. No disrepect to the author meant, but put your potatoes, carrots, onions and cabbage in with the corned beef. They absorb the rich flavors of the corned beef, yes, and its fat. But if you’re eating corned beef, it’s a time to enjoy, not to count calories. Have Special K for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch and work out while the corned beef boils away. Drink a Guiness and enjoy the meal. You don’t ask for diet cheese on nachos, do you? Some meals are what they are and you should thoroughly enjoy them. Corned beef and cabbage is one of the easiest to make and will become one of your favorites. Thoroughly delectable.

Kathy, thank you for passing on great recipes!

startcooking said:

Oh Jeff, poaching a egg is not as easy as you think! :-)


frank said:

First thing Jeff said was he came on this site to learn how to cook a corned beef,then he complains because it wasn’t what he thought it should be…well Jeff I am sure you know that there are many ways to cook any dish. but I wonder, if you already knew how to cook it why did you come here in the first place…if you read all of the post there was more than one recipe for cooking the corned beef, and while I personally pefer to bake mine, most people and eating establishments do the boil method, Happy Cooking.

nikki said:

im in culinary school and i made the best brisket
i boiled it in a pan with seasoning and bbq sauce
then i put it in the crock pot with the sauce and cooked it tell it was so tender there was no need for a knife if you want the recipe just email me

startcooking said:

Hi Nikki,
Sounds delicious!
Unfortunately, I do not own a crock pot.
Thanks anyways.

Thomas Campion said:

Corned beef at the FIRE HOUSE. 1- At least 3 cans of beer. 2- pickeling spices, about a tablespoon. 3- Pickle juice from that pickle jar in the fridge. about 1/3 of the jar. (I usually save the juice when the pickles are gone) 4- cover the briskets with water and boil then simmer until you can put a long BBQ fork through the meat easily. 5- Remove the meat and put in the carrots and quartered or whole small potatoes. 6- Add cabbage just before potatoes are done. 7- Slice meat and EAT..Tom..

startcooking said:

Thanks Tom!

I’ll bet this is really fantastic!

(One of my best meat pie recipes comes from a Fire House recipe – you guys really do know how to cook!)


pink said:

Cooking your corned beef int he crock is also a good way of preserving a nice moist roast and doesn’t heat up your kitchen in summer either.

I used to have corned beef cooked by my mother when I was young and we always had enough to have for sandwiches to take to school. Oh and like Thomas I like the addition of beer :)

Henry said:

I stumbled upon your site and saw How to Cook Corned Beef Brisket. It looks so easy. Thank you for this information.

Peggy said:

Thanks for so much for the brisket detailed instructions. Yum, I know what I’m going to cook as soon as we have some cooler weather!


Tower said:

Thank you for sharing your knowledge regarding brisket meat. For those who have little knowledge about the the ways of the Jewish people, this could be informative. Kosher food is truly gaining interest and popularity even to the non-Jewish. The preparation of kosher food is not easy and it takes dedication and knowledge to it right.

Lance said:

Hey Kathy
I remember my mother cooking corned beef with cabbage and white sauce. It’s still my favorite meal to this day.
I use the zest and juice of one orange as a special touch. Turns out great!

More content