How to Make the Best Corned Beef at Home


unlike supermarket corned beef home

corned beef is not a Salt Lick when done

well it has a season but balanced and

complex flavor which starts with the

corning process itself

now there's two methods there's the dry

method and the wet method so the dry

method has salt and seasonings you rub

it on the meat you put it in plastic and

you put it in the fridge and then you go

in there every day when you flip it and

you flip it and you flip it I've done

that mmm and it's good the wet method

however is a lot easier you add all the

seasonings and salt to water you soak

the meat in that brine and you just let

it sit there you don't have to mess with

it at all now of course we did a side by

side test to see which one tasted better

and it was a tie they both tasted great

so we're gonna go for the easy method

here wet Corning all right and here I

have four quarts of water to this I'm

going to add a good amount of salt now

this is three quarters of a cup of table

salt we're also gonna add a little sugar

this is half cup of brown sugar we're

also gonna add a little bit of pink salt

this is two teaspoons of pink preserving

salt and this pink salt was a little

controversial in all of our edit

meetings because you're adding nitrites

to the water but it does few things one

it helps the meat stay a little bit more

pink but two and more importantly to us

the meat tasted better in fact we did

blind tastings of meat corn

even without the pink salt and they all

unanimously picked the one that was

Bryan with pink salt so just two

teaspoons does the trick all right just

a tiny bit of pink salt now pink salt is

a blend of sodium chloride or table salt

and sodium nitrite the specialty product

sodium nitrite is dyed pink to

distinguish it from table salt only

small amount of it is needed for curing

and achieving the trademark pink color

of corned beef when the nitrite breaks

down into nitric oxide it binds with the

iron atom in myoglobin and that is the

protein that makes meat red locking in

the pink color all right so so a few

more flavorings for our brine here we're

gonna add four bay leaves some garlic

this is three cloves of peeled garlic

some black pepper this is a tablespoon

of black peppercorns a tablespoon of

coriander and five allspice berries I'm

just gonna whisk this up

make sure the salt met sugar is well

dissolved before we have the meat all

right so our brine is ready time to talk

about beef so we're obviously using beef

brisket because that's the traditional

cut for corned beef and there's two

kinds of beef brisket there's the point

cut in the flat cut so if you want to

pretend we're looking inside of a cow

this is exactly how these pieces of meat

would lay so this is the point cut and

it lays sort of on top of the flat cut

and when you separate them you can see

there's quite a difference here you can

see this flat cut is nice and even and

has a great shape whereas this point cut

who knows a little Lappe

so we prefer the flat cut perfect and

you can find this a lot easier at most

supermarkets mhm now sometimes these

cuts come with a really thick fat cap

that you'd want to trim off but this

looks pretty good it's really no thicker

than 1/4 inch in any one place so it's

ready to go in the brine

oh no prep just right in right in now to

help keep this piece of meat submerged

so I'm just gonna put a plate on top

there you go

then we're gonna cover this and it goes

into the refrigerator for at least 6

days but you can do it up to 8 days and

again you don't have to do anything here

you just have to let it sit no flipping

no flipping no turning no dirt it's just

waiting that's it

alright so this beef has been corned for

six days and I've taken it out of the

brine and patted it dry but here I want

to show you what happens if you don't

wait the six days here's a piece of beef

that's only been corned for three days

and you can see that strip in the middle

that is gray compared to the pink around

it that pink salt

has worked its way in only so far but

that very center not yet corned so

that's why it's really important to wait

the entire six days all right so now

it's time to cook the beef and really

most recipes just put the corned beef

right in water and boiled it that way

but we're gonna add just a few

flavorings that water to really pump up

the flavor so here I'm gonna take two

bay leaves three cloves of garlic and

one tablespoon of black peppercorns and

I'm just gonna put them in this square

of cheesecloth

I'm just gonna use a piece of kitchen

twine and just wrap it around really

well tie it up and there we go a little

sachet for our corned beef I thought you

were gonna put that under my pillow

it does look sweet doesn't it

all right so I'm gonna put this sachet

in this nice big Dutch oven that's

filled with two quarts of water and now

we're gonna add our corned beef and I

know what you're thinking that's not

gonna fit in that pie but don't you


this corned beef will really shrink as

it cooks so that by the end it'll fit in

the pot perfectly okay all right so

