Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef

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Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef with perfectly juicy slices of beef and crispy crust this is the only corned beef recipe you’ll ever use!

We’re getting all of our St. Patrick’s Day recipe ready to go, and this year we’re serving Roasted Cabbage Steaks (these are AMAZING as leftovers in my Cabbage Soup), Roasted Carrots, and Scalloped Potatoes and we’re using leftovers in our Corned Beef Hash!

CRISPY SLOW COOKER CORNED BEEF

Corned Beef

Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef has been a dish we make year round since we bought our deep freezer. Why you ask? Because since I had the ability to stock up during the “season” we now enjoy corned beef dinners and sandwiches all year long. You can serve this slow cooker version of this Irish-American classic with carrots, cabbage, or potatoes for St. Patrick’s Day.

The magic of the Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef is in the liquids. I normally say don’t add any liquid, but in this case the vinegar and the bay leaf need a helping hand. The little bit of water you’re using is a vehicle for your bay leaf and vinegar to help flavor the meat. This recipe needs a total time of 9-10 hours, so I recommend setting this up in the crock pot in the morning if you’re having it for dinner that night.

CAN YOU OVERCOOK CORNED BEEF IN A CROCK POT?

It is definitely possible to overcook any beef in the crock pot, resulting in a cut of beef that is bordering too soft. This recipe calls for cooking on low for 9-10 hours. I would try to stick with this cooking time. I also like to keep the slow cooker on low so the brisket has more time to cook, making it tender and juicy. You could try cooking this for a shorter time on high if you’re pressed for time.

DO YOU HAVE TO RINSE OFF CORNED BEEF BEFORE COOKING?

You can rinse corned beef, but it’s not a requirement. Rinsing the brisket removes any excess salt from the meat, resulting in a more mild flavor. Or you can put the beef in the crock pot without rinsing at all.

WHICH CUT OF CORNED BEEF IS MORE TENDER?

You can buy pre-brined corned beef, or get a brisket and add the seasoning to the corned beef yourself. I like to go with a round cut of brisket in the slow cooker, because it holds its shape better than a point cut and shrinks less in the pot, which is better if you have people over for St. Patricks day. But due to the point cut having more fat, it can turn out more tender than round cut. It’s a personal choice, because in the end both are used for this dish.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN CORNED BEEF IS DONE?

For food safety, you want to make sure your beef is cooked to at least 145 degrees F. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. There shouldn’t be an issue if you cook the beef for the entire time.

Crispy Corned Beef

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MORE ST. PATRICK’S DAY CABBAGE, CARROT, AND POTATO RECIPES

HOW DO YOU STORE CORNED BEEF?

You can store leftover crock pot corned beef in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Honestly, this usually doesn’t last past the second day at my house. You can also freeze your beef brisket with your favorite cabbage recipe for several months.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef

TIPS FOR MAKING CRISPY CORNED BEEF

  • You can fill the slow cooker up with water for a more traditional corned beef, but keep in mine that the texture of the dish will not get crispy if it’s completely covered in liquid.
  • You can add cabbage, sliced carrots, onions, and potatoes to the slow cooker when there’s about 2 hours left in the cooking time. The liquid from the corned beef will add a ton of flavor to the vegetables.
  • This may look like a lot of spices, but crock pot corned beef gets its signature flavor from this so don’t worry, go ahead and use the seasoning packet as direction on your beef brisket.
  • If your corned beef or beef brisket is too fatty, you can cut some of it off before placing in the crock pot. But leave a little bit, as this adds a lot of flavor to the dish.
  • If you need more cabbage recipes try my Stuffed Cabbage Casserole, or Stuffed Cabbage Sloppy Joes! Or mix shredded cabbage together with mashed potatoes for a basic colcannon.
  • In the morning shred leftover beef together with cabbage and potatoes to make Corned Beef Hash.
  • I don’t recommend using the leftover drippings from the beef brisket in the slow cooker for any kind of gravy, because it will be really salty. Cooking bland vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, and cabbage, work well with this water because it will season them. Add some more flavor with allspice or celery.
  • Serve your slow cooker corned beef recipe with horseradish or dijon mustard (you can also roast potatoes with dijon like these Dijon Roasted Potatoes) on St. Patrick’s Day!

Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef with a crispy crust. No soggy Corned Beef, even from a slow cooker!

Tools Used in making this Slow Cooker Corned Beef:
Slow Cooker: Love this slow cooker and how programmable it is, it has been a workhorse for me… until…
My New Slow Cooker: For larger roasts I also brown the meat in the insert and not lose a bunch of the flavor by transferring the meat and leaving the browned bits behind. If you’re thinking of a new slow cooker, consider it if your budget is more open.

