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How to make corned beef
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5 from 2 votes

How to Make Corned Beef

Learning how to make corned beef at home isn't difficult, and will give you better flavor than most store bought options.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Brining10 d
Total Time10 d 3 hrs 10 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American, Irish
Servings: 12
Calories: 319kcal


  • 5 pound beef brisket (I recommend flat cut)
  • 2 gallon ziploc storage bag


  • ½ gallon water
  • cup kosher salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pink cure
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spices

Pickling Spice

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 ½ teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 3 bay leaves (crumbled)
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick (crushed or broken into pieces)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 10 whole cloves


Making Homemade Corned Beef

  • Mix together all pickling spices.
  • Add water to a large saucepan along with salt, pink cure, brown sugar, and two tablespoons of pickling spices (reserving remaining 1 tablespoon of spices). Bring to the simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until sugar and salt have dissolved fully.*
  • Place brine in the refrigerator and allow to cool.**
  • Place brisket in 2 gallon storage bag and pour in brine when cooled. Seal tightly and place in a baking dish to capture any potential leaks. Set in the refrigerator and flip the brisket every few days. Let brine for ten days.

Cooking Corned Beef

  • Remove the brisket from brine and rinse under cold water to remove excess salt.
  • Place corned beef in a large pot and add remaining 1 tablespoon of pickling spice, and enough water to cover the brisket by an inch.
  • Set pot on stovetop over high heat and bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for approximately 3-4 hours or until corned beef is tender and easily pierced with a fork. Add more water as needed during cooking.***
  • Remove corned beef when tender, let cool slightly and slice across the grain for serving.


*This brine is the appropriate amount when soaking the brisket in a plastic ziploc bag. If you wish to submerge the brisket in a large container, I recommend doubling all of the brine ingredients.
**It is important to allow the brine to cool so it does not cook the beef when added.
***Beef broth can also be added for additional flavor.
IF YOU LIKED THIS RECIPE you will also love my Guinness Beef Stew recipe!


Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 6447mg | Potassium: 656mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 4mg