Tender Corned Beef

For years I’ve tried to make corned beef from scratch. I live in Kansas City, and there is an Irish Pub on the Plaza that makes the best corned beef and cabbage. The corned beef is so tender. I use brisket, and let it sit in the brine for 10 days. To cook it I put it in a crock pot with plenty of water and cook on low for 10 hours. What am I doing wrong? How can I get my corned beef to be as tender as the corned beef at the Irish Pub?

Russ - first of all Welcome!

I hope I can help you with this.

I think you are boiing it into toughness! Try it on the stove top in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. You won’t need to cook it for 10 hours and it will fall apart.

Many times when cooking meats in a crockpot and water is added - the meat toughens.

Try to take the time to read the Crockpot thread we have here on RSN. There are a few articles that can help you with this as well.

If you still have questions - please feel free to give a holler!

Kitchen Witch


4 lb. fresh beef brisket
1/2 box pickling spices
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 T. saltpeter from your druggist
6 T. salt
1 t. black pepper
1/4 t. red pepper

Stab the brisket all over with an ice pick and place in a deep dish. Make a brine with all other ingredients. Pour over meat and add enough water to cover meat. Place a cover on the container and refrigerate for 14 days.
Turn meat every day and recover. After the 14th day, remove from brine and boil until tender. If you find a smaller brisket, use the same pickling mixture.

I know that a crockpot makes meat tender - but many times the corned beef just toughens in it.

Also - if it is an older model crockpot - that length of time sounds right - but the newer versions cook much faster because they have different heating elements - and that could be your problem - cooking too long.