Smoked Corned Beef

We ran out of corned beef for sandwiches, and are still in the mood for this springtime treat. I wanted to change it up a bit though, so decided I would give it try on my smoker. I chose a brisket cut over the round cut, which is made for smoking and slow cooking to break down the connective tissues. It will slice nicely for sandwiches as leftovers.

I am busy outside in the garden and barn this time of year. Putting something on to slow cook in the smoker and checking on it here and there is an easy way to have dinner cook while you get your spring time chores done. When the evenings turn chilly in the spring, coming in from the cold to a warm meal just ready to serve is very welcome.

For this version I decided not to add any sweetness. I am using juniper berries in the rub, as this ingredient is part of the traditional corned beef brining. Plus, how often do you really get to use juniper berries in a recipe?

Gather together all the ingredients and let’s get smokin’!


2-3 pound Corned Beef brisket
2 tablespoons whole grain dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole juniper berries
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 Large onion, cut in 8ths
1 Pint Dark Beer (Porter or Guiness)


  1. Preheat smoker to 275 degrees.
  2. Trim excess fat off corned beef.
  3. In a mortar and pestal, grind whole juniper berries into almost a paste like consistency. Add peppercorns and continue to grind.
  4. Mix whole grain mustard into the ground spices.
  5. Coat corned beef with mustard and spice paste on both sides.
  6. Place on smoker grate, and smoke for 3 hours with the lid closed.
  7. After 3 hours, place the corned beef in a shallow aluminum pan, add beer and surround with onion. The beer will help draw the excess salt out of the corned beef and bring in complimentary flavors.
  8. Cover pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and put back in the smoker for another 3 hours.
  9. Remove from the smoker and rest for 15-30 minutes.
  10. Carve against the grain and serve.

Notes: During the last three hours of cooking you can also cook a head of cabbage in the smoker. Refer to recipe for this option.

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