what spices are in the corned beef packet

What spices are in the corned beef packet? You may be wondering if you just love those spices and want to know if you can replicate the same at home.

You can get canned corned beef in the meat area of most grocery stores all year long. 

The interesting thing is that prepackaged corned beef also comes with a packet of mixed spices. 

So you know your beef will become that much tastier with the use of those spices. But what is that seasoning in corned beef packet?

The spices in the corned beef packet may vary by brand, but you usually find bay leaves, peppercorns, dill seeds, and mustard seeds in most of them. 

What Spices Are in the Corned Beef Packet?

what are spices in corned beef

Every year around the middle of March, corned beef begins to appear in the conversation.

We automatically think of corned beef and cabbage when we think of St. Patrick’s Day.

But, you would not enjoy it to the full if you decide to eat corned beef right out of the package.

You must cook it a bit using the spices you find in the packet.

Meat should be seasoned with spices and cooked slowly in a pot of water or oven.

The end result is a juicy and delicious beef cut that hints at the spices used in the rub. 

What Spices Are There in the Corned Beef Packet?

spices are there in corned beef

A typical corned beef seasoning packet may contain a variety of ingredients depending on the manufacturer.

In general, it contains a pickling spice blend that includes mustard seeds, bay leaves, dill seeds, peppercorns, and at least a couple of other whole spices. 

Most of these spices are warm and powerful in flavor.

When you buy corned beef, you can also get a packet of pickling spices.

For the best results in the crockpot, use the marinade that comes with your corned beef.

Fact: Corned beef refers to the beef cut already cured in a salt brine with some spices, so it is usually ready to eat. 


You may easily whip up your own corned beef spice blend if it does not come with one. 

Why Is It Important to Use Spices When Cooking Corned Beef?

why important to use spices

What is in the spice packet for corned beef? Of course, you already know that, don’t you?

But, why does it make sense to use all that seasoning when preparing corned beef? 

More About Corned Beef Seasoning

Corned beef’s signature taste and soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture come from two steps in the cooking process: curing and cooking.

And you need the right blend of spices in both these steps, and failing to use the seasoning correctly would significantly affect the flavors.

Fact: Most people simply rinse and warm pre-packaged corned beef without using any seasoning but it is not always the right thing to do. 

Seasoning the Beef While Curing

Beef brisket, either point- or flat-cut, is cured by submerging it in a concentrated brine seasoned with corned beef flavors.

You can buy corned beef that has already been cured, but if you have brisket on hand, you can cure it yourself.

Just keep in mind that this process calls for bringing the beef for about a week in the fridge. 

Seasoning the Beef When Cooking

season first before cooking

Stage two involves cooking the corned beef, and you can do it in a variety of ways at home, including:

  • In a slow cooker
  • Under pressure
  • On the stovetop
  • In the oven

But, no matter what method you use, you will have to cook it at a low temperature while using plenty of liquid and spices. 

An Important Consideration

Put the corned beef in a big pot and cover it with water by at least an inch.

Throughout the cooking period, remove the cover to check the amount of liquid and add extra water if needed.

A super-tender corned beef is guaranteed with only one simple step.

Fact: Irrespective of the seasoning and cooking method, not preparing corned beef at low heat is a surefire way of getting hard, bland meat. 

How Do You Use Spices in the Corned Beef Packet?

how so you use the spices

When cooking corned beef, you need to pay attention to a number of things.

Of course, you have to pick a cooking method, but you also need to know when and how much seasoning is needed for a flavorful meal.

How to Use Spices for Corned Beef?

Both pre-packaged corned beef and homemade corned beef recipes call for the full spices to be sprinkled over the fatty side of the meat.

And you should do it right before you begin cooking the meat. 

When to Add Spices for Corned Beef?

It is fine for the spices to separate from the beef and wind up in the liquid.

This happens during the proper preparation of corned beef, which requires a lot of liquid.

Beef will nevertheless absorb these scents and tastes. 

How Many Spices to Use for Corned Beef?

how many spices to use

Corned beef seasoning packets have pre-measured amounts of spices ideal for that particular cut.

A pickling spice blend from a jar or homemade corned beef seasoning calls for around 1 tbsp of spices for every pound of beef. 

How to Use Spices When Cooking Veggies with Corned Beef?

When you cook veggies, such as cabbage or potatoes with corned beef, they can absorb whole spices.

It happens when you cook them alongside the beef in the same pot. 

How to Avoid It?

To prevent this, place the spices inside a cheesecloth bag or a tea strainer before adding them to the saucepan.

Include aromatics like celery, onion, carrot, and fresh garlic in the cooking liquid for your corned beef for enhanced flavor.

It is also okay to replace some of the water in your dish with beer or cider. 

Is It Possible to Make Your Own Spices for Corned Beef?

possible to make your own spices


In most cases, the spices in the corned beef packet are the “pickling spices.”

Therefore, you do not need to worry about anything when mixing your own spice blend.

While some people prefer the packet that comes with the corned beef, you need a backup plan if yours was missing in the first place. 

What are the Basic Spices Used for Corned Beef Seasoning?

If you love cooking and pickling, you may already have spices, such as coriander seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, etc.

And it is easy to combine these to prepare your own seasoning for corned beef. 

An Important Consideration

Do not use ground spice; use whole seeds instead.

There is a risk that the powders will impart an unpleasant raw spice taste to your corned beef.

Remember, when used in their whole form, seeds add flavor without being overbearing. 

How to Make Your Seasoning for Corned Beef?

how make own seasoning

There should be a spice packet included with your brisket, but if there isn’t, you can use 3 tbsp of pickling spice from a bottle instead.

Pickling spice is available commercially, but if you do not have some on hand, you can always make your own with this easy recipe. 


  • A tbsp of yellow mustard seeds
  • A bay leaf
  • A tsp of fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp of coriander seeds
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 2 whole cloves 


  • Begin by toasting the spices.
  • Once done, pulse them a few times in a food processor.
  • Mix them with the ground spices.

That’s pretty much it! 


You should mix these spices in boiling water while cooking the corned beef in the slow cooker or on the stove.

Tip: Besides using the right spices, also be mindful of cutting the meat correctly and never slice it with the grain to avoid a chewier meat. 


What spices are in the corned beef packet? Nothing out of the ordinary, really.

If you have always been consuming corned beef straight out of the can, it is time you change it and cook it differently.

You will be amazed to see the shift in flavors, especially when you use the spices you find in the packet.

Still, you need to use the seasoning to add more flavors, and if you do not get any with your corned beef packet. You can always make your own.