Slow Cook Your St. Patrick’s Day Meal on a Smoker

A lot of people use St. Patrick’s day as an excuse to indulge on Irish fare and [a lot of] Irish beer (or just crappy beer dyed green) but have you considered some other ways of preparing the traditional combo of corned beef and cabbage? This year (I celebrated a few days early because of scheduling issues) I decided to use my new smoker to cook a corned corned beef a stuffed head of cabbage. After following simple instructions on corning a beef brisket we got the smoker set up with some hickory wood and got cookin’.



  • 3-5lb corned beef (or a brisket)
  • 2-3lb head of cabbage
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 5 strips of bacon cut into 1/4″ strips across
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup favorite bbq sauce
  • Salt & pepper

First, get the smoker going (do not use too much wood because it can throw the flavor of an already-flavorful meat off) and the meat patted dry and seasoned. Make sure the smoker has plenty of water in it to keep the meat moist.

IMG_0161 IMG_0159Make sure to fold over any thin parts of the meat so they don’t cook too much faster than the other parts.

Once the smoker reached about 225 degrees and the meat is in, wait a couple of hours before starting the cabbage.

Core the cabbage out and flip the head upside-down into a foil ring to hold it up.

You will actually want to take a bit more out of the middle than you see in this picture.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan and cook the bacon and onions over medium heat until they turn lightly brown. Strain the bacon and onions over a bowl (you will use the drippings in just a moment). Return the bacon and onions to the pan and add your BBQ sauce, mixing it together.


Put the bacon/onion/BBQ sauce mixture into the cavity of the cabbage head. Add the three tablespoon chunks of butter to the top of it and use the strained drippings to baste the outside of the head.

Important note: Try not to drool too much on the food.

Put the cabbage head into the smoker carefully with the foil ring and cook for at least three hours.


Once the meat temperature has hovered between 150-175 degrees for about three hours, you can bring the meat inside.


After the meat has rested for 30-45 minutes, off the grill, under foil, you can take the cabbage off too. To serve, cut the head into wedges.



And now you have a properly Americanized version of this favorite Irish combo!

Enjoy and, most importantly, St. Patrick, PRAY FOR US!

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