How to Defrost Corned Beef

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Things You'll Need

  • Corned beef roast

  • Pot or pan large enough to hold the roast

  • Clear plastic food wrap

Corned beef is served with potatoes and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day.

Corned beef, a salted, spiced piece of brisket or round steak, is traditionally served during St. Patrick's Day celebrations — but it makes a delicious dinner any time of the year. Freezing corned beef before cooking is an excellent way to keep meat safe and fresh until you are ready to cook it. However, all frozen meats should be defrosted and handled with care to preserve the flavor and texture, as well as keep it safe from food-borne illnesses caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), salmonella or listeria monocytogenes.


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Step 1

Place the corned beef roast in a pot large enough to catch any drippings.

Step 2

Cover completely with clear plastic wrap.

Step 3

Position the roast in your refrigerator.


Step 4

Allow the roast to stand in your refrigerator until the corned beef has defrosted. Depending on the size and weight of the meat, this can take 2 to 5 days.


The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service says that you can bake, grill or pan-fry/braise partially defrosted meat, if you run out of defrosting time. Simply add about 50 percent extra cooking time to the recipe.