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Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef

  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 hours
  • Total Time: 9 hours 5 minutes
  • Course: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Irish
  • Author: Sabrina
Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef with a crispy crust. No soggy Corned Beef, even from a slow cooker!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds corned beef , with packet
  • 1 cups water , maybe less depending on size of slow cooker
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add corned beef, fat side up, to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the minced garlic, spice packet, sugar and pepper to the top of the meat and rub on.
  3. Add the vinegar and bay leaf to the side of the corned beef and add just enough water to come up about 25% of the way to the top of the meat.
  4. Cook on low for 8-9 hours.

  5. If for some reason the corned beef is not browned on top, or enough to your liking, put under a broiler (6-7 inches away) for 1-2 minutes.

  6. Leave the oven door open a bit so you can look in, this isn't something you can leave unattended.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 servings, Amount per serving: 351 calories, Calories: 351g, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 91mg, Sodium: 2072mg, Potassium: 509mg, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin C: 56.1g, Calcium: 1.4g, Iron: 16g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keywords: corned beef, Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef
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Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef

 

Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef with a crispy crust. No soggy Corned Beef, even from a slow cooker!
Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef with a crispy crust. No soggy Corned Beef, even from a slow cooker!

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Comments

        1. Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar…it’s essentially the same product as cider vinegar. You’ll want to use 3 cloves of fresh garlic for this recipe. Enjoy!

  1. I’ve really discovered the magic of a good crock-pot recipe, and this one just looks nummy. I especially like how you bent your own rule about liquids because you knew the recipe needed it.

    1. Thanks Brett! I do love my slow cooker and I am realizing I need to add more of my slow cooker recipes here. 🙂

    1. It’s the perfect way to keep it tender and delicious and ensuring it gets fully infused with corned beef flavor!

    1. The packet contains a mixture of whole pickling spices such as allspice, coriander, mustard seed, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, dill seed and others. They also make a corned beef spice blend or a pickling spice blend.

    1. Thank you for coming back to let me know how much you enjoyed it! I have a lot of other slow cooker recipes you should try as well!

  2. Best Corned Beef recipe I have ever tried. It is my favorite by far. Tons of flavor and very juicy. My whole family loved it.

    1. Fantastic! I know how hard it is to please everyone so I take that as a huge compliment! Thanks for dropping back by to let me know how much everyone loved it!

  3. Would it be ok to carrots and onions with it? This looks great and I’m excited to try a different way to cook my corned beef! Thanks for sharing and any advice!

    1. The vegetables might need a bit more water and adding that would effect the crisp of the corned beef. I do have that another recipe that included carrots and onion here: //dinnerthendessert.com/slow-cooker-corned-beef-dinner/. Enjoy!

      1. Thanks Sabrina! That recipe looks great as well! I did happen to leave extra water in the crock for the veggies. And you’re right about the crispness, I did put it under broiler to accomplish it. Thanks again!

    1. Because you’re just about doubling the meat, you could almost double the rest of the ingredient list as well. The timing will need to adjust too so I would suggest putting it on high unless you’re cooking overnight. You’re looking for it to be done with it reaches 145 degrees F.

  4. I made this tonight with colcannon as a side. I did go ahead and add some carrots/onions to crock. I thought they were great. I did end up putting brisket under broiler- excellent idea. I love corned beef but not the huge fat cap that is otherwise left after cooking. I also put the veggies under broiler for a couple of minutes to carmelize then a little extra seasoning. Amazing recipe! I will be sure to use it again! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Terrific! Added quartered red potatoes & carrots the last 30 minutes under brisket. So delicious, thank you!
    Also made the crispy cabbage. Next time am making 2 heads! Delicious.

  6. Oh my goodness! This was the best corned beef I’ve ever made! Thank you, thank you – the sweet and vinegar offset the usual overkill of salt and the method resulted in a tender, but crispy roast. Definitely will do this again!

  7. I made this yesterday and while it was very tender (8 hours on low), the meat turned out to be very salty. Has anyone else had this problem? I wonder if it was due to the small amount of water used compared to the traditional method of cooking corned beef in a pot of boiling water.

  8. Amazing! I had a 2.4 lb point cut and it was perfect at 5 hours on low. The only thing I changed was adding citrus champagne vinegar in lieu of ACV because I had run out. Broiled for a few minutes to get it nice and brown. So good!!!!

  9. Halfway through cooking, i checked on it, and it was almost fully submerged in liquid even though i only put the recommended amount of water. Is this normal? I ladled out most of the liquid until it was back to where it started.

