How To Tell If Corned Beef Is Done Without A Thermometer

No matter how vast your experience in the kitchen is, at least one time you asked yourself, for sure: “How I can tell if corned beef is done?”. I am sure of this fact because the comment section is actually filled with this question and also, my friends will be equally satisfied. Well, guys, this is the expected moment! Today, we learn how to tell if our corned beef is done, especially when using the slow cooker.

Whether you want to call us old-fashioned or not, we do love sharing classic meals with you, our readers. We especially like some cornered beef recipes! As we had demonstrated in our previous article on classic slow cornered beef and cabbage, beef consomme or slow cooker beef and noodles. It really stands to reason that a recipe that has stood the test of time would meet your expectations, and this Classic Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage is easy and virtually foolproof. And with St. Patrick’s Day in just a few weeks, this will be perfect for your celebration!

Now, we already know that many of us find how to tell if corned beef is done a rather difficult task, but that’s why we are here. Believe me or not, I personally struggled a lot during my first cooking years with finding the right temperature and amount of time when cooking corned beef. In this way, many of my meals were or undone, or tougher than shoe leather. However, that is exactly why I’m here: to help you avoid my past mistakes with a simple and delicious Corned Beef with Lettuce recipe.

how to tell if corned beef is done

How To Properly Cook A St. Patrick’s Day Meal?

Beef Brisket is the cut of meat that is traditionally used to make Corned Beef. However, while it is a very delicious cut, it can be a finicky piece of meat to cook. When done to perfection it can actually be pretty delicious. But, when not, it can be tougher than shoe leather (as they say). As I experienced both of these versions of the story, so I am the suitable person to teach you how to tell if corned beef is done in the right way.

However, today everything is much easier than in my first cooking days. Luckily, today, you can buy beef brisket that is prepackaged with seasonings and almost ready for cooking. Did I say almost?

Yes, you can throw the meat in a pot and give it a boil and then simmer for a couple of hours, but what’s the fun in that. I suppose you were attracted by this article because you want to find out how you properly cook corned beef and how you find out if it is done. So, let’s learn how we can improve the prepackaged, seasoned beef brisket from your local store.

Even though it is much easier to just follow some basic instructions from the label, I’m pretty sure you have bigger expectations from your St. Patrick’s Day. So, why don’t you just add a few additional ingredients and cook it really slowly? It comes out like the tastiest, tenderest, and juiciest corned beef you’ll serve this year.

How To Tell If Corned Beef Is Done In Your Slow Cooker: Tips & Tricks

  • Let’s start out with the cut of meat. You have a choice between a flat cut and tip cut brisket. Choose the flat cut, more often than not the tip cut will end up tougher.
  • Next, while some recipes instruct you to trim all the fat from the brisket, I prefer to trim the fat off after it is finished cooking. That way when the fat renders during the cooking process the flavor will get infused into the meat.
  • Finally, don’t cook it on the stove. Use a Slow Cooker. Beef brisket needs a long cooking time, at least four hours or longer.
Slow Cooker Corned Beef -  how to tell it is done?
  • The seasonings, if your brisket comes with a spice packet use it we do, it makes sense that they would not put the wrong amount of seasonings in there. But you don’t have to stop there and we don’t. The addition of a hand full of ingredients can put your signature on this classic recipe.
Slow Cooker Corned Beef
  • Never cut the Corned Beef fresh from the Slow Cooker.
  • When the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 160 F remove it from the cooker and allow it to rest for an hour. Use this time to finish off the meal with some cabbage and carrots. Just make sure to turn the temperature up to finish the cooking.
  • And the final piece of advice, that improperly sliced Corned Beef will always be tough. So cut it across the grain and at an angle as well.

How do You tell If Your Corned Beef Is Done?

Finally, you can give our recipe a look and decide for yourself if it’s as hard as it may sound. Please, do not hesitate to ask any more questions in the comment section, and also if you need further info, I am here! Keep in mind that your creativity is always rewarded in the kitchen, so always follow your taste and instinct when seasoning and preparing a meal. This one is not an exception! What works for me may not always work for you too. And that is completely fine!

Also, if you don’t have a slow cooker already, try this one from Walmart. This is not an amazing helper only for this type of food. You can always rely on a slow cooker and the result for me were yummy every time!

Get the Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Slow Cooker at

4 from 1 reviews
Classic Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
Prep time
Total time
Traditional St. Patrick's Day Dinner. Recipe from
  • Corned Beef Brisket, flat cut
  • Seasoning packet that comes with the brisket
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 head of cabbage, quartered
  • 1 pound package of carrots, peeled and chopped
  1. Place brisket in slow cooker with skin side up {fat side up}
  2. Add onion, bay leaf, garlic and seasoning packet
  3. Add enough water to cover
  4. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until internal temperature is 160 degrees F
  5. Remove and let rest for 1 hour
  6. While brisket is resting, add cabbage and carrots to slow cooker, turn to high and cook until tender
  7. Once cabbage and carrots are tender, add brisket back to slow cooker for 5 minutes, remove and slice across the grain and at an angle
Recipe adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen


  1. Thanks for the tips!!! We are all set for Sunday! 🙂

    • You are welcome Nicole! Thanks for stopping by!
      Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

      • Steve Schneider says


        Thank you for the perfect recipe for corned beef and cabbage. At age 75 I’ve used many recipes over the years but I find yours to be the best. It’s simple… It’s easy… It’s delicious…

        I have added one item to your recipe and hope you don’t take it as a negative. I also use petite red potatoes in the pot along with the cabbage and carrots.

        Thanks again,
        Steve / aka

        • Harry Naples says

          Liz, is this time correct. It says 4 hours on low. Every other recipe I see says 4 hours on high, 8-10 on low. Thanks

  2. I was sick St. Paddys Day so I froze my corned beef. Was looking for a crocpot recipe and found this one just what I was looking for. My 3yo twin Grandsons are coming over and they Love corned beef. And they are Notre Dame fans too.
    We are from Indianapolis and I love going to Michigan City and enjoying the lake. Even in the winter.

Speak Your Mind


Rate this recipe:  

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

About - Contact - Privacy Policy