How Long to Boil Corned Beef?

How Long to Boil Corned Beef

With the Holidays right around the corner, what better meal to prepare than corned beef? It’s deliciously tender and melts in your mouth. All it takes is a little patience to get it just right.

Corned beef is one of those foods you can let simmer and walk away from for a couple hours, as long as you have the heat reduced to a simmer. So, while it may take several hours of boiling time, it doesn’t take up very much of your time!

Follow my boiling guide below for corned beef and you will be the hit of the party! People will be talking about the experience for years to come and probably want the recipe from you!

Scroll down to learn more!

So, how long will it take to boil corned beef?

For every pound of corned beef that you have, plan on a boiling time of 1 hour. So, if your corned beef is roughly 3 pounds, you’re looking at about a 3 hour boil time.

Surprise twist though, you’re not actually going to “boil” the corned beef. I always allow my water to come to a boil, but when I add the corned beef, I reduce the heat to a low medium and let it simmer for the appropriate amount of time. It comes out quite tender this way and cooked throughout!

USDA Recommendations on Boiling Corned Beef

When boiling corned beef, I also tend to stick with the USDA guidelines.

The USDA recommends strongly recommends having an internal meat thermometer on hand. The internal temperature of the corned beef should reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit before consumption.

How to Boil Corned Beef: A Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Get your pot ready. Fill it with enough water to cover the corned beef, but don’t put the corned beef in just yet. Sprinkle some salt in the water to help speed up the boiling process and flavor the water a little.

Step 2: Let the water come to a boil. Add a couple tablespoons of brown sugar for flavor.

Step 3: Weigh the corned beef. For every pound of corned beef that you have, add 1 hour “boil” time. Rinse the meat under cool running water.

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Step 4: Add the corned beef to the boiling water. Now it’s time to add the corned beef! At this point, only add the corned beef. I do fix my corned beef with vegetables and potatoes, but I add them later.

Step 5: Reduce the heat to a simmer. This is usually a low to low medium heat. Let the corned beef simmer for 1 hour per pound of corned beef. If your corned beef is 4 pounds, you’ll simmer for 4 hours total.

Step 6: (Optional) Add in other vegetables with 20 minutes left on the clock. Now add in your other ingredients! This way, the vegetables won’t be too soft and mushy. But they have just enough time to marinate and flavor the corned beef further.

Step 7: Remove from heat. Turn the stove off and remove the pot from the heat.

Step 8: Drain. Remove the corned beef from the water. Don’t pour the liquid and vegetables out. Instead, pour it in a large bowl or large aluminum tray. Take an internal meat thermometer and stick it in the corned beef. Make sure the internal temperature has reached 145 degrees Fahrenheit before eating. If it hasn’t simmer for an additional 5 minutes until ready. But you shouldn’t have too.

Step 9: Let the corned beef rest for 3 minutes. Placed the corned beef on a wooden cutting board. After letting it rest, shred it with your fingers. It should be quite tender enough to not have to use a knife! Letting it rest allows the juices to redistribute after cooking.

Step 10: Serve and enjoy! I like to allow my family to pick out as much corned beef as they want and then pour some of the liquid and vegetables on top.

What Vegetables to Add to Boiled Corn Beef

Wondering what to add in to your corned beef boil? Here’s a list of the vegetables I use. I have included measurements assuming 1-pound of corned beef. So, multiply as needed based on the weight!

  • 3 Red Potatoes
  • 1 cups baby carrots
  • 1 cup celery slices
  • 1 turnip (sliced)
  • Celery Leaves
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Add in these ingredients when you have 20 minutes boil time left on your corned beef.

My Best Tips to Get the Best Tasting Corned Beef

Here are some additional tricks I’ve learned over the years to get the best quality boiled corned beef!

  • Rinse your uncooked corned beef before boiling. The corning process involves using a salt cure. That’s why it’s “Corned” beef. Rinsing the meat will remove any leftover or residual salt from the corning process. This IS optional though. But if you like to salt and season your own meats, then removing any leftover prior to boiling will prevent the corned beef from becoming too salty.
  • Do not actually boil, but rather simmer the corned beef. Corned beef is naturally a tender roast. Overboiling it or exposing it to a long period of high heat will cause it to dry out and become too hard! You want to gently simmer the corned beef to keep it tender!
  • Add vegetables toward the end of boil time. Otherwise, they’ll become too soft and mushy! Exceptions to this would be onions. I don’t like the texture of onions, but I do like the flavor! So, I let these simmer longer and let the juices marinate the meat.

Wrapping Up

And there you have it! Now you know exactly how I prepare corned beef. And my best tips to make sure your corned beef comes out tasty and juicy. This is also a great way to sneak in vegetables for picky kids! Because even though they might not eat the vegetables themselves, the juices are in the liquid and the meat now.

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments how your boiled corned beef turns out! I want to hear all about it!