    1. Yea, that’s not normal but you definitely did the right thing by ladling it out. There are a few reasons why there was more water than normal. Sometimes the meat isn’t fully thawed but more times than not, the meat packer has pumped the meat with a water solution before packaging. Glad you checked and were able to make a quick fix.

    1. The packet contains a mixture of whole pickling spices such as allspice, coriander, mustard seed, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, dill seed and others. They also make a corned beef spice blend or a pickling spice blend that you can find in the spice aisle as well.

  10. Hello this is Annie I am going to cook this and I woke up early to make sure I gave enough time to cook it I have a 3 pound corn beef point cut and was wondering exactly how long does it need to cook because I am confused by all the coments and how do you know witch side should be facing up also do I boil the veggies in water a hour before the meat is done 

    1. The instructions listed for time should be totally fine for you. Always cook in the slow cooker with fat side up, it helps to keep the meat moist. You can see in the photos the fat is on top of the cuts of meat. I served mine with roasted vegetables, but if you wanted to boil them I’d guess do it a half hour before hand? No need to finish them an hour ahead.

  11. This is hands down the best Corned Beef recipe I have ever used. Even the son who doesn’t usually like Corned Beef asked for more. It was so juicy, tender, and flavorful! Definitely will continue to make this one. Thank you so much!

  12. Can I cook the brisket for 4 hours then chill it and put in refrigerator and continue to cook it more the day after?
    Also when do I add the potato’s?
    And last one-how do I know when it’s ready?

  13. Hello Sabrina,

    First off, your corned beef looks delicious!

    I just finished brining my brisket for two weeks with my own blend of pickling spices. I believe that I’m going to use your recipe but I’m curious to hear your opinion on two things:

    Instead of putting the corned beef under the broiler at the end of cooking, would it work to brown the brisket on both sides prior to cooking? The same way that you would do so to a beef bourgenion.

    Secondly, have you ever tried using a beer as your liquid?

    Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

    1. You could brown each side vs broiling but broiling only takes a few seconds so that’s just an easier route, at least for me. Also, I love the idea of using beer in this recipe. Sounds delicious!

  14. Just to clarify, you open the spice packet ad add to the other spices as rub on in the beginning? And, 1/4 inch up from the bottom, or 1/4 inch down from the top?

    ***Novice cook-Corned beef junkie!!!

    1. You want to add the spice packet to the other spices and rub on the top of the corned beef. The vinegar, bay leaf and water get poured into the slow cooker (around the corned beef) to come up a quarter of the way up….so up from the bottom. I hope this helps clarify things and I’m so glad you asked!! Enjoy!!

  15. My crock pot isn’t large enough to accommodate the size meat that I need. I’d like to cook it in the oven with my Dutch oven. Can you recommend a cooking time and temperature? 

    1. You want the liquid to cover the corned beef about a quarter of the way up from the bottom. For me, that was about a cup of water but you may need more or less depending on the size of your slow cooker.

  16. I’m sugar free, is the sugar what causes the crispy? Typically I just slow cook with the packet but the crispness looks divine.

    1. The fat rendering down is what makes it crispy so if you want to omit the sugar, you’ll still have the crisp. I hope you enjoy it!

  17. I used this recipe today.  Changes made were: substituted brown sugar for the regular sugar, used a little more than called for, and added 1.5tsp yellow mustard powder to the spice mix.  I also used dehydrated garlic.

    It was DELICIOUS; cooked 5 hrs on high and removed a bunch of liquid at about 3.5 hours.  Next time, I’d increase the sugar and mustard a bit more and I would not use the dehydrated garlic unless I soaked it first.  That was my own mistake, though it came out great anyway.  The texture was better than other slow cooker corned beef that I’ve had, the fat cap was crispy after a few minutes under the broiler and looked very nice.  The flavor was much better than other recipes.

    I served it with your dijon potatoes and the brussels sprouts in garlic butter from Genius Kitchen.  Will make again!

  18. Thanks for the wonderful recipe! The whole family gave it two thumbs up! Will be delicious in reuben sandwiches too! 

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I made it yesterday and it was delicious. Rice vinegar was substituted for ACV only because that’s all I had in the cabinet. The flavor was wonderful! Next time I’ll use ACV to see if I notice a difference. Thanks again!!

      1. Made this again this weekend with ACV and it is DELICIOUS! Thanks again for this super yummy recipe! You’re a rockstar!! TEN STARS 🙂

  20. Just wanted to clarify that the liquid coverage is a quarter of the way up and that the meat fat side up should show without liquid covering it??

