Get Most Out of Your Corned Beef: How to Cut Corned Beef?

Corned beef is a flavorful and hearty meat that is a staple in many cuisines around the world. Whether you’re making a traditional corned beef and cabbage dish or using it in a sandwich, knowing how to cut corned beef properly can make all the difference in the outcome of your meal.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the steps you need to take to cut corned beef like a pro.

What is Corned Beef?

First, let’s break down what corned beef is and why it’s so popular. Corned beef is a salt-cured or pickled meat – usually brisket or round. It is typically cured in a mixture of spices and brine for several days before being boiled, roasted, or grilled.

Corned beef is commonly associated with Irish cuisine, where it is a popular ingredient in dishes like corned beef and cabbage. It is also commonly used in sandwiches and other dishes around the world.

Why Is Cutting Corned Beef Difficult?

How to Cut Corned Beef

Cutting corned beef can be tricky because it is a very tough and dense cut of meat. The salt-curing process that corned beef goes through makes it firm and difficult to slice, so you need to take extra care when cutting to ensure you don’t end up with uneven slices.

How to Cut Corned Beef

Now that you know what corned beef is, let’s discuss how to cut it correctly.

Items needed

To cut corned beef, you will need a few basic tools:

cutting board knife fork

1. Cutting board – A sturdy cutting board is essential for cutting any type of meat.

2. Sharp knife – A sharp knife is important for clean, precise cuts. A chef’s knife or a carving knife works well for cutting corned beef.

3. Fork – A fork is helpful for holding the corned beef in place while you cut it.

Read More: Slice and Dice: How to Cut Tri-Tip Perfectly Every Time


Step 1: Preparing the corned beef

Before you begin to cut your corned beef, it’s important to prepare it properly. Rinse the corned beef in cold water to remove excess salt or brine. Then, pat it dry with a paper towel.

Step 2: Place the corned beef on a cutting board with the fat side up.

corned beef on a cutting board

Step 3: Identifying the grain

To cut corned beef properly, it’s important to identify the grain. The grain refers to the direction of the muscle fibers in the meat. You can usually see the grain running along the length of the meat.

Step 4: Slicing the corned beef

Once you have identified the grain, it’s time to start slicing. Hold the corned beef firmly in place with a fork. Then, using a sharp knife, slice the corned beef against the grain into thin slices. Slicing against the grain helps to tenderize the meat and makes it easier to chew.

slicing corned beef

Note: Use a fork to keep the corned beef in place while cutting. This will help keep your fingers away from the blade and make it easier to get precise cuts.

Once you have finished slicing the corned beef, you can use it in your favorite dishes.

Tips for Cutting Corned Beef

Here are some useful tips for beautiful cuts:

  1. Use a sharp knife: A sharp knife makes cutting the corned beef much easier and ensures clean, precise cuts.
  2. Cut against the grain: Cutting against the grain helps to tenderize the meat and makes it easier to chew.
  3. Use a fork: A fork is helpful for holding the corned beef in place while you cut it.
  4. Slice the corned beef thinly: Thinly sliced beef is easier to chew and allows for even more cooking.
  5. Chill the corned beef: For easier slicing, chill the corned beef in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before cutting it.

What Are Some Popular Corned Beef Recipes?

Once you have mastered the art of cutting corned beef, why not put your skills to good use with some delicious recipes? Here are a few popular dishes that incorporate corned beef:

Corned Beef and Cabbage – A traditional Irish dish featuring boiled cabbage and sliced corned beef.

Reuben Sandwich – A classic deli sandwich made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing.

Corned Beef Hash – A dish where diced potatoes are cooked with chopped corned beef and onions.

Irish Stew – A hearty stew featuring cubed vegetables, potatoes, and thick slices of corned beef.

Pastrami Sandwich – A sandwich made with pastrami, which is a cured and smoked form of corned beef.

Corned Beef and Potato Casserole – A casserole featuring layers of potatoes, onions, and corned beef.

Find out: Bargain to Bank Breaker: Price Range of Brisket per Pound

What Is the Best Way to Cook Corned Beef?

The best way to cook corned beef is to simmer it in a pot of water or broth. Simmering allows the flavor of the meat to develop and also helps to tenderize it. You can also bake or roast corned beef, but this method takes longer and may require additional seasonings.

You can follow this guide here for more detailed instructions on cooking corned beef:

  1. Bring the water or broth to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid.
  2. Simmer for 2-3 hours or until the corned beef is tender.
  3. Then remove from heat and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Bonus: Check out this recipe for corned beef!

Frequent Asked Questions

#1 How do I store leftover corned beef?

To store leftover corned beef, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the corned beef for up to 3 months.

#2 What is the difference between pastrami and corned beef?

Pastrami is a cured and smoked form of corned beef. The curing process gives it a distinctive flavor and texture, making it spicier and more flavorful than traditional corned beef. Additionally, the pastrami is usually served in thicker slices than corned beef.

#3 What are some dishes I can make with corned beef?

Corned beef can be used in a variety of dishes, such as Reuben sandwiches, corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, pastrami sandwiches, and corned beef hash. You can also use leftover slices to make a casserole or tacos.

#4 How do I carve corned beef?

Carving corned beef is similar to carving a roast. Begin by placing the brisket fat-side up on a cutting board. Then use a sharp knife to slice against the grain in thin, even slices. When slicing, make sure to cut across the grain of the meat for maximum tenderness. Finally, serve your carved corned beef with your favorite sides and sauces.

#5 Can I freeze leftover corned beef?

Yes, you can freeze leftover corned beef for up to 3 months. Place the corned beef in a freezer-safe bag or container and store it in the freezer until ready to use. When you are ready to enjoy your defrosted corned beef, be sure to cook it thoroughly before eating.

#6 How to identify the grains in meat?

To identify the grain of the meat, hold it in one hand and use your other hand to feel for any lines. These lines are the grains, and you should cut against them when slicing the meat.

This will help ensure that each slice is tender and flavorful. You may also be able to see the grain by carefully inspecting the surface of the meat. The grain will appear as lines that run in different directions.

#7 Why should I rest corned beef before cutting?

Resting corned beef before slicing it is essential as this allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. This will help keep the meat moist and tender when served. Allow the corned beef to rest 10-15 minutes after cooking, then slice and serve.

Corned beef is a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various dishes. Don’t let cutting corned beef stop you from making them. With the right tools and techniques, it can be a breeze. Remember to prepare the corned beef properly, identify the grain, and slice against the grain for the best results.

And don’t forget to use a sharp knife and a fork to make the process easier. Following these simple tips, you can cut corned beef like a pro in no time.

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