Whether you are celebrating St Patrick's day or just craving some flavorful beef, you must try Traeger Corned Beef. It is easy and gives a ton of flavor to a classic dish. This isn't your boil in a pot until it is fork tender corned beef and cabbage. It is better. Kick up your corned beef on the smoker.
Corned beef is one of those dishes that's easy to make but always seems to impress. The smoked version is especially delicious, and Traeger corned beef is perfect for a dinner party or St. Patrick's Day celebration.
We generally eat corned beef once a year on St. Patrick's Day along with potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and the favorite of the kids, Irish soda bread with plenty of butter. And maybe Bailey's iced coffee for dessert.
What is Corned Beef?
Corned beef is a portion of the beef brisket. It is a very tough piece of meat with a lot of connective tissue. Corned beef brisket flat needs to be cooked low and slow in order for that tissue to break down and become tender. The meat is typically packaged in a brine with a variety of seasonings. Most packages will come with an additional package of seasoning to put in a slow cooker or pot as you slowly braise the beef.
Corned Beef - Corned beef comes packaged in a wet brine. They are typically two to three pounds. There is one side with a thick fat cap similar to brisket.
Mustard - I like to use whole grain dijon mustard to coat the beef in this Traeger smoked corned beef recipe. There is something about the flavor of corned beef and mustard that I love. The whole grain mustard gives a nice texture to the bark as the beef smokes.
Seasoning - I like the seasoning packet that comes with most corned beef packages. You can mix it into your mustard or apply it as a dry rub to the beef. Most seasoning packs contain coriander seeds, peppercorns, mustard seeds, bay leaves, ginger, possibly dill seeds, and some other spices. It is very similar to a pickling blend. Feel free to substitute your own or make our Corned Beef Spice Recipe.
How to Smoke Corned Beef
Step One: Prepare the Beef
Since corned beef is packaged in brine, make sure that you rinse it thoroughly under cold water. If you don't rinse it, the meat will be very salty and inedible. Then, similarly to preparing a brisket, I will use a sharp knife to take the fat down to ¼ inch thickness or less. We want the fat that remains to be able to baste the meat as it smokes and also able to fully render it so that it is edible.
Step Two: Season the Beef
You don't need any salt on this one. The brine has already done its job with that. Pat dry the meat with a paper towel to ensure there is no excess water from rinsing it. Then generously cover with mustard and apply the seasoning packet as a dry rub. If you want to add a little more flavor, I recommend combining teaspoons of black pepper, garlic powder, and brown sugar.
Preheating your Traeger Pellet Grill
I talk a lot about preheating your smoker. There is something to be said to make sure you have achieved the optimal temperature and your smoke is rolling just right. Most pellet grills help to eliminate that guest work. You can set the Traeger temperature to your number and you're done. Yes, there might be some challenges if the weather is extreme, but outside of that, the ability to set it and know it will hold your desired temperature is a great benefit to these smokers. For this particular smoke, you will want to preheat your Traeger smoker to 225 degrees.
Step Three: Smoke the Beef
Place the corned beef directly onto the grill grate in your preheated smoker. Smoke at 225°F for approximately three hours. I recommend using a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature. After about three hours the internal temp should be around 165°F.
Once it reaches that temperature, wrap it in butcher wrap and add a little liquid to help keep it moist. You could also choose to braise the beef in a dutch oven until it reaches its final doneness. I decided to wrap the smoked corned beef in butcher paper and pour an ounce of apple cider vinegar (or apple juice) and an ounce of Irish whiskey.
Place the Traeger corned beef back on the smoker and continue cooking it until it reaches 200°F.
How to Serve Corned Beef
Step Four: Serve the Smoked Corned Beef
Once the beef has reached your desired final internal temperature, remove it from the smoker and let the meat rest for at least 20 minutes. I like to tent it with foil so that it doesn't lose moisture through cooling off. The next step is to place it on a cutting board and make thin slices. If you are serving Traeger corned beef as the main course on a plate, go ahead with ¼ inch slices. If you are planning on serving it on sandwiches (a Reuben is one of my favorites) slice it as thin as you can. The only thing you have left to do is Enjoy!
What to serve with Corned Beef
The classic presentation is corned beef with cabbage and potatoes. I recommend smoking your potatoes, or throwing a head of cabbage along with your potatoes (check out this smoked cabbage for inspiration), baby carrots, or other vegetables into your instant pot as you allow the beef to rest. The timing works out perfectly. Serving it alongside a nice pint of dry Irish stout is never a bad decision either.
And these Instant Pot colcannon potatoes.
- 2-2.5 lb corned beef
- 3 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon seasoning packet
- Remove corned beef from packaging and thoroughly rinse from brining liquid. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Rud beef with mustard and seasoning.
- Place meat on preheated smoker and cook at 225°F until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Wrap smoked corned beef brisket in butcher paper. Pour in 1 ounce of apple cider vinegar and an ounce of Irish whiskey to help baste the beef with moisture. Place wrapped beef pack on the smoker and continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 200°F.
- Allow the corned beef to rest for 20 minutes, then slice and serve.