can you make corned beef without spice packet

If you are searching for answers to the question “Can you make corned beef without spice packet?” Then you definitely are at the right place. 

In this article, we help answer the question asked above as well as give you useful tips on what to do if you have no spice packet for corned beef.

So do get a glass of something chill, put your feet up and ensure you read this till the end.

No, you cannot make corned beef without a spice packet. If you find that you have no spice packet for your corned beef, then you would have to make your own.

What Is A Corned Beef Spice Packet Made Of?

corned beef spice packet

Getting a better understanding of the constituents that make up a Corned beef spice packet would better help answer the question of if Corned beef can be prepared without the use of a spice packet.

If you are used to shopping in most grocery stores in the United States, you would find a tiny packet that comes with the corned beef brisket you just got.

Tip: Depending on which brand you get, this can typically vary in content.

There are a few common seasoning spices that are most likely to come with each spice packet. These are:

Mustard Seeds

Most spice packets come with tiny mustard seeds in them.

These seeds help give simmered meat a more mellow, yet intense bitter but also sweet taste that is certainly interesting.

mustard seeds spice


Peppercorns can also be found in most spice packets that come with corned beef.

It adds a certain hot spicy taste to the beef brisket when used and blends perfectly with the other spices like the mustard seeds.

Crushed Red Chili Flakes

Crushed Red Chili Flakes are a lot like peppercorns. They complement each other when used in the mix.

They also help add a nice red color that is very appealing to the eyes. 

Dill Seeds

Dill seeds help with neutralizing the salty taste that might come with corned beef.

It contains caraway and anise seeds and is included in most spice packets.

dill seeds spice

Bay Leaves

Crushed bay leaves are included in each spice packet.

They help produce a cooling effect to the Crushed chili red flakes and complement each other perfectly. 

Coriander Seeds

With all the diverse spices included in each spice packet, a stabilizer would be needed to provide a perfect mix of flavors.

This is the coriander seeds. It adds a gentle yet sweet taste to the corned beef brisket that is simply remarkable. 

Note: Some Corned beef spice packets can come with other known spices like crushed garlic, Juniper, cardamom, cinnamon, and a whole lot more. 

Does Every Corned Beef Brisket Come With a Spice Packet?

corned beef come with spices

Well, ideally, they should.

This is because, the spices in the spice packet help prepare the meat before boiling, braising, or roasting the corned beef brisket. 

But then again, there might be a few reasons as to why your corned beef brisket might not come with a spice packet.

One would probably be a producer error, and these things do happen.

If you find that your corned beef brisket doesn’t include a spice packet.

Have no worry there are alternatives you can try that could still make your corned beef taste delicious or simply divine.

Can You Make Corned Beef Without Spice Packet?

making corned beef without spices

The short answer to this question is no. You can’t make corned beef a spice packet without the spice packet. 

If you did try making your corn beef without these rich and flavorful spices to aid in its cooking it won’t be great!

You would be left with a bland-tasting, probably strong-textured beef that would certainly look, taste, and smell unappealing.

But don’t worry, if you can’t seem to get a spice packet for your corned beef, then don’t worry, you can always make your own. It’s quite easy and quick.

Tip: If you are so keen on cooking your corned beef with a spice packet, ensure you go for a more notable brand like Libby’s or Hereford.

How To Cook Corned Beef Without Spice Packet

how to cook without spice packet

Cooking your Corned Beef without a spice packet is possible.

However, you would need to use a crockpot for your cooking and some notable alternatives to get it to taste great. 

Here, we would be giving you a sure-fire recipe of Corned beef and cabbage made with a crockpot. 

This recipe is mostly made to celebrate St. Patrick’s day and it is quite delicious. 

Some of the major ingredients you would be needing for this dish include;

  •  Chopped onions, preferably cut into tiny wedges.
  •  2 tablespoons of refined sugar.
  • 3 cups of water.
  • Crushed garlic cloves.
  • Corned beef briskets (4 lbs).
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar.
  • Red potatoes,  1 lb should be enough.
  • Green cabbages are preferably cut into wedges.
  • A small bag filled with tiny carrots (1 lb).
  • 8 ounces of quality beer. 
corned beef

You would need some seasoning to use as an alternative to the spice packet.

This should include:

  1. Two crushed bay leaves.
  2. ½ tablespoon of refined cooking salt.
  3. ½  tablespoon of pepper. 
  4. Eight allspice berries for taste. 
  5. ½ tablespoon of tiny mustard seeds. 

With this ready, we can get started on our corned beef brisket with cabbages.

Tip: Always check the packaging for the expiry date of your purchased corned beef product, to be sure it is healthy. 

Step #1. Prepare The Crockpot

Before starting, you would need to ensure that the crockpot is properly cleaned and ready to be used.

Try re-rinsing it with clean tap water and then dry-ragging it with an equally clean and dry rag. 

prepare the crockpot

Step #2. Pour Your Garlic and Onion in the Crockpot

With your crockpot properly cleaned and dry, the next step would be to pour in your chopped garlic and onions.

Remember, they should be cut in tiny wedges, and there’s a reason for that. 

The aim is to not let the Corned beef brisket touch the base of the pot.

And as such, the chopped onions and garlic were supposed to act as a special stand for the meat to prevent it from drying out. 

Once this has been done, place the meat on the chopped onion and garlic.

Step #3. Mix Your Vinegar and Beer

In a separate bowl, try mixing your 8 ounces of beer with water and some of the vinegar.

This should be done carefully so it doesn’t pour.

Ensure the mix is evenly distributed as you stir. Once it is done,  keep it aside. 

mix vinegar and beef

Step# 4. Mix Your Spice Packet Alternatives

The alternatives to your spice packet would be needed here. So what you would do is thoroughly mix them till they are evenly distributed. 

This would involve the pepper, mustard seeds, crushed bay leaves, salt, and allspice berries

Step #5. Pour All Mixes Over the Corned Beef Brisket

With all these done, the next step would be to pour all the mixes over the corned beef Brisket. Start with the beer, vinegar, and water mix.

Gently pour this over the corned beef and ensure it is thoroughly distributed. 

Next, is the mixed spice seasonings. Sprinkle every bit over the Corned beef and then thoroughly mix it. 

dry spice alternatives

Step #6. Cook The Corned Beef

With all the mixes poured in, you can then allow the mix to sit in for at least 3 minutes before proceeding to cook it.

Cover the crockpot and then heat it on low for a minimum of 8 hours for it to properly cook. 

Step #7. Add Potatoes

During cooking, after a minimum of 4 hours has passed, you would need to open the pot and properly stir it.

Once that is done, add the chopped potatoes into the mix and allow to cook some more. 

Step #8.  Add Cabbage

Again, after 3 more hours have elapsed, you can then proceed to add the chopped cabbage to the mixture and allow it to cook for the remaining 1 hour.

corned beef hash
Note: The cooked corned beef brisket can further be grilled or roasted to give a yummy and satisfying taste. Ensure you do it in low heat.


There you have it. Hopefully, the content above helps answer the question of – can you make corned beef without spice packet? 

Always remember to be playful with your cooking, simply not having a spice packet should not stop you from making delicious dishes that are truly remarkable. 

That’s all we have for you in this article, do ensure you check the website for more engaging articles.