Do You Cook Corned Beef Fat Side Up Or Down

Do You Cook Corned Beef Fat Side Up Or Down? Solved (2023)

Last Updated on December 31, 2022 by Shari Mason

Are you ever standing in the kitchen, ready to cook corned beef but unsure if you should cook it fat side up or down?  

Our team will provide an overview of how to cook corned beef correctly and the differences between fat side up and down. 

So, whether you’re an experienced cook or a novice in the kitchen, you’ll be able to prepare a delicious corned beef dish confidently.

Cooking Corned Beef: Fat Side Up Or Down?

slicing homemade corned beef

When cooking corned beef, the fat side of the meat should be placed facing up. This will help to ensure the fat can slowly render down and baste the meat as it cooks. 

When the fat is facing down, it can cause the meat to steam, resulting in a less flavorful and drier finished product.

Additionally, the fat layer helps keep the meat moist as it cooks, so having it face up will help retain the moisture. 

When the corned beef is placed in a roasting pan, it is important to use a large enough pan to elevate the fat side above the liquid. 

If the fat is submerged in the liquid while cooking, it will not have a chance to render down and baste the meat, resulting in a drier final product.

If necessary, use a roasting rack to elevate the corned beef and allow the fat to be at the top of the pan.

How To Cook Corned Beef

Start by rinsing off the beef brisket and patting it dry with a paper towel to cook corned beef.

Next, place the brisket in a large pot and cover it with water.

Add one tablespoon of pickling spice per every quart of water, then bring the water to a boil. 

Once boiling, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for about 3 hours or until the beef is tender.

After the beef is cooked, please remove it from the pot and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Do You Rinse Corned Beef Before Cooking?

If you are cooking corned beef [1], it is highly recommended that you rinse the meat before cooking it.

This will help to remove any excess salt or brine that may have been used to cure the meat, which can make the final dish overly salty. 

“A man who is not touched by the earthy lyricism of hot pastrami, the pungent fantasy of corned beef, pickles, frankfurters, the great lusty impertinence of good mustard is a man of stone and without heart.”

— Herb Gardner, American Playwright

Rinsing the corned beef with cold water can also help to remove any impurities or bacteria that may be present on the surface of the meat. After rinsing, pat the meat dry with paper towels before cooking.

Should It Be Cooked Covered Or Uncovered?

cooking corned beef on a pot

When cooking corned beef, it is best to cook it uncovered. This allows the brisket to cook evenly and the fat to render, resulting in a juicy and flavorful piece of meat. 

Additionally, cooking it uncovered it allows the flavorful brine to evaporate, giving the beef a more concentrated and robust flavor. 

If you cover the beef, you may have a mushy texture and a less flavorful result.

Tips On How To Make The Best Corned Beef

  1. Choose the right cut of beef. Look for a cut with a good amount of marbling for maximum flavor and moisture. 
  2. Brine the beef for at least 24 hours. This will help to ensure the beef is flavorful and tender. 
  3. Use a slow cooker to cook the beef. This will help to ensure that the beef is cooked slowly and evenly. 
  4. Add flavorful ingredients to the brine. This can include bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, and other herbs and spices. 
  5. Add vegetables to the slow cooker. This will help to add flavor and nutrition to the dish. 
  6. Slice the corned beef against the grain. This will help to ensure that the beef is tender and easy to chew. 
  7. Serve with traditional accompaniments. This can include boiled potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and other vegetables.


What is the best cooking method for corned beef?

The best cooking method for corned beef is to simmer it in water. This will help to tenderize the meat and bring out its flavor. You can also cook it in a slow cooker or a pressure cooker.

What is corned beef seasoning?

Corned beef seasoning is a blend of seasonings used to flavor corned beef. It typically includes a combination of salt, sugar, pepper, garlic, allspice, cloves, bay leaves, and mustard.

It is often used to season corned beef when it is boiled or slow-cooked in the oven.

What happens if you don’t rinse corned beef before cooking?

It may have a salty, overly cured flavor if you don’t rinse corned beef before cooking.

The brine used to cure the beef contains salt, sugar, and other seasonings, and rinsing it off can help remove some of this excess seasoning, resulting in a milder flavor.

Does corned beef get more tender the longer you cook it?

Yes, corned beef will get more tender the longer you cook it. However, it can become too tender and fall apart if cooked for too long.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, when cooking corned beef in the oven, it is best to place its fat side up. This ensures that the fat renders properly and evenly, resulting in tender and juicy corned beef. 

Additionally, fat side up is the easiest and safest way to prevent the corned beef from drying out or burning.


Shari Mason

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