Deliciously Simple: How to Cook Canned Corned Beef Hash

How to Cook Canned Corned Beef Hash: A Quick and Tasty Meal

Canned corned beef hash is a popular and convenient dish enjoyed by many around the world. It offers a quick, inexpensive, and flavorful meal option that can be prepared in minutes. In this article, we will explore the best way to cook canned corned beef hash and discuss its versatility in various recipes.

The origins and preservation of canned corned beef

Canned corned beef has a long history and is a staple in many cuisines. The practice of pickling meat, including beef, dates back centuries and was developed as a means of preserving meat in the absence of refrigeration. Even sailors on tall ships carried rations of cured pork along with other dry grains.
Curing and smoking are traditional methods of preserving meat so that it can be enjoyed without lengthy preparation. Canned corned beef takes its name from the large grains of rock salt, also known as “corns,” used in the curing process. The meat is usually blanched to eliminate surface bacteria, then cooked with seasonings or smoked before being canned. Manufacturers may also add nitrates or nitrites to control bacterial growth, although the pros and cons of these additives remain controversial.
The unique property of salt allows it to remove moisture from the meat by osmosis, preventing or limiting the growth of bacteria and fungi. This preservation method allows canned corned beef to have a shelf life of 2-5 years when properly stored. It has revolutionized food preparation and offers superior convenience compared to using raw meat.

Cooking Canned Corned Beef: The Basics

Cooking canned corned beef hash is a straightforward process that requires a few key ingredients and minimal preparation. The following steps outline an easy and delicious recipe:


  • 1 can corned beef
  • 1 large potato (diced)
  • Half a tomato (diced)
  • Half a large onion (diced)
  • Salt, pepper and paprika (to taste)
  • Half a tablespoon minced ginger and garlic
  • Chives (for garnish)


  1. Open the can of corned beef and pour the contents into a lightly oiled skillet. If the corned beef is already cooked, a quick sear will enhance the flavor. Spread the meat evenly in the pan and cook on all sides until evenly browned. Avoid overcooking to preserve the tenderness of the meat.
  2. When cooked, remove meat from pan and set aside to cool.
  3. In the same pan, add a little more oil and sauté the minced ginger and garlic for about a minute until they sizzle. Then add the diced onions and cook until they are slightly translucent. The goal is to cook the onions while keeping them crunchy.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes to the pan and fry for about a minute.
  5. Add the diced potatoes to the pan and cook with the tomatoes until they are nicely browned. Add 1/4 cup of water and cover the pan to cook the potatoes until tender.
  6. When the vegetables are cooked, add the seared corned beef to the pan. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika, keeping in mind that the canned corned beef is already cooked and salted. The additional seasoning will enhance the flavor of the vegetables and bring the dish together.
  7. Cook everything together for about 3-5 minutes, then reduce the heat. Garnish with chives or fresh cilantro.
  8. Serve the canned corned beef hash hot with a side of mustard for a traditional flavor combination.

Explore different cooking methods for canned corned beef hash.

While the skillet method described above is the classic approach, there are other ways to cook canned corned beef hash, each with its own unique flavor profile. Here are some popular methods:

Oven toasting:

Oven toasting is a convenient way to cook canned corned beef hash in a one-pot dish without much effort. Follow these instructions for oven toasted corned beef hash:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Lightly oil the inside of a wide, shallow saucepan.
  • Layer the diced onions in the bottom of the pot, followed by the tomatoes.
  • Add the corned beef, potatoes and seasonings (salt, pepper, ginger, garlic and paprika).
  • Mix everything together with a spoon.
  • Place the pot in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 15 minutes, checking the top for doneness. The goal is to get a nice brown color on the potatoes.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving. For a complete meal, add a side of scrambled eggs or serve the corned beef hash on toast.

Crockpot method:

Using a crockpot or slow cooker is another convenient way to prepare canned corned beef hash. Follow these steps for a slow cooked version:

  • Spray the inside of the pot with cooking spray.
  • Layer the diced onions on the bottom, followed by the tomatoes.
  • Add the corned beef, potatoes and seasonings (salt, pepper, ginger, garlic and paprika).
  • Gently mix everything together.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking and to prevent sticking.
  • When cooked, garnish with chives or fresh parsley and serve hot.

Customize your canned corned beef hash

One of the great things about canned corned beef hash is its versatility. You can easily customize the dish to your liking and experiment with different ingredients. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Add diced peppers or jalapeños for an extra kick of flavor and heat.
  • Incorporate cooked corn or peas for added texture and color.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake in the oven for a cheesy crust.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, or smoked paprika to create unique flavor profiles.
  • Serve corned beef hash over a bed of steamed rice or with a fresh salad for a complete meal.


Canned corned beef hash is a versatile and convenient dish that can be prepared quickly and enjoyed any time of day. By following the simple cooking methods outlined in this article, you can create a flavorful meal with minimal effort. Whether you choose the skillet, oven, or crockpot method, don’t be afraid to customize the dish to suit your tastes. With its long shelf life and numerous recipe options, canned corned beef hash is a pantry staple that offers both convenience and great taste.


Can I make canned corned beef hash without any additional ingredients?

Yes, you can cook canned corned beef hash by itself. However, adding ingredients such as onions, potatoes, and seasonings can enhance the flavor and texture of the dish.

Can I use fresh corned beef instead of canned corned beef?

Yes, you can use fresh corned beef to make hash. However, the cooking time and method may be different than using canned corned beef. Fresh corned beef requires longer cooking times to achieve tenderness.

How long does it take to cook canned corned beef hash?

Canned Corned Beef Hash typically takes about 5-8 minutes to cook. It is a quick and convenient option for a delicious meal.

Can I freeze leftover canned corned beef hash?

Yes, you can freeze leftover canned corned beef hash. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or freezer bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat thoroughly before serving.

Can I add extra vegetables to canned corned beef hash?

Absolutely! Canned corned beef hash can be customized by adding vegetables such as bell peppers, peas, or corn to enhance the flavor and nutritional value of the dish. Experiment with different combinations to suit your taste buds.

Can I serve canned corned beef hash with other foods?

Yes, canned corned beef hash can be served with other dishes. It pairs well with fried or scrambled eggs for a hearty breakfast. It can also be served with toast, rice or salad for a complete meal. The versatility of canned corned beef hash allows for a variety of serving options.