corned beef and cabbage

How to Cook Corned Beef in the Oven: A Guide to Cooking Times

When St. Patrick’s Day is on the horizon, it’s time to start planning your Irish-centric feast. If you’re cooking corned beef for the holiday or any other time, it may feel daunting to tackle this larger cut of meat. If you’re cooking your corned beef in the oven, you’ll want to use an oven bag to produce the best texture and flavor. How long you need to cook your cut of corned beef will entirely depend on the weight of the meat. Similar to a Thanksgiving Turkey, the heavier the portion of meat is, the longer it will cook.

Corned beef is cooked low and slow, so your oven should be set to around 325 degrees Fahrenheit since the oven bag will help retain some of that heat while cooking. When you purchase your corned beef, be sure to check how much it weighs so you can properly account for how early in the day you need to get it into the oven. A 2 to 3-pound cut of corned beef will cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours, while A 3 to 5-pound cut will cook for 3 to 3 ½ hours. Corned beef is considered safe to eat once it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit and rests for three minutes. The best way to track the temperature of your meat is to use a digital meat thermometer that you can monitor from outside of the oven.

Other tips for cooking corned beef in an oven bag

corned beef sandwich

One of the benefits of using an oven bag to cook your corned beef is that you can add any vegetable ingredients into the bag as well and essentially have a one-pan meal. You could stick with traditional corned beef sides, such as cabbage and potatoes, or you could add additional vegetables like carrots and parsnips for a diverse array of flavors. Since your vegetables will have to stay in the bag for as long as the beef does, it’s recommended to cut them into larger pieces so they won’t become too soft in the oven.

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It’s important to also add water to your oven bag before you begin cooking. Adding water prevents your meat from drying out over the long cooking period, similar to how you baste a turkey. You only need around ½ cup of water in your oven bag to ensure your meat comes out tender and juicy. Don’t worry about the water making your vegetables soggy, it will mostly evaporate while cooking, leaving you with soft, tender vegetables.

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