How to Make Tender, Flavorful Corned Beef in an Oven Bag

Cooking corned beef brisket for a big holiday feast like St Patrick’s Day often means hovering over a pot for hours While delicious, it takes a lot of time and effort. However, you can make moist, fork-tender corned beef with much less work by using an oven cooking bag.

Reynolds and other brands make large oven bags designed to cook roasts and other meats. The sealed environment creates steam to quickly tenderize while also containing juices and seasoning flavors. Oven bag corned beef cooks in about half the time with no monitoring needed. Let’s look at why it works so well and how to do it right.

Benefits of Cooking Corned Beef in an Oven Bag

There are several advantages to using an oven bag for corned beef versus traditional boiling or braising

  • Convenient – Just season, seal, and bake. No need to check or add liquid.

  • Quick cooking – Achieves fork-tender meat in about 2 hours thanks to steam.

  • Moist and flavorful – Sealed in juices and spices with no evaporation loss.

  • Easy clean up – No messy pots to scrub! Just toss out bag after serving.

  • Oven stays clean – Contains any drips or splatters during baking.

Tips for Buying Corned Beef Brisket

When selecting a corned beef brisket, look for:

  • Flat cut brisket – Cooks more evenly versus point cut.

  • Well marbled – Thin veins of fat keep it moist when cooking.

  • Smaller size – 3-4 pounds fits better in an oven bag.

  • Bright red color – Indicates fresher meat.

  • Minimal surface fat – Trim excess hard fat before cooking.

  • Simple ingredients – Just beef and curing salt listed.

High quality briskets can be found at butcher shops or you can buy pre-packaged.

Seasoning Your Corned Beef

While the curing process adds baseline flavor, enhancing it with aromatics and spices makes the flavor really pop.

  • Pickling spice packet – Most store-bought briskets come with one.

  • Fresh pickling spices – Up the flavor with a tablespoon of spice blend.

  • Garlic – Minced garlic provides lots of flavor.

  • Onion wedges – Quartered onions add sweetness.

  • Beef broth – Use as the cooking liquid for richness.

  • Beer – Splash in some stout beer like Guinness.

  • Vinegar – Cider vinegar brightens other flavors.

  • Brown sugar – A bit of sweetness balances saltiness.

How to Cook Corned Beef in an Oven Bag

Follow these simple steps for perfect oven bag corned beef every time:

Ingredients Needed:

  • Corned beef brisket (3-4 pounds)
  • Oven cooking bag (Reynolds Extra Large Size)
  • Seasonings of choice

Prepare the Oven Bag:

  • Add 1 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water to bag and shake to blend

Add Corned Beef and Vegetables:

  • Place brisket fat side up in bag and add seasonings
  • Arrange onion wedges and other veggies around brisket

Seal the Bag:

  • Close tightly with nylon tie and cut 6 small slits in top


  • Preheat oven to 350°F and bake 2-2.5 hours until fork tender

It’s that simple for delicious corned beef with little effort!

Cooking Time for Oven Bag Corned Beef

The baking time can vary a bit depending on size of brisket.

  • 3-4 pound brisket – Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours
  • 4-5 pound brisket – Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours

Check for doneness early and continue baking if needed until extremely tender. The moist sealed environment should make it fall-apart tender.

Serving Suggestions for Oven Bag Corned Beef

Traditional corned beef and cabbage is a classic pairing, but you can also serve it with:

  • Potatoes – Boiled, mashed, fried, or wedge potatoes

  • Carrots – Quick sautéed carrots add some veggie goodness

  • Baked beans – Sweet, sticky beans pair perfectly

  • Potato pancakes – Top with applesauce for an Irish twist

  • Beer bread – Easy no-yeast beer bread soaks up juices

The oven bag method allows you to cook any veggies separately so they don’t overcook.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Corned Beef

Tightly wrapped cooked corned beef will keep for 4-5 days refrigerated. To reheat, slice and place in a skillet with broth or sauce to add moisture. The flavor improves as it sits!

It also freezes well for 2-3 months. Thaw in fridge before reheating. Use leftovers for sandwiches, hash, eggs, pizza topping, salads and more.

An oven cooking bag offers a easy, mess-free way to make incredibly tender and juicy corned beef brisket. No more hovering over a pot! With just 10 minutes of prep time, you can pop it in the oven and enjoy hands-off cooking.

Brisket in an Oven Bag : Chef Knows Best


When cooking corned beef, do you use the liquid in the bag?

Place the brined corned beef in a large pot or Dutch oven along with the liquid and spices that accompanied it in the package. Pour in enough water to cover the beef, then bring the water to a boil on the stovetop. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover the pot.

What is the best cooking method for corned beef?

In our book, roasting is our preferred method to cooking a corned beef brisket. Roasting results in a super moist and tender brisket with an irresistible crust. We packed in the flavor with a unique and simple homemade spice blend—trust us, you won’t find flavor like this in a little pre-made baggie.

How long does it take to cook corned beef at 350 degrees?

OVEN: Set the oven for 350 °F (or no lower than 325 °F). Place brisket fat-side up. Barely cover the meat with water—about 1 inch—and keep the container covered throughout the cooking time. Allow about one hour per pound.

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