Dutch Oven Corned Beef

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Have you ever made a really good slab of Dutch Oven Corned Beef? Try this amazing recipe which creates fork-tender corned beef and cabbage that melts in your mouth! It's perfect on St. Patrick's Day, or any day in between.

corned beef and cabbage in a dutch oven.
Corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes
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The History Behind This Dish

St. Patricks' Day is celebrated in the United States each March with green beer, four leaf clovers, and delicious corned beef and cabbage!

But, did you know that corned beef and cabbage is not even an Irish tradition? It's actually an American concept which came about when the Irish immigrated to the United States.

The immigrants couldn't afford to make their favorite boiled bacon, so they had to settle for a cheaper cut of beef brisket. The 'corned' describes the brining process, and the cabbage was thrown in the pot because it was an affordable veggie.

point cut corned beef brisket with cabbage, potatoes and carrots in a baking dish.
Dutch Oven Corned Beef is always fork tender!

Why This Recipe Is Best

Corned Beef is not exactly a tender cut of meat. It needs low and slow cooking to reach fork tenderness.

There are many cooking methods out there, but baking brisket in a cast iron dutch oven yields the most tender cut of beef. I use a 7 quart dutch oven (ad) which holds all of the ingredients perfectly.

When you add dark beer to the process, along with pickling spices and steak seasoning, it acts as a tenderizer and the results are amazing!

Baking it in the oven also produces a more tender beef brisket as opposed to boiling or cooking it in a crock pot. It's easy to cozy up with this meal on St. Paddy's Day, or any day of the week! Plus, the leftovers make great Corned Beef Reubens!

whole roast coming out of the oven.
Whole brisket before slicing

Ingredient Notes

For Dutch Oven Corned Beef, you'll need a flat cut or point cut brisket. The flat cut is easier to slice, and the point cut has more fat which makes it better for shredding.

The photos show a point cut brisket, because it was the only cut available. But, flat cut is usually easy to find, and either one works well in this recipe.

A spice packet comes with the beef, but I like to add steak seasoning for an extra layer of flavor. Some people add brown sugar, but doing so will make your veggies sweet. If you don't have a spice packet with your brisket, you can use pickling spices.

You'll also need a couple of bottles of dark beer, water or beef stock, onions, carrots, red potatoes and a head of cabbage to make this delicious one pot meal.

dark guinness beer being poured over corned beef brisket
Use Guinness or a dark beer for best results.


Cooking Dutch Oven Corned Beef is so easy! All you do is add onion wedges to the bottom of the dutch oven, (ad) then arrange the corned beef brisket on top of the onions. Be sure to rinse and pat dry the brisket before putting in the pot.

Sprinkle the brisket with spices, then pour dark beer (Guinness), beef stock, or water into the pot until it reaches the top of the meat.

I like to start with a 350 degree oven to get things rolling for an hour, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees for 2 more hours. Turn the brisket over, then add carrots and potatoes to the pot and sprinkle with more steak seasoning.

Cook for another hour, then add cabbage and cook one hour more. That's a total of 5 hours of low and slow cooking for tender, corned beef bliss!

brisket sprinkled with pickling spices.
Dark beer tenderizes the meat and injects great flavor.

Recipe FAQs

How can you tell if the corned beef is done?

If you stick a fork in it and the meat falls apart, that's how you know the corned beef is done and considered to be 'fork tender.' Using the low and slow method for at least 5 hours also guarantees doneness.

Can this recipe be made without beer?

Sure! Just substitute beef or vegetable broth. But, if you do use beer, make sure it's a dark variety like Guinness. It adds richness and flavor that's unbelievable!

Can corned beef be cooked in a crock pot?

It can, but I've tried it and I like the cast iron dutch oven method better. If you do try a crock pot, make sure you cook it at least 10 hours on low for best results.

wooden spoon sitting over a baking dish with corned beef and cabbage.
Corned Beef and Cabbage is a delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

Serving Tips

  • Make sure to slice the meat against the grain. To do this, lay the meat on a cutting board and look at which direction the grain is going. Move the cutting board around until the meat's fibers are going in a vertical direction. Then, cut across the brisket horizontally. This actually helps the meat be 'fork tender'.
  • Serve corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots in individual bowls with a side of spicy mustard. Drizzle some of the juice over the meat. It's a delicious one-pot meal!
  • Leftovers are perfect for making sandwiches the next day. Create a grilled Reuben with corned beef slices, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing and swiss cheese on pumpernickel bread!

