Our food editor explains why you should give our game-changing recipe a try.
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instant pot corned beef with cabbage potatoes and carrots
Credit: Bryan Gardner

If you like corned beef but don't love making it, know that you're not alone: It's actually a pretty common phenomenon. There are two main routes to homemade corned beef, and each one requires a fair amount of leg work. First, there's the traditional way, which involves a great deal of planning ahead; there will be two weeks of curing the meat, also known as "corning" it, with spices, and that big piece of meat will be taking up some serious space in your refrigerator. The other way is to buy an already corned brisket at the grocery store, saving two weeks but not selecting the spices or amounts of spices used for corning. You'll either cook it on the stove top or in your slow cooker.

As it turns out, there is actually a third method for making corned beef, and we believe it's even better and faster: All you need to do is pull out the Instant Pot. While the slow cooker method takes more than five hours (or over nine hours if you use the low setting), the Instant Pot is the way to go if you're always short on time and want corned beef that really tastes delicious and is meltingly tender. Even if you're an Instant Pot skeptic, you should try our Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage. If you have reservations, we understand: In fact, it's quite natural to be skeptical of something that is so vastly against everything that you've ever been taught or learned. We've all been told so many times that low and slow is the way to go if you want tender, flavorful meat. It makes sense; tough meat needs a long time to break down and absorb flavors. But as this Instant Pot Corned Beef recipe has taught our entire time, there are some times when it's entirely possible to skirt the low-and-slow rule.

Speed

Pressure cooking can reduce your cooking time by up to 30 percent. Sure, you can cook just anything in the Instant Pot, but it does some things better than others. The one thing it does really well is large pieces of meat. What would braise away for hours on the stovetop or in the oven, can be done in a multicooker in an hour, more or less.

Flavor

Pressure cooking helps concentrate flavors, so you can still achieve the slow-cooked flavor with less time and effort. For this recipe, starting with a pre-corned brisket was just one more way to simplify the process. Using heavy-hitter spices like mustard seeds, juniper berries, and allspice berries help impart a unique flavor to a brisket that has already been corned.

Odor

It can be off putting when your home smells like corned beef (or anything other than freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies) for hours on end. The Instant Pot keeps the odors contained until you release the pressure.

Test-Kitchen Tip

Pre-corned beef varies greatly in levels of saltiness. As a result, we don't call for any additional seasoning in our recipe. Make sure to taste your cooking liquid and vegetables and season to taste.

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