Smoked Corned Beef Recipe

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It is likely you tried corned beef before, but have you ever had one made on the smoker? It is 1000 times better than cooking the traditional way. Word of warning! You need to plan ahead, at least one week. The curing process takes 7-10 days and it is a crucial step in the making of Corned Beef.

sliced cooked corned beef brisket on a serving platter with cooked veggies underneath and to the side, glasses with beer, bowls with pickled veggies, thick cut fries, bread rolls

Apart from making this Corned Beef on the smoker I also elevated it just a ‘pinch’ by seasoning with coarse black pepper. This is something you would do while making Pastrami, but I thought why not try it on Corned Beef.

Get the best of the two and make a hybrid, Corned Beef Brisket Pastrami. Don’t come after me please 🙂 This is the best part of cooking at home, you are free to customize the dish to your liking.

The same applies to the cooking method. Smoked, simmered on the stovetop, braised in the oven, Corned Beef can be cooked using a variety of methods with equally delicious results.

Don’t feel intimidated by the curing process, it is essential in preserving the meat. It also enhances its flavor, texture, and overall quality. By brining the beef in a solution of salt and spices, we are creating delicious and flavorful corned beef, perfect for a variety of dishes. Now let’s smoke corned beef!

sliced cooked corned beef brisket on a serving platter with cooked veggies underneath and to the side, glasses with beer, bowls with pickled veggies, thick cut fries, bread rolls

What is Corned Beef?

Nope, there is no corn in Corned Beef 🙂 So what is it? It is meat (usually brisket) cured in salt and spices for 7-10 days. After the meat is cured you can slow-smoke (or cook in the oven) it until it’s tender and falls apart.

The word “corn” comes from a coarse grain of salt, (as big as corn kernels), that is  used for curing. 

What meat is used to make Corned Beef?

Brisket is the most often used cut of meat to make Corned Beef. It’s a tough and flavorful meat. Cooking it low and slow will make it tender and delicious. You can use either the flat or the point or the whole brisket. 

Why you will love Corned Beef:

  • Rich, savory salty and beefy flavor
  • Tender, fall apart texture
  • Versatile – corned beef can be prepared and served in many ways
  • Hearty and comforting meal, great for family gatherings, holidays, and special occasions.
  • Tradition – Corned beef has a long history and is deeply rooted in culinary traditions around the world.
  • Easy to prepare – the curing process, is not as scary as it sounds and there are various ways you can cook corned beef
  • Leftovers –  are incredibly versatile and can be used to create new and exciting dishes. 
cooked corned beef brisket on a serving platter with cooked veggies underneath and to the side

Ingredients, Variations, Substitutions: 

Here’s what you need to make this smoked corned beef recipe:

Beef Brisket – known for its rich flavor and tender texture when cooked low and slow. Look for a well-marbled brisket for optimal flavor and tenderness. You can choose between flat cut or point cut brisket, with the flat cut being leaner and the point cut having excess fat. If brisket is not available, you can use other cuts of beef suitable for slow cooking, such as chuck roast or bottom round roast.

Kosher Salt – commonly used in cooking and brining due to its ability to dissolve easily and evenly penetrate meats. The coarse texture of kosher salt allows for better absorption into the meat during the brining process. If substituting with table salt, use approximately half the amount due to its finer texture. Alternatively you can use sea salt in equal amount to kosher salt.

Brown Sugar – the sweetness of brown sugar balances the savory flavors in the brine and helps to caramelize the exterior of the corned beef during cooking. You can substitute white granulated sugar in equal amounts. Alternatively, you can use maple syrup, honey, or molasses for added depth of flavor.

ingredients for brine for corned beef

Distilled Water – it is recommend to use distilled water because it provides a clean, consistent, and reliable base for flavoring and curing meats.

