Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe that results in perfect corned beef every time! This goof-proof simple method for cooking corned beef is a festive meal for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

Man holding a plate of corned beef and cabbage, ready to serve.

So you’re looking for the easiest, dreamiest way of preparing corned beef and cabbage to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? I’ve got you! 

This trusty crock pot method never fails! I began making corned beef and cabbage in the slow cooker way back in my college days, and have made this exact recipe every year ever since.

We’re talking 15+ years of crock pot beef!

​Just be sure to wash it down with a cold Guinness for the ultimate celebration of meat, potatoes, and beer!

If this is your first time preparing crockpot corned beef, no stress! This easy slow cooker method guarantees delicious results that the whole family will love.

The long cook time results in juicy corned beef that is so nice and tender. I have found this to be the easiest way to prepare my St Patrick’s Day corned beef, as it requires very little prep. 

You can set it up before you leave for work, then come home to add the cabbage, cook a little longer, and serve.

For those who prefer cooking in the pressure cooker, make my Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe.

White platter of sliced corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes on a wooden table.

What Do I Need To Make Corned Beef?

Pre-Brined Corned Beef: Pick up a package of pre-brined corned beef from the meat section of your local grocery store. This should be easy to find close to St. Patrick’s Day. Most grocery stores carry different cuts of beef.

Two options are typically available: corned beef brisket and corned beef round roast.

Choose the cut of meat according to your preference. Brisket has a hearty layer of fat, giving it more flavor than the round roast.

If you want to brine your own beef you can follow my recipe on How to Brine Corned Beef! It is refined sugar-free and nitrate-free, which is a plus.

For those of you looking for nitrate-free corned beef, making your own beef brine is often the best bet.

Most store-bought corned beef beef is brined using brown sugar and pink salt for curing beef, which contains nitrates. This is relevant information if you try to avoid nitrates and/or refined sugar.

I like sourcing my corned beef from Whole Foods because they brine the meat in-house and use a quality source of beef.

Beer and Broth: The cooking liquid for preparing corned beef. Guinness is the traditional recommended beer for making corned beef. I have included more beer options below! In addition to beer, I like using some beef broth or beef stock for added beefy flavor.

Cabbage: It is customary to prepare corned beef with cabbage. Pick up one head of green cabbage to prepare this slow cooker corned beef.

Additional Vegetables: I like adding carrots, potatoes and onions as well, but this is entirely optional. I use fingerling potatoes, but yukon gold potatoes and red potatoes work too.

Additional Spices: You’ll notice when you pick up your corned beef from the grocery store, it comes with a seasoning packet.

These spice packets tend to be a bit skimpy, so feel free to add some more juniper berries, mustard seeds, allspice berries, bay leaves, and peppercorns (or any other spices you like).

The way I see it, there are really only three easy steps to make corned beef in the crock pot.

Let’s learn how to make crock pot corned beef and cabbage in three simple steps. I’ll go into more depth later on in the post for those looking for more detailed information.

Three Easy Steps to Make Crock Pot Corned Beef:

Step 1: Add everything but the cabbage to the crock pot. Slow cook for 5 hours on high heat or 8 to 10 hours on low heat.

Slow cooker full of raw corned beef, onions, chopped carrots, and potatoes, ready to slow cook.

Step 2: Add the cabbage and continue cooking for 1 to 2 hours (or to desired done-ness).

Crock Pot full of corned beef with cabbage chunks added on top.

Step 3: Cut the meat and serve with veggies.

Corned beef on a cutting board, being cut into slices using a sharp knife.

What Type of Beer to Use For Corned Beef:

I like using Guinness for my corned beef and cabbage, but you can use an array of beers. I just recommend not using anything too hoppy (avoid IPA at all cost).

You can use light beer (even a PBR or Bud Light will work), amber, blonde, porter or stout.

If you follow a gluten-free diet, use your favorite gluten-free beer. Or simply omit the beer and replace it with additional beef broth.

