Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

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For me, it wouldn’t be St Patrick’s Day without Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage. Corned Beef & Cabbage is a common Sunday dinner for Irish North Americans and a St Patrick’s Day celebration meal for many in North America.

Corned beef, cabbage, carrots & potatoes on a cast iron pan.

What Exactly is Corned Beef?

Corned Beef is a beef brisket preserved and cured in salt and pickling spices. The brisket is a tough cut of meat. However, the curing process of making corned beef, along with a slow and moist cooking method, renders it tender and juicy.

Corned beef is popular in the Irish and Jewish cultures in North America. There are other versions of corned beef and cabbage, like Jigg’s dinner in the Canadian region of Newfoundland & Labrador, and Boiled Dinner in New England US states.

A plate of meat and vegetables

Why is it Called Corned Beef?

According to Wikipedia, the word “corn” comes from the Anglo Saxon language and describes any small, hard particle or grain. The term “corned beef” may refer to the granular salt used in the curing of the beef. 

sliced slow cooker corned beef and cabbage with carrots and potatoes on a black cast iron pan.

Is Corned Beef Really Irish?

Yes, and no. According to the Smithsonian magazine, In Ireland, people do not eat corned beef. Instead, lamb or pork is much more common in Ireland for St Patrick’s Day feasts. This stems from an ancient Celtic view of the cow as a sacred animal. However, Irish immigrants to the US and Canada have been celebrating St Paddy’s day with corned beef and cabbage for decades. In other words, it’s safe to say that corned beef and cabbage is really Irish.

A plate of food, with Corned beef


Is Corned Beef Healthy?

Like all cured meats, corned Beef contains sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrite is a food additive that prevents bacteria from growing (and also gives corned beef its pink colour). Sodium nitrite may cause damage to blood vessels, leading to heart disease.

However, many vegetables contain higher levels of sodium nitrites than those in cured meats. Eating cured meats in moderation, along with a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and grains, is safe.

Get more information on sodium nitrites here: sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite facts

sliced slow cooker corned beef and cabbage

What is the Difference Between Corned Beef Cuts?

There are two cuts of brisket for corned beef; the point cut, and the flat cut. The point cut is fattier and well-marbled. The flat cut is much leaner. Although the point cut, because of the extra fat, will be a bit moister and more tender, it also tends to fall apart when cooked. 

I prefer the leaner flat cut for slow cooker corned beef and cabbage. Although it will still be tender after slow cooking, the leaner flat cut doesn’t fall apart and is perfect for slicing.


A plate of meat and vegetables

Why Use a Slow Cooker for this Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage?

I mentioned earlier, brisket is a tough cut of meat. However, slow, moist cooking methods will make it tender and juicy, and the usual cooking method is to boil the corned beef on the stovetop. This would mean simmering it for about 3 hours for a three-pound brisket. 

This slow cooker corned beef and cabbage recipe eliminates the need for tending to a boiling pot. In addition, you end up with a delicious, tender and moist result. 

A plate of food, with Corned beef

What to Do With Leftover Corned Beef

If you have leftover corned beef, great. You can make Reuben sandwiches or corned beef hash. Also, corned beef is also a tasty addition to omelets, soups and pasta dishes.

A plate of meat and vegetables


Can You Freeze Cooked Corned Beef?

Yes, you can freeze corned beef after it’s cooked. And, if you want to freeze leftover cooked corned beef for future sandwiches, it’s handy to freeze it in individual sandwich sizes.

A bunch of food sitting on a table

More Irish Dishes

I like to make a  loaf of Irish Soda Bread to serve along with slow cooker corned beef and cabbage. That soda bread is also delicious with Irish Beef & Guinness Stew. And, If you want to try something different for  St Patricks Day Lunch, check out Irish Bread Pudding

cooked and sliced slow cooker corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots on two black plates with a dish of mustard


A platter of meat and vegetables

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage are a traditional way to celebrate St Patrick's Day, and the slow cooker makes it easy, as well as tender and juicy.
5 from 27 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Servings 6
Calories 646 kcal


  • 3 lb corned beef brisket
  • 1 tbsp pickling spice*
  • 4 carrots peeled & sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 12 baby red potatoes cut in half
  • 1 onion peeled & quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 oz beer
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small green cabbage cored & cut into 6 pieces


  • Sprinkle the top of the brisket with pickling spice, pressing it into the meat.
  • Put potatoes, carrots, onion, bay leaf and thyme into the slow cooker and put the brisket on top of them
  • Pour the water and beer over everything.
  • Cover and cook on low 5 hours.
  • Add the cabbage to the slow cooker, cover and cook for another hour, or until meat and vegetables are very tender.
  • Transfer the meat to a cutting board and slice.
  • Serve with the vegetables, and dijon, or grainy mustard.


