With St. Patrick’s day just around the cor­ner and the typ­i­cal fare of corned beef and cab­bage on the menu, the Grillin Fools thought we would do these tra­di­tion­al favorites our way.  My father and cousin, Greg — Smokin on the Water, and Tom — the Big Green Eggspert, will have their own twists on these two items soon so check back.  Dad’s is up on the site and can be found here. Here’s what I did to shake up the typ­i­cal St. Patty’s Day menu…

First off I start­ed with a 3.5 LB pre­made corned beef from the gro­cery store that’s been brined already:

Here is the meat and the sea­son­ing pack­et:

I did not use that sea­son­ing pack­et at all in this cook­out, but in ret­ro­spect I prob­a­bly should have.  If you want a more tra­di­tion­al corned beef done on the grill, you will want to use that.  I will go into it more at the end on how to use this for a more tra­di­tion­al corned beef.

Nor­mal­ly corned beef is boiled with that sea­son­ing pack­et and the boil­ing helps to remove the over­pow­er­ing salt that has infused into the meat from the brine.  Since I’m not boil­ing it, I have to leach that salt out of the meat or it will only be use­ful as a salt lick in a cow pas­ture.  To leach the salt out sub­merse it in water:

Change the water one time for every pound of meat plus one change of the water.  So for this one I changed it four times, and prob­a­bly should’ve done it five times.  When you change the water rinse the meat off.  I put it in water Thurs­day night and had planned to change it Fri­day morn­ing but for­got before I went to work.  I changed it Fri­day night, then again Sat­ur­day morn­ing and one more time about two hours lat­er on Sat­ur­day morn­ing.

I’ve done some research and some say that you can do the water changes every hour and knock it out all in one day.  I didn’t have that kind of time and did not test that.  If you do it every hour, you may want change the water a cou­ple extra times.

After three changes here’s what it looked like:

The water makes the meat look gray­er and drab­ber but that’s not an issue at all.  Now for the fourth time I soaked it in a mari­nade that also leached off some of the salt.  For the final soak, I mari­nad­ed the meat in some­thing I thought was com­plete­ly appro­pri­ate for this cook­out — Murphy’s Irish Stout:

I also added a a cou­ple heap­ing table spoons of minced gar­lic and some black and white pep­per in a ziplock bag:

That went into the fridge for 3 hours.  When I pulled it out I decid­ed to trim some of the fat off the bot­tom:

I still left a thin lay­er of fat but the rest was not need­ed.

Then I made up a rub.

Rub Ingre­di­ents:

1/3 cup gran­u­lat­ed gar­lic
1/3 cup brown sug­ar
1/3 cup sweet papri­ka
1 tsp of onion pow­der
1/2 tsp of mus­tard pow­der
Black and white pep­per
But you can use what­ev­er rub you pre­fer

Notice no salt.  None on the meat or in the rub.  You don’t want to add any more salt to the brined beef:

And now it’s off to the grill for indi­rect grilling/smoking:

On the right we have apri­cot wood to fla­vor the meat:

Now before any­one jumps up and says that smoked corned beef is just pas­tra­mi, calm down for a sec.  I’m not smok­ing this thing all the way through.  I just smoked it for an hour and 15 min­utes and then foiled it.  So, I made sort of a tween­er between corned beef and pas­tra­mi.  Also, you may have noticed some­thing a lit­tle odd about the beef:

Yes, there are two probes in that hunk of beef.  The rea­son for this is I got a new probe ther­mome­ter with a remote alarm that lets me know when the prop­er temp is reached.  I want­ed to make sure the ther­mome­ter is accu­rate so I test­ed against my old one that I test­ed against a cou­ple oth­er reg­u­lar oven ther­mome­ters:

As you can see the temp’s are off between the two.  My new one on the left is three degrees high­er than my old stand by.  If the temp is off by a few degrees, that’s not all bad as long as it’s con­sis­tent and it was through­out the process.  It was always 2–3 degrees high.

Back to the grill.  Time to close the lid and check the temp:

And make sure I have good smoke:

I let the brisket smoke for about an hour before I went to work on my cab­bage which was 3.25 pounds:

The prob­lem with grilling cab­bage is that it’s round.  How do you keep it from rolling around?  A foil ring:

Set the cab­bage on the ring to keep it in place:

Now slice around the core at about a 30 degree angle and remove the core:

Then a sprin­kle of coarse salt, cou­ple turns of black and white pep­per and then slather with minced gar­lic and about a third of a stick of but­ter:

Then cov­er it entire­ly in foil.  The goal here is to cook the cab­bage in the foil and soft­en it up before we smoke it:

Now back out to the grill.  The corned beef has been smok­ing for one hour and fif­teen min­utes:

Here we can see the temps and it’s still two degrees apart but the temps are con­sis­tent:

Now it’s time to foil and do some steam­ing.  What to steam the beef in?  How about some Irish Stout.  Half a can was just about right:

What to do with that oth­er half a beer?  Hmmm?  Easy.  Add it, along with anoth­er full can, to your favorite mug:

One hour lat­er the cab­bage is pret­ty soft and I decid­ed to open up the foil and smoke the cab­bage:

Then eight ounces of shred­ded moz­zarel­la:

