How to Make Corned Beef and Cabbage on the Stove Top

Corned beef and cabbage is a classic St. Patrick’s Day dish. Making it on the stove top allows the flavors to develop as the meat slowly simmers with spices and vegetables. Follow this simple step-by-step guide for tender, flavorful homemade corned beef and cabbage using the stovetop boiling method.


To make corned beef and cabbage on the stove top:

  • Choose a 3-4 pound corned beef brisket with spice packet
  • Add to large pot and cover with water
  • Simmer covered for 2-3 hours
  • Add carrots, potatoes, cabbage
  • Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes
  • Remove meat and let rest before slicing against the grain

Cooking low and slow allows the tough brisket to become tender and take on flavor. Cabbage, potatoes, and carrots complement the meat. Read on for more details and tips for perfect stovetop corned beef and veggies.

Ingredients Needed

  • 3-4 pound corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5-6 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 4-5 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small head cabbage, cut into wedges
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Having the right size brisket and pre-cut vegetables will make this recipe easy to execute. Look for small cabbages or halve a larger one.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps for amazing homemade corned beef and cabbage:

Step 1: Add Meat and Seasonings

  • Place the corned beef brisket in a large stockpot or dutch oven. Add water to cover the meat completely.

  • Add the seasoning packet, peppercorns, allspice and bay leaves.

Step 2: Simmer the Meat

  • Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer.

  • Cover and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, flipping the meat occasionally. This allows the meat to become very tender.

Step 3: Add the Vegetables

  • After simmering the meat, add the potatoes, carrots and cabbage wedges to the pot. Add more water if needed to submerge.

  • Increase heat to medium-high and return to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are fork tender, about 30 minutes.

Step 4: Remove and Slice the Meat

  • Use tongs to transfer the corned beef to a cutting board. Let rest 15 minutes.

  • Slice the meat across the grain into thin slices. This gives you tender, easy to chew pieces.

  • Serve the sliced corned beef with the tender boiled vegetables. Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Stovetop Corned Beef

  • Look for a flat cut brisket rather than point cut. Flat cut is leaner with more even thickness.

  • Simmer gently. Too high heat can make the meat tough. Low and slow is key.

  • Add any leftover cabbage to soups or stir fries. Or make cabbage rolls.

  • Use leftover sliced corned beef for sandwiches, beef hash or cabbage rolls.

  • Add carrots, turnips or parsnips in addition to, or instead of, potatoes.

  • Stir in spinach, kale or other greens at the end in place of cabbage.

  • Season the boiled vegetables with salt, pepper, butter or herbs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to common questions about making homemade corned beef and cabbage on the stove top:

How long does it take to make corned beef and cabbage on the stove?

Plan on at least 3 hours of simmering time for a 3 pound brisket. Larger briskets may need up to 4 hours. The vegetables take about 30 minutes.

What is the ratio of corned beef to cabbage?

Aim for about 1 pound of corned beef per person. Use a medium cabbage for 4-6 servings. Increase cabbage for any leftover meat.

Can you cook the vegetables separately?

Yes, you can simmer the corned beef alone first. Remove when done and keep warm. Add vegetables to the broth and simmer until tender.

Is it better to cook corned beef in the oven?

The oven and stovetop take about the same amount of time. Oven-roasting gives the exterior crispy edges. For deepest flavor, start on the stove then finish in the oven.

What spices flavor corned beef and cabbage?

In addition to the seasoning packet, brisket is flavored by peppercorns, allspice, and bay leaves. The vegetables can be seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbs.

Enjoy Authentic Homemade Corned Beef

With just a few basic ingredients and some simple simmering, you can enjoy tender corned beef and vegetables straight from your own kitchen. Slather the meat with mustard and dig in!

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage (Stovetop or Slow Cooker)


What is the best method for cooking corned beef?

It is often sold precooked, but if you have purchased it raw, the best way to cook corned beef is slowly. You can bake, boil, or cook it in your slow cooker, but the key to a tender, flavorful meal requires at least a few hours.

What happens if you don t rinse corned beef before cooking?

1. Not Rinsing the Meat Before Cooking. If you cook the meat straight from the plastic packaging or pulled the meat right away from the brine solution in the fridge without rinsing, you just might be in for a saltier meal than you bargained for.

Should corned beef be cooked covered or uncovered?

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees, about 2½ to 3 hours or until tender. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more. Stovetop: Rinse the brisket, place in a stockpot (or any large pot) and add water to cover. You can also add some beer.

Do you put corned beef fat side up or down on the stove?

STOVE: Place brisket fat-side up in a large pot and cover it with water. Bring the water to a boil; then reduce the heat and simmer, allowing about 1 hour per pound. Vegetables may be added during the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking. Cook vegetables to desired tenderness.

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