Sometimes corned beef briskets are sold already dressed with pickling spice, or with a spice packet included. If this the case for you, omit the pickling spice in the recipe.
Slow cookers vary greatly from model to model. My Breville slow cooker cooks quite hot, even on low, and the cooking time for this recipe is based on that. You may need a longer or shorter cooking time depending on your own slow cooker.
The beer in this recipe is optional, but it does add flavour, especially if you use a Guinness stout. You can replace the beer with water, if you prefer.
Using a gluten-free beer, or omitting the beer will make this recipe gluten-free.


Serving: 1gCalories: 646kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 39gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 2832mgPotassium: 1740mgFiber: 9gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 6958IUVitamin C: 151mgCalcium: 121mgIron: 6mg
Keyword cabbage, corned beef, crockpot, St Patrick's Day
Tried this recipe? What changes did you make?Let us know how it was!

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58 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

  1. We love this dish around our house, I love the modifications you’ve made to it. I look forward to trying these new ideas when we make corned beef next time.

  2. I love corned beef and I definitely don’t cook enough with it. This recipe sounds and looks really good, the veggies and the combo is exactly what I like. Can’t wait to give this a try 😋

  3. Wow – I didn’t realize that people in Ireland weren’t eating this for St. Paddy’s day! I love that you use a slow cooker. It’s my fave appliance and so much better than boiling!

  4. I am loving this corned beef recipe! Making a big batch of this and freezing it for later is one of my favorite ways to keep leftovers. So good!

  5. I’ve always been a big fan of brisket, but I’ve actually NEVER made a corned beef! I’ve read about them plenty, and I’ve enjoyed them a few times, but I’ve never really jumped into the process of making one. But now that you’ve laid the process out so nicely AND I know I can make it with a slow cooker (hooray for hands-off), I’m really looking forward to it. Cheers!

  6. I am all about everything cooked in the slow cooker and this Corned Beef and cabbage is amazing. Making your simple recipe in the slow cooker takes all the hard work out of this dish. My whole family loved this.

  7. This slow cooker corned beef and cabbage recipe looks so delicious! I have never made it with beer before and think that is brilliant! Can’t wait to try it out!

  8. I lOVE Corned beef! I think corned beef is one of the most underrated ways of enjoying beef so I’m glad it’s finally getting its due! Those meat cuts look delicious; I’m really looking forward to trying this!

  9. After reading your post and seeing your delicious looking photos I’m craving Corned Beef and Cabbage. I haven’t made it in a while and now that’s all I can think about. I’m heading to the grocery store to purchase a corned beef – wish me luck I hope they have one.

  10. I love to cook in my crockpot and have been looking for a variety of recipes. Definietly trying this soon.

  11. Yes! The slow cooker is the perfect way to cook corned beef. This looks like one tasty dinner…I love how you’ve styled at all. Very appealing!

  12. This dish looks tantalizing! I love that you can make this dinner in the slow cooker! I’ve actually been using my slow cooker a ton these days. The cabbage is perfect!

  13. My husband is Irish-American and loves Corned Beef and Cabbage! We have it fairly often for weekend dinners in the winter months. Usually, on St Patrick’s we stick to the more traditional recipes as his parents really enjoy their traditional foods but this year they won’t be in town so I think I am going to make this recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage instead. It looks amazing!

  14. I was literally just at the grocery store thinking of buying corned beef but without a clue what to do with it! I love the idea of using the slow cooker for this classic St. Paddy’s Day meal! Will be trying your recipe!

  15. What a hearty Irish dish – we love this corned beef slow cooker recipe! So easy, tender, and delicious for the whole family!

  16. I really like that this is made in the slow cooker. It looks delicious and I can’t wait to make this.

  17. I am so happy that I have found your recipe! I was looking for something new to make for St Patrick’s Day celebration. Sounds tasty and delicious. I cannot wait to try.

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