Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker)

Do me a favor: make this Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage in the instant pot or the slow cooker. Trust me, this one’s a keeper!

Try these other great Instant Pot Recipes: Instant Pot Chili, Easy Beef Stroganoff Recipe and Savory Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup.

An image of slices of corned beef on a white plate with potatoes and carrots in the background on the plate.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

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I always look forward to March because I’m pretty much guaranteed to get some corned beef and cabbage. I didn’t eat it much as a kid but when I lived in NYC, I worked at an Irish pub and one year on St. Patrick’s Day, I worked a shift as a cocktail server. I made some pretty insane money that day, as you might imagine. But more importantly, I pretty much spent the entire day going back and eating more and more homemade corned beef.

After I moved back home my mom made and eventually showed me how to cook corned beef and cabbage in a large dutch oven on the stove. In an effort take the extra hassle out of it, I prefer to make my corned beef and cabbage crock pot or instant pot style. It started only as crockpot corned beef but once I got my Instant Pot, I started making it in there as well! Either way you’ll end up with flavorful corned beef that’s fall-apart tender along with potatoes, carrots and of course that delicious cabbage.

An overhead shot of sliced corned beef lined up on a plate surrounded by potatoes, carrots and onions.

Tips for making slow cooker corned beef (or instant pot corned beef)

  • I try to keep all my veggies cut in larger chunks so that they don’t break down to nothing in the slow cooker or instant pot.
  • When you open your corned beef brisket, don’t dispose of the spice packet- you will need to use it in this recipe.
  • If you’re making this in the instant pot, do the beef first and the vegetables after the beef is cooked (don’t worry, they go quickly!).
  • For the instant pot, be sure to do a natural release for at least 10 minutes for the beef. You can do a quick release for the veggies, but the natural really helps tenderize the meat.
  • If you’re using a slow cooker, you may find that all the veggies don’t fit into it. If this is the case, you can always boil the remaining veggies or roast them in the oven (I like to roast the cabbage and carrots and boil the potatoes).
  • Some people say you shouldn’t use beer in an electric pressure cooking as the carbonation and the high pressure could have bad results. I personally have done it without issue but if you’re worried, use flat beer.
  • I like the spoon a little of the cooking liquid over my corned beef before serving to help it say moist.
  • I like to sprinkle some apple cider vinegar over my cabbage for a little added zing.

A close up image of sliced corned beef surrounded by carrots and potatoes.

Why is corned beef pink?

Because it’s cured with salt water or sodium nitrate which causes the meat to turn be pink.

What spices go into corned beef?

Typically, corned beef comes with a spice packet, but if yours doesn’t have one, it’s easy to make your own with a little pickling spice, a few whole pepper corns and a bay leaf. You can throw it right in when you add the liquid or tie it into cheesecloth for easy removal.

Can I reheat corned beef and cabbage?

Yes- I reheat this in the microwave. You can also make corned beef hash, which is seriously easy and delicious!

How long does corned beef last?

3-4 days covered in the refrigerator.

Which cut of beef is best for making corned beef?

You can get the flat brisket or the point. I prefer the flat cut because it’s leaner and slices up nicely.

Can I substitute something for the alcohol?

Yes, just replace the beer with additional broth.

What do you serve with corned beef and cabbage?

We serve our corned beef with a nice, fresh loaf of rye bread and brown mustard (Gulden’s is best but dijon works too). You could also go with Irish soda bread. And don’t forget to sprinkle a little apple cider vinegar onto the cabbage!

An overhead shot A square image of slices of corned beef on a white plate with potatoes and carrots in the background on the plate. with veggies and a bowl of brown mustard around it.

Ingredients for making this corned beef and cabbage recipe

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Beer
  • Low sodium beef broth
  • Corned beef brisket + seasoning packet
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Green cabbage

Ingredients to prep ahead:

  • Cut onion into large chunks
  • Peel garlic
  • Peel and cut carrots into large chunks
  • Wash potatoes
  • Clean and cut cabbage into large chunks

Helpful tools:

  1. Slow cooker
  2. Instant pot
  3. Measuring cups
  4. Chef’s knife
  5. Cutting board

A Large platter of corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and chunks of carrots as well.

