Using sous vide to prepare corned beef ensures your roast has perfect texture. This recipe includes instructions to make from scratch or with store bought brisket in brine. With sous vide, you’ll cook it for 48 hours at 140 degrees F. Eat it traditionally with cabbage and potatoes, in a sandwich, or in a breakfast hash!
Corned beef: a St. Patrick’s Day classic. I’ve made it lots of ways, but before sous vide, I usually cooked it in a crockpot which was… not the best. Somehow dried out and soupy at the same time. Certainly not the meaty roast I was after.
With sous vide, corned beef comes out perfectly. The texture is meaty and just starting to fall apart while still being so juicy and tender. I can never go back!
I’ll teach you how to make corned beef completely from scratch or how to sous vide using store bought brisket already in a brine.
Want to take everything a step further and make Sous Vide Pastrami? I’ve got a recipe for that, too!
How to Make Corned Beef from Scratch
Corned beef is made using the brisket cut. Brisket can be a little hard to come by in grocery stores, especially good quality, so I always order mine from Porter Road. They usually have whole or half briskets available.
If you end up getting a whole brisket (typically about 10 lbs), I recommend cutting it in half to make it easier to handle and fit in containers for brining and sous viding.
Start by making the brine. Note I’m indicating seeds here, not the dried herbs.
- Whole coriander seed
- Whole mustard seed
- Dill seed
- Whole cloves
- Red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt. I always used Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt.
- Prague Powder No. 1. This is what will cure your brisket and give it that signature bright red color.
- Brown sugar
Whisk it all the ingredients together in a very large container (I recommend using a Cambro) until the powders are largely dissolved.
Add the brisket and make sure it’s submerged. Add more water if it’s not.
Let soak in the brine in the fridge for 7 days.
How to Sous Vide Corned Beef
You can continue with your from scratch corned beef at this point or pick up with store bought corned beef.
To make sous vide corned beef, you’ll need:
- An immersion circulator – I recommend the Vesta Precision Imersa Elite
- A container (you can just use a stockpot, or my favorite sous vide containers are Everie containers)
- A vacuum sealer and vacuum seal bags
Remove the brisket from the brine and pat it completely dry with paper towels. It’s okay if seeds are stuck to the meat here and there, they’ll provide good flavor!
At this point, I like to reseason it to make sure it’s got great flavor. You don’t have to. My go to is Primal Palate’s Meat and Potatoes Seasoning, which is a blend of salt, paprika, onion, garlic, black pepper, and oregano.
You can freeze at this point to sous vide later if you want! If sous viding from frozen, add 1 hour to the cook time.
Vacuum seal the brisket. Make sure the seal is really good; I usually will use the vacuum and seal setting, then press seal again. We’ll be cooking this brisket for a loooong time, so we want to be extra careful!
Cook for 48 hours. When doing a super long cook like this, there are some extra precautions we want to take. Here are my long cook tips:
- Place a ceramic plate or bowl on top of the brisket to ensure it stays submerged.
- After you’ve added the meat, make sure the water level is as close to the maximum water line on your immersion circulator as possible. We’re expecting evaporation, so this gives you more wiggle room.
- If your container doesn’t have a lid, cover it with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation.
At this point, you can refrigerate and reheat to serve later or even freeze if you like.
If you want a little color on the fat cap when done, you can broil it for a few minutes, or just serve as is!
What to Serve with Corned Beef
This is important: save the juices from the bag after sous viding your corned beef!
Add the juices from the bag to a stock pot or Dutch oven. Add 4 cups of water or beef stock to the pot. Add cubed potatoes, cabbage wedges, and largely diced carrots. Boil for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
If you refrigerated the corned beef after sous viding, you can reheat it by letting it simmer in the above liquid for 30 minutes.
Sous Vide Corned Beef
Brine (if making from scratch):
- Store bought raw corned beef, if using store bought
- Meat and Potatoes Seasoning, optional
- 4 cups water or beef stock
- 6 red potatoes, cut into cubes
- 3 carrots, largely diced
- 1 head of green cabbage, cut into 3 inch wedges
- Chopped parsley for garnish
Start here if making from scratch:
- Add all brine ingredients except brisket to a very large container (at least 12 quarts). Stir until powders are largely dissolved. Add the brisket, cover, and refrigerate for 7 days, flipping every day or so to keep the brine mixed.
Start here if using store bought:
- After brining, remove the brisket from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.
- Fill and preheat your water bath to 140 °F using your immersion circulator.
- Reseason with Meat and Potatoes Seasoning, or a combination of paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oregano. Vacuum seal the brisket.
- Cook in the preheated water bath for 48 hours. Make sure the brisket stays submerged through the entire cook.
- When done, remove the brisket from the bag and save the liquid.
- If desired, broil the brisket on high for about 5 minutes, fat cap side up, to add color. Slice to serve.
- To make the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage, add the reserved liquid from the bag to a stock pot or Dutch oven and add 4 cups water or beef stock. Bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, cabbage, and carrots and boil for 8-10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- Serve corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots together and garnish with parsley.