Crock Pot Corned Beef

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This Crock Pot Corned Beef is cooked in Guinness beer, making it crispy, juicy, and simply mouthwatering. Throw in potatoes and carrots for an easy, hearty, and complete meal.

slow cooked corned beef sliced and served with potatoes and carrots


 

My Favorite Crock Pot Corned Beef Recipe

Now, I may not be Irish or Jewish – corned beef is common in both Jewish and Irish traditions – but I sure love to eat like I am! When I think of big family dinners, especially around St. Paddy’s Day, I automatically think of Corned Beef and Cabbage! Corned Beef is a family favorite in my house, and I try to make it often. I especially like to prepare it in the Crock Pot because it’s easier, simple, and hands-off.

This also makes it great for serving at large celebrations because I can pop it in the Crock Pot earlier in the day and ensure my house is tidy and the table is set when family and friends arrive. It also frees me up to host and enjoy the time with everyone and drink some Guinness!

overhead shot of slow cooked and sliced corned beef, and served with small potatoes and long carrots.

What is Corned Beef?

Corned beef is a way to describe a cooking technique typically used on the brisket cut of beef. With this technique, the beef is preserved through salt-curing. In this method, the beef cut undergoes curing in a brine solution infused with various spices, and it is gently simmered on low heat until the meat becomes exceptionally flavorful and tender.

When you purchase corned beef, it will likely come with a spice pack that includes bay leaves, peppercorns, and allspice. Some spice packs might include ginger or cinnamon. All of these spices are, of course, accompanied by lots of salt, FYI.

Why Make Corned Beef in a Crock Pot?

I am a huge fan of the ease of slow cooker meals. While cooking corned beef in a traditional fashion on the stovetop is quite delicious and cozy, the Crock Pot is just so much easier. Since corned beef is meant to be simmered on low for a long time, it is perfect for cooking in the slow cooker. Once it is set in there, you can walk away for hours – or until it’s time to add the potatoes and carrots. And, when it’s done, you have a complete meal with a super simple cleanup.

Corned beef, carrots, and potatoes ready to cook in the crock pot.

How to Make Slow Cooker Corned Beef

Now, let’s look at the step-by-step process of making succulent crock pot corned beef, from preparing the meat to achieving that perfect tenderness. It’s a complete meal featuring meat, potatoes, and veggies all in one!

Recipe Ingredients For Corned Beef

  • Corned beef brisket with spice packet
  • Light brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness to balance the savory flavors in the dish and enhances caramelization.
  • Garlic
  • Guinness beer provides a deep, rich flavor to the dish and helps tenderize the meat.
  • Carrots lend texture to the dish, complementing the corned beef and potatoes.
  • Baby potatoes offer a starchy component to the meal and absorb the flavorful juices from the corned beef and beer.
  • Parsley

Directions

  1. Prep: Place the corned beef, fat side up, into the slow cooker and season it with the spice packet. Then, sprinkle with brown sugar, and add the garlic and beer.
  2. Cook: Cover with the lid and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Add: Remove the lid and add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and continue to cook for 2 to 3 more hours or until the corned beef is tender.
  4. Rest: Take the corned beef out of the slow cooker and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Then, thinly slice the corned beef against the grain.
  5. Serve: Garnish with parsley and serve the beef with the carrots and potatoes.
cooked Corned beef in the crock pot with potatoes and carrots

Tips for Making the Best Crock Pot Corned Beef

  • If your corned beef is not browned on top, or if you like a bit more browning, put the corned beef under the oven broiler for a few minutes or until browned to your liking.
  • To add an extra layer of flavor and texture to the corned beef, consider searing it in a hot skillet before placing it in the slow cooker.
  • Add cabbage: For a more traditional recipe, add freshly chopped cabbage 1 hour before the meat is done cooking.
  • Let the corned beef rest for about 15 minutes after cooking and before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, keeping the meat moist and tender.
  • Be sure to slice the beef against the grain for the most tender results.

Serving Suggestions

  • I enjoy my corned beef served with potatoes and carrots, but I also love corned beef with Fried Cabbage.
  • You can always opt to mash the potatoes. The juices from the crock pot would be so yummy spooned over mashed potatoes!
  • If you are avoiding carbs, you can serve it alongside roasted veggies instead.