5 from 5 votes
A square image of slices of corned beef on a white plate with potatoes and carrots in the background on the plate.
Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 10 mins
 

Do me a favor: make this Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage in the instant pot or the slow cooker. Trust me, this one's a keeper!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: corned beef and cabbage
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Jessy Freimann, The Life Jolie
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion cut into 1-2 inch chunks
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 12 ounce bottle beer
  • 1 14 ounce can low sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup water to cover beef- only use if necessary
  • 4 pound corned beef brisket + flavor packet
  • 4-6 thick carrots cut into 3 inch chunks
  • 1-2 pounds baby red skin potatoes
  • 1 small head of cabbage you can use more, it just depends on how much fits into your pot
Instructions
Instant pot instructions:
  1. Place the onions and garlic into the pot.
  2. Next place the brisket into the pot.
  3. Pour the beer, both, seasoning packet and water over the brisket. It should be just covered with liquid- if necessary, add more water.
  4. Secure the cover onto the instant pot and set the instant pot to Manual High Pressure for 90 minutes.
  5. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10-15 minutes (or longer if you have the time) and then do a quick release.
  6. Remove the beef from the pot and leave the liquid in there. Slice the beef and place it into a warm oven while you cook the vegetables.

  7. Add the vegetables into the pot with the liquid and set the instant pot to Manual High pressure for 5 minutes.
  8. Once the cooking time is up, carefully do a quick release.
  9. Serve immediately.
Slow cooker instructions:
  1. Place all the vegetables into the slow cooker.
  2. Next add the brisket.
  3. Top this with the beer, broth, spice packet and water to just cover the beef (add a little more water to cover if necessary).

  4. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  5. Slice and serve immediately.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

It's generally a good idea to use flat beer if you're making this in the instant pot, as carbonation and high pressure don't mix. That being said, I've made it before and survived to tell this tale, although I did notice that when I got to the quick release it was a bit messier. Either way proceed with caution and use safe pressure cooking practices as per the user manual that comes with your instant pot.

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Lindsay Cotter
    February 27, 2019 at 10:49 pm Looks so delicious! A must make dinner for sure!
  • Reply
    Toni | Boulder Locavore
    February 28, 2019 at 8:04 pm This is perfect for my family!! Can't wait to give it a try!
  • Reply
    Trivanks
    March 4, 2019 at 6:06 am Awesome post the food looks delicious...i enjoy you blog...
  • Reply
    Mateo Pedersen
    March 14, 2019 at 6:53 am I grew up on a pressure cooker – chicken and potatoes was often the meal my mom would make. Received my first cooker of my own in my 20’s and I’ve been using one ever since! I now have one that is stainless steel so it’s easier to clean than the old Presto model – it also has an easy release button to vent the steam when done.
  • Reply
    Claire
    March 17, 2019 at 7:18 pm Best corned beef recipe ever!! SO tender and delicious. I didn’t have beer or beef broth so I basted the brisket with mustard then covered with water and added 2 bay leaves along with the seasoning. Perfection!
    • Reply
      Jessy Freimann
      March 17, 2019 at 11:47 pm Thanks Claire- I'm so glad you loved it! I'll have to try making it with your upgrades- they sound fantastic! Thanks for sharing!
    • Reply
      Mustard Fan
      February 21, 2020 at 3:11 am Clair, I like how you think.
  • Reply
    Steve G
    March 3, 2021 at 11:25 am Hi, what kind of “Flavor Packet”?
    • Reply
      Jessy Freimann
      March 8, 2021 at 10:50 am Hi Steve- this is in reference to the seasoning packet that typically comes with the corned beef. In the post, I address possible substitutions for it, in the event that your corned beef doesn't come with it.

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