How to Reheat Corned Beef?

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Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Share My Kitchen

Corned beef sandwich is not the same as one made with cold meat. So, what’s the best way to reheat corned beef and keep it moist? It’s not good to eat a dry sandwich!

Five different methods were tried and tested to find the best way to reheat corned beef.

Continue reading to learn the most effective step by step technique to perfectly reheat corned beef.

Reheating Corned Beef Using a Microwave

Probably the best method to reheat corned beef is using a microwave. Simply place your corned beef slices on a microwave-safe plate. You can even stack or overlap them. Then, cover the corned beef with a damp paper towel, and microwave at HIGH for 20-30 seconds until it is warmed through.

This is a quick and easy technique, particularly when reheating small amounts of corned beef. Microwaving yielded the best overall results.

How to reheat corned beef using a microwave:

  1. Lay out corned beef slices on a microwave-safe plate in one layer or stacked.
  2. Then, use a damp paper towel to cover the slices.
  3. Microwave on HIGH for 20-30 second
  4. Allow to cool down before you start eating.

Unfortunately, this won’t work well for large servings because there will be too many slices that are stacked or overlapped to heat evenly.

The steam produced from the wet paper towel heats the meat.

This is a great way to achieve moist corned beef. Microwaving meat can be a daunting task because of fears of getting tough, dry results.

You can also sprinkle some water on the corned beef and cover the plate with plastic wrap. But make sure you poke holes in the plastic wrap before heating.


This method is the best out of all the ones tried and tested.

There’s no way to beat the little time it takes for the microwave to reheat the corned beef. In addition, the results were delicious and moist, with a great texture.

Reheating Corned Beef Through Steaming

Begin by preparing your steamer basket and get an inch or so of water to a gentle simmer. Then place the corned beef slices in the steamer basket. Cover the steamer basket with its lid and heat for 30 to 60 seconds. However, keep in mind that steaming more pieces will take longer.

The corned beef stays tender and succulent if it is steamed.

How to reheat corned beef through steaming:

  1. First, prepare your steamer.
  2. Bring an inch or so of water to a gentle simmer.
  3. Then put slices of corned meat into the steamer basket.
  4. Place its lid.
  5. Let it simmer for 30-60 seconds.
  6. Finally, take the slices out of the steamer basket and enjoy.

You can always create a substitute steamer if you don’t own one.

Make an elevated platform with aluminum foil in your pan. Then, place the corned meat on a plate that is resting on the foil. Add water to the pan, and you have your makeshift steamer!

The rest of the steps remain the same.

Also, place the corned beef slices in the steamer flat. Don’t stack too many pieces over each other.

You may find that the slices don’t heat evenly if you do.


The reheated corned beef were similar to those obtained using the microwave method. Moreover, the steaming method is safe because the meat won’t dry out or overheat.

However, it can take some more time and effort, especially if using a substitute steamer.

Steaming is a good alternative to using the microwave.

Reheating Corned Beef Using a Skillet

Start by heating the skillet over low heat. Then, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water or beef stock. Add the corned beef. Next, cover the skillet and allow it to steam for between 30 to 60 seconds. This results in moist corned beef. But if you prefer dry the meat, you can heat it up using oil instead of water.

Keep in mind that beef stock adds more flavor than water. If you don’t have beef, you can use vegetable or chicken stock.

How to reheat corned beef in a skillet:

  1. Put the skillet on the stove, and heat it over low heat.
  2. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water or stock into the skillet, then heat until it is steaming.
  3. Then, add the corned beef.
  4. Use a tight-fitting lid to cover the skillet
  5. Allow it to steam for 30 to 60 seconds However, it might take longer if you have a lot of corned beef in your pan.

You can get crisper corned beef if you heat oil in the skillet instead of water or beef stock.

This is essentially frying the corned meat. Thus, fry each side of the slices for about 30 seconds. Carefully use a spatula to flip them.

But if you prefer corned beef to be less crispy, add liquid to fully cover the beef slices.


The corned beef is slightly dried and crisped around the edges if you only add a little bit of water. You may try this technique if you prefer your corned beef this way!

On the other hand, the meat stays moist and tender if you add lots of water. This method, however, requires some trial and error before you find the one that works best for you.

But generally, the results were very similar to microwaving and steaming. So the equipment available dictates which method you use.

Reheating Corned Beef in the Oven

Start by preheating the oven at 350°F (180°C). Then add a tablespoon of stock or water on the corned beef, and wrap it with aluminum foil. You can also stack the corned meat if needed. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes until it is warmed through.

If you have more corned beef stacked, you need a longer time to heat it.

How to reheat corned beef in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Add a tablespoon of water, or stock to the corned beef.
  3. Wrap the corned beef in aluminum foil, and stack the slices, if necessary.
  4. Heat for 4 to 6 minutes, until it is warmed through.
  5. Enjoy!

Add water to the foil packet before heating to create steam.

This produces juicer meat, similar to the steaming method or using a damp paper towel in the microwave.

