Luck of the Irish Not Needed: Food Scientist Shares Tips on Preparing Corned Beef

By Maddy Rohr, K-State Research and Extension news service


Manhattan, KS– Contrary to its name, there isn’t actually corn in corned beef.


Kansas State University food scientist Karen Blakeslee said the name comes from dry-curing beef brisket with salt crystals the size of corn. ‘Corning’ the beef was originally used as a preservation technique during winter months or during lent, but corned beef can be found year-round now.


“It is traditionally served with cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, but also a tasty meat for sandwiches,” Blakeslee said.


Most corned beef can be bought in a salt brine with spices, ready to cook. But you can also find ready-to-eat corned beef in the deli section of your grocery store.


“Use a long, moist cooking method either in the oven, on top of the stove or a slow cooker,” Blakeslee said. “It should be tender with an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit when done.”


Blakeslee said corned beef may look pink when cooked because of the nitrates used during the brining process.


Once cooked, “let it rest at least 10 minutes and cut corned beef into slices against the grain,” she said.


Blakeslee, who is also coordinator of K-State’s Rapid Response Center for food science, publishes a monthly newsletter called You Asked It! that provides numerous tips on being safe and healthy.


More information also is available from local extension offices in Kansas.

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