Corned beef and cabbage is a comforting meal any day of the year. It's not just for St. Patrick's Day, even though that's the traditional time to serve it. Try these other comfort food dishes from my kitchen to yours!

Recipe Card

corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots in a blue dutch oven.

Dutch Oven Corned Beef

Try this amazing recipe for Dutch Oven Corned Beef which creates tender corned beef and cabbage that melts in your mouth! It's perfect for St. Patrick's Day, or any day in between!
4.99 from 65 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Dutch Oven, Main Dishes
Cuisine: American, Irish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Calories: 518kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.


  • 1 large onion (quartered)
  • 2 to 3 pound corned beef brisket (flat or point cut)
  • 2 Tablespoons dry rub for corned beef (packet comes with brisket, or use my recipe)
  • 1 Tablespoon steak seasoning (optional)
  • 2 bottles dark beer (12 ounce bottles) (use light beer if you don't like the flavor of dark beer)
  • water or beef stock (as needed)
  • 4 large carrots (cut in wedges)
  • 6 red potatoes (quartered)
  • 1 small cabbage (cut in wedges)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place onion wedges in bottom of dutch oven. 
  • Rinse and pat dry the brisket with paper towels.
  • Arrange corned beef brisket on top of onion slices.
  • Sprinkle brisket with dry rub and steak seasoning. Or, use the spice packet that comes with corned beef.
  • Pour bottles of dark beer and beef stock (or water) into the dutch oven. Make sure liquid level reaches the top of the meat.
  • Cover dutch oven with lid.
  • Place in 350 degree oven. Cook for 1 hour.
  • Reduce heat to 300 degrees. Cook for 2 hours.
  • Check liquid level at this point. If it has cooked down too low, add a cup of water or broth to prevent scorching.
  • Turn the brisket over. Add carrots and potatoes to the pot. Sprinkle with steak seasoning or salt and pepper. Cook 1 hour.
  • Add cabbage to the pot. Cook 1 more hour.
  • Serve straight from the pot or transfer to a large baking dish and serve with spicy mustard. Be sure to slice meat across the grain for a tender brisket. Slicing across the grain also keeps the meat from shredding.



  • Use my Dry Rub for Corned Beef recipe if you didn't receive a spice packet with your brisket.
  • TIP: If you are cooking a 3 pound brisket without vegetables, it may be done after 3 hours depending on its cut. Check for doneness around the 3 hour mark. 
  • If your brisket is larger than 3 pounds, you'll need to adjust the cooking time. Plan on cooking it 1 hour per pound, unless you add veggies and then you'll need more time.
  • The best internal temperature for tenderness is around 200 degrees F.  Or, you can stick a fork in the meat and if it falls apart, it's done. If not, bake it longer, but definitely bake it as directed for at least 5 hours if you are adding vegetables to the pot.
  • Using beer makes a difference in the tenderness. It acts as a marinade and breaks down the fibers, but if you're not a beer fan, this recipe can be made without it if necessary. Simply substitute beef or vegetable broth instead. Or, if you don't like the intense flavor of dark beer, it's perfectly fine to use light beer or any beer you like!  If you prefer that your vegetables don't taste like beer, it's fine to cook them separately in broth or water with your favorite seasonings. We love this delicious  recipe just like it is, but you are welcome to adapt it to suit your taste!
  • TIP: You MUST slice the meat across the grain to create a tender cut. Look at the way the grain is going and slice across it. If you don't cut it across the grain, it will shred instead of slice. 
  • Serve corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots in individual bowls with a side of spicy mustard. It's a delicious one-pot meal!
  • Use the leftovers to make Reuben Sandwiches  or Corned Beef Hash and Eggs the next day. So good!
  • View the Google Web Story for Dutch Oven Corned Beef!
More Great Recipes for St. Patrick's Day:


Calories: 518kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 1935mg | Potassium: 1849mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin C: 119mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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  1. 5 stars
    This was my first attempt at ever making corned beef before. It was amazing!! And so tender!!

  2. 5 stars
    Hi! I can't wait to try this. I want to make 2 briskets in a huge dutch oven. Would cooking times be the same? I assume I would double the spice and liquid.

