Smokin’ Hot: The Ultimate Smoked Corned Beef Brisket Recipe

No St. Patrick’s Day celebration is complete without the tantalizing aroma and mouthwatering flavor of the best smoked corned beef brisket. Prepare your taste buds for an unforgettable experience as this juicy, tender, and perfectly cured brisket takes center stage on your dinner menu. It’s not just a dish; it’s a St. Patrick’s Day tradition that’s sure to become a crowd favorite.

A plate of smoked corned beef brisket

What Makes Corned Beef So Special?

Corned beef is no ordinary meat. It’s a brisket that has been lovingly cured in a flavorful spiced salt brine. This pickling process, which includes a blend of spices like bay leaves, cloves, juniper berries, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and coriander seeds, gives corned beef its unique taste and texture. While it may start as a brisket, the curing process transforms it into a succulent, ham-like delicacy with a touch of saltiness and a pink hue that remains, regardless of how long it cooks.

Why You’ll Fall in Love with This Recipe

  • A Party Favorite: Perfect for large gatherings, this smoked corned beef recipe is a crowd pleaser. Smoke multiple briskets at once and watch them disappear in no time.
  • Easy Does It: Whether you’re a seasoned pit master or a novice with a smoker, this recipe guarantees exceptional results with minimal effort. Let the smoker work its magic while you sit back and relax.
  • Hands-Off Cooking: With store-bought corned beef, the prep time is a breeze. Just a few minutes of preparation, and the smoker takes care of the rest, infusing the meat with incredible flavors.
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The Ingredients You’ll Need

Corned beef brisket ingredients

  • Corned beef: Choose a vibrant, red cut with a generous fat cap for even smoking. It’s better to opt for a larger cut, as the beef will shrink during cooking. Leftovers can always be frozen.
  • Guinness: This iconic Irish stout is divided into two phases in this recipe. It contributes to the smoking process and forms the base of the braising liquid, enhancing the flavor profile.
  • Spices and Seasonings: A combination of additional spices and the seasoning packet that comes with the corned beef adds depth and complexity to the dish.

Step-by-Step Guide to Smoky Perfection

Step 1:

Heat your smoker to 225 degrees F. Rinse the excess brine off the corned beef with cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel.

Step 2:

Place the corned beef fat-side up directly on the grill grates. Insert a leave-in meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Smoke until the internal temperature reaches about 160 degrees F.

Step 3:

Whisk together Guinness, the spice packet, and a variety of spices to create a luscious braising liquid. Transfer the corned beef to this liquid once it reaches the desired temperature.

Step 4:

Reinsert the thermometer and cover the corned beef with aluminum foil. Return it to the smoker and let it smoke until the internal temperature reaches between 200-205 degrees F. This ensures optimal tenderness and juiciness.

Step 5:

Remove the meat from the smoker and allow it to rest, covered in foil, for 30-45 minutes. When ready, slice the corned beef against the grain for maximum tenderness.

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Sliced smoked corned beef

Serving Suggestions to Wow Your Guests

While enjoying the classic combination of smoked corned beef with whole-grain mustard or horseradish sauce, why not explore some creative serving ideas? Stuff it into pretzel bites, pile it onto Irish nachos, layer it into mac and cheese, or make sliders with it. Let your imagination run wild and share your delicious experiments!

Storing, Reheating, and Freezing Leftovers

If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container for up to three to four days. For longer storage, freeze the corned beef for two to three months. When reheating, use gentle heat in the oven to preserve its tenderness and moisture.

Expert Tips for Smokin’ Success

  • Use a meat thermometer to determine when the corned beef is ready. Color isn’t a reliable indicator due to the curing process.
  • Allow the meat to rest before slicing to ensure juicy, melt-in-your-mouth results.
  • Smoke the corned beef with the fat side facing up for enhanced flavor.
  • Let the corned beef reach room temperature for an hour before smoking to promote even cooking.

Perfect Pairings to Savor the Flavor

Naturally, a glass of Guinness is the ideal companion to this smoky delight. The roasted malt and subtle smokiness of the beer harmonize beautifully with the warm pickling spices. If you prefer wine, a pinot noir with its earthy notes and balanced acidity is an excellent choice.

Smoked corned beef with Guinness


No matter the time of year, the irresistible charm of smoked corned beef brisket will have you craving it time and time again. Its unforgettable taste and tender texture will make it a treasured favorite among friends and family. So gather around, embrace the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, and indulge in the smoky goodness of this magnificent dish.

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Cheers to good food and great memories!

Get the full recipe at Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.