Then about a half cup of fresh grat­ed picari­no romano:

Forty five min­utes lat­er the corned beef hit my desired inter­nal temp of 180 degrees so I pulled it off the grill and drained out as much of the flu­id as I could:

I let that rest for 15 min­utes while I let my cab­bage to con­tin­ue to smoke:


And now onto the cab­bage that I pulled off the grill after one hour in the foil and one hour in the smoke:

And here we have it sliced:

Notice the arrows?  Time to move on to what I should’ve done dif­fer­ent­ly.   See how the very heart of the cab­bage is yel­low while the rest is white?  That’s because what was yel­low was still fair­ly al dente.  The recipe I checked to find cook­ing times had a two pound cab­bage cooked for 60–90 min­utes.  I went a full two hours but should’ve gone more like 2.5–3 hours.  The fla­vor was deli­cious, but it could’ve cooked longer.  And the head felt very soft before I pulled it from the grill, so keep that in mind.   Just because it feels soft, you may want to leave it on the grill for a bit longer.

Also, the cri­tique my won­der­ful Moth­er in Law gave for the beef was that it wasn’t a tra­di­tion­al corned beef. She said it tast­ed more like beer beef.  I loved it but she was right, it didn’t have the tra­di­tion­al fla­vor.  If you want that then you may want to use the sea­son­ing pack­et in the mari­nade or for an even more tra­di­tion­al meal then use the spice pack­et in the foil with the beer.

And before you give me grief for kiss­ing up to my MiL for call­ing her won­der­ful, on top of all the amaz­ing things she does for my wife and son she is also my main guinea pig in terms of try­ing new things.  If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have per­fect­ed the Apple/Pumpkin ribs.

I men­tioned ear­li­er that I should’ve changed the water one more time.  The salt was a lit­tle heavy for me, but I don’t put much salt on any­thing but french fries and use it spar­ing­ly in my cook­ing, except of course the dry mari­nad­ed steaks.  My MiL didn’t mind the salt at all, so if you are as sen­si­tive to salt as I am then you may want to add an extra water change.

So, that’s my twist on the typ­i­cal St. Patty’s day meal.  I hope it inspires you to shake things up a lit­tle when you sup on March 17th.

If you like this recipe and are look­ing for more beef recipes on the grill, click here.

If you have any ques­tions, feel free to com­ment below or send me an email.

Also, you can fol­low the Grillin Fools on Face­book and post your own grillin pic­tures or keep up with us on Twitter@grillinfool (no S).

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Orig­i­nal Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to col­lege with a suit­case and a grill where he over­cooked, under­cooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thou­sands of fail­ures, and quite a few suc­cess­es, near­ly two decades lat­er he start­ed a web­site to show step by step, pic­ture by pic­ture, fool­proof instruc­tions on how to make great things out of doors so that oth­ers don’t have to repeat the mis­takes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas


https://t.co/lVWgniik3V#Grill­Porn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
Oh my wow! There is so much per­fec­tion right there! 😲✔️👍😎 . Video shot by the insane­ly tal­ent­ed @carlaocarvalho77 …… https://t.co/uKHWyunSxp — 3 months ago
Scott Thomas

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Very inter­est­ing process. Did you think about start­ing with an uncorned brisket?



I thought about it, but I want­ed to keep it sim­ple. After research­ing the process I felt it was too time con­sum­ing to corn it myself. I may try that in the future. Par­tic­u­lar­ly after I do what I can to per­fect what I have already done, but decid­ed against it for the first go round. I’m not sure how many peo­ple that come to GrillinFools​.com would want to see the whole brin­ing process. Some would but the vast major­i­ty would like­ly take the path of least resis­tance as I did…


Wow, I wan­na come over and EAT with you :)


Hey Ed!

You may want to check out the beef brisket episodes fea­tured ear­li­er on GrillinFools​.com. I’ll have some new twists on that dur­ing the upcom­ing sea­son. Next to baby-back ribs–brisket may be my favorite item from the grill and it’s real­ly soooo easy!


The way to soak is on the stove, heat­ing and chang­ing the water. After that a pep­per and clove cov­er­ing is best/ with hon­ey mus­tard then brown sug­ar in the mix. It makes a great crust and taste more like a reg­u­lar corned beef with­out the salt. Serve after a wait of 10 min­utes so it can fix.That beer is not as good as a cov­er­ing above. Beer and salt have a hard time mar­i­nat­ing. I mar­i­nate overnight so the cov­er­ing soaks up some of the salt. Put foil wrapped pota­toes on grill for an hour to get smoke fla­vor. Real corn is good to serve with is as well as car­rots for col­or.


I love the recipes and think its great that you tell what does and doesn’t work. I was going to grill a whole cab­bage, but now I will either par-boil it first or cut it up into wedges.
Thanks for the great site. Noth­in like smoked meat !
Boson JP


Hey, beau­ti­ful day in Naples Florida.….just put the grill on and Bris­tol is dry­ing out
and ready to race. I am about to put my cab­bage on and CB and I will let you know. The
meet will have to set­tle for bud light!

Kei­th Miller 239–290-1967


No beer gonna use chick­en broth at the end. Start­ed cab­bage right along with the corned beef up on the top shelf though, will move it down lat­er. We’ll see?


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