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Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage | DadCooksDinner.com

Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned beef and cabbage in the pressure cooker seemed like a simple idea; instead, it was a comedy of errors. I could not get the details right. Here is the post-mortem of my attempts to get this right, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did.

Problem 1: Too salty.
Last year, I tried my usual “cut back the water in the pressure cooker” approach. I used 1 cup of water instead of covering the corned beef. The result was unbelievably salty. I could barely eat it. The rest of the family took one bite, then ignored the corned beef and filled up with soda bread, cabbage, and carrots. Discouraged, I put one serving of the salty corned beef and cabbage in a container and tossed the rest. The next day, the leftovers tasted fine – I guess sitting in the cabbage and juices for a day pulled enough salt out to make it edible.

Problem 2: Undercooked
This year, instead of winging it, I researched recipes. They all said to cover the corned beef with water. (Whoops.) Then I ran into my next hurdle. Most sources cook corned beef at high pressure for 45 minutes to an hour. They quick release the pressure, remove the corned beef, add the vegetables, and cook the vegetables at high pressure for five minutes. That way, the vegetables aren’t overcooked by the long cooking time under pressure.

“Great!” I thought to myself, “Corned beef in an hour!”

I should have known what was coming. Last year I followed Lorna Sass’s instructions, and cooked a two and a half pound corned beef for 70 minutes at high pressure. This year I had a monster – four and a half pounds. I checked the recipe book that came with my electric Cuisinart pressure cooker; it said I should cook said 24 minutes per pound. 108 minutes? Seriously? The Cuisinart’s timer only goes up to 99 minutes. Nah, it couldn’t possibly take that long.

I put the corned beef in the electric pressure cooker, set it for high pressure and fifty minutes. When it beeped, I quick released the pressure and filled the pot with potatoes, carrots and cabbage. The result looked great, the vegetables were perfectly cooked…but the corned beef? Way undercooked. My jaw got tired trying to chew through it. Once again, everyone else took one bite of the corned beef, then filled up on the sides.

I had to crack this. I couldn’t let corned beef beat me. I went back to the store and bought two smaller corned beef roasts, each three and a half pounds.

In case it was the lower pressure of the electric pressure cooker, I cooked one corned beef in my electric PC and the other in my stove top PC.

*Most electric pressure cookers have a high pressure setting of 12 PSI. stove top pressure cookers have a high pressure of 15 PSI.

I cooked both roasts for fifty minutes, quick released the pressure, and checked the corned beef. It wasn’t done. I kept cooking at high pressure, quick releasing every ten minutes and checking the corned beef, until it went from chewy to tender. The stove top pressure cooker took 80 minutes, and the electric PC took 90 minutes. Finally, success!

But, wow, eighty minutes? So much for corned beef in an hour. Still, an hour and a half (including the vegetables) was much better than the ten hours my usual slow cooker recipe takes. Need a corned beef in a hurry? Get a small one, add plenty of water, and do NOT under cook it.

Problem 3: Too Long [Updated 2017-03-13]

So, 90 minutes worked for a smaller corned beef…and I used that recipe for years. But with another St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, I started thinking. (Always a dangerous thing.)

What if I tried the trick I learned with Pressure Cooker Pot Roast, and cut the corned beef into pieces? I am going to slice it before I serve – no one will ever notice that I sliced it into 4 pieces before I started cooking. Sure enough, it worked wonders. The 90 minutes under pressure is cut back to 60 minutes under pressure in an electric PC, and only 50 in a stovetop. And, I can get a bigger corned beef – I’m able to fit a 4 pounder in, once I cut it up and fit it in like a jigsaw puzzle.

*Don’t have a pressure cooker? Use a slow cooker. Recipe here: Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Adapted From: Lorna Sass Pressure Perfect

Video: How to make Pressure Cooker Cooker Beef and Cabbage – Time Lapse (1:19)

Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage – Time Lapse [YouTube.com]

Equipment:

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Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage | DadCooksDinner.com

Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage


  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8
  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Irish

Description

Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage. My tradition on St. Patrick’s Day.


