Slow cooking corned beef is an effortless way to ensure it turns out incredibly tender and flavorful. This method allows the meat to gently simmer in its juices and spices, making it an ideal choice for a comforting meal, especially during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations or any time you crave this classic dish. Here’s how you can make it in your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef Recipe


  • 3-4 lb corned beef brisket (with spice packet, if included)
  • 4 cups water (or enough to cover the brisket)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 head cabbage, cut into wedges
  • Salt and pepper, to taste





  1. Prepare the Vegetables:
    • Prepare your vegetables by peeling and cutting them into large chunks. This ensures they will cook evenly and not become too soft during the long cooking process.
  2. Layer the Ingredients:
    • Place the onion quarters at the bottom of the slow cooker. This creates a bed for the corned beef and adds flavor as it cooks.
    • Rinse the corned beef brisket under cold water, and place it in the slow cooker on top of the onions. Rinsing helps to remove any excess salt from the brine.
  3. Add Spices and Water:
    • Sprinkle the spice packet over the corned beef. If your corned beef does not come with a spice packet, you can make your own by combining 1 tablespoon of pickling spices with a couple of bay leaves.
    • Add the minced garlic to the slow cooker, then pour in enough water to just cover the corned beef.
  4. Cook:
    • Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it to cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours. The key to tender corned beef is a long, slow cooking time.
  5. Add Vegetables:
    • About an hour before the end of the cooking time, add the carrots, potatoes, and cabbage wedges to the slow cooker. If you prefer firmer vegetables, you might want to add them later. Season with a little salt and pepper.
    • Cover and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender and the corned beef easily flakes with a fork.


  1. Serve:
    • Once everything is cooked, carefully remove the corned beef and vegetables from the slow cooker. Let the corned beef rest for a few minutes before slicing it against the grain into thin slices.
    • Serve the corned beef slices surrounded by the cooked vegetables. Mustard, horseradish sauce, or your favorite condiment can accompany this dish for added flavor.


  • Cooking Time: The exact cooking time can vary based on the size and thickness of the corned beef brisket. It’s done when it’s tender enough to easily pierce with a fork.
  • Slicing: Always slice corned beef against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the muscle fibers in the meat, which makes it more tender and easier to eat.
  • Leftovers: Corned beef makes fantastic leftovers. It can be used in sandwiches, hashes, and even salads.

Using a slow cooker for corned beef turns a simple cut of meat into a mouthwatering meal with minimal effort. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it approach that yields delicious results every time. Enjoy the rich flavors and tender texture of your homemade corned beef!

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