Recipe Customizations:

  • You can add any hearty veggies you’d like to the crock pot. Many people use celery, and I was half-tempted to throw a turnip in there.
  • Double up on the beer and omit the broth in this recipe. 
  • Omit the potatoes and carrots if you aren’t into them.

Now that we’ve covered the basics for easy corned beef, let’s make this slow cooker corned beef and cabbage recipe!

Tips for Making the Best Corned Beef:

Place the corned beef in the bottom of your slow cooker. I recommend using a 6 quart programmable slow cooker or larger.

Add the contents of the spice pack that came with the corned beef, along with any additional spices if desired.

Add the remaining ingredients except for the cabbage. Secure the lid and cook on high heat for 5 hours or low heat for 8 to 10 hours.

I typically go with low heat and cook for a longer cooking time because the slow cooking process helps break down the muscle fibers so that the meat is so nice and tender.

If you go with the long cooking time on low heat, I recommend adding the potatoes and carrots 3 hours into the cooking process. This way, you end up with tender potatoes without them becoming too mushy.

If you’re setting the recipe up before you go to work and won’t be around to monitor the slow cooker, I’d recommend skipping the potatoes and carrots and serve a different vegetable or potato side dish.

1 to 2 hours before serving, chop the cabbage into wedges and add the cabbage wedges to the crock pot. Gently push the cabbage down into the liquid as best you can.

If there isn’t room at first, no big deal. You can wait until the cabbage cooks down a little and then push it further into the liquid.

Remove the corned beef from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board. You can either slice, shred, or chop it into chunks. If you have time, place the meat back into the slow cooker for at least 30 minutes so that it soaks up the juices

Serve the corned beef with the cooked vegetables and cabbage, and enjoy!

Platter of cooked corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. Sliced up and ready to serve.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

​Use leftover corned beef in corned beef hash for breakfast the next day.

What to Serve with Corned Beef:

Mashed Potatoes: Make traditional Irish colcannon or my Roasted Garlic Caramelized Onion Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan

Crusty Bread: Irish Soda Bread is a MUST on St. Patrick’s Day to go alongside corn beef. It is so easy to bake and no baking experience is required.

More Meat and Potatoes!: Since St. Patrick’s Day is the official meat and potatoes holiday, why not go all out?

You can make my Classic Shepherd’s Pie, Easy Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potatoes or my Keto Cottage Pie

Man holding a platter of sliced corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. Ready to serve.

And that’s it! The best corned beef for celebrating St. Paddy’s Day and any day no matter the day of the year. 

Enjoy this flavorful slow cooker corned beef recipe!

White platter of sliced corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes on a wooden table.

Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

4.55 from 11 votes
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with this easy method for cooking corned beef in the crock pot!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 Servings

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 (4-5) pound corned beef brisket or round roast
  • 1 small yellow onion sliced
  • 4 large carrots peeled and chopped, optional
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes or yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (16-ounce) beer see note*
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth see note**
  • 1 large head green cabbage chopped into eighths***

Optional Add-ins

Instructions

  • Place the corned beef in the bottom of your slow cooker (I recommend using a 5 quart or larger slow cooker). Add the contents of the spice pack that came with the corned beef, along with any additional spices if desired. Add the remaining ingredients except for the cabbage. Cover and cook on high heat for 5 hours or low heat for 8 to 10 hours.
  • 1 to 2 hours before serving, add the chopped cabbage wedges to the crock pot. Gently push them down into the liquid as best you can. If there isn't room at first, no big deal. You can wait until the cabbage cooks down a little and then push the chunks further into the liquid.
  • Remove the corned beef from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board. Slice, shred, or chop it into chunks. If you have time, place the meat back into the slow cooker for at least 30 minutes so that it soaks up the juices
  • Serve the corned beef with the cooked vegetables and cabbage, and enjoy!

