The Art of Slow-Cooking: Alton Brown’s Corned Beef Recipe

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Are you ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a mouthwatering dish of corned beef? Look no further than Alton Brown, the mastermind behind this beloved recipe. However, don’t expect instant gratification. Brown’s Corned Beef creation is an art that requires patience, dedication, and a little bit of love. Let’s delve into the intriguing process that makes this corned beef truly exceptional.

A Recipe That Requires Time and Devotion

Brown’s Corned Beef is far from a quick fix. In fact, it takes a whopping ten days, three hours, and twenty minutes to prepare from start to finish. But fear not, the process is not as labor-intensive as it may initially seem. Most of the time is spent simply waiting for the magic to happen.

Unveiling the Sublime Ingredients

Using easily accessible ingredients, Brown brings together an exceptional blend of spices to flavor his corned beef. Cinnamon, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, juniper berries, ginger, and allspice berries make up the flavorful brine. These aromatic spices can be found in your local grocery store, ensuring that you can embark on this culinary adventure without any hassle.

The Secret to that Perfect Hue

One ingredient stands out among the rest – saltpeter, which imparts the signature pink color to the corned beef. Although it may be challenging to find, fear not, as its absence won’t hinder your ability to enjoy this delectable dish. In addition to the spices, you’ll need celery, carrots, onions, brown sugar, and ice.

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The Journey Begins

Alton Brown commences his corned beef recipe by creating a tantalizing brine. Combining the spices, sugar, and salt in water, he allows the mixture to dissolve over heat. Once dissolved, he cools it down by adding ice and placing the pot in a sink filled with cold water.

Next, the brine and meat are sealed in a zip-top bag and left to marinate in the refrigerator for ten days. Periodically, the bag is turned to ensure that the brine evenly infuses the meat, transforming it into a flavorful delight.

The Finale: A Gourmet Experience

Once the ten days have passed, the meat is rinsed to remove the brine. It is then cooked with celery, onions, and carrots, allowing the flavors to meld together perfectly. After cooking and cooling, thin slices are meticulously carved, ensuring a texture that melts in your mouth. Brown emphasizes cutting across the grain for that perfect slice. And there you have it – your tantalizing, homemade corned beef masterpiece is ready to be devoured.


Alton Brown’s Corned Beef recipe is a testament to slow-cooked perfection. With a careful selection of spices and a patient approach, you can create a dish that will transport your taste buds to new heights. So, indulge in this journey of flavors, enjoy the process, and delight in the rewards. For more culinary adventures, visit the Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ website, where barbeque dreams come true.