Kalyn's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Corned Beef

Slow-Cooker Corned Beef is something I’ve made for years for a St. Patrick’s Day treat, and I love to eat it with Creamy Horseradish Sauce! You can cook some cabbage and carrots with the corned beef if you’d like, or skip the carrots if you want less carbs, 

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Slow Cooker Corned Beef on plate with cabbage and carrots

Slow-Cooker Corned Beef is something I love to make for St. Patrick’s Day every year! And whether you make corned beef in the crockpot or in the Instant Pot I think it’s fun for a great Irish-American dish to make on this holiday. For many years I made it for my slightly Irish father, who definitely would have enjoyed corned beef any time of year. But I also think this is such a treat for any easy no-fuss dinner

If you live in the U. S. most packages of corned beef come with a spice packet included, but if you don’t have one of those packets, this recipe  will tell you what spices to use. Corned beef is easy to cook, but be careful not to overcook the vegetables. You can also use the slow cooker for your corned beef and make Roasted Cabbage with Lemon to go with it for a slightly different twist on corned beef and cabbage that’s low in carbs. And personally I’d never skin the creamy horseradish sauce when I’m eating corned beef!

What is Corned Beef?

Corned Beef is a beef roast, usually the brisket, that has been salt-cured to tenderize and preserve the meat. And did you know that Corned Beef is not actually a traditional Irish food, but something Irish people started eating when they came to America. Here’s more about corned beef and why it’s popular for St. Patrick’s Day. For more about cooking corned beef or recipes using leftover corned beef, check out Low-Carb and Keto Corned Beef Recipes.

How long should you cook corned beef in the slow cooker?

If you’re going to be adding the vegetables I’d start checking the corned beef after about 5 hours on low. But slow cookers are vastly different in how hot they get, so your timing may vary. You want the corn beef to be fork tender when you take it out of the slow cooker.

What size slow cooker did I use?

I used a 5-Quart Slow Cooker (affiliate link) for this recipe, but a larger oval slow cooker would also be perfect, especially if you like lots of vegetables cooked with the corned beef.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef process shots collage

How to Make Slow Cooker Corned Beef:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe including nutritional information.)

  1. Trim as much fat from the corned beef as you prefer. Cut corned beef to fit your slow cooker if needed.
  2. Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray if desired and put in corned beef with an onion.
  3. Most corned beef has a seasoning package, and I use that plus additional garlic, whole cloves, bay leaves, whole peppercorns, and allspice berries.
  4. Add water to barely cover the meat.
  5. Let the corned beef cook on low for about 5 hours, or until tender enough to pierce easily with a fork.
  6. While the corned beef cooks, peel carrots and cut into diagonal pieces.
  7. Cut a large head of green cabbage into quarters. 
  8. Add the carrots first and cook 20-30 minutes, depending on how firm you want the carrots.
  9. Then add cabbage pieces and cook 20-30 minutes more. 
  10. I like my vegetables on the crisp side, so I cooked carrots 20 minutes, added cabbage and cooked another 20 minutes. (Your slow cooker time may vary, test with a fork to see when vegetables are done.)
  11. If you’re making the Creamy Horseradish Sauce, whisk together sour cream, mayo, and cream-style horseradish. Personally I would never skip the sauce!
  12. Serve slow cooker corned beef hot for a great Irish American meal that definitely tastes good, especially if you only eat it once a year!

Slow Cooker Corned Beef close-up photo of corned beef on plate with vegetables

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

For a low-carb dinner, this would taste great with Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese and you could add Roasted Cabbage with Lemon if you don’t want to cook the cabbage in the slow cooker. And if you happen to have some extra corned beef, check out my ideas for leftover corned beef!

More Recipes for Corned Beef

Low-Carb and Keto Corned Beef Recipes ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
The BEST Slow Cooker Corned Beef Recipes ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
The BEST Instant Pot Corned Beef Recipes ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Leftover Corned Beef Low-Carb Reuben Bake ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Fried Cabbage with Corned Beef ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Leftover Corned Beef Soup ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Slow Cooker Corned Beef on plate with cabbage and carrots

Slow Cooker Corned Beef

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes

This Slow-Cooker Corned Beef is great served with veggies and horseradish sauce is something I make when I'm craving corned beef!

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • one 4 pound corned beef (flat cut preferred, see notes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 5 allspice berries or small pinch ground allspice
  • 1 whole onion
  • 1 large head cabbage, cut in 4 pieces
  • 8 small carrots (optional)

Horseradish Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 2 T cream-style horseradish, or more to taste

