Corned Beef For Reuben Sandwiches


Corned beef for Reuben sandwiches is easy to make, but should be cooked gently since it is high in fat. classic reuben sandwich is very tasty when combined with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing.

Corned beef is a specific cut of beef. But what makes it corned beef? How do you cook corned beef? Whatever your question, I’m here to answer. In this article you will learn all about corned beef, the health benefits of beef, and learn how to make reuben sandwich with canned corned beef.

Corned Beef For Reuben Sandwiches

Classic Reuben with Corned Beef Baked in the Oven Delicious brisket, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and homemade Russian dressing on rye.

Classic Reuben with Oven Baked Corned Beef Brisket

I’ll begin by noting that I adore corned beef. Since I only truly eat this traditional Reuben with oven-baked corned beef brisket once a year, I made the decision to go all out this year and purchase a SIXTEEN POUND corned beef brisket. When I couldn’t decide between a flat or point cut (I’ll explain later) and that corned beef shrinks A LOT, I comically explained it to myself and my husband, Aidan, and then I enticed him with the promise of a fantastic Classic Reuben with Oven Baked Corned Beef Brisket. I’m glad to report that the cooked corned beef still weighs 10 pounds (oops haha). The wonderful traditional Reuben is next, featuring two slices of marbled rye bread, flawlessly melted Swiss cheese, handmade Russian dressing, succulent corned meat, and sauerkraut. YES! Happy St. Patrick’s Eve seven times over!


Classic Reuben with Oven Baked Corned Beef Brisket

A more challenging meat cut is the brisket. When purchasing corned beef brisket, you have a choice between two different cuts, known as point or flat cuts. There is a lot of debate over which is preferable. The point tends to be fattier but tends to be more tender and juicy after cooking. The flat/round cut is lean and the prettiest cut of the two. While point is normally cut thicker and served with potatoes or cabbage, flat/lean cut is typically utilized for thin sandwich slices.

Classic Reuben with Oven Baked Corned Beef Brisket
  • Set oven to 350 degrees.
  • First, remove the corned meat from its packing and rinse it. Before you begin cooking the brisket, this will help to remove some of the extra salt from it.
  • Place the fatty side of the brisket up in a roasting pan. Over the brisket, sprinkle pickling spices (or the seasoning packet that comes with the corned beef). Halfway up the brisket, fill the roasting pan with water. Wrap aluminum foil tightly around the pan.
  • Roast until the brisket’s thickest part reaches a temperature of 165 degrees (about 2-3 hours depending on the size of the brisket).
  • Brisket should be removed from the oven once it is fully cooked through, removed from the roasting pan so it won’t continue to cook, and wrapped in tinfoil. Before it is cut, the brisket needs to rest for about 30 minutes. (I usually do this when I make the Russian dressing!)
  • Trimming can start after the brisket has rested for 30 minutes! The corned beef should be thinly sliced the other way. Decide which way is moving and cut perpendicular to that direction. * A crucial step is to cut against the grain; otherwise, the food would taste chewy and harsh.


Classic Reuben with Oven Baked Corned Beef Brisket: Rye bread with Swiss cheese and Russian dressing
  • I used a mortar & pestle to first dice, then mash, the onion to produce more of a minced onion paste.
  • Mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, minced red onion, lemon juice, paprika, spicy sauce (*optional), and sea salt flakes are measured out and combined.
  • For up to two weeks, dressing can be kept in the refrigerator airtight.

Classic Reuben Sandwich

Instead of using deli meat, use slow-cooked corned beef to make these straightforward reuben sliders. These corned beef sliders are the ideal appetizer for the big game and more because they have all the traditional components of a reuben but with freshly sliced corned beef brisket!

Slow cooker rueben sliders in white pan with chopped parsley on top.

One of my favorite apps is sliders. Always full of taste, made with meat and cheese, and convenient for eating on the go. We are all about game day recipes with March Madness just around the corner!

In Ohio, there are more than 17,000 farms owned and operated by families, and there are cattle in every county. In actuality, 97% of cattle farms are run and owned by families.