    1. I just did this yesterday. The cooking time is the same if you put 2 briskets in a big dutch oven. I used 2 bottles of beer and filled the rest of the dutch oven up with beef broth. It was delish!

  3. 5 stars
    I reread the recipe & see that the Dutch oven is to be covered.
    I decided to use a large heat resistant 8 and 1/2 x 11 dish.
    We'll see how that goes.

  4. 5 stars
    Does the size of the corned beef affect the cook time? I got a small 1.5 lb one for this year

    1. Hi Liz. Yes, if you have a 1.5 lb. brisket, it will probably be done in about 2 hours. If you add vegetables, I would cook everything a total of 3 hours and check to see if the brisket is tender at that point.

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks for that suggestion Debi. We had the butcher split a 4lb brisket so two of us could buy half of it. I never realized how long it would take to cook. So I'm down to either this recipe or using the recipe for my pressure cooker. It says 1 hour after soaking it for an hour. Even that seemed long for a pressure cooker but I don't think I'll need that much time for my smaller cut. Hoping for beginners luck.

  5. 5 stars
    My house smells fantastic so I'm sure it will taste wonderful, my question is---- in the video, the last few seconds shows a beefy juice pouring over the meat. Is there an extra step for this or do I assume these are simply the juices from cooking? Thank You, my house with fantastic smell is making me a little crazy!

    1. Hi Gina! It does smell amazing, doesn't it? You are correct about the juices...they are from cooking. It's basically beer and broth which tastes incredible. I hope you enjoy and Happy St. Patrick's Day!! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I will be making this tomorrow.
    I'm sorry, but do I assume that I keep my Dutch oven covered with the lid?

    1. Hi Susan! Yes, you keep the dutch oven covered the entire time the corned beef is cooking. Thanks and Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

  7. 5 stars
    This is hands down the best corned beef I've ever made! I will never make it any other way! I only used one 12oz of dark beer though (wanted the kids to enjoy the flavors of the food) and added beef broth in place of it. My 8 year old gobbled this up so fast, and had seconds. I think I might cook the vegetables at different times as they were a bit too done for us, but they were still very flavorful. Yummmm.

    1. That's so great to hear, Delia! We love this corned beef recipe at our house too...it's a keeper! Thanks for the great review!

  8. 5 stars
    Have loved everything I've cooked in my Dutch Oven, so I wanted to try this recipe - it did not disappoint - delicious and tender. However, a side note - I made this today. My flat cut corn beef was about 4.5 lbs., bigger than the recipe calls for, so I figured that into the cooking time and estimated I'd need about 6 hours minimum. I planned to take it out of the oven and let it rest in the pot while I placed some appetizers into the oven (different temperature). I wanted it to come out of my oven at 6:00 tonight, so I popped it into the oven at 11:00 this morning for an hour and a half at 350 degrees (allowing a little extra time for the larger cut), then 2 more hours at 300 degrees (verified by my in-oven thermometer). Checked it to make sure the liquid hadn't cooked down too much and realized it hadn't cooked down much at all. Stuck a fork into several places on the corned beef and it's already super tender & definitely DONE - 3 hours earlier than I'd planned. What to do - I removed it to a plate and covered it with foil. Now I'm chilling out for an hour with a glass of wine and then going to follow the remainder of the instructions for the veggies, crossing my fingers, and hoping it all comes together for my guests. At least I know it's delicious!

    1. That's awesome news, Cindy! I'm sure everything will be absolutely delicious! So glad you gave this recipe a try and loved it. 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    Thanks for the detailed instructions! My mom would love this too - I'll have to make it for her sometime.

  10. 5 stars
    Easy to follow recipe and truly worth the 5 hours of cook time. Russian dressing recipe with this was best. Thanks for sharing this recipe keeper.😊

  11. 5 stars
    I've never had corned beef as good as this. I tried cooking it in a crock pot and it was dry and tasteless. Using your recipe and method created the most tender and delicious corned beef I've ever had! I can't wait to make it again for my family!

  12. 5 stars
    First time I used my Dutch Oven for baking corned beef. Your recipe was easy to follow. Made it with the recommended dark Guinness. So tender. Oh my gosh - so delicious! I will never use the slow cooker method again. Plus the beer stock made a great gravy for the cabbage and veggies. Thank you.

    1. Thank you June! I agree... this dutch oven corned beef recipe with dark beer beats a slow cooker every time! 🙂

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