  21. Sabrina, thanks for sharing this recipe! I made it yesterday, followed it exactly as written and it was the best corned beef I’ve ever made. Day 2 reheated was even better. I’ll only make it this way from now on! I took your advice and bought an extra for the freezer. Can’t wait to make it again.

  22. Made this today, and not only super easy but super yummy! I didn’t have fresh garlic on hand so just used garlic powder & onion powder. Put under the broiler for about 8 minutes for a little extra browning. Cut up carrots & potatoes & cooked in microwave, then in the oven for a few minutes while letting the corned beef rest before slicing. Delicious and best of all so easy! Thank you! 🙂

  23. Aaahhhhmazing! I made this for my family a few nights ago and was skeptical. Best I’ve ever made. I did broil on low for 5 minutes after letting it rest under foil for 15-20 minutes.

  24. What do you mean when you say “spice packet”? Is this something you purchase somewhere? I have no idea what this means in the Crispy Slow Cooker Corned Beef recipe. Help!!

    1. Usually the corned beef comes with a spice packet but if it doesn’t you can easily make your own by simply mixing together mustard seeds, bay leaves, allspice berries, salt and pepper.

  25. I made this today and followed the recipe. My husband who claims to not like corned beef ate every last bite.
    The only yhing different I did was after cooking this in the slow cooker, I put it in a baking dish and baked it for 20 mins on 375 instead of broiling.
    Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  26. Made exactly as listed and it was the best corned beef I’ve ever had. It was so good when we went to make it again I asked the hubby if I should sub a beer for the water and he said, “No, you don’t mess with perfection, we should make it just like it was because we already know it’s amazing”.

  27. My son Salvatore brought corned beef for his Easter dish. From a slow cooker! I’m using your recipe tonight and cooking low.I’m making it for sandwiches. So excited! Thank you.

  28. This as the best corned beef I’ve ever made. Delicious!! We made rubins but was so good we couldn’t stop picking on it while we made our sandwiches. 

  29. I am hoping this will go well on a Ruben sandwich love them, this will be my 1st attempt. I plan to cut vacuum seal and freeze so I can make a sandwich on the fly. Thanks for the information.

  30. Since the 1st time I found your recipe, I’ve been making it about every 2 weeks! It’s so easy and delicious! Thank you SO much for sharing!!!

  31. Love this dish. Made it multiple times and its been amazing each time!
    Quick question tho… can you trim off some of the fat before adding the brisket to the slow cooker? Or will it become to dry?

  32. Looks yummy! I want to try this but it’s my first time. So I would be buying ready to cook corned beef that’s vacummed sealed with brine?

    1. I haven’t tested them using this recipe but most of the time you can substitute with lemon or lime juice. You can also try white wine but you’ll want to double it. Let me know if you decide to try something different and how it turned out. Good luck!

  33. This is the best I’ve had. The fat was crisp and the meat was juicy. I will never make it another way. Oh and the crispy cabbage was bomb!! Made it tonight and not a bit was leftover.

  34. What just happened in my kitchen? WOW. This recipe was great, to say the least. Thank you! What an awesome way to ring in the New Year with my kitchen smelling so good. I think a tradition has just begun. Today, leftovers made yummy sandwiches!

  35. NEVER thought I could get a crispy corned beef out of a crock pot but I did w/this recipe. I cooked on low for just over 10 hours and didn’t need to broil it. I substituted honey for sugar and all was good (as I suspected it would be). Would DEFINITELY make again!

  36. Been looking for a really good corned beef slow cooked recipe.. BAM. I found it. The best corned beef ever. Made sandwiches. THEN I made a Shepard’s pie with some corned beef. Amazing. Topped with garlic mashed potatoes. To die for. Took your advice, bought a few (4) extra. Thanks for the ultimate corned beef slow cooked recipe.

  37. Hi! I have made my corned beef in the slow cooker for several years now. However, instead of water, I have used apple cider or apple juice. Could I still do that in this recipe? I’m also wondering if that would omit adding the vinegar. I’ve honestly never heard of crispy corned beef! I am dying to try it!

  38. Looks tasty. One question; does “just enough water to come up about 25% of the way to the top of the meat” mean the liquid level is 25% above the bottom of the crock pot or 25% below the top of the meat?

    In other words, should about 75% of the side of the beef be above the liquid? Or only the upper 25% is above the liquid. Thanks.

  39. This is the best corn beef that I have EVER ate! I sauteed Thailand cabbage with white onion and had that on the side with white rice. It tasted so good that my daughter and son-in-law called me back later that night and asked for corn beef and cabbage next week. I will be preparing this corn beef again and yes, I slow cooked it for 9 hours. What a tender and succulent piece of meat! Yum!

