Is Corned Beef Gluten Free? + Slow Cooker Recipe

Every year around this time, my mom used to make corned beef and cabbage. It wasn’t until recently that I realized it wasn’t named Corn Beef and Cabbage. I didn’t realize the beef was “corned”. The “ed” makes total sense. I’m not alone, though, and either are you if you didn’t know this. There are over 18,000 people each month that search for “gluten free corn beef” via Google.

Meanwhile, this recipe is a classic. You can’t do much wrong other than under cook it. I’ve taken a shortcut, though. Mom made it on the stovetop and I’ve used a slow cooker/crockpot instead. If you’ve never had homemade corned beef and cabbage (it’s available in a can, who knew?), you’re missing out on some deliciousness. If you enjoy bacon, you’ll most likely enjoy corned beef. The one I purchased contain no MSG or nitrates. It’s usually cured with salt and water only. It’s perfect for a weekend or weekday since all you have to do is remove the fat and throw everything in a slow cooker. Corned beef and cabbage is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition. I’ll be enjoying leftovers on March 17! How about you?

Is Corned Beef Gluten Free ?

While I didn’t run across a fresh, uncooked corned beef that contained gluten, be sure to read labels carefully. You never know when a company will inject meat with a liquid that contains gluten. They do this with ham quite often. In addition, you never know if the manufacturer of the spice packet also processes gluten items. Therefore, if you are gluten intolerant make your own seasoning blend, which I provide for you.

Corned Beef and Cabbage (Naturally Gluten Free)


Yield: Makes 4 servings

Corned Beef and Cabbage (Naturally Gluten Free)

A classic recipe for corn beef and cabbage, made in a slow cooker / crock pot, for those on a gluten free diet.


    For the Corned Beef Brisket:
  • 3 to 4 lb. lean, uncooked corned beef brisket
  • Spice blend (see below ingredients)*
  • 3 Tablespoons pickling spice (often included with brisket)
  • 4 whole carrots (or 16 baby carrots, cut in half length-wise)
  • 4 small to medium red potatoes, cut into wedges (cut wedges in half, if desired)
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, cut into 1-1/2-inch wedges
  • For the Spice Blend:
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods (optional)
  • 1 large bay leaf


  1. Trim any excess fat from the brisket. Remove the mid layer of fat, if desired. (I do. You'll end up with two pieces which is fine. It makes slicing against the grain easier.)
  2. Place the corned beef in a 6-Quart Slow Cooker and scatter the seeds and bay leaf on top.
  3. Pour enough water on the sides of the slow cooker to just cover the entire corned beef. (I used about 7 1/2 cups.)
  4. Layer the carrots, potatoes, and onion, in this order, on top of the corned beef.
  5. Place the lid on the slow cooker, set it to high heat and cook for about 6 hours. (I cooked mine on low for 3 hours and then on high for 5 hours.
  6. Remove vegetables as they become tender, about 1 to 2 hours prior to the corned beef fully cooking.
  7. Add the cabbage to the slow cooker about the last 30 minutes.
  8. Transfer the corned beef to a carving board. Reserve the liquid for the purpose of reheating leftover meat. Slice it against the grain and serve with the vegetables.


You want to slice the corn beef against the grain. If you don't, you'll have a bunch of strands of beef that will be difficult to eat. Cutting against the grain provides a tender piece of meat. If this is your first time cooking beef brisket, take a look at the way the grain runs before and after you cook it. You'll notice that the "point" (also known as the "fat end"or "deckel") of the brisket has its grain running a different way.

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