Ideas For Using Corned Beef Leftovers

  • I look forward to reusing my corned beef leftovers, especially in a tasty Reuben Sandwich! Another knock-your-socks-off idea is making a corned beef hash with your leftovers or this amazing Reuben Casserole.
  • You could also make a modified Cuban sandwich with your leftover corned beef.
  • Try out a cool Irish taco recipe, or top your Irish nachos with leftover shredded corned beef.
Crock Pot corned beef sliced and served with potatoes and carrots.

Corned Beef FAQs

What is the best cut of meat to use?

The cut of beef used for corned beef is the brisket. The brisket is located in the front of the cow, toward the bottom, near the cow’s front legs. For corned beef, you can use a point cut or a flat cut. Point cut is typically cheaper and harder to find. It’s considered less attractive and often used if the meat will be shredded. The flat cut is much leaner than the point cut. This cut is easy to find in supermarkets and best for slicing. You could also choose the whole brisket, which will include both cuts.

How do I know when corned beef is done?

Corned beef is cooked through when the internal temperature registers at 145˚F. To ensure accurate results, I suggest using an instant read meat thermometer.

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    4.64 from 30 votes

    Crock Pot Corned Beef

    This Crock Pot Corned Beef is cooked in Guinness beer, making it crispy, juicy, and simply mouthwatering. Throw in potatoes and carrots for an easy, hearty, and complete meal.
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 7 hours
    Resting Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
    Servings: 8

    Ingredients 

    • 3 pounds raw corned beef brisket with spice packet
    • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 5 cloves garlic,, peeled and halved lengthwise
    • 2 cups Guinness beer
    • 1 pound baby potatoes
    • 6 large carrots
    • chopped fresh parsley,, for garnish
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    Instructions 

    • Place corned beef, fat side up, into the slow cooker and season it with the spice packet.
    • Sprinkle with sugar; add garlic and pour the beer around it.
    • Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours.
    • Remove lid and add carrots and potatoes; cover and continue to cook for 2 to 3 more hours or until tender. Corned beef is cooked through when the internal temperature registers at 145˚F. Use an instant-read meat thermometer for accurate results.
    • Take the corned beef out of the slow cooker and transfer to a cutting board; let it stand for 15 minutes before cutting.
    • Thinly slice the corned beef against the grain.
    • Serve with the carrots and potatoes and garnish with parsley.
    • If the corned beef is not browned on top, or if you like a bit more browning, put the corned beef under a broiler for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned to your liking.

    Notes

    • Corned Beef: The cut used for corned beef is the brisket. The brisket is located in the front of the cow, toward the bottom, and near the cow’s front legs. For this corned beef recipe, you can use a flat cut. The flat cut is much leaner than the point cut; it is easier to find in supermarkets and is best for slicing.
    • Vegetables: Use any root vegetables you like, or have on hand. Potatoes and carrots are our favorites, but you can also throw in some turnips, onions, sweet potatoes, etc…
    • Add cabbage: For a traditional spin on this corned beef recipe, add chopped cabbage to the slow cooker about 1 hour before the meat is done cooking.
    • Store Corned Beef in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 173mg | Potassium: 974mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 7644IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 4mg

    Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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    102 Comments

    1. Dona says:

      Where I buy mine doesn’t include spice packet,what should I use.

    2. Janet Panabaker says:

      Hi I’d like to try this! We find corned beef very salty and I sometimes rinse it before cooking…do you need to do this with this recipe or does the beer somehow help with the saltiness?

      1. Katerina says:

        Hi!
        If you usually find it too salty, then go ahead and rinse it before cooking. Salt is one of those things that some people love too much of, and others don’t. If rinsing the corned beef has worked for you in the past, chances are it will work with this recipe too.

    3. Maryann Harper says:

      I have made this several times and it tastes great! I am up to making a 7lb because my family loves it and wants leftovers.

    4. Walter says:

      Cook to 145F ?? I have a Thermoworks website that says to cook to 190-205F for optimal Collagen breakdown. Who do I believe?

      1. Katerina says:

        Both. It’s cooked through at 145˚F – so anything under that is undercooked and unsafe to eat – but you can continue cooking it to 190˚F for optimal tenderness.

    5. Alex says:

      If I don’t cook it with the vegetables, would it cook in the 4 – 5 hours still?

      1. Katerina says:

        No, it will still need about 6 hours on LOW. FYI, corned beef is safe once the internal temperature has reached at least 145°F, but cooking it longer will make it fork-tender. The closer it gets to 200 degrees, the more tender it will be.

    6. Fred Laird says:

      Can you use frozen corned beef or should it be thawed first?

      1. Katerina says:

        Technically you could, but you may need to cook it a bit longer.