Air fryer corned beef is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or anytime you want a quick, delicious dinner. This classic corned beef brisket is moist, tender, and juicy with just the right amount of seasoning.
You can simply pop it into the air fryer, and it will be ready in about an hour without much effort or fuss. This recipe is simple enough that you will want to start making corned beef for more than just St. Patrick’s Day!
The traditional way to cook corned beef is to boil it, often with cabbage. And if you are looking for a traditional recipe, check out my Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage.
What Makes Air Fryer Corned Beef Better than Traditional Recipes?
The main differences are that it cooks quickly and has a nice crust outside.
- This corned beef cooks in less than an hour.
- Corned beef that is boiled or cooked in a pressure cooker or crockpot will be tasty, but it won’t have the crispy bark on the outside that this recipe provides.
So try something new and different for St. Patrick’s Day this year!
How to Buy Corned Beef Brisket
Corned beef labeling can be a little confusing! All corned beef sold in stores will be beef brisket. Sometimes it is just labeled “brisket,” but sometimes it is labeled as “flat” or “point.” So what is the difference and which should you buy?
Flat cut – This cut is leaner and more rectangular. It is the most common cut that you will find in a grocery store. It is probably a flat cut if your corned beef is only labeled as brisket. This type is excellent for slicing.
Point cut – This type has more fat and is triangular shaped. It is less commonly found in stores. This cut is excellent for shredding the beef to make a Reuben sandwich or serving as a pot roast.
I usually buy a corned beer flat, but either one works. The photos in this recipe are all the flat cut.
Pickling Seasoning – Most corned beef brisket comes with a small pickling seasoning packet. I added extra for this recipe by combining caraway seeds, black peppercorns, whole mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and dried thyme. But adding extra is not necessary.
Mustard, Vinegar, Brown Sugar, and Garlic Powder – These ingredients are combined to cover the top of the brisket to add flavor as it cooks. This recipe doesn’t need any added salt.
How to Make Air Fryer Corned Beef
Preheat the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 3 minutes while prepping the meat. Combine the mustard, cider vinegar, brown sugar, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Stir to mix it well.
Then open the brisket package and remove the pickling seasoning packet inside. If you want to add extra seasoning on the top, mix up the caraway seeds, peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and thyme in a bowl and add the seasoning packet.
Line the basket with aluminum foil once the air fryer has finished preheating. The piece of foil isn’t supposed to cover the corned beef.
Take the brisket out of its package and pat it dry with paper towels. Then put it in the foil-lined basket. If your corned beef brisket is too large for your air fryer, then you can cut it to make it fit.
Smear the mustard mixture over the top of the roast. Then sprinkle on the pickling seasoning and any extras you are adding.
2. Air Fry
Air fry the brisket at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Then use a spoon to collect any juices on the aluminum foil and spoon them over the meat. You can also use a spoonful of water on top of the brisket if there are not enough juices.
Put the brisket back in the air fryer and cook it at 350 F for another 15 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer to check and ensure the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.
Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, don’t try to cook based just on time. A thermometer is not expensive and the peace of mind they give you is priceless. Food poisoning is not fun! This is my favorite inexpensive meat thermometer, which you can buy on Amazon.
Use the aluminum foil to lift the roast out of the air fryer basket and transfer it to a serving plate. Let it rest for 10 minutes before you slice it.
Slice the brisket against the grain for the most effortless slicing and most tender meat. Corned beef is traditionally served with cabbage or saurkraut, especially for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
But my kids won’t eat cabbage, so I like to serve it with baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, or a simple veggie like corn on the cob. Almost any vegetable will make a fantastic side dish for this tasty meat.
How to Store
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Of course, it is excellent served cold in sandwiches or salads. But if you want to heat it back up, put it in the air fryer at 370 degrees F for about 5 minutes.
Great Ways to Use Corned Beef Leftovers
Leftover corned beef tastes fantastic! Here are some of my favorite ways to use it.
- Reuben sandwich
- Reuben pizza rolls
- Corned beef hash
- Reuben egg rolls
The muscle fibers of the meat will run parallel lines across the meat. Slicing against the grain means to cut perpendicular to those lines so that you cut across the muscle fibers. Cutting this way makes the meat more tender and less chewy.
Cut the cooked brisket into chunks about 3-4 inches thick to reheat. Put a cold piece of meat in the air fryer at 370 degrees F for 5-8 minutes. The exact time will depend on its thickness.
Key Tips for This Recipe
Be sure to check out the step by step instructions
Do not preheat the air fryer with the foil in the basket.
Don’t cover the brisket with the foil. It will develop a nice bark on the outside if it isn’t covered.
Basting the meat after the initial 40 minute cooking time helps ensure it doesn’t dry out.
For the most tender beef, slice the brisket against the grain.
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- 4-5 pound corned beef brisket *see note
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon vinegar, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 pickling seasoning packet, usually included with meat
Optional extra spices for the top
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 8 black peppercorns
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
- While it preheats, combine the mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, and garlic powder.
- If you are using extra spices on top of the brisket, combine the mustard seeds, caraway seeds, thyme, and peppercorns in a bowl.
- Open the brisket package and remove the seasoning packet. Pour it in a bowl with the extra spices if using them.
- Once the air fryer is preheated, line the basket with aluminum foil. Take the brisket out of its package, pat it dry, and put it in the basket.
- Smear the mustard mixture over the top of the brisket. Sprinkle the spices from the bowl or seasoning package on top.
- Air fry at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Pull out the basket and spoon some of the juices at the bottom on top of the brisket. If there aren't enough juices, sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon of water.
- Air fry at 350 degrees F for another 15 minutes. When it is done, use an instant-read thermometer to verify that the internal temperature of the meat has reached 145 degrees F. If not, air fry it for another 5-10 minutes until done.
- Use the aluminum foil to lift the air fryer corned beef out of the air fryer basket and put it on a serving dish. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- I have a 5.8-quart air fryer with a square basket, and it fits a 5 pound brisket. One with a round basket might only fit a 3-4 pound one.
- Slice the brisket across the grain for maximum tenderness.
- Don't preheat the air fryer with the foil in it.
- Don't cover the brisket with the foil; just use the foil to line the air fryer basket. It will develop a nice bark on the outside if it isn't covered.
- Basting the meat after the initial 40 minute cooking time helps ensure it doesn't dry out.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 714Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 251mgSodium: 371mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 70g
Nutrition facts are estimates.