Garlic – minced garlic adds savory depth to the brine, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the corned beef. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can substitute with garlic powder or granulated garlic. Use approximately half the amount of garlic powder or granulated garlic as a substitute for fresh garlic

Pink Curing Salt (Prague Powder #1) – or Instacure #1, contains table salt and 6.25% sodium nitrite. This is a curing agent containing sodium nitrite, which helps preserve the color and flavor of cured meats. Pink curing salt is essential for achieving the characteristic pink hue and distinctive flavor of corned beef. It also helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria during the curing process. There is no direct substitute for pink curing salt in corned beef recipes. It’s crucial for food safety and flavor development in cured meats. Omitting it may result in a different texture, color, and flavor profile in the finished product. Pink Curing Salt is not Pink Himalayan salt. Do NOT use them interchangeably.

Pickling Spice

Juniper Berries – have a pungent, piney flavor with hints of citrus and pepper. They add a unique aroma and depth of flavor to pickling spice blends. Juniper berries are a key ingredient in traditional pickling spice and provide a distinctive flavor. However, their flavor can be strong, so use them sparingly if you prefer a milder taste. If juniper berries are unavailable, you can omit them from the pickling spice blend. Alternatively, you could try substituting with a small amount of crushed coriander seeds for a similar citrusy and peppery flavor.

Cardamom Pods – Cardamom pods have a warm, citrusy, and slightly sweet flavor with floral undertones. Use them sparingly to make the most of their unique flavor. Substitute with ground cardamom or a small amount of ground ginger for a similar warm and citrusy flavor, or omit if cardamom pods are unavailable.

Coriander Seeds – citrusy, slightly sweet flavor, will add a bright, aromatic quality to the brine. You can substitute with ground coriander powder. Use approximately half the amount of ground coriander powder as a substitute for whole coriander seeds.

Peppercorns Whole – add bold, spicy notes to the brine and infuse the corned beef with aromatic flavor during cooking. If you don’t have whole black peppercorns, you can use freshly ground black pepper as a substitute. Use approximately half the amount of ground pepper called for in the recipe.

Mustard Seeds – add a subtle heat and earthy flavor to the brine, enhancing the overall complexity of the corned beef. If you don’t have mustard seeds, you can omit them from the smoked corned beef recipe or substitute with ground mustard powder. Use approximately half the amount of ground mustard powder as a substitute for whole mustard seeds.

Allspice Berries – resembling a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in flavor they add warmth and depth to the brine. If you don’t have whole allspice berries, you can substitute with ground allspice powder. Use approximately half the amount of ground allspice powder as a substitute for whole allspice berries.

Bay Leaves – they add a subtle herbal note to the brine, contributing to the overall complexity of flavors in the corned beef. If you don’t have bay leaves, you can omit them or substitute with other dried herbs such as thyme or oregano. Use approximately half the amount of dried herbs as a substitute for bay leaves.

Cloves – have a warm, sweet, and aromatic flavor with hints of spice and citrus. Cloves have a strong flavor, so use them sparingly to avoid overpowering the other spices. A little goes a long way. Substitute with ground allspice or nutmeg for a similar warm and aromatic flavor, or omit if cloves are unavailable.

Red Pepper Flakes – add heat and spiciness to pickling spice blends. They provide a subtle kick without overwhelming the other flavors. Consider the desired level of spiciness when adding red pepper flakes to the pickling spice. Substitute with cayenne pepper or paprika for a milder heat, or omit entirely if you prefer a non-spicy pickling spice blend.

Star Anise –  has a strong, licorice-like flavor with sweet and aromatic notes. Due to its potent flavor, use sparingly to avoid overpowering other ingredients. It is best to add star anise early in the cooking process to allow its flavor to infuse the dish gradually. Some people may be allergic to star anise or have sensitivities to its strong flavor. Alternatively you can use anise or fennel seeds or Chinese Five Spice Powder

Cinnamon Stick – Cinnamon sticks have a sweet and woody flavor with warm and spicy notes. They add a comforting and aromatic quality to pickling spice blends. Substitute with ground cinnamon or a small amount of ground nutmeg for a similar warm and spicy flavor, or omit if cinnamon sticks are unavailable.

Ground Ginger – it adds depth of flavor and warmth to dishes, with a distinctive aroma that enhances the overall taste. If ground ginger is unavailable, you can use fresh ginger, candied ginger, allspice or cinnamon

close up photo ingredients for Pickling spice

Equipment you will need

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large pot, baking dish or Dutch oven
  • Large zip lock bag
  • Skillet
  • Wood pellet smoker
  • Boning knife
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tongs
  • Meat thermometer

Curing Process, why and how?

