I cooked my first ever corned beef brisket. I think it was a point cut by the shape of it. I won the darn thing and the package did not specify.

Anyway, I brought to a boil then reduced to a simmer for three hours. The taste is good but the texture is mushy. It seems a little fatty. Did I overcook it?

  • Welcome Chip to Seasoned Advice! Can you provide us with what you boil the beef in, and any other preparation information?
    – Jay
    Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 19:48

2 Answers 2


Take everything I say with a grain of salt (pun intended) as I am writing from Texas where we do nobler things with brisket. A true corned-beef-expert would be of Irish or Jewish descent, and from New York.

The meat should have relatively tough individual fibers that separate easily because of the long, wet cooking. It is pretty difficult to overcook brisket as it is so tough. Like Chuck Norris but tastier. Three hours would definitely not be enough time.

It can be fatty and that will be pretty much up to how much of the fat was trimmed off when it was butchered. An untrimmed brisket has a solid layer of fat that can be as much as a half inch thick. Obviously trimmed briskets cost more. The fat can be nice for smoking but the corned beef I have seen is not as fatty.

Fatty and mushy are not the same thing, of course. If the meat is actually mushy then I suspect that it was packed with a meat tenderizer as well as the corning salt and seasonings. If this is the case then there isn't much you could have done differently. Just don't buy that brand next time. Better yet, next time, corn it yourself.


A number of consumer-available corned beefs are chemically tenderized with papayin and other similar compounds.

If you still have it, check the packaging to see a list of ingredients. Check for papayin and other enzymes listed as meat tenderizers.

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