Instant Pot Corned Beef

Instant Pot Corned Beef is an easy way to cook corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day. The beef brisket cooks in about half the time and comes out extremely tender. It’s now my favorite method for making corned beef.

overhead photo of sliced corned beef with cabbage, potatoes and carrots

After sharing my St. Patrick’s Day dessert ideas, I wanted to share a few savory recipes too.

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I feel like I’ve already celebrated St. Patrick’s Day dinner a few times this month because I’ve been testing out cooking corned beef in the Instant Pot. It’s super easy and the beef cooks faster than on the stove. And the meat! The meat is just so tender. I couldn’t stop eating sneaking in little pieces as I was getting ready to photo this.
close-up photo of sliced corned beef

Tips for Cooking Instant Pot Corned Beef

Even though this method for cooking corned beef is super easy, I did make it a few times to get it just right. Here are some things I learned in my trials.

  • Choose a corned beef brisket between 3 to 4 lbs. I would not use bigger than 4 lbs for a 6 quart Instant Pot because it won’t fit.
  • Many recipes place the brisket on the steam rack/trivet provided with the Instant Pot. This keeps the brisket from sticking to the bottom and makes it easier to remove. However, I found that this method raises the height of the brisket, preventing it from being fully submerged in water, which causes the brisket to be too salty.
  • You need to add in enough water to almost completely cover the corned beef. The corned beef brisket is very salty and if you do not use enough water, you won’t draw out enough salt during cooking.
  • I did not use a steam rack. I added a very thin layer of onions and garlic at the bottom of the pot and was also able to still remove the brisket in one piece after it was cooked.
  • Some corned beef recipes add beer to the water mixture. Adding the beer does add a slight beer flavor to the beef itself. Unfortunately, my family didn’t like it so my recipe does not use any beer. But if you like the added beer flavor, feel to pour a bottle of beer into your water.

Tips for Cooking the Vegetables in the Instant Pot

  • After the corned beef is done cooking, it is removed from the pot. Reserve two cups of liquid and pour out the rest.
  • The vegetables then go into the pot with the reserved liquid.
  • I served my corned beef with the traditional cabbage, carrots and potatoes.
  • The cabbage should be cut into thick wedges so that they fit into the pot but don’t separate too much while cooking. You can always slice them smaller after they are cooked or keep and serve them as wedges.
  • The potatoes should be no more than 1 1/2 inches thick. If you use small red potatoes, you can keep them whole. If you are using larger potatoes, you will need to slice them.
  • The potatoes take the longest to cook (about 4 minutes). Carrots and cabbage need a shorter time. For convenience, most recipes just add all the vegetables in at once and cook until potatoes are done.
  • If you are very particular about your vegetables and wish the cabbage to still retain some green and don’t want super soft carrots, my method is to put the potatoes and cabbage in for 3 minutes, then remove the cabbage and add carrots for one minute. It does add a little more time and steps but your vegetables won’t be overcooked.

close-up photo of sliced corned beef on a platter with vegetables

Instant Pot Corned Beef

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 34 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 44 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Irish
Servings: 6

An easy and faster way to cook corned beef for St. Patrick's Day. The beef brisket comes out incredibly tender!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic lightly smashed
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 3-4 lb corned beef brisket with spice packet
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lb small red potatoes or slice large potatoes to 1.5 inch thickness
  • 3 carrots cut into 2 inch pieces, or about 12 baby carrots
  • 1 small cabbage head sliced into thick wedges
  • 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Add garlic and onions into the Instant Pot, spreading across the bottom of the pot. Place corned beef on top of the onion layer. Sprinkle spice packet over brisket. 

  2. Add water to pot. It should almost completely cover the brisket. There should be no more than 1/2 inch of meat left peeking above the water. You can add more water if needed.

  3. Seal Instant Pot. Set to high pressure and cook time of 90 minutes. When beef is done cooking, perform a quick release according to manufacturer's instructions.

  4. Remove the brisket from the Instant Pot and cover to keep warm. Pour 2 cups of liquid into a measuring cup and set aside. Pour out remaining liquid and discard onion and garlic mixture and any other meat solids remaining in the pot.

  5. Pour reserved liquid back into the pot. Add potatoes so they are sitting in the liquid. Place cabbage wedges on top, so they are above the liquid. Seal Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 3 minutes. Perform a quick release according to manufacturer's instructions. 

  6. Remove cabbage from Instant Pot but let the potatoes stay in the pot. Add in carrots, placing them into the liquid. Seal Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 1 minute. Perform a quick release according to manufacturer's instructions. Remove remaining vegetables.

  7. Slice corned beef thinly against the grain. Spoon remaining liquid from instant pot over beef. Serve with vegetables. Garnish vegetables with parsley right before serving if desired. 

Notes:

  • This recipe uses the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker (6 Quart Version).*
  • You can cook the vegetables all at once but keep in mind the potatoes need about 4 minutes to fully cook, so the carrot and cabbage will be very soft if they cook the same amount of time as the potatoes. 
  • Many recipes place the brisket on the steam rack/trivet provided with the Instant Pot. This keeps the brisket from sticking to the bottom and makes it easier to remove. However, I found that this method raises the height of the brisket, preventing it from being fully submerged in water, which causes the brisket to be too salty.
  • You need to add in enough water to almost completely cover the corned beef. The corned beef brisket is very salty and if you do not use enough water, you won't draw out enough salt during cooking.
  • Some corned beef recipes add beer to the water mixture. Adding the beer does add a slight beer flavor to the beef itself. Unfortunately, my family didn't like it so my recipe does not use any beer. But if you like the added beer flavor, substitute 1 cup of water for 12 oz of beer.

*Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Corned Beef
Amount Per Serving (0.17 of recipe)
Calories 552 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 52%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 122mg 41%
Sodium 2825mg 118%
Potassium 1342mg 38%
Total Carbohydrates 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 6g
Protein 36g 72%
Vitamin A 105.3%
Vitamin C 139.9%
Calcium 9.2%
Iron 28.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have. All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

2 comments on “Instant Pot Corned Beef”

  1. Lovely presentation Kirbie! I like how green and crisp the cabbage looks. Mushy cabbage = no bueno. The meat looks so tender too! March is the only time I really cook corned beef, ha ha.

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