Curing it is a method of preserving meat by using salt and various seasonings. It can be done as a dry brine or wet brine – saltwater solution.

The primary purpose of curing is to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, which can cause food spoilage and foodborne illness.

To make corned beef, you need to start with brining the beef brisket in a solution of water, salt, sugar, and spices. It usually takes 7-10 days to cure the meat. During this time the salt penetrates the meat and the sugar and spices add flavor. This is how the characteristic savory and slightly spicy taste of corned beef is created.

The curing process is essential when making corned beef for several reasons:

  • Preservation – the growth of harmful bacteria is inhibited, allowing the meat to be safely stored for longer periods without refrigeration.
  • Flavor – the salt and spices used in the curing process not only preserve the meat but also impart flavor.
  • Texture – curing helps tenderize tougher cuts of meat, such as beef brisket. The salt in the brine breaks down muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender and juicy end product.

How to make Smoked Corned Beef

  • Prepare the pickling spice
  • Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar; remove ⅓ cup of the picking blend and dry roast them in a skillet for few minutes. Prior to roasting you can crush the spices lightly using mortar and pestle.

  • Prepare the brine
  • To a large stock pot, add distilled water, kosher salt, brown sugar, pickling spice blend, pink curing salt, garlic and stir. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer and cook until salt and sugar have dissolved. Turn off heat and cool.

  • Place the trimmed brisket inside a large food safe container or large sealable plastic bag. Pour completely cooled brining liquid over the meat and cover or seal. 
  • Make sure the meat is fully submerged in the liquid. You may need to use a glass plate on top of the meat to prevent it from floating up

  • Store in a refrigerator for 7-10 days, 
  • Everyday turn the brisket over to ensure even brining
  • After 7-10 days remove corned beef brisket from the brine. Rinse it thoroughly under cold water. You can also soak the brisket in cold water for a few hours or overnight. This will help reduce the saltiness of the meat. 
  • Preheat the smoker to 225F and high smoke setting. I recommend hickory, pecan, oak, or cherry wood pellets.
  • Coat the brisket with seasoning of your choice. You can use coarse ground pepper mixed with garlic powder or you can crush some of the prepared pickling spice and apply it to the brisket.

  • Place the seasoned brisket directly on the grates of preheated smoker.
  • Close the smoker lid and maintain a consistent temperature throughout the smoking corned beef process.
  • Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the corned beef brisket. Smoke corned beef until the internal temperature reaches 160F 
  • Prepare the braising liquid. Add desired amount to a pot and let it come to simmer over medium low heat. This step is optional but recommended. You can read more HERE about this.

  • Once the brisket reaches 160°F (71°C), transfer it to a deep roasting pan or Dutch oven. Add braising liquid of your choice until the meat is about halfway submerged.

  • Cover tightly the roasting pan with a lid or aluminum foil to trap the steam and moisture. 
  • Return the pan to the smoker. Continue cooking the brisket until it reaches an internal temperature of 205°F (96°C).
  • Optionally you can add chopped veggies: potatoes, carrots and cabbage half an hour before finishing the cooking.

  • Once the brisket reaches the desired internal temperature 205°F (96°C), remove it from the smoker and let the meat rest, covered, for about 15-30 minutes. This will allow the juices to be redistribute resulting in a moist and tender meat.
  • After resting, slice the smoked corned beef brisket against the grain into thin slices. Serve the smoked corned beef hot with the cooking liquid as a flavorful sauce or gravy, along with your favorite side dishes.
sliced cooked corned beef brisket on a serving platter with cooked veggies underneath and to the side, glasses with beer, bowls with pickled veggies, thick cut fries, bread rolls

What braising liquid can I use?

Beef Broth – rich and savory, beef broth adds depth of flavor to the corned beef while enhancing its meaty taste. You can use store-bought corned beef broth or homemade beef stock for the best flavor.

Beer – using a stout or ale, adds complexity and depth to the braising liquid. The maltiness and bitterness of the beer complement the savory flavors of the corned beef, resulting in a deliciously nuanced dish.

