St. Patty’s Day Corn Beef and Cabbage

Corn Beef & Cabbage is a traditional meal served on St. Partick’s Day in the U.S.  This year I’m adding my spin to this delicious dish and preparing it on the smoker.  Corn Beef actually doesn’t have anything to do with “corn”. The term comes from the type of salt used in the brining process.  These salt grains are as big as a piece of corn hence the name “corned beef”.  Brisket is the typical cut of beef used for this method.  It can be either the flat or point end.  I choose the flat portion because it’s more uniform in size and makes for better slicing.


  • 4 lb corn beef brisket
  • 5-6 Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 2 medium size onions
  • 1lb baby carrots
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • Salt, Black Pepper, & Garlic for seasoning


Remove the corn beef brisket from the packaging and rinse under cool water to remove any brine on the surface.  Season the outside with Salt, Black Pepper, & Garlic on all sides.  Place on smoker or grill set up for indirect heat at 250 degrees with pecan wood for smoking.

Smoke the corn beef brisket for 2 hours; maintain constant temperature throughout process.

After the corn beef has smoked for 2 hours, place it in a large pan and add 32oz water. Place a meat probe into the brisket, so internal temperature can be monitored and cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Bump the heat up to 300 degrees for the remainder of the cook.  The goal here is to braise the corn beef in the liquid until its tender and some of the salt from the brine is cooked out.

Continue cooking until the internal is 175 degrees about 2 hours.  At this point add the vegetables:  Quartered potatoes, quartered onions, and whole baby carrots.  Cover the pan again and continue cooking until the final temperature of 190 degrees is reached about 1 ½ hrs.  Probe the corn beef with an instant read thermometer.  You should feel very little resistance; also the vegetables should be fork tender.  Allow the corn beef to cool about 15 minutes on cutting board before slicing.

For the whole cabbage:  use a sharp knife to remove the core in a wedge shape pattern.  Season the inside of the cabbage head with a good dose of Salt, Black Pepper, & Garlic Powder.  Cut ½ stick of butter into 3 pieces and place into the cored out area.  Drizzle a little Worcestershire Sauce over the butter allowing it to run throughout the cabbage.  Replace the section of core to cap off the end.  Wrap the cabbage with aluminum foil but leave the top exposed, so it can absorb smoke.  Place the cabbage on the smoker at 250 degrees with pecan smoke for 1 ½ hrs then cover the top with more aluminum foil.  Continue cooking for 1 ½ hrs or until the cabbage is tender.  Serve the cabbage in quarters with sliced corn beef.

About Malcolm (the Author)

For over a decade now Malcom Reed has been competing in barbecue competitions... and it didn't take long for this hobby to develop into a full-blown addiction. After being inspired by the comradery and brotherhood of the sport, Malcom developed, a website devoted to sharing BBQ techniques and promoting the Competition BBQ Lifestyle. Through his cooking team, The Killer Hogs, and his barbecue business, Malcom is a constant student of 'Que... and his goal is to and his goal is to share his knowledge and passion with everyone.