This Instant Pot Corned Beef is super tender and flavorful, having cooked under pressure with the pickling spices that give it its signature pink color and spicy flavor.
» You might try this Homemade Instant Pot Tomato Sauce.
In the U.S., the most popular time to make corned beef is around St. Patrick’s Day, an appropriated holiday that American’s love to celebrate, if only for the chance to eat some Irish food and drink green beer. But this recipe tells the story of Irish immigrants who brought their traditions to America when they started a new life on this side of the pond.
Although this meal isn’t traditional in Ireland, it has become a favorite in America. We love to make it in the Instant Pot because of how quick and easy it is. Give it a try and see how perfectly tender and flavorful it turns out.
The instant pot makes the beef brisket fall apart easily, and vegetables just soak up all of the broth. Since all the ingredients are cooked together, there is no need to make an additional side for this recipe. It’s simple and flavorful.
What is Corned Beef?
Corned beef is a beef brisket that has been pickled in salt and spices for a long period of time to make it a super flavorful meat. You can buy it already brined at the store and it comes with a seasoning packet that you can use to cook it in.
Why is it called corned beef? I’ve heard that the name comes from the large piece of salt and spices that it is brined it. They look a little like corn as it’s brining. Not sure if that’s true, but we’ll go with it for now. The pink color comes from the sodium nitrate that is used in the curing process.
You might be wondering if they have corned beef in Ireland. There is something similar, called Irish spiced beef that comes from County Cork. It’s more of a traditional Christmas meal. It’s salt beef that’s been cured with spices and braised. So, yes, it’s similar, but it’s definitely not the same.
Ingredients You Need
- Corned beef brisket: Buy corned beef brisket with a seasoning packet to make things easier when cooking. You can buy it in a point cut or flat cut. Either is fine.
- Beef broth: This will add lots of flavor, but you can use water and a beef bouillon cube if you don’t have beef stock.
- Cabbage: Be careful to not overcook the cabbage as it will ruin the texture and change the taste.
- Onion: Yellow or white onions are best for this recipe as they are sweeter in taste.
- Baby potatoes: Use waxy potatoes like yellow or red potatoes to keep a strong texture. Using non-waxy potatoes like russet will create a mushy texture.
- Carrots: Add a nice sweetness to the dish to round out the other flavors. Keep them big and chunky, so they don’t become mushy when cooking.
- Parsley: This is an optional addition, but it adds a touch of peppery flavor to the corned beef brisket.
How to Make Instant Pot Corned Beef
Rinse the corned beef to remove any excess salt. Since this is a brined beef, it will be salty, so you want to rinse it well.
Place the onion wedges in the inner pot of the Instant Pot, then place the corned beef brisket, fat side up, on top of the onions. This will keep the meat raised so it doesn’t get tough on the bottom.
Sprinkle on the seasoning packet and pour in the beef broth.
Close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 80 minutes. This is good for a 2-pound brisket. If you have a larger brisket, you may need to cook it longer. Try 85 minutes for 2.5 pounds and 90 minutes for 3+ pounds.
When the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. It usually doesn’t take any longer than that for all the pressure to release, but if there is remaining pressure, release it manually.
Check the temperature of the meat with an instant read thermometer. The meat needs to cook to and internal temperature of 160°F to be safe, but for optimal tenderness, you want to cook it to 190°F. If your brisket isn’t up to this temp, put it back on for 5-10 more minutes.
Remove the brisket from the pot and set it aside to rest.
Place the cabbage, potatoes, and carrots in the Instant Pot in the cooking liquid. Close the lid and pressure cook for 3 minutes. When done, do a quick release of the pressure, so as not to overcook the vegetables.
Slice the brisket against the grain and serve it with the veggies. You can also make a gravy with the leftover drippings, if you want.
Why Use An Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.
Questions About Corned Beef
Can I make the seasoning myself?
I recommend buying your brisket already brined with a seasoning packet, but you can brine your own if you want. It takes a good 7 days, so be prepared. Then you’ll also need to make your own seasoning, which is a mix of allspice, coriander seeds, bay leaves, salt, pepper, mustard seeds, whole pepper seeds, and cloves.
How do I store leftovers?
Place any leftover meat you have in an airtight container and refrigerate for a max of 5 days. It will be at its best in the first few days, so be sure to use it up quickly. You can also freeze it by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and tin foil. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What can I use the leftovers with?
Corned beef tastes amazing with vegetables, but you can also use the leftover beef in other recipes. Cook it with potatoes to make a delicious corned beef hash, or make it into a sandwich.
Tips & Advice
- Be sure to rinse the meat well before cooking it. It can be very salty. You also don’t want to add any extra salt, so be sure to use low-sodium beef broth.
- Make sure to cook the meat to 190°F for the most tender meat. If you don’t get it to that range after 80 minutes, continue cooking for 5-10 minutes.
- When slicing the corned beef, it is best to cut against the grain. That means to cut the meat against the direction the strands of meat seem to be going in. This will keep the corned beef nice and tender.
- Let the corned beef rest for a bit before cutting. It will be easier to cook, and will keep in the juices more.
- You can use baby carrots, or can skip out on them if you don’t like them.
- Regular potatoes can work just as well as baby potatoes. If using larger potatoes, cut them into quarters for quicker cooking.
- Instead of beef stock, chicken stock, water or even apple juice can be used. Each will provide a different flavor, so experiment and see what you like best.
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Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage
Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot
- 1 large onion cut into wedges
- 1 2-lb. corned beef brisket, with seasoning packet
- 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 small head cabbage core removed, cut into wedges
- 1 pound baby potatoes halved
- 4 medium carrots sliced
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
- Rinse the corned beef to remove excess salt.
- Place the onion wedges in the inner pot. Place the corned beef brisket on top. Sprinkle on the seasoning packet. Pour in the beef broth.
- Close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 80 minutes. Either do a quick release or allow a 15 minute natural release (either is fine).
- Remove the brisket from the pot and set it aside to rest.
- Place the cabbage, potatoes, and carrots in the Instant Pot in the cooking liquid. Close the lid and pressure cook for 3 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure.
- Slice and serve the brisket with the veggies.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite recipes over at A Food Lover’s Kitchen, and you’ll find air fryer recipes at Air Fry Anytime, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
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Laura spends a lot of her time cooking and creating recipes to share. She loves traveling and learning about new foods around the world to bring into her own recipes at home.