How to Smoke Corned Beef

by Todd Whitesel

Smoking corned beef is a delicious spin on an old favorite.

Raw corned beef on lettuce image by Elzbieta Sekowska from Fotolia.com

Corned beef is probably best known as part of the traditional Irish dish paired with cabbage, but its culinary potential extends beyond the emerald isle and St. Patrick's Day celebrations. When corned beef is smoked, it takes on a flavor and texture like pastrami, a staple of sandwich shops and delicatessens across the United States. Corned beef is typically made with salt-cured beef brisket, and smoking corned beef is much like smoking an ordinary beef brisket and can be done deliciously with minimal preparation.

Fill the smoker's water pan, add hickory chips and preheat the smoker to 220 degrees F. While the smoker heats, remove the corned beef from its package and drain any liquid.

Place the corned beef in the smoker and let it cook for three hours. Remove and wrap in aluminum foil. Add 1/2 cup water and seal the foil. Place back in the smoker for approximately two hours, until the corned beef is tender and reaches an internal temperature of 195 degrees F.

Remove the corned beef from the smoker and let it cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Slice the meat against the grain and enjoy.


  • Try smoked corned beef on a Reuben sandwich instead of pastrami.

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  • "Dr. BBQ's 'Barbecue All Year Long!' Cookbook"; Ray Lampe; 2006
  • "Backyard BBQ: The Art of Smokology"; Richard W. McPeake; 2008

Photo Credits

  • Raw corned beef on lettuce image by Elzbieta Sekowska from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Todd Whitesel has more than 10 years experience as an editor and writer across a broad range of consumer print and web publications, including "Goldmine Magazine," AVRev.com and GORP.com. His primary areas of expertise are: music, the outdoors, natural history, computers, audio technology, travel, cooking and geography. Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from Winona State University.