Ingredients

  • 4 pound corned beef with its spice packet
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 stalk celery, quartered crosswise
  • Water to cover (about 4 cups)

Vegetables

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch lengths (or a 1 pound bag of baby carrots)
  • 1 small (3 pound) cabbage, cut into 8 wedges

Instructions

  1. Cook the corned beef: Rinse the corned beef, then cut it crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Put the corned beef, onion, and celery in the pressure cooker pot, sprinkle with the spice packet, then pour in enough water to cover the corned beef. Bring the pressure cooker up to high pressure and cook at high pressure for 50 minutes (stove top PC) or 60 minutes (electric PC). Quick release the pressure, then carefully remove the lid. Test the corned beef with a fork – it should be easy to poke a fork through the thickest section. If it’s not done, lock the lid and cook for another ten minutes at high pressure.
  2. Cook the vegetables: Add carrots to the pot, then lay the cabbage on top. It’s OK if the cabbage comes a bit above the “no fill” line on your cooker; there will still be a lot of airspace. Bring the cooker back up to pressure and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release the pressure again. Using a slotted spoon and/or tongs, transfer the vegetables to a platter and the corned beef to a carving board.
  3. Serve: Pour the broth left in the pot into a gravy strainer. While the broth settles, slice the corned beef. Pour a little of the de-fatted broth over the platter of corned beef and vegetables. Serve, passing the rest of the broth at the table.

Notes

  • This recipe will fit in a 6 quart or larger pressure cooker. I love my 6 quart Instant Pot pressure cooker.
  • For my original recipe: Use a smaller corned beef – only 3 pounds, max, and leave it in one piece. Everything in the recipe works the same, except in the “cook the corned beef” step, cook for 90 minutes in an electric PC, or 80 minutes in a stovetop PC.
  • I also removed the potatoes from the recipe – I think they come out better if you cook mashed potatoes on the side. If you want to use them in the recipe: Scoop the corned beef out of the broth after the 60 minute pressure “cook the corned beef” step and set it aside. Add 1 1/2 pounds of redskin new potatoes to the pot, then add the carrots and cabbage on top and continue with the “cook the vegetables” step.
Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage | DadCooksDinner.com

Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Notes:

  • Leftover corned beef and cabbage freezes well – as long as it is covered in broth.
  • If you have the time, use a natural pressure release for the corned beef instead of the quick release. It’s almost impossible to overcook a corned beef, and my experience with undercooked corned beef has scarred me. I almost added an extra fifteen minutes of cooking time to this recipe, just in case.
  • Watch out for extra-thick corned beef – you want a flat, even piece, three inches thick or so. If you get a thicker one, or a cut from the point end, give it an extra ten to fifteen minutes under pressure.

Related Posts

Pressure Cooker Irish Lamb Stew
Pressure Cooker Lamb Stew with Guinness and Barley
Pressure Cooker Champ (Irish Mashed Potatoes with Green Onions)
My other Pressure Cooker Recipes
My other Pressure Cooker Time Lapse Videos

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111 Comments

  1. Lynn Landry says

    So my husband is half Irish/half Jewish and I’m Cajun so while I loved your technique, (read with my Cajun accent)

    “cha, I kin improve on dat salty boiled meat, yah.”

    I threw out the spices that come with the corned beef and subbed in about two tablespoons of Zataran’s crab boil. I also added about 6 cloves of roughly minced garlic.

    Perfect!

  2. scargosun says

    I made this last year and LOVED it. I am going to make again for the 17th (and already bought another just for hash) but I have a question about the potatoes. I have a TON right now and was hoping to use them up but they are not red new potatoes. Can I use what I have and if so, what size should I cut them to? Thanks!

  3. checking on your recipe for pressure cooker corn beef…have done some of your grilling recipes and liked them. Appreciate the time and effort

  4. MICKI says

    Hi Mike…I have a question. Every single pressure cooker cookbook as well as most very reputable websites all say to never do a quick release on meat. It supposedly tears something that keeps the meat tender. So with that in mind, I always cook meat for about 10 minutes shorter than a recipe calling for a quick release and do a full natural release. I see so much confliction on this subject I finally decided that’s how I would do it. Seems to work out well, hope it does for these corned beefs I bought to cook this upcoming weekend. And I looked at several recipes and found I like yours the best…but I will mash the potatoes…I don’t like boiled potatoes lol. Thanks!