Instructions

  1. Most corned beef has a thick layer of fat on one side. I cut most of that off before cooking; but trim as much fat as you prefer.
  2. Cut the corned beef in half to fit your slow cooker if needed.
  3. Spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray if desired and put corned beef in the slow cooker with an onion that's cut into quarters.
  4. Most corned beef comes with a seasoning package, and I like to use that plus additional garlic, whole cloves, bay leaves, whole peppercorns, and allspice berries. Use the spices you have or what you prefer.
  5. Then add enough water to barely cover the meat.
  6. Let the corned beef cook on low for about 5 hours, or until the meat is tender enough to pierce easily with a fork.
  7. While the corned beef cooks, peel carrots and cut into diagonal pieces, cutting thicker carrots in half lengthwise as well so all carrots are the same thickness.
  8. Cut a large head of green cabbage into quarters. (A reader taught me the trick of leaving the core on the cabbage so it stays together; then you can just cut that away when you serve it.)
  9. When the corned beef is fork-tender, add the carrots first and cook 20-30 minutes, depending on how firm you want the finished carrots.
  10. Then add cabbage pieces and cook 20-30 minutes more. 
  11. I like my vegetables on the crisp side, so I cooked the carrots 20 minutes, added cabbage and cooked another 20 minutes. Your slow cooker time may vary, test with a fork to see when vegetables are done.
  12. If you're making the Creamy Horseradish Sauce, whisk together sour cream, mayo, and cream-style horseradish. Personally I would never skip the sauce if I'm making corned beef!
  13. Serve slow cooker corned beef hot!

Notes

You can cook a corned beef anywhere from 3-5 pounds with these instructions.

Nutritional information does not include the horseradish sauce. If you eliminate carrots, the carb count will be 3.8 less carbs per serving.

This recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything (affiliate link

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 710Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 14gUnsaturated Fat: 22.7gCholesterol: 222mgSodium: 2238mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3.7gSugar: 3.8gProtein: 43g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Slow Cooker Corned Beef square thumbnail image of finished corned beef on plate

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Corned beef and cabbage (without the carrots) would be great for most low-carb eating plans. Corned beef isn’t really approved for the original South Beach Diet, so this Slow Cooker Corned Beef is a once-a-year treat if you’re following that plan. This could be a whole meal by itself, but if you’re cooking for the family, you might want to cook potatoes along with the other vegetables.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Slow Cooker Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there. Click for Slow Cooker / Pressure Cooker Recipes on my other site!

Pinterest image of Slow Cooker Corned Beef

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    26 Comments on “Slow Cooker Corned Beef”

  1. Hi Kalyn, My corn beef seems to be a hit or miss. Sometimes it's stringy(after cooking),and sometimes it's a nice cut,sliced. My question is there a way to pick the cut of the meat that would be tender but not stringy? I use the crock-pot method. Thanks very much.

  2. I picked up a corned beef brisket on sale after St. Patrick's Day, and I used this recipe to make it in the slow cooker last night. Delicious! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  3. Thanks for the catch!! Yes, I put the onion in at the very beginning to season the meat and broth and then remove it when I add the vegetables I'm serving with it. Will edit the recipe right now.

  4. Hi! This looks great – I'm going to try it for St Patrick's day this year. 🙂

    After the meat has cooked for seven or so hours you say to "remove the onion" – but I don't see where we put in the onion. Should that be added with the meat? Should it be whole or cut up? thanks!!

  5. Roy, you're welcome. (I can tell I need to look for that horseradish mustard!)

  6. This looks so good and I'm going to make it next week. There is a horseradish mustard that my local grocery sells that I am dying to dip the corned beef in. I love horseradish too Kalyn. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  7. Wendy, I'm very partial to that horseradish sauce!

  8. My favorite way to make corned beef and cabbage is via the slow cooker. Your recipe is simpler than mine, but it still looks great. 🙂 I haven't had this with horseradish before. Normally we have it with a sturdy deli mustard, but I might try your sauce this year for a change.

  9. Neil most of the corned beef here has a thick layer of fat on top, although not a huge amount of fat in the meat. I think it's not that fatty if you cut that layer of fat off when you eat it, but the South Beach people seem to feel it's too much saturated fat. BTW, my dad devoured this when I made it for him this year!

  10. I've never found corned beef in Australia to be fatty, wonder if it's a different cut?

  11. This is such a lovely plate, and a classic! We eat this meal twice a year, in one week, cooked once by my parents and once by my husband's ~ neither of whom are remotely Irish. Completely different styles of prep and delicious both ways. 🙂

    Your addition of horseradish sounds absolutely perfect!!

  12. Corned beef is definitely one of my favorite things- so rich and salty! My father-in-law, also a South Beach dieter, will be making some for our once a year treat! Never had it with horseradish, though…interesting.

  13. Love corned beef and cabbage. I try ordering this dish in most restaurants i go to so I can compare.

  14. Anonymous you can freeze corned beef both when it's raw in the bag and also after it's cooked.

  15. Can corned beef be frozen?

  16. Thanks for the nice reference. The Blogher article was excellent. It was a fun event.

  17. TCL, look forward to your thoughts on horseradish, whenever it is.

    Tanna, I tried to get the leanest one I could find; thanks for noticing. And yes, the horseradish sauce is great with this.

    Doodles, would love to try fresh horseradish sometime. Thanks.

  18. My neighbor years ago grew horseradish and OH MY was fresh good. Nothing better right now for a hearty fulfilling meal when the weather just doesn’t know what is wants to do. Seems St Patricks day comes at a good time. beautiful meal kaylyn!

  19. That is by far and away the best looking corned beef I’ve seen. You did get a really lean cut! And the horseradish is sooooo go with this. Excellent.

  20. Horseradish is amazingly evocative to me. A little bit is so tonic, but just a teeny bit too much can really put the hurt on ya. If I manage to do my herb blogging the week of passover I will be featuring this wonderful seasoning (no corned beef, though!)