How to Cook Corned Beef

corned beef

What is Corn Beef?

Corned beef is originates from Ireland but does not even include corn in the ingredients or cooking process. Corning is actually a curing process used to preserve meat before refrigeration was widely available. Salt corns were used to dry cure meat but modern recipes require salted water, or a brine, to prepare corned beef.

How to Make Corned Beef

Corned beef is typically cooked for long periods of time submerged in saltwater, herbs, and spices. Tougher cuts of beef are generally used for corned beef and can be prepared with various methods.

It is important to note that corned beef retains a pinkish color even when cooked due to the nitrite in curing meats. The natural pigment of the beef is held even when fully cooked. It is recommended that internal temperatures must be at least 145°F for safe consumption. Listed below are recommended temperatures and cooking methods for making corned beef.

 

Oven

  • Set the temperature of your oven between 325°F and 350°F
  • Place the cut of brisket with the fatty side facing up
  • Cover the meat with brine, water, or stock – about 1 inch of liquid
  • Keep container covered during cooking
  • Time cooking with 1 hour per pound of meat

Stove

  • Place brisket in pot and cover with brine, stock, or water
  • Bring the liquid to a boil and then lower temperature to sustain a simmer
  • Time cooking with 1 hour per pound of meat
  • Vegetables can be added during the last half hour of cooking

Slow Cooker

  • If cooking with vegetables, place vegetables at the bottom of the slow cooking chamber
  • Place brisket fat side up on top of vegetables
  • Submerge vegetables and brisket in brine, water, or stock until top of brisket is covered
  • Start slow cooker on high for 1 hour
  • Subsequently, cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or high for 5 to 6 hours

Microwave

  • Place brisket fatty side up in a microwave safe bowl or dish
  • Add 1½ cups of brine, stock, or water to cover the brisket
  • Cover with plastic wrap or microwave safe cover and open a slit for ventilation
  • Time cooking with 30 minutes per pound
  • Set microwave power to medium low or 30% power
  • Turn on microwave for half of calculated cooking time
  • Flip brisket over and return to cook for second half
  • If desired, vegetables can be added for the final half hour of cooking

For more information on types of high risk foods and preventing food poisoning, please visit our foodborne illness page.

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