The meat would dry out if there is no liquid.

Try not to stack more than 3 to 4 slices of corned beef to make sure that it warms up evenly, and to keep the heating times down.


The oven is the least preferred method to heat corned beef.

The end results are not bad per se, but it is difficult to achieve the same texture as steaming or microwaving. 

This process takes longer.

Waiting for the oven to preheat up is a hassle since it takes longer than the actual time to reheat the corned beef. However, it is different when using an oven toaster.

If you have spare time, this is a good option. However, this method is generally only recommended if there is a lot of corned meat to reheat at once.

Reheating corned beef in a water bath

Begin by checking that the packaging you have purchased is suitable for water bath use. Next, let a large pot of water boil. When you see that the water is boiling, turn the heat down to low, add the packaged corned beef, and cover the pot with a lid. Leave it to heat for five minutes. Then, make sure that the meat has been properly reheated before you serve it.

Important Note:

The packaging must be capable of withstanding the heat of boiling water in order to heat food in a water bath.

Keep in mind that regular zip-top plastic bags won’t work since they begin to melt at temperatures higher than 195°F (90.6°C). Make sure you have the right packaging. Then, read more about how to heat corned beef in a water bath.

How to reheat corned beef a water bath:

  1. First, take corned beef out of the fridge, and make sure the packaging is safe for use in a water bath.
  2. Let a large pot of water boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low.
  4. Then, submerge the package of corned beef into the boiling water and seal the pot with a lid.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes until the meat is warmed through.

Food-saver bags that are used with vacuum sealers are a safe choice because they are designed for water-bath heating.

You can submerge a Katz Delicatessen corned meat in its original packaging. But, provided you haven’t opened or broken the vacuum seal.

Katz Delicatessen recommends this method for unopened packages. But microwaving is recommended once the packaging has been opened.


If you have the right packaging, and you only want warm corned beef, a water bath can be a great option.

However, it is near impossible to determine when the meat has been cooked without opening at the packaging. This can lead to some confusion.

This method also takes a lot more time than others.

How to store corned beef

You can store any leftover corned beef in a shallow, airtight container. You can also wrap the corned beef in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap. The stored corned beef can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If it’s kept longer than that, the deli meat will begin to dry out.

Also, trust your nose to tell if the corned beef leftovers are still edible.

Corned beef will smell slightly sour if it has gone bad. It will also feel and look slimy.

Throw it out immediately if either one of these descriptions matches corned beef you have in your fridge.

Corned beef should never be kept at room temperature.

Bacteria will begin to grow after two hours. So, corned beef should always be kept in the freezer or fridge.

Can you freeze corned beef?

Yes, corned beef can be frozen. However, before you freeze sliced corned beef, put a piece of wax paper between each slice, and seal it in an airtight container. Corned beef should also be consumed within three months to get the best quality. But it may last indefinitely if it is kept at 0°F.

Keep it in one large stack if you are sure you will need to reheat them in large amounts later or to keep it frozen for a longer time.

Larger portions, however, are more susceptible to freezing burn.

How to freeze corned beef:

  1. Layer corned beef slices with waxed paper in between.
  2. Then, wrap tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or both.
  3. Place the packaged corned beef in an airtight zipper-top freezer bag, and remove as much air as possible.
  4. Keep it at or below 0°F, and eat them within 3 months.

It will be easier to remove individual slices with parchment paper later. You won’t have to defrost the whole thing.

Use a straw to extract the air out of the bag. But you can also place the freezer bag in a large pot of hot water. The pressure from the water then forces the air out, so you can seal the freezer bag.

Another alternative is the vacuum-sealed Foodsaver bags. These are a great option for long-term freezing.

Lay corned beef slices on a baking sheet or tray in one layer, without overlapping, to get the best results.

Freeze at a minimum of two hours

Next, transfer the frozen pieces into a Foodsaver bag. Seal it according to the instructions.

Then place the vacuum-sealed container in the freezer as per the instructions. If the corned beef is packaged in this manner, it can be preserved for up to one year.

How to Thaw Corned Beef

Start by taking the corned beef out of the freezer, and keep it in its packaging to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can also pour cold water over the packaging to speed up the process of thawing sliced corned beef.

However, keep in mind not to thaw corned beef or any other meat at room temperature. You could accidentally leave it in the “danger zone” for bacteria for too long.

After your corned beef has thawed, reheat slices in the microwave, or any other method that you prefer. But reheat it in the oven if you have a whole corned beef.

How to Reheat Frozen Corned Beef

You can also reheat frozen corned meat without thawing.

You can use any reheating method that suits your preference if you have frozen corned beef that are separated as individual slices. Just increase the heating time, and monitor the temperature of your corned beef as you go.

However, you can reheat corned beef in the oven if you have frozen it whole or in a stack of slices. Take the corned beef out of any plastic wrap, add a bit of water, and rewrap with aluminum foil. Then, continue heating as before until the corned beef is fully warm.

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