Apple Cider – brings a hint of sweetness and acidity to the braising liquid, balancing out the rich and salty flavors of the corned beef. I

Vegetable Broth – for a lighter option, vegetable broth can be used as the braising liquid. It imparts a mild and clean flavor to the corned beef, allowing the natural taste of the meat to shine through.

Wine – red, dry wine, such a cabernet sauvignon or merlot, can be used to braise the corned beef. The wine adds complexity and acidity to the dish, enhancing its overall flavor profile.

Water – if you prefer a simpler approach, water can be used as the braising liquid. While it won’t add additional flavor like other options, it will still help keep the corned beef moist and tender during the braising process.

Tip: The leftover water from boiling the meat is extremely flavorful and can be used to boil vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and cabbage.

How much braising liquid to use?

The amount of braising liquid you want to use is a personal preference and the cooking method. Here are some guidelines to help you determine how much braising liquid to use:

Submerging the Brisket – completely in the braising liquid ensures that the meat stays moist and tender throughout the cooking process. 

Covering the Bottom of the Pan – add just enough braising liquid to cover the bottom of the pan without fully submerging the brisket. This allows the bottom portion of the meat to braise in the liquid while the top is exposed to the oven’s heat. You can periodically baste the brisket with the liquid during cooking to keep it moist.

Combination of Both – adding enough liquid to partially submerge the brisket while also covering the bottom of the pan. This provides moisture and flavor to the meat while allowing for some caramelization on the exposed surfaces.

Either amount of braising liquid you choose, it’s essential to monitor the brisket during cooking and add more liquid if needed to prevent it from drying out. Additionally, you can adjust the seasoning of the braising liquid to enhance the flavor of the corned beef as it cooks.

cooked corned beef brisket on a serving platter with cooked veggies underneath and to the side, glasses with beer, bowls with pickled veggies, thick cut fries, bread rolls

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Storing and reheating of Smoked Corned Beef

  • Refrigeration:
    • allow the Smoked Corned Beef to cool to room temperature; wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil
    • transfer to an airtight container
    • Refrigerate promptly and use within 3-4 days for optimal freshness.
  • Freezing:
    • allow smoked corned beef to cool completely
    • Portion the corned beef into desired servings for easier reheating and wrap in plastic wrap or foil
    • Place the wrapped corned beef in a resealable freezer bag into freezer-safe containers.
    • use within 2-3 months for the best quality and taste.  
  • Reheating:
    • Stovetop: Place the refrigerated corned beef in a saucepan or skillet with a small amount of broth. Cover and reheat over low to medium heat until warmed through, about 5-10 minutes.  
    • Oven: Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Wrap the refrigerated corned beef in aluminum foil and place it on a baking sheet. Heat in the oven until warmed through, about 20-30 minutes.
    • Microwave: Place sliced corned beef on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals until warmed through, rotating the slices as needed.
  • Reheating Frozen Corned Beef:
    • First thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
    • Follow reheating instructions as for the refrigerated corned beef

Tips:

  • When reheating corned beef, be careful not to overcook it, as this can result in dry and tough meat.
  • For added flavor, you can brush the corned beef with a glaze or sauce before reheating, such as a mixture of mustard and brown sugar or a tangy barbecue sauce.
  • To prevent the corned beef from drying out during reheating, you can add a little extra liquid, such as beef broth or beer, to the pan or baking dish.
cooked corned beef brisket on a serving platter with cooked veggies underneath and to the side, glasses with beer, bowls with pickled veggies, thick cut fries, bread rolls

Best ways to serve Corned Beef

So many great options to serve corned beef and use any leftovers. Here are few ideas:

