At our store, we have a large convection oven. Each corned beef is placed inside a cooking bag that we seal with a heat resistant twist tie. Next, we punch several holes in the top of the bag and place it on an oven tray. The corned beefs are then placed in the oven fat side up and cooked for slightly over three hours at 300 degrees. Now, this method works well for us but may not be suitable for you.
If you don’t have a convection oven—or cooking bags–you can still bake your corned beef. First, heat your oven to 325 degrees. Secondly, use a roasting pan with a lid. An eight pound raw corned beef in a home oven should take a little over three hours. Remember, place it fat side up in your roasting pan and keep the cover on. If you have a meat thermometer, then consider your corned beef done when it reaches 190 degrees. You don’t need to add any liquid; your corned beef has plenty of fat.
The most common method of preparing a corned beef is to boil it. Place a large stockpot on the stove and put in the corned beef. Add several quarts of water (at least enough to comfortably cover the meat). Bring the water to a rolling boil. Then, turn down the temperature and allow the corned beef to simmer for about three hours.
Slicing Your Corned Beef
There is only one rule for slicing corned beef—cut directly against (perpendicular) the grain. The grain is easy to spot. Just look at the lean side of the meat and you’ll see it all run in a similar direction. It can become tricky when you’re slicing both the point and flat section together. When that occurs, stick with the direction that the flat section is going. There is a lot of fat in between the two sections. Remove as best you can.
If this seems like a lot of work, keep in mind that Mister Brisket offers free slicing on all corned beefs that are purchased from our store. You can cook it in advance (see next paragraph), bring it to our store, and we’ll de-fat and slice it for you.
An Option—Cook it Ahead of Time
One smart thing to do is to cook your corned beef several days before you plan to serve it. This makes the trimming and slicing much easier. The process is basic. First, cook as you normally would. Then, allow the meat to cool for several hours at room temperature. When it’s done wrap it in foil. Next, place it in your fridge. When you’re ready to serve, trim off the excess fat and slice your corned beef. Now, just re-heat.
Re-Heating Cold Corned Beef
The easiest thing to do is to place your slices of corned beef in a cooking bag and seal it. Do not punch holes. Next, put the cooking bag in a pot of boiling water and let sit for about ten minutes. Another method is to place the corned beef in a steamer or double boiler. Also, you have the option of placing your sliced corned beef in your roasting pan. Pour on a little water. Heat the meat for around 45 minutes at 275 degrees. The meat is ready when it’s hot.