Wondering how long to cook corned beef in the oven? The simple answer is that corned beef must be cooked in a 350F (177C) oven one hour for every 1 pound of beef. For example, if you’re cooking 2 pounds of corned beef, you’ll leave it in the oven for about 2 hours. See our handy chart for cook times by weight below.
Note that the cooked temperature of corned beef is 195F or 90C.
Read on to learn how and why to cook your corned beef in the oven.
What’s corned beef?
Corned beef is salt-cured beef brisket. It first became popular in 17th century England, according to Food and Wine. Neighbor Ireland had a strong cow trade at the time and a low salt tax — and so stepped in to meet the demand, becoming the primary producer of corned beef.
Salt curing preserves the meat and prevents bacteria growth. This made corned beef safe to transport without spoiling and also convenient to store. The nitrates used in the curing process give the meat its distinctive red color.
Today, corned beef is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition in the U.S.
Why oven-baked corned beef?
Traditionally, corned beef is boiled or slow cooked. But baking the meat at a low temperature delivers a slightly different, less soggy texture. Oven-roasting also gives you the opportunity to broil the meat for a few minutes just before serving. This step adds a nice crust on the exterior of the meat.
A word of caution though. Don’t try to speed things up with high oven temperature from the start. You’ll lose corned beef’s traditional juicy texture.
Are corned beef and corned beef brisket the same thing?
Corned beef and corned beef brisket are the same thing. Corned beef is made of brisket. The difference between corned beef and regular brisket is that corned beef is salt-cured, which creates its distinct flavor.
Prep tips for oven-baked corned beef
Pick the right corned beef brisket
When choosing what kind of corned beef to use, you’ll usually encounter two types of cuts — flat and point. The point is fattier and better for roasts and stews, while the flat is best for eating on its own or with sides. For this recipe, go with the flat cut.
Trimming your corned beef
Trimming excess fat from your corned beef will help it cook more evenly. Less fat on the outside also creates room for more crispy exterior, if you broil the meat after it’s fully cooked.
Rinse the meat
Give the meat a quick rinse and pat it dry.
Blanch the meat
Taste of Home and the Spruce Eats recommend blanching your corned beef before baking. Rinsing removes some of the meat’s curing salt, and blanching pulls out even more. You will definitely want to blanch if you are sensitive to salty foods.
To blanch corned beef, place it in a large pot and cover it with water. Place the pot over a high flame. Once the water reaches a boil, remove the meat, pat it dry, and dump out the water.
Seasoning corned beef brisket
Corned beef often comes with a spice packet. If yours didn’t, you can buy corned beef seasoning at most supermarkets. You can also make this yourself. These spice packets generally contain a mix of bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander, crushed red pepper, anise, and mustard seeds. You can also add carrots and onions to the mix.
Cooking low and slow
Plan on a cook temperature of 350F or 177C. The key is to cook the corned beef slowly so that the meat doesn’t dry out. Since the meat is cured in salt, it’s already on the dry side. You’ll also add water to the roasting pan and cover the meat with foil to help retain the moisture.
Once the meat is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 or 15 minutes.
Optionally, broil for a few minutes
If you like a crispy exterior, you can heat up your broiler and pop the corned beef under the flame for a few minutes after resting. Then, it’s ready to slice and serve.
How long to cook corned beef in the oven
As noted, baked corned beef usually takes 1 hour per 1 pound to cook, when your oven temperature is set to 350F or 177C. The math here is simple — for example, a 5-lb corned beef should take about 5 hours to cook. We also have a handy table below that does the math for you.
|Corned Beef Weight||Oven Baking Time at 350F or 177C|
|2 lb||2 hours|
|2.5 lb||2 hours 30 minutes|
|3 lb||3 hours|
|3.5 lb||3 hours 30 minutes|
|4 lb||4 hours|
|4.5 lb||4 hours 30 minutes|
|5 lb||5 hours|
How you know when baked corned beef is done
You’ll know your corned beef is ready when a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 195F or 90C. Technically, you could eat it at a cooler temperature, but it becomes very tender when you let it cook longer.
Note that it is possible to over-cook your corned beef. Well above 200F or 95C and the meat gets tougher.
What to serve with oven-baked corned beef
You could serve your oven-baked corned beef with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables like carrots and green beans.
Other side dish options include roasted Brussels sprouts, steamed cabbage, boiled red potatoes, or roasted acorn squash. If you want to add more flavor, use herbs like parsley or thyme in the mashed potatoes or top the corned beef with sautéed onions or mushrooms.
You can also add some extra spice by serving horseradish sauce on the side.
Oven-baked corned beef
- 5-lb corned beef brisket
- ½ cup of Dijon mustard
- Corned beef seasoning packet
- Trim fat from a 5-lb flat-cut corned beef brisket and rinse.
- Preheat your oven to 350F or 177C.
- Place corned beef in a pot and cover it with water. Bring the water to a boil.
- Once water boils, remove meat, rinse, and pat dry.
Mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup Dijon mustard,
1 tbsp browning sauce, and diced onion, garlic in a bowl. Rub mixture onto
- Rub Dijon mustard over the exterior of the meat. Follow with seasoning from packet.
- Place brisket in a roasting dish with high sides, fat side up.
- Add 2 to 3 inches of water to the bottom of the pan. cover the meat with foil and crimp the foil around the edges of the dish.
- Bake for approximately 5 hours, or until a thermometer reads 195F or 90C.
- Remove the meat from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Optionally, turn your oven to broil. Put the meat back in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove, slice, and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 684Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 249mgSodium: 554mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 67g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.