    • If you want, you can do exactly what you say – natural release and 10 minutes less – though I usually go 5 less with a natural release. I know about the “toughens meat” claims, and usually use a natural release myself – quick release causes the pot to boil – but I didn’t notice much of a difference when I was testing this recipe.

  5. Misty says

    I’m not one who usually leaves reviews…. this was by far THE BEST corned beef I have ever made!!! And it sure beats cooking all day in the slow cooker. Everything came out perfect…right down to the veggies. I have an instant pot and cooked it the 90 minutes then tented it with foil while I waited for the veggies. I will never do corned beef any other way from now on! thanks!!

  6. Rob k says

    I am making two good size corned beefs for work. They are both a little less than 5 pounds each. I have a 10 quart electric pressure cooker and I am going to try to use your technique of cutting them in chunks and should both probably fit in there together do you think that is a good idea or should I do them individually? IF i do them together, how long do you think I should cook them?

    • My guess is it will work in one batch if you cut them in to chunks – the cooking time is determined by the thickness of the individual chunks, not the total amount. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  7. Sigrid Trombley says

    I’m guessing that tenderness has something to do with which brand of corned beef one buys. I made Groebbel’s brand from Sam’s and a friend made Cattlemen’s Ranch brand from Aldi’s. The one from Aldi’s was more tender but I noticed that it had much more fat within the meat. I’m not talking about that large fat cap that comes on the corned beef that one removes much of before cooking it.

    For the liquid, I used a can of beer with enough water to cover the corned beef.

  8. Rosemary says

    So I’m wading through the comments and so many opinions gets a little confusing. This year I changed my corning method from the long brining process and I have two 6 lb briskets to cook and I want to use two Instant Pot. Of course cutting each in half will work, but so many conflicting times, would you suggest 90 minutes?

    • Cut them in 4 pieces, and go 70 minutes (a little longer than the 4 pieces/60 minutes in the recipe, for the larger pieces. Or cut them in 6 pieces and go 60 minutes.)

  9. Donna Buechel says

    I like your additional/newest tip of cutting them. I’ve used your recipe before, and next time I’m going for 5-6 lbs. Did 4 today. Veggies (potatoes, carrots n cabbage) were perfect

  10. Priya Rajkumar says

    Perfect recipe, thank you!! I JUST finished cooking 4.2 lb corned beef (pre-packaged with spices) in a 4 QT electric pressure cooker. Cut it into 4 pieces, and added to the cooker. Added 1 cup of dark beer + 2.25 cups of water to cover. (I did not use an onion or celery).
    Cooked for 60 minutes.
    Added the carrots and cabbage on top, cooked for 10 minutes (could have cooked it for a bit less). Removed the meat and veggies to separate dishes. Poured the gravy through a threshold colander to get rid of the spices. Thank you for all these tips, we were SO happy with the results. Prior to this, we used a crock pot and everything was a soggy mess and too salty.

  11. Mary says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. We just finished eating the corned beef I made according to your recipe & it was delicious! I cut up a 4 pound corned beef into 4 pieces and cooked it in my Cuisinart pressure cooker for 60 minutes & used the quick release. Then I made the cabbage, carrots & potatoes separately as you suggested. It was the best corned beef I’ve ever made.

  12. This was a amazing recipe! Followed instructions and used insta pot and everything turned out great. Had a 3 1/2 pound brisket that was pre-sliced and I washed & cut it into 3 even pieces, cook on high for 60 mins. Couldn’t find 3 pound cabbage so had to use 4.25 pound so when beef was done I add carrots & cabbage & cooked for additional 15 mins on high. Turned out fabulous! Best CB I’ve ever made.

  13. Michele says

    THANK YOU! You saved my dinner party. I was about to make all the same mistakes as you listed. What a gift you have given us. Blessings on you in return.

  14. Margaret says

    Perfect! Like the idea of cutting it into smaller pieces! I bought my corned beef in the evening and by the time I got home to cook it, it was 8pm. I got this cooked in 60 minutes plus natural release, and finished by 10! It was all ready for the next night’s dinner after work. 🙂 Love your recipes! Thanks for taking the time to do the trials and errors!!

