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Baked corned beef is totally hands-off and has a more satisfying flavor and texture than its boiled counterpart. Here’s how to make it.

baked corned beef on a cutting board
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Why we love this recipe

Corned beef is a bit of a love it or leave it proposition. As a huge fan of umami and descendent of Irish immigrants to the United States, I’m firmly in the love it camp. While boiled dinner is all well and good, I much prefer baked corned beef for its more succulent flavor and texture and its hands-off vibe.

This recipe:

  • Takes five minutes of hands-on time
  • Produces excellent, consistent results
  • Accommodates any size corned beef brisket
  • And just about any cooking equipment you’ve got

You can cook the meat on its own or add cabbage, carrots, onion, and potatoes toward the end of cooking to approximate a boiled dinner. It also makes excellent sandwiches and hash.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe. It’s not much!

ingredients in bowls
  • Corned beef brisket is a piece of beef brisket that’s been cured in a flavored salt brine. Though a whole brisket is much larger, you’ll often find corned beef in 3-ish pound pieces. It shrinks quite a bit when cooking, so allow for 3/4 pound per person. You can bake two side by side if you like.
  • Typically this cut of meat comes with a small spice packet included. If yours does, you’ll use that. If not, you can refer to the section below to make your own spice blend.
  • The only other thing you need is water to a depth of about an inch in the pan.

Making your own spice packet

You’ll need about two tablespoons of mixed spices per three pounds of cured brisket. I recommend roughly equal proportions of:

  • Peppercorns
  • Yellow and black mustard seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Fennel seeds
  • Dill seeds
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Crushed bay leaf

Equipment

You don’t need any special equipment to bake a corned beef brisket. I like to use a Dutch oven since it conducts heat nicely and has a tight-fitting lid. If you don’t have one, you can use any large baking dish that accommodates your roast and tightly cover it with aluminum foil.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a fabulous baked corned beef. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Pat brisket dry with paper towels. Place into roasting pan with the fat side up.
  2. Sprinkle with the spice blend. Pour in water around the roast to a depth of about one inch.
  3. Cover tightly and bake at 300° for about 50 minutes per pound, until internal temperature reaches 170°F.
  4. Transfer to a carving board and cover loosely with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain. That’s it!

“Boiled” dinner

Although we aren’t actually boiling the corned beef, you can still add the traditional elements of a New England boiled dinner if you like.

About 40 minutes before you expect the roast to be ready, add new potatoes (1/2 pound per person), carrots cut into large chunks or baby-cut carrots (1/4 pound per person), one large yellow onion peeled and cut into eighths, and one small green cabbage cored and cut into eighths around the sides of the roast.

Replace lid and continue cooking until meat is done and vegetables are tender. If you plan to serve the broth, you will likely need to dilute it with additional water, since corned beef is very salty.

baked corned beef on rye (Reuben sandwich) on a white plate

Expert tips and FAQs

What is corned beef, anyway?

Great question. It’s beef brisket that’s been cured in a salt brine with a savory and warming spice blend. The name comes from the “corns” of salt that were used. In the 17th century, “corn” was another word for “seed” and referred to all kinds of grain. The salt was big enough that it looked like a piece of oat or barley.

Is corned beef an Irish tradition for St. Patrick’s Day?

It’s a complicated story (which I recommend you read at the Smithsonian Magazine website), but the short answer is no. Eating corned beef on St. Paddy’s is a tradition of Irish immigrants to the United States. And though a version of corned beef was produced and exported from Ireland, the version we eat here actually has Jewish roots.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

If you like, you can make this meal in advance and reheat it in the oven shortly before serving. Leftovers will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

How to serve it

baked corned beef on a cutting board

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baked corned beef on a cutting board
4.35 from 38 votes

Baked Corned Beef

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Baked corned beef is totally hands-off and has a more satisfying flavor and texture than its boiled counterpart. Here's how to make it.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 30 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total: 2 hours 45 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 3 pounds 1(360 grams) corned beef brisket
  • Spice packet, see note
  • Water

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 300°F with a rack in the center.
  • Place corned beef brisket fat-side up in a baking pan.
  • Sprinkle with contents of spice packet.
  • Pour water into the pan to a depth of about 1 inch.
  • Cover pan with lid or aluminum foil.
  • Bake for about 2 1/2 hours (or 50 minutes per pound if your brisket is a different size), until internal temperature reaches 170°F.
  • Transfer to carving board and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.

Notes

  1. If your roast didn’t come with a spice packet, you can make your own blend. You'll need about two tablespoons of mixed spices per three pounds of cured brisket. I recommend roughly equal proportions of: peppercorns, yellow and black mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, dill seeds, crushed red pepper, crushed bay leaf
  2. You don't need any special equipment to bake a corned beef brisket. I like to use a Dutch oven since it conducts heat nicely and has a tight-fitting lid. If you don't have one, you can use any large baking dish that accommodates your roast and tightly cover it with aluminum foil.
  3. Boiled dinner: Although we aren't actually boiling the corned beef, you can still add the traditional elements of a New England boiled dinner if you like. About 40 minutes before you expect the roast to be ready, add new potatoes (1/2 pound per person), carrots cut into large chunks or baby-cut carrots (1/4 pound per person), one large yellow onion peeled and cut into eighths, and one small green cabbage cored and cut into eighths around the sides of the roast. Replace lid and continue cooking until meat is done and vegetables are tender. If you plan to serve the broth, you will likely need to dilute it with additional water, since corned beef is very salty.
  4. If you like, you can make this meal in advance and reheat it in the oven shortly before serving.
  5. Leftovers will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 184kcal, Protein: 18g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 33mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Beef
Cuisine: Irish
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.35 from 38 votes (38 ratings without comment)

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