we're gonna bring this up to a simmer

then we're gonna put the lid on it and

cook it in the oven so a low oven 275

degrees and again much like the Corning

it wasn't a lot of work but you had to

wait for it

it's gonna spend two and a half to three

hours in the oven to that corned beef is

super tender all right so this guy's

been in the oven for about three hours

Rome is wafting out at me it is isn't it

all right no way to tell if it's done

cooking or not is you want to hold it up

you want to take a dinner fork you just

want to stab it in and that dinner fork

you can see it just comes right off oh

you can see starting to come apart

that's a good sign that it's fork-tender

so this guy is ready to come out here

I'm gonna lift him out in one piece put

him onto a platter of course he's gonna

rest for a little bit while we finish

cooking the vegetables but I'm gonna

keep them nice and moist so I'm gonna

take about a cup of this broth I'm gonna

pour it over the top yeah so that as he

rests he won't dry out of course I'm

gonna cover it with foil to help keep it

warm so if you wouldn't mind turning the

oven off we're gonna keep this guy warm

in the oven as we finished cooking the

vegetables all right what's with that

beef staying nice and warm in the oven

it's time to turn our attention to the

vegetables and now these are the classic

vegetables that you serve with corned

beef we have potatoes carrots and

cabbage the thing is the cabbage cooks

much more quickly than the carrots for

the potato so we're gonna add these to

the pot first before adding the cabbage

six carrots and one and a half pounds of

little red potatoes so we're gonna bring

this up to a simmer then turn the heat

down to medium-low put the cover on and

let it cook for about seven minutes all

right so it's been about seven minutes

whew smelling good now it's time to add

the cabbage and this is one head of

cabbage but we cut it into eight pieces

but each piece has a little bit of that

core that's gonna help the cabbage hold

together as it cooks this is another

thing a lot of people add the cabbage at

the very start of the recipe

to be oh you got some stinky corned beef

in that case all right so I have this

cranked over high heat to get that

liquid to come back to a quick simmer

looks like it's there so I'm gonna put

the lid on I'm gonna turn the heat down

to medium-low I'm gonna let this cook

for about 15 minutes longer until all

the vegetables are tender all right so

these vegetables have been cooking for

about 15 minutes so let's go in and see

if they're tender oh that cabbage looks

pretty perfect it stayed together -


it's falling apart on the edges but it

has a little bit of texture in the

middle that's just how I like it

all right so I'm gonna turn this heat

off lid on I'm gonna keep these warm

while we slice into that corned beef and

here we go of course I'm cutting it

across the grain although this corned

beef is gonna be so tender it's not

gonna even really matter look at that

Rosie Rosie so good and you're slicing

it paper-thin which is really really

nice something like corned beef yeah

we're just gonna put these vegetables on

the side of the platter now I'm just

gonna put the meat on the platter why

you do that I've got a surprise for you

I'll meet you at the other all right no

no I'm curious what you got store all

right oh there we go I think this is

enough for two of us is centerpiece is

that what I think it is so you made the

food yes I made the beer cream you know

this beer this is your favorite beer a

cream ale I'm from upstate New York

that's it and you'd love it I've chosen

an Irish red mmm perfect all right let

me serve you up some of this wonderful

corned beef air potato and a carrot and

of course a wedge of cabbage I've got a

little bit of oh I love having

whole-grain mustard with my corned beef

this meat is so tender you don't even

need a knife just flakes right apart it

does absolutely incredibly tender

mmm-hmm you know you just can't buy

corned beef that's good no especially

since the corned beef that you buy at

the supermarket most of it tastes like

you open up the salt shaker and import

it in your mouth mm-hmm and you know

brisket is a hard cut of beef to get

really nice and tender I hope you did it

with that cooking method nice and

oh this is outstanding and I got the

whole night to finish this off yeah

making home corned beef that's balanced

in flavor and an incredibly tender is a

relatively hands-off procedure soak a

flat cut brisket for six days in a brine

made with both table and pink curing

salt as well as sugar both spices and

garlic then to tenderize tough brisket

gently simmer the meat in a low oven now

while the meat rests simmer carrots

potatoes and cabbage in that season

cooking liquid serve with whole-grain

mustard maybe even a glass of beer that

your friend brewed for you and there you

have it from our Test Kitchen to your

kitchen the easiest yet best-tasting

home corned beef with vegetables that

you'll ever have there's no cheers

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