  40. Have you tried this method with regular (un-corned) beef brisket? I’d love to hear your seasoning recommendations. Would you still use vinegar?

  41. I made this last year and I will never go back to boiling! Fantastic! I had always wondered how some of the famous New York delis got such juicy, tender, flavorful corned beef. Thank you for sharing!

  42. This looks so good! I am a meat eater & it needs to be very tender. Can you rub on the seasoning & let the corned beef or brisket marinate in the refridgerator for a few hours or overnight? Thanks!

  43. Looks delicious! I am trying this recipe today! Is there a substitute for the bay leaf? Will it be okay without?

  44. Excellent corned beef! Had to take away and refrigerate a portion in order to have enough to make Reuben sandwiches for tomorrow or my husband would have eaten it all! Will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing!

  45. I have always used a recipe that calls for apple cider, or apple juice, rather than water. Can I still do that in this recipe? Also, may I use light brown sugar, rather than white sugar?

  46. Are you using brisket or corned beef in this recipe? If brisket, does it need to be brined before? If so what brining method do you use?

  47. Hello Sabrina,

    I’m French and i’m sorry for my english !
    I would like to do your corned beef recipe, it looks so DELICIOUS !!!
    I have all the ingredients but I don’t see if i can add salt ?
    Thank you very much for your help.

  48. Made this crispy corned beef with a 3.5 lb flat cut, and followed recipe to the letter with exception of cooking an hour longer. It was fantastic, and the best I’ve ever had. The topping on the corned beef made the dish exceptional. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I’ve never tested it before so I’m not comfortable giving a recommendation. I’m sure you could find an instant pot online recipe using similar ingredients to follow as a guideline. Sorry.

  49. This was the best corned beef we’ve ever had. I followed the recipe and directions exactly. It was so hard to stop nibbling at! Thank you for this keeper recipe.

  50. Can you clarify this statement, “…add just enough water to come up about 25% of the way to the top of the meat” , for me?

    For example, a 2 inch thick corn beef brisket, is 25% of the meat submerged or 75% of the meat submerged?

  51. Adding Water

    Edit * I found your response in comments thanks!

    “You want the liquid to cover the corned beef about a quarter of the way up from the bottom. For me, that was about a cup of water but you may need more or less depending on the size of your slow cooker.”

  52. Really easy recipe and I think it’s the best/tastiest corned beef I ever made. I used Guinness instead of water. I also served a mustard sauce that everyone liked.
    1 cup Greek yogurt
    4 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  53. I made this for st.patricks and it was the best I’ve ever made. I wanted a recipe that just didnt dump meat and veggies in the crock pot. The roasted potatoes and roasted cabbage steaks went beautifully with the beef. I did add carrots to the last 2 hours of cooking. Mmmm will make this recipe again & again.

  54. Sabrina – banging! This was simply the best corned beef I have ever made. And what could be better than a day of letting the crock pot do the work. This is a keeper!

  55. Made this yesterday for St Patrick’s Day. It was amazing. Guests kept coming back for more. This recipe is a keeper!

  56. This was my first time making this recipe and I will make it again. It is easy and delicious. So good. I was out of fresh garlic, so I used garlic powder I added a bit because when I’m not using fresh the flavor doesn’t have as much kick. We tossed in cabbage and onions at the two hours left point and they were delicious. I served with mashed potatoes and herb glazed carrots.

  57. WAY TOO SALTY!!!!!!!! I WILL NEVER MAKE THI RECIPE GAIN. HOWEVER, I MADE THE CABBAGE STEAK REIOE AND THAT WAS FANTASTIC!!!

    1. Oh no! Next time you can rinse your corned beef to remove any excess salt from it. I’m glad you enjoyed the cabbage steaks though.

  58. Thank you for sharing this easiest but the BESTEST slow cooker Corned Beef recipe!!!! It was SOOOOO GOOOOOD!!!!! We are having such a happy debating; Ruben sandwich OR Corned beef hash tonight with left over 🙂 Sabrina, your recipes NEVER disappoint me and you really teach me how to use crock pot, foodie way!!!

  59. I made this yesterday for St. Patrick’s Day. It was delicious! My husband just said that if corned beef is still on sale we should get more and freeze it so that we can have this again soon.

  60. I forgot to add that I tucked carrots around the sides of the corned beef. When the meat and carrots were done I set the crockpot on warm and added some of the water from the crockpot to water in a saucepan and cooked some potatoes and cabbage. Everything was wonderful.

  61. Delicious! Delicious! Delicious! I just took my first bite and had to come on here and say thank you for this recipe. I’m not usually the best in the kitchen but you made this recipe so easy for me to follow. I know my family is going to love it! 🙂