  • Classic Corned Beef and Cabbage – serve thinly sliced corned beef alongside boiled cabbage, carrots, and potatoes.
  • Corned Beef Sandwich – layer slices of corned beef on rye or pumpernickel bread with mustard, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut.
  • Corned Beef Hash – chop leftover corned beef and potatoes into small pieces and fry them with onions until crispy and golden brown. Serve with fried eggs.
  • Corned Beef Tacos – use shredded corned beef as a filling for tacos, along with cabbage slaw, avocado, and a drizzle of creamy dressing.
  • Corned Beef and Potato Soup – simmer diced corned beef with potatoes, carrots, onions, and broth for a hearty and comforting soup.
  • Corned Beef Reuben Dip – combine chopped corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing in a baking dish. Bake and serve with toasted bread.
  • Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls – roll up sliced corned beef with cooked cabbage and mashed potatoes in cabbage leaves. Bake and serve with a drizzle of mustard sauce.
  • Corned Beef and Potato Casserole – layer sliced corned beef with thinly sliced potatoes, onions, and cheese in a casserole dish. Bake until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is bubbly.
  • Corned Beef Eggs Benedict – top toasted English muffins with slices of corned beef, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce for a delicious brunch option.
  • Corned Beef Stuffed Peppers – fill bell peppers with a mixture of cooked corned beef, rice, onions, and cheese. Bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through.
sliced cooked corned beef brisket on a serving platter with cooked veggies underneath and to the side, glasses with beer, bowls with pickled veggies, thick cut fries, bread rolls

Corned Beef from the Smoker

Sylwia Vaclavek
I bet you tried corned beef before, but have you tried this Smoked Corned Beef Hybrid? It is 1000 times better than cooking the traditional way. Combining two of the best, corned beef and pastrami in one meal.
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Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Curing time 7 days
Total Time 7 days 6 hours 45 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 429 kcal

Equipment

  • measuring cups and spoons
  • large pot, baking dish or Dutch oven
  • large zip lock bag
  • skillet
  • wood pellet smoker
  • boning knife
  • aluminum foil
  • tongs
  • meat thermometer

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 Brisket whole
  • 2 tsp Curing Salt Prague Powder #1
  • Gallon Distilled Water
  • 1 1/2 cup Kosher salt coarse
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • cup Pickling spice
  • Black Pepper coarse grind

Pickling Spice

  • 1 tbsp Yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp Allspice whole
  • 1 tbsp Juniper berries
  • 2 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp Peppercorns whole
  • ½ tsp Red pepper flakes crushed
  • ½ tsp Ginger ground
  • 6 Cloves whole
  • 4 Cardamom pods
  • 3-4 Bay leaves crumbled
  • 2-3 Star anise
  • 1 Cinnamon stick

Braising Liquid

  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup apple cider

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the pickling spice
  • Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar; remove ⅓ cup of the picking blend and dry roast them in a skillet for few minutes
  • Prepare the brine
  • To a large stock pot, add distilled water, kosher salt, brown sugar, pickling spice blend, pink curing salt, garlic and stir. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer and cook until salt and sugar have dissolved. Turn off heat and cool.
  • Place the trimmed brisket inside a large food safe container or large sealable plastic bag. Pour cooled brining liquid over the meat and cover or seal.
  • Make sure all the meat is fully submerged in the liquid. You may need to use a glass plate on top of the meat to prevent it from floating up
  • Store in a refrigerator for 5-10 days,
  • Everyday turn the brisket over to ensure even brining
  • After 7-10 days remove the brisket from the brine. Rinse it thoroughly under cold water. You can also soak the brisket in cold water for a few hours or overnight. This will help reduce the saltiness of the meat.
  • Preheat the smoker to 225F and high smoke setting. I recommend hickory, pecan, oak, or cherry wood pellets.
  • Coat the brisket with seasoning of your choice. It can be coarse ground pepper mixed with garlic powder or you can crush some of the prepared pickling spice and apply it to the brisket.
  • Once the smoker is preheated, place the seasoned brisket directly on the grates.
  • Close the smoker lid and maintain a consistent temperature throughout the smoking process.
  • Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the corned beef brisket. Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 160F
  • Once the brisket reaches 160°F (71°C), transfer it to a deep roasting pan or Dutch oven. Pour a liquid over the brisket, such as beef broth, water, or beer, until it’s about halfway submerged.
  • Cover the roasting pan or Dutch oven with a lid or aluminum foil to trap the steam and moisture.
  • Return the pan to the smoker. Continue cooking the brisket until it reaches an internal temperature of 205°F (96°C).
  • Once the brisket reaches the desired internal temperature, remove it from the smoker and let it rest, covered, for about 15-30 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a moist and tender end result.
  • After resting, slice the smoked corned beef brisket against the grain into thin slices. Serve it hot with the cooking liquid as a flavorful sauce or gravy, along with your favorite side dishes.

