Homemade Corned Beef Recipe

Homemade Corned Beef Recipe

Learn to brine your own Homemade Corned Beef with this step-by-step recipe. It contains only natural ingredients, no preservatives and it costs a fraction of the price. Plus, it’s perfect for dinner or you can even slice it up for lunch meat.

Homemade Corned Beef Recipe

Corned Beef and Cabbage is a family favorite around here. But, it’s hard to find at the grocery store unless it’s time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in March. So, I set out to make my own homemade corned beef that we could enjoy the rest of the year.

Several years ago, my grandmother gave me some of her old cookbooks, including The American Women’s CookBook, which was published in 1939 by Ruth Berolzheimer. This cookbook is by far, my favorite. If I’m ever lost in the woods or the world ends in some catastrophe, this book is coming with me.

I use it ALL. THE. TIME.

It’s full of recipes that were made in the “olden days” and includes tips for cooking wild game, wild herbs and so much more. Plus, considering it’s publication date, it’s got a ton of recipes that only require a few basic ingredients. It’s a godsend and I love it.

When I set out to make homemade corned beef, this book was my first stop and as always, I found exactly what I needed. It’s a simple recipe, requiring only beef brisket, fine salt, brown sugar and saltpeter.


Yeah, not what you want in your body! Saltpeter is actually Potassium Nitrate. It’s used as a preservative in a great many foods, including store-bought Corned Beef, but mostly it’s used in gunpowder, fireworks and fertilizer.

Good stuff, right?

No, thank you! I actually searched every local store for saltpeter the first time I made this and I couldn’t find it. But after researching saltpeter, I really don’t want to eat it anyway. So, I forgo that particular ingredient and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the recipe. It still tastes just like corned beef…but even better than the store-bought version because I know there are no nasty preservatives in it.

If you like corned beef, I highly recommend making your own. Making Homemade Corned Beef is very easy, but it does take some time. Don’t plan to eat it tonight for dinner because it isn’t going to be ready for at least 10 days. But, I promise…it is so worth taking the time to put it together! If you love corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day, then you really should try making your own.

Here’s the recipe –

Homemade Corned Beef Recipe

Recipe originally from: The American Women’s CookBook

Supplies Needed:


  • 3 to 4 lb. beef brisket
  • 4 gallons cold water
  • 3 cups fine salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 tablespoon celery seed

Day One:

Place the beef brisket into a large bowl. Cover with 2 gallons of cold water. Refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours. Drain.

Day Two:

Combine fine salt and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add juniper berries, mustard seed and celery seed.

Pour 2 gallons of cold water into a large stock pot. Add salt mixture and stir to combine. Heat on high temperature until boiling. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the brine to cool.

Submerge the beef brisket into the cooled brine. Place a large plate over the corned beef to keep it under the brine. Cover the pot with a lid or aluminum foil. Store in the refrigerator for 8 to 10 days.

Day Ten:

Drain the brine. Place the corned beef into a large stock pot. Cover with cold water and allow it to sit for 1 to 2 hours. Drain.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Prepare Homemade Corned Beef and Cabbage:

Place the meat into a large slow cooker. Cover with fresh water. Add onion, carrots, potatoes and/or cabbage, as desired. Cook on low temperature for 8 to 10 hours. Serve hot.

Use up the leftover meat:

Refrigerate the leftover meat overnight. Place the meat on your meat slicer or use a sharp knife and slice thin to create homemade corned beef lunch meat.

Do you want to take it a step further?

Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you how to make Homemade Pastrami Lunch Meat from corned beef.


Have a Great Day!


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