How Long To Cook Corned Beef in Slow Cooker (Helpful Tips)

How Long To Cook Corned Beef in Slow Cooker

Do you know how do I need to cook corned beef in a slow cooker or what is the cooking time? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

Corned beef makes for a delicious meal, especially if you let it simmer all day in your slow cooker. However, you’ll need to know precisely how long to prepare it at different temperature settings.

So, how long do you need to cook corned beef in a slow cooker? You should cook it on the “low” setting for four to five hours. After that time, you can add vegetables to the pot, then continue cooking the corned beef for another two to three hours. If you don’t want vegetables, you can simply cook the meat for five hours.

Cooking Corned Beef in Slow Cooker on Low

If you want to slow roast your corned beef, you should use the “low” setting on the appliance. The longer the meat cooks, the juicier and more flavorful it becomes. Many cooks prefer to use the “low” settings because of this.

First, season your corned beef with spices, a pinch of sugar, and garlic (or any seasonings that you prefer). Then, place the corned beef inside the slow cooker, with the fattier side facing upwards. 

Set the slow cooker to “low,” then cover it with the glass lid. If you want to get a better seal so no moisture escapes from the cooking pot, you can put a layer of aluminum foil under the lid first. You’ll want to let the meat cook for about four to five hours.

After the time passes, you can add your vegetables to the pot and cook for another two hours. You’ll want to stop cooking when the meat and veggies feel tender.

However, you don’t need to add vegetables- you can always take the corned beef out when it feels soft, usually after about five hours.

Read also >> How Many Watts Does a Crock Pot Use? (Instant Pot® vs. Crock-Pot®)

Cooking Corned Beef in Slow Cooker on High

You can also cook your corned beef on “high” if you need it to finish cooking a few hours earlier. However, we have to warn you that your meal won’t turn out quite as well. Corned beef is a brisket that doesn’t do well under high temperatures.

Check on your corned beef after three to four hours instead. You’ll need to keep watch when using the “high” setting because overcooking the meat will cause it to turn chewy and tough.

Overall, most people prefer to make their corned beef using the “low” setting on their slow cooker. However, you don’t need to avoid using higher temperatures completely, but you should still take care.

6 Quart Slow Cooker

I recommend this slow cooker from Crock-Pot brand because of it’s good reviews, lock and seal lid, digital timer, handles, and warm setting. The insert and lid are also dishwasher safe.

How To Tell When Corned Beef is Tender

You want to stop cooking the corned beef when it feels tender. However, it can be difficult to tell when that is just by looking at it. 

You can check that your meat is ready when it’s “fork-tender,” simply sticking a fork in it. If you can easily pull apart the meat only using a fork, it’s ready to serve! The corned beef should easily shred if you twist the fork.

Read also >> When Do I Add the Vegetables to My Slow Cooker (Helpful Tips)

If you have to use a knife to shred the meat, it still needs more time in the slow cooker. In short, you should always check that the corned beef is “fork-tender” before eating it. The meat will be the tastiest when you can easily take it apart like this.

It’s also good to use an instant meat thermometer to ensure your food is safe to eat. You want your beef to be at least 145˚F (62.8 °C). Then, let the meat sit for about three minutes before eating.

How To Get the Best Corned Beef

There are some other easy steps that you can take to get the best piece of corned beef. After putting it through the slow cooker, take it out and broil it in your oven for just three minutes. Doing so browns the surface of the meat, which adds more texture and flavor.

When you cut the corned beef, you’ll also want to slice it against the grain. That way, you get the most tender cuts of beef! You can use it on sandwiches or serve it with some sides.

Lastly, you can serve it with side dishes that make the beef taste even better. We recommend preparing mashed potatoes, rice, roasted vegetables, or cabbage to have a complete meal.

Corned beef is even a wonderful source of protein, iron, and vitamin b12, so you can enjoy it and know you’re having something healthy for dinner.

Read also >> When Do I Add Carrots to a Slow Cooker (Helpful Tips + More)

What To Do With the Leftovers

Finally, you may have some leftovers after making corned beef. You’ll want to know what to do with them, so they don’t spoil! Store your corned beef in an airtight container in the fridge.

It should stay good for at least three to four days. Keep any leftover side dishes in a separate container.

You can also make sandwiches with your leftovers- including a delicious Reuben. 

Final Thoughts

Corned beef is very easy to make in a slow cooker. Plus, it tastes delicious, and you can serve it with vegetables as a side.

Slow roasting your beef also makes the meat very moist, and it’ll fall apart when you cut it.

You just need to make sure that you time it correctly. Most people enjoy the taste of corned beef after it cooks slowly for about four to five hours.

If you want the brisket done sooner, you can set the slow cooker to high and take it out earlier.



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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