As we near St. Patrick’s Day, we take a step back and look at one of my favorite dishes, corned beef. Corned beef has long been associated with St. Patrick’s Day traditions, usually served with boiled cabbage and carrots…but is corned beef really Irish?

The simple answer is no. When the Irish migrated to America in the 20th century, they settled in neighborhoods in New York alongside Jewish and Italian immigrants. These groups faced discrimination and injustice, being forced to live in the undesirable areas. As they were living in close proximity, there was a sort of shared immigrant experience that allowed these groups to share in each other’s cultures. In the delis and lunch carts of New York, the Irish found something sentimental, corned beef. Though not traditionally Irish, corned beef had a similar salty taste to Irish bacon, the traditional dish for St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. This relatively cost-effective meat, boiled with potatoes, carrots, and onions, became a staple of the Irish American St. Patrick’s day celebration.

Corned Beef on a Smoker


  • Corned beef brisket
  • Black pepper
  • Mustard
  • Garlic powder


  1. Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees.
  2. Remove corned beef from the brine. Rinse thoroughly under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Combine black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander seeds and mustard seeds in a small bowl. Season the beef brisket on both sides with the rub mixture.
  4. Place the corned beef brisket in your smoker and toss a few wood chunks onto hot coals for smoking.
  5. Cook the brisket until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 3 to 4 hours.
  6. Remove from smoker and transfer to a large aluminum foil pan. Pour water and beef stock into the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place back into the smoker.
  7. Cook until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 200 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 3 to 4 more hours.
  8. Remove your smoked corned beef from the smoker. Let it rest in the covered aluminum foil pan for 30 to 45 minutes before slicing.

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