Notes

* A wide variety of beers work for this recipe, but I would recommend not using anything too hoppy like an IPA. Generally, porter, stout, blonde, or amber ale work great! If you’re gluten-free, use a gluten-free beer like Omission. You can also replace the beer with more broth.
**You can replace the beef broth with chicken broth or another beer.
***Use savoy cabbage instead of regular green cabbage if you’d like.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 6 · Calories: 611kcal · Carbohydrates: 43g · Protein: 47g · Fat: 46g · Fiber: 6g · Sugar: 7g
Author: Julia
Course: Beef Main Dishes, Main Dishes
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: crock pot corned beef and cabbage, easy corned beef, slow cooker corned beef, St. Patrick’s Day
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

slow cooker corned beef graphic for social media
Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. Is the corn beef tender this way? I’ve always made this on the stove top….and the meat is a little tough? Thoughts?

    1. Hi Melissa! The meat does turn out nice and tender when you cook it in a slow cooker! I find the best way of going about it is to cook it for a long time (8 to 10 hours) on the lowest setting. It seems like beef brisket usually turns out better than round roast since it has that extra layer of fat on it. Also, I’ve found store-bought corned beef and cabbage can be a little hit or miss..some years, I’ve ended up with suuuuuper tender and moist meat, where other years were duds. This is part of the reason I’d like to brine my own beef this year – then you have the ultimate control over the quality of beef that goes into the recipe 🙂 Hope your corned beef and cabbage turns out fabulously this year!! xo

    1. Hi Michelle, I personally probably wouldn’t use a lime-flavored beer just because I’d be worried the lime flavor would somehow be strong enough to get in the meat. Typically lime beers are nice and light, which is perfect for corned beef, but my only concern would be the lime flavor if that makes sense. Anything light will work…even Coors, Bud Light, Corona, etc. A porter or a stout would be my preference, like Deschutes Black Butte Porter, or Guinness. Happy Almost St. Patrick’s Day! I hope your corned beef and cabbage turns out marvelously!

  2. I have this in my crock pot today, looking forward to it. Normally we smoke the corned beef but the weather in IL isn’t ideal for that today. I surely hope my looks as beautiful as yours does!!

    1. So happy to hear you’re making it, Kristin! I hope it turns out fabulously, too!! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  3. I’ve got my corned beef going! I found your page just checking the cooking time. You make it pretty much as I have for the last few years. It always turns out great! The meat is always tender. I use part of a bottle of Guinness. I have a friend who braises and bakes hers and tries to tell me that you shouldn’t cook it in a crockpot. Well, she’s full of malarkey! Lol! This is so easy and it really is a great recipe!

    1. It’s funny how everyone has their go-to cooking methods, haha! Way I see it, so long as there’s tender, flavorful meat, I’m game for any method! We’re currently making two batches right now in two separate crock pots for a feast with friends tonight. So excited for the end result! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Enjoy your corned beef & cabbage!!

        1. I personally wouldn’t use lime flavored beer for fear it would make the beef taste too acidic, but that’s just me 😉

  4. I grew up on a pressure cooker – chicken and potatoes was often the meal my mom would make. Received my first cooker of my own in my 20’s and I’ve been using one ever since! I now have one that is stainless steel so it’s easier to clean than the old Presto model – it also has an easy release button to vent the steam when done.

  5. I’m here because this recipe is marked gluten-free, but it contains beer so it’s not actually gluten-free. #disappointed

    1. Hi Christine,

      My apologies – I added a note to the recipe card specifying gluten-free beer if you follow a gluten-free diet 😉 Hope you enjoy! xo

    1. Hi Sharon,

      It turns out very tender! Generally the slower and lower you cook meat in a slow cooker, the more tender it will turn out. If you want to be sure your corned beef is tender, just be sure to set aside 10-12 hours for slow cooking. xo

  6. I have done this mistake of not cooking the meat on a slow flame. After reading the recipe here, I have cooked the meat on a slow flame 10-12 hours and it turned out be tender.