Notes

Plan ahead, you need at least one week for the curing process.
Don’t forget to flip the brisket daily to ensure even brining.
Low and slow, don’t rush the smoke and the braising. Monitor the meat temperature with food thermometer to know when it is done. Be patient!
Experiment with the brisket seasoning. I only used coarse black pepper this time, but there is no rules. Season corned beef with what you like!

Nutrition

Serving: 8ozCalories: 429kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 48gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 141mgSodium: 21407mgPotassium: 834mgFiber: 2gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 53IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 5mg
Keyword corned beef, st patricks day
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Conclusion

I bet you feel much more confident smoking corned beef at home. In this blog post I covered all the tips and step by step to make it easy for you just to follow and make it. This Smoked Corned Beef recipe is a delicious treat and the best part, there is always leftovers you can transform to another delicious meal. Read HERE to get some ideas.

FAQ about Smoked Corned Beef

What is the cut of meat used for corned beef?

The most common cut of meat used for corned beef is beef brisket. Great alternative cuts are: bottom round or chuck roast.

How is corned beef made?

Corned beef is made by curing beef brisket in a brine solution containing water, salt, sugar, and spices. The meat is submerged in the brine and allowed to cure for several before cooking.

What is corned beef?

Corned beef is cured and seasoned cut of beef. Typically made from brisket, that has been brined in a saltwater solution with various spices.

How long does it take to cook corned beef?

The cooking time for corned beef depends on the size and thickness of the brisket. Typically, it takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to cook corned beef brisket on the stovetop or in the oven, and longer if slow-cooked or smoked (6-10 hours).

When is corned beef done?

Recommended internal temperature of fully cooked Corned Beef is 195-205°F (90-96°C). At this temperature, the meat should be tender and easily pierced with a fork.

What spices are used in corned beef?

Common spices used in the brine for corned beef include peppercorns, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, bay leaves, and cloves. Some recipes may also include garlic, allspice berries, and red pepper flakes. Read HERE more about spices.

What is the difference between corned beef and pastrami?

While both corned beef and pastrami are made from beef brisket, they undergo different curing and cooking processes. Corned beef is brined in a saltwater solution, while pastrami is rubbed with a spice blend and smoked before being steamed or simmered.

Can corned beef be frozen?

Yes, corned beef can be frozen. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container before freezing. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Read HERE more about storage of Smoked Corned Beef.

Is corned beef gluten-free?

Corned beef itself is typically gluten-free, but it’s essential to check the ingredients in any spice blends or seasoning packets used in the brine, as they may contain gluten.

What are some serving suggestions for corned beef?

Corned beef can be served sliced with boiled cabbage, carrots, and potatoes for a classic meal. It’s also delicious in sandwiches, tacos, salads, and soups. Click HERE to read more.

What is the best way to store leftover smoked corned beef?

After cooking, store leftover smoked corned beef in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to 3-4 days.

Can I make Corned Beef without curing salt?

Yes, you can make corned beef without curing salt, although the flavor and color may differ slightly from traditional corned beef. Curing salt, also known as Prague powder or pink salt, is typically used in corned beef recipes to preserve the meat, enhance its color, and impart a distinct flavor.

To make corned beef without curing salt, you can use alternative methods to impart flavor and preserve the meat. For example, you can create a brine using salt, water, sugar, and spices, and allow the beef to marinate in the brine for several days. While this method won’t provide the same preservation benefits as curing salt, it can still yield flavorful and tender corned beef.

Do I need to heat up the braising liquid?

Bringing the braising liquid to a slow simmer while it is not necessary (in case you forgot) it is recommended. Warming the liquid will prevent any sudden temperature drops that could potentially slow down the cooking process or affect the texture of the meat.

By preheating the braising liquid, you sort of jump-start the cooking process, reducing the time needed for the brisket to reach its desired internal temperature.

cooked corned beef brisket on a serving platter with cooked veggies underneath and to the side, glasses with beer, bowls with pickled veggies, thick cut fries, bread rolls

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