smoked corned beef and cabbage

I make this Smoked Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe every St. Patrick’s Day! If you have never tried to make corned beef and cabbage, or if you have not been a big fan of it in the past, I suggest you try this recipe! I have been perfecting it over the years and I think it makes the best corned beef and cabbage! It is so good that I sometimes make it for other holidays as well!

The first step to making delicious corned beef and cabbage is to get a high-quality corned beef. I prefer to go to a good local butcher as opposed to the grocery store. They are going to have a higher quality of meat and have cleaner ingredients. And you are supporting a local business! A lot of times they will even season the meat with the pickling spice for you, so you can skip that step! If not, you can find pickling spice at a grocery store or online.

raw corned beef

This recipe can sound a bit tricky, but it is pretty simple once you get the steps down. To start off, you want to place the corned beef directly on the grate with the fat side up. That way the fat can drip down onto the corned beef while it is smoking so it won’t dry out.

corned beef on grate

After it has smoked for 2 hours on the grate, then transfer to a foil pan with the vegetables, liquid and seasonings. Place the corned beef on top of everything with the fat side down. Cover the foil pan and put it back onto the smoker. Since the corned beef is now in a closed foil pan with liquid it is ok to leave it fat side down.

corned beef in foil pan

For the cabbage, you wait until the last hour to add it. You want to coarsely chop the cabbage and then add it on top of everything in the foil pan. Then recover with foil and continue smoking until the corned beef is cooked.corned beef with cabbage

Once your corned beef and cabbage is done, be sure to let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing the meat. This will help the corned beef retain moisture and make it more tender. Serve the corned beef with the vegetables, and I also like to make a side of mashed potatoes and Irish Soda Bread to go with it. All together it is a delicious St. Patrick’s Day meal!

The Smoked Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe is below. Since there is no baking involved there is no need to adjust for altitude. I hope you enjoy the recipe! Be sure to leave a comment if you try it out or have any questions! And if you are looking for some great desserts to go along with your corned beef, check out my Potato Candy Recipe or my Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake w/ Chocolate Glaze!

smoked corned beef and cabbage

Smoked Corned Beef and Cabbage

This recipe makes the best corned beef and cabbage! I make this every St. Patrick's Day! It is so good I sometimes make it for Christmas or Easter as well!
5 from 2 votes


  • Smoker/Grill
  • Foil Pan
  • Aluminum Foil


  • 6-7 lb corned beef
  • 1-2 tbsp pickling spice
  • 2 medium onions (sliced)
  • 6-8 medium carrots (peeled & sliced)
  • 7-8 garlic cloves (peeled & smashed)
  • 12 oz beer (I use a chocolate stout or Guinness)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp molasses (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 medium cabbage (coarsely chopped)


  • Turn on your smoker to 225F and let it heat up for at least 15 minutes.
  • Take out your corned beef. Sprinkle the pickling spice on the top of the corned beef. Sometimes a butcher will do this for you so you might not need much.
  • Place the corned beef directly on the grate of your smoker, fat side up. Smoke for 2 hours.
  • While the corned beef is smoking, take out your foil pan.
  • Prepare the carrots, onions and garlic and add them into the foil pan.
  • Pour the water and beer into the pan.
  • Add the maple syrup and molasses to the foil pan. If you would like you can substitute brown sugar for the maple syrup, and if you do don't add the molasses.
  • Season the vegetables with the salt and pepper. Then stir everything together.
  • After the corned beef has smoked for 2 hours, take it off the grate and place in the foil pan on top of the vegetables, fat side down.
  • Cover the pan with foil and place it in the smoker. Turn it up to 250F and smoke for 4 1/2 hours.
  • Open the foil and add the cabbage on top of everything. Recover the foil pan and continue to smoke for 1 hour.
  • Check the internal temperature of the corned beef. Should be 190-205F. If it is not there yet, continue to smoke until it is.
  • Once it is cooked, take the corned beef off of the smoker and let it rest in the foil pan for at least 10 minutes.
  • Take out the corned beef and slice. Serve with the vegetables. In addition, I like to serve it with mashed potatoes as well.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Will stay good for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer.