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Mar 11, 2012 08:05 AM

questions about corned beef and cabbage recipe for slow cooker

Hi all,

I am making corned beef and cabbage in a slow cooker next weekend. I've never used a slow cooker before, so I have a couple of quesitons. Here's the recipe:


4 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces

10 baby red potatoes, quartered

1 onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

4 cups water

1 (4 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet

6 ounces beer

1/2 head cabbage, coarsely chopped


1. Place the carrots, potatoes, and onion into the bottom of a slow cooker, pour in the water, and place the brisket on top of the vegetables. Pour the beer over the brisket. Sprinkle on the spices from the packet, cover, and set the cooker on High.

2. Cook the brisket for about 8 hours. An hour before serving, stir in the cabbage and cook for 1 more hour.


My sister has an extra slow cooker that is 5 quarts. Is that big enough?

On the recipe site (, I like reading the reviews, and people rated it very good, some made minor additions - like beef broth instead of the water, added onion and garlic powder, etc. Since I am brand new to cooking, should i do any of that, or just follow the recipe exactly?

Also, some people cooked it on low instead of high. is that better?



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  1. I think the beef broth sounds like an improvement but instead of adding onion or garlic powder, I'd just add garlic to it. You already have onions so don't need the powder. Be careful with the beer--it can add a heavy taste to it in the crockpot since it won't have a chance to evaporate. My kids hate anything made w/ beer in the crockpot, unless I cook it down first on the stove. I'd saute the onions, garlic, carrots on the stove, deglaze w/ the beer until reduced some and then add to the crock pot but that adds another step.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      @chowster What does it mean to cook it down (the beer).. how do I do this? I've never made this with beer before, is it something that you would suggest (based on how it tastes)?

      Also, I will be using a roaster oven, so it has actual temperatures on it, rather than high & low. What temp would you recommend that I cook it on? Do you think it will turn out okay in a roaster?.. Is a roaster similar to a crockpot or boiling the dinner on the stovetop?

      Lastly, when do you add the veggies (im going to use potatoes, carrots, and cabbage)? Maybe it would just be easier if you told me how you make yours lol.

      Sorry to ask a billion questions, but you seem to know what youre talking about when it comes to making this dinner. And im really curious to try it with beer (IF its good like that). Maybe I could use a little beer and more water?...


      1. re: msdaizha

        Cooking it down means cooking on the stove first (after sauteeing the vegetables--not potatoes, deglaze w/ the beer and let it reduce a little). I have never used a roaster oven, so, sorry, I don't know what to do with it. I think beer would be good with it. It's just a strong taste if you do it in the crockpot--which my husband and I like and my kids don't. You could use less beer but it depends on the sensitivity of people eating it. Good luck with it!

    2. I agree with chowser about using broth instead of water. My concern, though, is slicing carrot matchsticks, and onions into bite sized pieces. In my experience those vegetables in that size will just about melt away during the long cooking process, especially if you saute them first. I'd simply cut them into chunks. This recipe should be cooked in the slow cooker on LOW for the entire 8 hours. Éirinn go brách..

      4 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        Good catch about the carrots and onions. It'll be easier to cut, too. I'd take it a step further because I don't like all the peppercorns, etc in my corned beef and cabbage. Before adding the cabbage, I'd remove the meat and potatoes. Strain the broth and cook the cabbage w/ the meat and potatoes in the broth. That further complicates the recipe, though.

        1. re: chowser

          thanks folks. Is a 5 quart crock pot big enough?

          1. re: Aticineto

            I think that should be fine, as long as the baby red potatoes are small.

            1. re: Aticineto

              Personally, I'd rather use *at least* a 6 quart cooker. I believe directives are to fill the cooker to within 3/4 full in order to get the most even temperature. Also, the meat and vegetables will generate more liquid as they cook.