Preparing an entire corned beef dinner in an Instant Pot pressure cooker means the perfect tender corned beef and cabbage meal in less than half the time of slow cooker or stovetop methods. Which is fantastic, because that means you get to eat it that much sooner!
Time for instant pot corned beef and cabbage. When St. Patrick’s Day nears, then you can’t help but see corned beef everywhere just like turkeys take up everything at Thanksgiving. Of course, you don’t need the holiday to enjoy a good corned beef and cabbage. Especially if you have an instapot! I was there at delicious, but super easy and quick to cook too? I’m so in…
Instapot Corned Beef And Cabbage
Instant pot cooking uses pressurized heat and liquids to quickly cook the meat and vegetables. So, similar flavor to cooking crockpot corned beef and cabbage but cooking time is measured in minutes not hours. If you don’t have an Instant Pot branded pressure cooker, that’s fine because there are other makes of pressure cookers that work just as well.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Vs Slow Cooker Crock Pot Corn beef And Cabbage
Some people are always going to say that doing it low and slow in a crockpot is best. No doubt, that is a great way to make corned beef and cabbage. The biggest virtue of slow cooking? Well, if you are a fan of your kitchen smelling like corned beef and cabbage for hours then that is the way to go.
But, sometimes, that can be a bit overwhelming. It isn’t like it smells bad. No, not that at all. But it is just overpowering at a certain point. And how long do you want everything to smell like cabbage afterward?
So, with pressure-style cooking methods, you cook very quickly. This doesn’t mean any less flavor, no, not at all. The pressure locks in the moisture and amplifies all the flavors in the process.
You get a great smelling meal that you won’t be smelling three days later.
What Exactly Is Corned Beef Anyway?
Corned beef gets its name from the “corns” of salt kernels the meat is brined and cured in. The pink color comes from a specific type of salt, sodium nitrite. However, if you are planning on curing your own, then any type of salt works, just know that it won’t have that same pink hue to it, without the “pink salt.”
A lot of people confuse corned beef with pastrami. They are similar, but pastrami has the added step of being smoked after being brined. Think of it as the difference between Canadian bacon and hickory smoked slab bacon. But, instead of coming from the belly or hind of a pig, corned beef comes from the neck or back leg of a cow.
There are typically two cuts of beef brisket used for corned beef. One is called the “flat cut” which has a more uniform square or rectangular shape. The other is the “point cut” which is tapered at one end. Both should have a thin layer of fat. (Make sure that side is up when you cook – it lets the fat melt into the corned beef). However, the flat cut is typically fattier.
Skylark Meats – Omaha, Nebraska Corned Beef
My favorite corned beef to purchase comes from Skylark Meats in Omaha. Typically around the middle of February they begin showing up in the grocery stores, and I get SO excited! There is something about the way they cure the corned beef that to me, is just exceptional.
The corned beef brisket comes vacuum sealed with juices and a seasoning packet for cooking. You’ll want to use the juices right in the pressure cooker when you make the meal. Some recipes call for rinsing the corned beef, and when I purchase it like this, I never do.
You will want to make sure you have a head of green cabbage and some nice carrots for cooking. Depending on how large the cabbage is, you may need to cut it in 1/8ths, not 1/4s like I did here to fit in the pot. I peel the carrots and halve them and cut them in about 4″ sections.
You can peel fresh red new potatoes, or buy them in a can like you see here. My Mom always used the canned ones, so I always have, too.
What you need to make a traditional Corned Beef & Cabbage Meal
For my recipe here, you will need a packaged corned beef with the seasoning and juices, green cabbage, carrots and canned new potatoes. Caraway seeds are a nice addition but are optional. Make sure you have a loaf of rye bread for mealtime.
How to Prepare Corned Beef and Cabbage in an Instant Pot
Place corned beef (juice and all) in the bottom of your instant pot, fat side up. Add seasoning packet. Pour water over the top. *make sure that the meat is covered with water, but not “swimming” in it.
Secure the lid and set the vent to seal. Set “Meat/Stew Setting” to 90 minutes.
When 90 minutes is up let the instant pot natural release for 15 minutes. Carefully remove any remaining pressure, and remove the lid.
Remove corned beef, cover to keep warm.
Add cabbage, carrots and potatoes to the liquid. Seal lid again and pressure cook on high for 3 minutes with a quick release. Sprinkle with caraway seeds if desired.
How to Cut Corned Beef
Knowing how to cut the corned beef is crucial to enjoying it. Because the beef brisket it comes from has particularly long fibers, you want to cut against “the grain”. The grain means the way all those long fibers are running. If it is not immediately obvious which way that is, then press down on the piece of meat. It will help reveal the way the grain runs.
When you cut across the grain, then it shortens the length of the fibers. Shorter fibers… Easier to chew. Longer fibers? Get ready to chew and get more stuck in your teeth. Never a winning look at the end of the meal.
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Instant Pot Corned Beef And Cabbage With Guinness
Ok, so many recipes call for corned beef and cabbage to steep in cooking liquids fortified with Guinness stout. I don’t do it that way, but you might want to use it. If you do, then just substitute for the measurement of water I use.
The alcohol cooks out, but it does tenderize the meat some in the process. However, I love the full flavor of the corned beef to come through. Besides, toughness and flavor are never an issue using the instapot. Pressurized cooking really imbues the meat, cabbages, and potatoes with flavor for days.
Corned Beef Recipes
Ok, going to admit it right now… I LOVE corned beef. As I like to say, you can “reubenize” so many different dishes. The great thing about a nice big piece of corned beef brisket is lots of leftovers. In addition to a Traditional Reuben Sandwich, here are some of my favorites:
- Creamy Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup
- Reuben Pot Pies
- Reuben Casserole
- Crock Pot Reuben Dip
- Hot Reuben Dip
Let’s make some quick Corned Beef & Cabbage!
- 1 (4 pound) corned beef, with juices and seasoning packet (I prefer the flats, but tips work, too)
- 1 quart (4 cups) water* see instructions
- 2-3 (15 ounce sized) cans whole new potatoes
- 1 small head cabbage, quartered
- 5 large carrots, halved and sliced
- caraway seeds, optional
- Place corned beef (juice and all) in the bottom of your instant pot, fat side up. Add seasoning packet. Pour water over the top. *make sure that the meat is covered with water, but not "swimming" in it.
- Secure the lid and set vent to seal. Set "Meat/Stew Setting" to 90 minutes.
- When 90 minutes is up let the instant pot natural release for 15 minutes. Carefully remove any remaining pressure, and remove the lid.
- Remove corned beef, cover to keep warm.
- Add cabbage, carrots and potatoes to the liquid. Seal lid again and pressure cook on high for 3 minutes with a quick release. Sprinkle with caraway seeds if desired.
- Serve hot with rye bread.
I use a 6 quart instant pot
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 76Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 92mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g
Please note that nutrition is not guaranteed accurate.