  15. Janet says

    I just made this tonight and followed the directions exactly. I had a 4.5lb corned beef. I’m reasonably new to pressure cookers. I have the Power Cooker XL 8qt. Only thing different is I used the canning rack that came with it so the corned beef wasn’t sitting directly on the bottom..Turned out great, my family said it was delicious and tender. Thanks, this is the second recipe I’ve done from this site in a week..the Senate Ham and Beans was awesome too.

  16. Howard says

    I know I have nothing original to add here. I rarely leave comments either. But I gotta tell you, this was the best corned beef I’ve ever made. Thanks so much for your investigation and publication of your results.

  17. Yvette says

    This was my 3rd time using a pressure cooker, and first attempt with this recipe. Best corned beef ever! I will be trying more of your recipes. Thank you!

  18. Cindy says

    Thank you so much! It came out amazing my first try! I used a 3 lb Wellshire Farms CB cut into four slices, ended up needing 70 min for it to be melt in your mouth fork tender. It was a bit salty though. Should I add more water next time?

    Also, how do you clean your instant pot? I made Greek Yogurt the next day after steam cleaning the pot for 5 min with water, and my yogurt has an aroma of corned beef!

  19. Joanne says

    Ission acco.plished –Thanks for this recipe. other than being afraid of the pressure cooker everything came out perfect!!

  20. MotherSquid says

    Tried this recipe with a 4.5# corned beef brisket cut in 3 pieces & it worked out great. The meat was perfect using high (meat) setting for 60 minutes. I did slow release after reading that quick sometimes tightens meat. Took meat out & tented it to rest while I cooked cabbage, quartered, red potatoes & carrots, halved. They were a tad overdone (lowest setting on vegetables was 10 minutes & I forgot to pull plug a 6 minutes). 5 minutes w slow release worked great. Found that the more water I used the less salty the end product & the more salty the broth. Overall 5 Stars for sure, easy & as tender & tasty as my Mom’s 3 hour boiled corned beef. Great for sandwiches IF there’s any left over…

  21. I absolutely love this post and recipe. I love the trial and errors you talk about. It saves me from having to make those mistakes myself! Furthermore, I love that you keep updating and lastly (and most importantly) I love that this recipe is DELICIOUS and works every time! 🙂

  22. Mike,

    Your recipe is totally awesome!

    I have a T-Fal 6-qt PC and the problem that I’m having is that when I quick release the pressure, I get frothy liquid coming out of the vent, not just steam, which makes quite a mess! The contents were way below the fill line, and I removed the PC from the heat before releasing the pressure. I even moved the pressure control to low first, and I just got steam out, but when I moved it to quick release, that is when the frothy liquid came out. The meal, however, came out GREAT!

    Any ideas as to what I am doing wrong?

    • Jackson, that seems to happen sometimes, when the pressure cooker is bubbling. If you get foamy liquid out of the vent, turn off the heat and let it sit for five minutes before trying to quick release again.

  23. Lynn Ross says

    I’ve made this a couple times now. It’s become a family favorite. I was going to make my old recipe in the oven, but that idea didn’t receive any votes, so I’ll be sticking with this one from now on. Super tender, juicy, and tasty!

  24. Liz Smith says

    This was fantastic! My family LOVED it! This will definitely be a keeper on our list of recipes.

  25. Thanks so much for great instructions! I cut my 4lb corned beef in 4 parts and rinsed it, as you recommended, and they fit great in my 8qt IP. I used low sodium chicken broth for the liquid, tossed out the seasoning packet and dumped in some Pickling Spice and and Celery Seeds, garlic, and a quartered onion, as I used to do when using a slow cooker. 60 minutes and it was done perfectly. I had a lot of carrots, potatoes, and a couple of parsnips, so I took the meat out and did the veg in the juice for 6 minutes (due to altitude and husband liking them soft.) I was sharing with friends, one of whom loves but can’t eat cabbage or even the juice any more, so I removed the veg and part of the juice, filled the pot with cabbage, did it for 5 minutes. We all thought it was maybe the best corned beef we’ve ever had! And I’m learning I have to allow more time for the 8qt IP than my 6qt for coming up to pressure and going down both.
    Again, thanks for great instructions and for saving me from the mistakes you made!

