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Smoked Corned Beef


Corned beef. It’s a St. Patrick’s Day tradition. Year after year, you follow the same tried and true recipe, which amounts to boiling a vacuum-sealed salt bomb until it’s tender. But this year will be different. Because this is the year you realized that corned beef is just a cured brisket, and therefore you will cook it the way a brisket was intended to be cooked. You will season it and smoke it. This recipe from Chris Marks of Three Little Pigs BBQ will produce a corned beef with an amazing crust and pastrami-like flavor (because, well, pastrami is smoked corned beef). The curing process takes a few days, so give yourself time leading up to your St. Patrick’s Day feast.


Prep time
72 hours
Cooking time
6 hours
Total time
78 hours

Wood Pellet Flavor -Hickory, Maple, Mesquite, Oak


Full Packer Brisket (10-14 lbs)
2 q
Full Packer Brisket
2 c
Morton’s Tender Quick
3⁄4 c
Brown Sugar
1⁄3 c
Three Little Pigs Memphis Rub
1 T
2 T
1 T
mustard powder
3 T
pickling spices
1⁄2 T
ground ginger


  1. Heat the water with Tender Quick, sugar and all the other spices. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar and Tender quick are dissolved.

  2. Remove from heat add ice. Stir until the ice has melted.
  3. Place brisket in either freezer bag or sealed container and put in the refrigerator. Each day either turn or massage to make sure the brisket is covered by the brine.
  4. Curing time varies, but 3-5 days is a good estimate.
  5. After the curing is done, remove the brisket (now corned beef) from the brine and rub with Three Little Pigs Memphis Rub.
  6. Fire up the Good One Smoker to 250 degrees using Good One All-Natural Lump Charcoal.
  7. Place the corned beef on the Good One smoker and add your favorite wood chunks or chips (I used oak).
  8. Smoke the corned beef to 175 degrees internal, usually about 6-7 hours at 250 degrees.
  9. Once the corned beef has been removed from the smoker, allow to cool for ½ hour. Cut against the grain. You can either follow tradition and serve it with cabbage or pile it on a Hawaiian slider bun or grilled rye bread with Thousand Island dressing and a slice of Swiss cheese. Slainte!

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