Enjoy this St. Patrick's Day special any day of the year and in a fraction of the time with this cozy, wholesome, Instant Pot corned beef and cabbage with pre-corned beef, or make it from scratch until beautifully tender and juicy!
If you're using prepared corned beef, you can skip the first step below and prepare this Instant pot corned beef and cabbage in under 2 hours. Otherwise, start below to make corned beef from scratch!
How to Brine a Brisket for Corned Beef
Prepare the brine by combining the water, salt, and spices, and bring the mixture to a boil. Then allow it to cool down, transferring it to the fridge to chill until cold.
Place the brisket in a large container and cover it with the brine (make sure it's fully submerged), then top with a lid or tightly wrap with plastic wrap, transfer to the fridge, and leave to brine for between 5-7 days. Flip the meat each day and re-cover.
Once ready, give the corned beef a rinse to remove the excess salt and pat it dry. Otherwise, it will be too salty. Be careful when rinsing the meat so you don't spread germs across your kitchen surfaces.
How to Make Corned Beef and Cabbage
Prepare the Corned Beef Seasoning blend
While this step is optional, it's highly recommended for additional flavor depth. Simply toast all the whole spices (minus bay leaves) in a dry pan until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes, stirring often to avoid burn).
Cook the Corned Beef in Instant Pot
Peel and quarter the onion and peel the garlic cloves. Then, add them and the cured corned beef to your Instant Pot with the prepared spices (including the bay leaves) and the water.
Seal the lid of the Instant Pot, turn the venting knob to the sealing position, and select manual HIGH pressure for 70 minutes (or use the meat/stew setting).
Once ready, allow the pressure to release naturally (about 15 minutes).
Prepare the Vegetables
While the pressure is releasing, prepare the vegetables. Start by rinsing and chopping the carrots into pieces around 2-2 ½-inches long.
Depending on the size of the potatoes, either keep them whole, halved, or quartered, to be in 1 ½-2-inch pieces. Also, rinse the cabbage removing any browning/dry leaves on the outside, then cut the cabbage into 8 wedge pieces.
Cook the Corned Beef and Cabbage
Add the chopped vegetables to the Instant Pot containing the meat, reseal the lid, and cook on manual HIGH pressure for 2-3 minutes.
Choose 2 minutes for a small cabbage and tender-crisp results and 3 minutes for more tender results. Go up to 4 minutes if you like very tender veggies or have a large cabbage.
Quick release the pressure. For best results, I recommend allowing the corned beef to rest for 10 minutes before slicing it, so it retains moisture.The internal temperature of the corned beef should be 190-195ºF/88-90ºC.
How to Cut Corned Beef
Like steak, it's important to slice and serve the prepared corned beef correctly. To do so, look for the lines of muscle fibers (this is the "grain" of the meat). Then, slice it against the grain instead of with it. I recommend 1/8-inch slices, but adjust that to your liking.Slicing the corned beef through the muscle fibers will make the meat easier to chew.
Make ahead: Feel free to prepare this Corned beef in an Instant Pot earlier in the day and then leave it on the "warm" setting until you're ready to serve later that day.Store: To keep any leftovers tender and moist, it's best to store them in the leftover beef broth liquid. However, you could alternatively wrap them tightly with plastic wrap or store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.Reheat the corn either in hot water (with a lid) for 2-3 minutes or wrapped in a damp paper towel and microwaved in 15-20 second intervals.To freeze: I recommend wrapping the meat tightly and freezing it for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight before using or reheating.
Use fresh brisket: If it's close to its expiry date, the meat won't taste as good, so use brisket that's nice and fresh for top quality.
Use enough liquid: If the meat isn't covered with the liquid you may forego tender morsels for tough and chewy corned beef so adjust the amount of water if needed, based on the size of your brisket and Instant Pot.
Adjust the cooking time: If your brisket is thicker than 1.5 inches, I recommend an additional 5 minutes for every ½-inch.
Use waxy potatoes: Like Yukon Gold or red potatoes, as they’ll hold their shape better when pressure cooked. Starchy potatoes and even all-purpose options like Russet potatoes can become mushy.
Optional Add-ins and Variations
More veggies: You could add turnips and/or parsnips to the Insta Pot corned beef.
Alcohol: Feel free to replace some of the water with a bottle of Guinness for tons of extra flavor. Any beer you like the flavor of will work, too, but the flavor will vary.
Brown sugar: Just a small amount of brown sugar balances the flavors of this pressure-cooked corned beef wonderfully.
Sauerkraut: For tangier flavor, use sauerkraut in place of cabbage.
Fresh parsley: To garnish.
Check the blog post for more tips, serving recommendations, and answers to top FAQs!