What is a corned beef spice packet?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “What is a corned beef spice packet?”. We will also discuss the different spices used in a corned beef seasoning packet and the forms of spices used in it. Moreover, we will also describe the taste of corned beef.

What is a corned beef spice packet?

A standard corned beef seasoning packet is simply a pickling spice blend made up of peppercorns, bay leaves, mustard seeds, dill seeds, and at least a few other whole spices with warm and pungent aromas.

The term ‘corned’ refers to the practice of brining meat in liquid and spices after curing it in coarse salt. Although the spices used may vary according to the manufacturers, these are the spices commonly included in your corned beef spice packet.

What is inside a corned beef spice packet?

A corned beef spice packet usually comes with corned meat, particularly beef, and corned beef seasonings. You may not get a seasoning package in some brands but don’t worry you can easily make one at home with the help of a few ingredients.

The seasonings packet comprises the following spices:


The peppercorns’ earthy undertones add a wonderful taste variation to the meat. This spice imparts a peppery, woody, and piney flavor with a powerful aroma when combined with other flavorings such as crushed red chili flakes, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds. Its distinct flavors pair well with most of the savory dishes as well as some sweet dishes.

Mustard seeds

Yellow mustard seeds are the most common type in the seasonings packet. They have a mellow, robust, and somewhat bitter-sweet flavor which goes well with the other spices used in the seasoning. When cooked, this spice imparts a distinct flavor to the blend, providing a solid taste for meat.

Dill seeds

Dill seeds complement mustard seeds and coriander seeds well. This spice features notes of anise seed and caraway, as well as a strong and bitter kick. The acidic undertones of dill seeds virtually cancel out the saltiness of corned meat. This helps to balance out the flavors of all the ingredients used.

Coriander seeds

Coriander seeds have a very nutty, earthy, and citrusy flavor with a floral aroma. Its mild flavors add a unique taste to your recipes without overpowering the other spices. Due to its mild flavors, it acts as yet another flavor stabilizer in this recipe. It also pairs very nicely with the other spices used in the packet and enhances the brininess of the meat.

Crushed red chili flakes

Crushed red chili flakes add just the right amount of spiciness and a fierce punch to this combination, which complements the flavor of peppercorns well. Apart from the intense spicy flavors, red chilies are also responsible for the reddish color of the blend. Out of all the other spices in the blend, it is the only one that gives color to the seasoning.

Bay leaves

Crushed dried bay leaves give a highly calming scent as well as a cooling flavor to the spice blend. When coupled with red chili flakes, it intensifies the flavors and spiciness of the meat.

What to use for corned beef – ground spice or whole spice?

Whole seeds are a better choice for corned beef. Whole spices generally have deeper flavors and aromas in comparison to their ground counterparts. If you use ground spices, the flavor of your crockpot corned beef may be overpowered by the uncooked spice powders. 

Whole seeds will bring out the perfect flavors without being overpowering. The sweet and spicy mixture of whole or crushed spices adds flavor to pickled foods and can endure the pickling process.

What does corned beef taste like?

Since corned beef is simply a salt-cured chunk of beef brined in a salt solution with pickling spices, its flavors are essentially a combination of all the spices used in its preparation. 

The brining solution for corned beef consists of spices like peppercorn, mustard seeds, bay leaves, and coriander, so the dominant flavors of corned beef are bright peppery overtones. It has a strong umami flavor with a faint sweetness due to the fatty nature of the flesh.

For more details on the flavors and preparation of corned beef, please click the link here.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “What is a corned beef spice packet?”. We have also discussed the different spices used in a corned beef seasoning packet and the forms of spices used in it. Moreover, we have also described the taste of corned beef.



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