St. Patrick’s Day Dilemma: How Long Does It Take To Cook Corned Beef And Cabbage?

Get your green shirt and shamrock socks ready because everyone thinks they are Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, especially when it comes to eating corned beef and cabbage and downing a few green beers.

If you plan on making a corned beef and cabbage dinner on St. Patrick’s Day, you will need to know how much brisket to buy and how long it takes to cook so it’s ready in time for your family feast. You don’t have to be Irish to make this popular dish — it’s a delicious and inexpensive meal and there are a number of ways to make it — baked, boiled, in a pressure cooker, or in a crock pot.

Even if you’ve never cooked corned beef and cabbage before, it’s not hard to do. Depending on how long you have to cook the brisket will determine your method of cooking. According to The Babble, the fastest way to make corned beef and cabbage is in a pressure cooker, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry.

First, let’s get to the size of the brisket you’ll need. Determine how many people you will be feeding. Brisket shrinks quite a bit after its cooked, so you’ll need a fairly large piece of either point cut brisket or flat cut brisket.

According to Cleveland Plain Dealer, you should purchase approximately one pound per person if you purchase a point cut brisket. Allow about one-half pound per person if you buy the flat cut.

Next, determine your cooking method and you’re ready to go. Keep in mind, you won’t add the cabbage until the corned beef is almost cooked — if you add it too early you will end up with soggy cabbage.

Do you want to use your crock pot, bake your corned beef dinner, boil it, or make your St. Patrick’s Day dinner the quick and easy way in a pressure cooker?

According to Simply Recipes, boiling a brisket to make what’s often called a New England Boiled Dinner, requires a big stock pot and takes about 25 minutes a pound to cook. For a 5.5 pound brisket, allow for about 3.5 hours to cook and at least 30 minutes of prep time.

“Corned beef can be pretty salty, so you may want to rinse it first before cooking. If making boiled dinner with corned beef, we just use it as is and don’t add any more seasoning or salt.”

The crock pot is a great way to set it and forget it, especially if you have to work on St. Patrick’s Day. Last year, the Today Show featured a great slow cooker recipe for a corned beef dinner that takes about seven hours to cook. Prepare it early in the morning and dinner will be ready when you get home from work.

Baking is another option, but count on your brisket taking about three to four hours at 275 degrees, depending on the size and thickness. Check out this recipe from All Recipes for corned beef and cabbage that features Guinness Beer as a secret ingredient.

Want to make your St. Patrick’s Day feast as quickly as possible? If you got a late start, try using a pressure cooker — your grandmother might have one if you don’t. Expect a three pound flat cut corned beef brisket to take about 90 minutes to cook.

Will you be making corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day? If you don’t want to cook, many local restaurants and Irish pubs will be serving this holiday meal on Thursday and you won’t have to clean up the mess or stink up your house with that oh-so-odd smell of cooked cabbage.

[Photo by Thomas Cain/Getty Images]