This Instant Pot Corned Beef recipe is an easy way to create a delicious St. Patrick’s Day feast. With the touch of a few buttons, your pressure cooker will create tender corned beef with perfectly cooked cabbage, potatoes, and carrots.
Check out my entire collection of St. Patrick’s Day recipes for more menu inspiration.
I’ve cooked corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day every year of my adult life using pretty much every conceivable method. That is a lot of corned beef! Each method has it’s own merits and they are all worth trying. Some work better than others depending on whether St. Patrick’s Day falls on a busy weekday or lazy Sunday.
Table of contents
What is the Best Method for Cooking Corned Beef?
If you are out of the house for most of the day, my Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage is a great choice. Or, if you have time to babysit a pot on the stove, there’s my tried and true Guinness Corned Beef.
But, if you’ve got a couple of hours to devote to your St. Patrick’s Day meal, I don’t think you can beat the ease and the tender result of preparing your corned beef in the Instant Pot. The process of pressure cooking infuses the corned beef with flavor from the cooking liquid in a way that just doesn’t happen with other methods.
Regardless of the method, there are a few things to know about cooking corned beef that I’ll cover here. If you’ve got an Instant Pot, I hope you’ll give this pressure cooking method a try.
- Liquid – A combination of Guinness beer and low-sodium beef broth.
- Vegetables – Yellow or white onion, minced garlic, carrots, mini gold or red potatoes (sometimes labeled as petite or baby potatoes), and a head of green cabbage.
- Corned beef – A 3- to 4 pound corned beef brisket or round with the pickling spice packet.
- For serving – Butter, salt and freshly ground black pepper, fresh parsley, and whole grain mustard for dipping.
Corned Beef Brisket vs. Corned Beef Round
You may see both of these cuts at your local grocery store and be unsure which to buy. Here’s the rundown on these two cuts of corned beef.
Corned Beef Brisket
The brisket is a flatter cut than the round with a much thicker layer of fat running across the top. It’s a tough cut that comes from the breast portion of the cow. The additional fat in the brisket results in a very moist, tender corned beef. Briskets can be a “flat” or “point” cut. But, you’ll more commonly run across the flat cut at most grocery store chains.
You can easily tell if you’ve got a flat or a point cut brisket just by looking at it. The flat cut brisket is somewhat squared off and a more even thickness from end to end than the point. The point will be just that – it is a bit thicker and will come to a point. It also has more fat running through it than the flat.
Corned Beef Round
The corned beef round is a thicker, leaner cut that comes from the rear of the cow. It typically has a very light layer of fat (see the images below). The slices of the round will be larger while the flatter brisket will have narrower slices. It cooks up very moist and tender, but I believe the additional fat on the brisket gives it a bit of an edge. It’s a small difference in my opinion and I love both cuts.
Which Cut is Best?
There is no one answer to which cut is best. It all boils down (ha!) to personal preference. Try the different cuts to find what you like best.
I purchased the Shenson brand corned beef round pictured in this post at Costco. This is the cut I’ve seen in stock at both my old California and my new Oregon Costco locations. But, briskets are widely available at most grocery stores.
What Kind of Beer is Best for Cooking Corned Beef?
A dark beer with a rich, complex flavor like Guinness Draught. It will greatly improve the flavor of your corned beef and the resulting cooking liquid. In turn, that tasty cooking liquid is also going to impart great flavor to your cabbage, carrots and potatoes.
Another brand of stout beer will do the trick. But, for St. Patrick’s Day, I feel compelled to go with an Irish beer. It’s always Guinness Draught in this house.
How to Make Instant Pot Corned Beef
- Cut an onion into chunks and add it to the insert of a 6- to 8-quart Instant Pot. Add the low-sodium beef broth and garlic.
- Place the brisket on top of the onions, fat side up.
- Pour a bottle of Guinness over the top of the corned beef.
- Sprinkle the packet of pickling spices that came in the package over the top.
Close and lock the lid and set your pressure cooker to cook on high pressure for 1 hour and 25 minutes. When the cooking time is complete, allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release for 10 minutes and then manually release the remaining pressure.
- Transfer the corned beef to a cutting board and tent it with a piece of foil to keep it warm.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove and discard the onions, leaving the cooking liquid behind in the Instant Pot.
- Add the potatoes and carrots to the cooking liquid.
- Finally, place the wedges of cabbage on top. Close and lock the lid. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Immediately release the pressure and transfer the cabbage, potatoes, and carrots to a serving platter or bowl.
- Vegetables – Toss the cooked carrots and potatoes and cabbage wedges with a few pats of butter. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. And, wake up the veggies a bit with some chopped fresh parsley. Take care not to use too much salt so that the veggies will nicely balance the salty corned beef.
- On the Side – A little grainy mustard on the side is a delicious for dipping. A loaf of crusty bread and a few bottles of Guinness will make this the perfect meal for St. Patrick’s Day.
Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, cut into 5 or 6 chunks
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 11.2 ounce bottle Guinness beer, (I used Guinness Draught)
- 3 ½ to 4 pound corned beef brisket or round, with pickling spice packet
- 1 pound mini gold or red potatoes, (sometimes labeled as petite or baby potatoes)
- 4 large carrots
- 1 small head green cabbage
- 3 tablespoons butter
- fine ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup whole grain mustard
- Add the beef broth, onion, and garlic to the insert of a 6- to 8-quart Instant Pot. Place the brisket on top of the mixture, fat side up. Pour the beer over the top and sprinkle the corned beef with the pickling spices. Close and lock the lid.
- Select MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK setting, toggle to HIGH, and set the time for 1 hour and 25 minutes.
- When the cooking time is complete, allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release for 10 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure.
- Meanwhile, slice the core end of the cabbage off and place the cabbage cut side down so you have a stable base. Slice the cabbage in half and then cut each half in quarters. You should end up with 8 chunks of cabbage. Slice the potatoes in half. Peel and cut the carrots into large 3-inch chunks.
- Transfer the corned beef to a cutting board and tent with a piece of foil to keep it warm. Use a slotted spoon to remove and discard the onions, leaving the cooking liquid behind in the Instant Pot. Add the potatoes and carrots to the Instant Pot and place the cabbage wedges on top. Be sure not to fill the Instant Pot more than ⅔ full. Close and lock the lid.
- Select MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK setting, toggle to HIGH, and set the time for 5 minutes. When finished cooking, quick release the pressure.
- Slice the fat layer off the top of the corned beef (flat briskets will have far more fat than a round) and then slice the corned beef against the grain and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle the corned beef with a little of the cooking liquid.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes, carrots and cabbage to the serving platter with the corned beef or to a separate bowl. Toss the veggies with butter, season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with parsley, if desired.
- Serve with grainy mustard on the side.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
This post was originally published on March 4, 2020 and has been updated with new text.