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Slow Cooker Corned Beef is juicy, tender, and flavorful. With only one secret ingredient and a couple of minutes of prep time, your crock pot is doing all of the hard work. Perfect for picky eaters, it is made without vegetables, so you can choose your favorite sides. Plus, this easy crockpot corned beef brisket is made without Guinness beer, so it is naturally gluten free. Enjoy it for St. Patrick’s Day, but it is so simple you can have it any day of the year!
What qualifies this Polish and Ukrainian gal to give you what really should become your go-to corned beef recipe? Absolutely nothing. I mean, I make pierogies and Hrudka. And I get all kinds of flack for calling these tasty taters Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Baked Potatoes because I use beef instead of lamb (full disclosure: I don’t like lamb).
But what I can tell you is that up until several years ago I had never made it. It wasn’t even all that long ago that I even tried it for the first time. Clearly, all of this is truly winning your confidence in me to be able to provide you with a crock pot corned beef recipe worth making.
So I’m sure, as with anything I label “shepherd’s pie“, I’m going to get called out for my utter lack of authenticity. I’m totally okay with that because I’m not putting this recipe out there for the folks looking for the most traditional corned beef recipe.
Why is this easy slow cooker corned beef recipe for you?
- You don’t like corned beef – I thought I didn’t like it. I thought my kids wouldn’t like it. Guess what? We all love this crockpot corned beef.
- Or maybe you’ve never made it before – there’s no possible way to mess this up.
- Possibly you don’t like cabbage – I don’t add cabbage. Unless it’s Maple Dijon Apple Cole Slaw, my family’s not eating cabbage, so I just didn’t even bother with the traditional corned beef and cabbage.
- You might have kids as weird as mine – they will not eat potatoes or carrots cooked in meat juices. Again, I didn’t bother and just make my veggies on the side (I give you some suggestions below).
- It’s entirely likely you have no time – trust me, you totally do have time for this.
- Or you have celiac or a gluten allergy – no Guinness in this recipe.
- You don’t like beer – see above.
If none of these apply to you, then there are plenty of other slow cooker recipes you can try. But if you want a total no-brainer, here you go…
Gluten Free Corned Beef Slow Cooker Recipe
Once I had a friend tell me you really only need a bottle of Guinness to make good corned beef. But with a gluten allergy, that wasn’t happening. So I just made one easy swap. A bottle of hard cider for the beer!
I really don’t think there’s a simpler way to make this, and it turns out so perfectly every time. There’s really no need to make it any more complicated. Just rinse, dump, pour, cook, and enjoy!
With all the time you save, you can totally make Gluten-Free Mini Irish Cream Chocolate Mousse Pies for dessert!
How do you make gluten free corned beef?
- Corned beef brisket – you’ll usually find this in a vacuum-sealed package in your grocery store. It’s the one that has already been cured and comes with the little packet of pickling spice.
- Hard cider – you’ll need one 12 oz. bottle. This is not apple ale, which is a beer and is not gluten free. Be sure to use hard apple cider. Common brands that are gluten free are Strongbow, Angry Orchard, Bold Rock, Stella Artois, and Woodchuck.
Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!
- Remove the corned beef brisket from the package and set the packet of pickling spice aside.
- Rinse off the meat and place it in your slow cooker.
- Sprinkle in the seasoning packet that comes in the package.
- Pour a bottle of hard cider over the meat.
- Slow cook corned beef on low for 6 to 8 hours.
- Slice thinly against the grain.
Done and done!
Do you need to use hard cider?
There’s something about the acidity in alcohol that further tenderizes this cut of meat and cuts some of the richness. Plus with hard cider as the recipe calls for, there is a slight sweetness to balance the saltiness. Again, you could go back to the original and use Guinness or another beer, but I would recommend using some type of alcohol.
What kind of crock pot should I use?
Since the cuts of brisket can be quite large, I cook this in my Hamilton Beach 6 Quart Slow Cooker. This ensures that the meat can lay flat while cooking so that it cooked through properly. If I used my smaller one, I’d have to squish it in and roll it up a bit, so it wouldn’t come out as nicely.
What can you make with leftover corned beef?
Then if you have leftovers, my friends have some fabulous ideas for you.
- Reuben Loaded Potatoes from Lemons for Lulu takes poutine to a new level. Potato wedges are topped with the leftover and all the classic Reuben fixin’s.
- Corned Beef Hash recipe with Horseradish Cream from A Spicy Perspective is perfect for brunch the weekend after St. Patrick’s Day. That kicked-up sauce if the perfect complement to the meat.
- Reuben Pasta Salad is lovely for lunch from Spend with Pennies.
What do you serve with corned beef?
- Horseradish Cheddar Whipped Cauliflower Gratin
- Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Bacon
- Browned Butter Peas and Carrots
- Gluten Free Apple Butter Corn Bread
- Brussels Sprouts Bacon Cauliflower Colcannon
Crockpot Corned Beef Recipe
The easiest way to prepare this traditional Irish dish. Perhaps using hard apple cider isn’t quite so traditional, but it is simple and flavorful, and, as an added bonus, it’s gluten free. And since this version is made without vegetables, it is versatile because you can choose your favorite side dishes. Most people think about making slow cooker corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s one of our favorite crock pot recipes for any day of the year.
Easy Slow Cooker Corned Beef
- 3 pounds flat cut corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
- 12 oz hard apple cider (I like Strongbow Gold)
- Open the package containing the corned beef, keep the seasoning packet, and drain the liquid. Rinse the corned beef well and place in your slow cooker. Sprinkle with the contents of the seasoning packet.
- Pour the bottle of hard cider over the corned beef, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Remove from the slow cooker and slice thinly against the grain.