  26. Thank you so much for this recipe and this website. I can’t tell how much of a help it has been to understand how to use my new instant pot over the last few months.

    Regarding this recipe, you mentioned adding additional pressure cook time for cuts over 3″ thick OR point cut. I have a 3.25 lb point cut that ranges from 1.75-2.5″ thick. Would you recommend adding time to this size/cut as well? Also, if I cut it into 3 pieces, would 60 mins work or would additional time be recommended as well?

    Thanks again

    • Don’t add time – you’re not over 3 inches thick.
      Each piece I cut was about 3 inches wide – aim for that width. If you can do that in three pieces, great, otherwise cut it into 4 pices.

      • Thanks Mike. I tried this last night (with 12oz of ale along with the water) and a 15 min NPR and it worked, perfectly. The flavor and tenderness of the meat and veggies (took meat out 1st: carrots, cabbage and mini potatoes at 3mins with a quick release) were incredible! Thank you again.

        I was curious, in a 6qt pot, can you stack/criss-cross the appr 1lb strips of beef in 2 layers if you add a bit more liquid to accommodate appr 6lbs, total of corned beef? If so would cook time be the same?

  27. Chris says

    Mike, going to cook my “traditional Irish dinner” tomorrow. Yeah- I know, it’s a week earlier than St. Pat’s, but we’re busy that weekend and I my daughter would disown me if we didn’t have it. Anyhoo, I got the more fatty point cut instead of a flat cut this year. We really like to cook a lot and have lots of leftovers (got a 4.7 pounder this year), and the flats are twice as much.

    I’ve seen several recipes that are traditionally cooked methods (non-pressure cooker) that after the meat is boiled, it is then roasted. Do you think it would be advisable to roast a corned beef after being pressure cooked? My thought was that the secondary cooking might render more of the fat and make it more tender, perhaps less crumbly.

    My second question is that with such a large cut and only having a 6 QT PC, do you think it’ll be done in only an hour if I cut it into pieces or perhaps more time needed?

    Thanks again; as another dad who loves to cook, your site is a blessing.

    • From the notes: “…Each piece should be three inches thick or so. If you get a thicker one, or a cut from the point end, give it an extra ten to fifteen minutes under pressure.”
      I’ve never roasted a corned beef after cooking, no matter what method I’ve used. I don’t think it’s a good idea, because I’m a traditionalist when it comes to corned beef, and it’s a boiled dinner. No roasting for me.

  28. Weft1 says

    Interested in adding beets and maybe a turnip o your excellent recipe. How long to cook them” is 5 minutes too short a time to get the beets cooked? Thank you for your great website.

  29. Aaron Friedman says

    I cooked a 4.25 lbs. center cut brisket (uncut) in the instant pot for 96 minutes (about 24 minutes per pound) with a 15 minute natural release and it came out pretty well. I could see cutting the time slightly to 90 minutes. I still think that I like the texture of 9 hours on low in a slow cooker a little better but I’d really have to try them side by side. The potatoes and veggies were perfectly cooked and seasoned though. My wife, who hates cooked carrots, even liked them. Thanks again.

  30. Hi Mike!! I want you to know that this is my go to recipe for CB. I tried it the first time in 2013. Perfect every time I cook it. I don’t use our stovetop pressure cooker very much but my husband does all the time. He didn’t believe me when I said I cooked it for 80 minutes. He still likes to second guess me on the time even though I’ve cooked it many times and it turns out great! Even our teenage girls love it! Thanks so much for taking the time to test and post this delicious recipe.
    If anyone is reading this and hesitant to make it…I highly recommend you give it a try!

  31. Kim Couture says

    Have made several times and it’s perfect each time. I use an instant pot and cut my meat into 4 and use 60 min. LOVE IT!

  32. Mike,

    Don’t know if I’m reading this correctly; if I’m not cooking potatoes, I cook the meat, then put the veggies on top of the meat (still in the PC), but if I AM cooking potatoes, I cook the meat, then take it out of the PC, put the potatoes and other veggies in and cook. Do I have that right? Why the different methods?

  33. Jade says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! Easy to follow, and you gave some great tips! Everything turned out so good!

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