  • Delicious, slow cooked corned beef for the best sliders! The reuben sandwich almost singlehandedly paid for my college tuition as I served thousands of them at the diner I waitressed. So I know my reubens. The sandwiches from the mom and pop diner used deli meat, but I will tell you NOTHING beats freshly cooked and sliced corned beef. NOTHING.
  • Minimal ingredients. You will only need a handful of ingredients. Corned beef comes with everything you need including the spice packet so it’s all there when you buy the meat. From there, grab some slider or Hawaiian rolls, sauerkraut, cheese and Russian dressing. Done!
  • So easy to whip up. Aside from waiting for the corned beef to slow cook, these sliders require nothing more than stacking everything on top of the sandwiches and baking. Don’t be fooled by the “slow cooker” aspect. These corned beef sliders are so easy to make.
  • A perfect party dish–classic reuben flavor with a fun twist. A classic reuben does not make for easy to serve party food. But if you shift things a bit and top everything on some slider rolls and bake, you have got yourself some amazing party food. And add some French Dip Sliders into the mix to keep the crowd happy!


  • corned beef brisket: corned beef is probably one of the easiest cuts of meat to slow cook. It comes ready to go with the seasoning packet so all you have to do is add it to the slow cooker and add the broth and seasoning packet. While you could certainly use deli sliced corned beef for this recipe, NOTHING will beat the freshly cooked corned beef brisket in this recipe.
  • beef broth: I prefer a low sodium beef broth. Water could be used or even a bit of beer to adjust the flavor of the meat.
  • Hawaiian rolls: The way Hawaiian rolls come packaged make for easy assembly of these reuben sliders. Any slider buns will work, you can just put the rolls close together if they are separated already.
  • swiss cheese: swiss cheese is nice and mild and makes for a perfect balance to these sliders. You could use provolone, gruyere or another white cheese that is good for melting.
  • sauerkraut: a key ingredient in any reuben sandwich. Make sure to drain the liquid so your sandwiches don’t get soggy.
  • dressing: Russian dressing is the classic sauce on a reuben, but I actually often make them with Thousand Island a lot. Each has its own flavor profile, use what you prefer. I love both and they both are so similar in color.
  • butter: top the rolls with melted butter for the perfect buttery top on your baked corned beef sliders.


Meat that has been salted and cured results in corned beef. It used as a method of meat preservation years before refrigeration became widely available. The salt “corns” that make up the “corned” portion are most likely to blame.

Today, the most common type of corned beef is beef brisket, which is frequently used to make reuben sandwiches or served with cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. The best cooking technique for juicy, tender, and tasty corned beef is slow cooking over low heat since brisket is frequently used in its preparation.

Corned beef sliced on cutting board.


The secret to the greatest corned beef is to cook it on low heat for an extremely long time to help it become incredibly moist and tender.

Put the corned beef brisket in the crock pot fat side up. Cover with the spice package found in the beef packet after pouring over the beef broth.

Meat should be fork tender after 8 to 10 hours of slow cooking on low. Even while it can be eaten without risk once it reaches a safe internal temperature of 145°F, cooking it longer will make it more soft.

Low and slow cooking is essential because overcooking will result in tough meat.

When the meat is done, remove it from the slow cooker and let it a few minutes to rest. Slices should be roughly 14 inch thick (give or take). Remove any excess fat. You may also pull apart bits to gently shred it.

Corned beef brisket in slow cooker before and then after cooked,

Slice the still-connected Hawaiian rolls once the meat has been cut into slices. Rolls should be put inside a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or that has been lined with parchment paper.

Add the thinly sliced corned meat on top. I often do one layer or around two slices, but you can do more if you’d like.

Sauerkraut should be added to the beef. In order to prevent the reuben sliders from being overly soggy, make sure to drain any extra liquid from the kraut.

Six to eight pieces of Swiss cheese should be placed on top of the sauerkraut before rolling up the top half of the rolls and adding them on top of the cheese.

The Hawaiian rolls’ tops should be liberally brushed with melted butter. When the cheese has completely melted, bake the corned beef sandwiches at 350°F for about 25 minutes. In the final few minutes, you can take off the foil and lightly brown the rolls’ tops.

Sliders should be taken out of the oven and given some time to cool before cutting and serving. Add some chopped parsley on top, and serve more dressing on the side for dipping.

Swiss cheese on top of sauerkraut and corned beef.


  • The meat can be prepared a day in advance. You may certainly prepare the corned beef the day before preparing the sliders. After cooking the meat, tightly wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the reuben sliders. Before putting the meat to your sandwiches, slice it.
  • As instructed, layer the sandwiches to prevent soggy sliders.
  • The buns won’t become too soggy and fall apart if you arrange these corned beef sliders as instructed. To prevent the sauerkraut from touching any of the bread, it is strongly advised to add the cheese on top of the sauerkraut.
  • Use whichever slider roll you’d like.
  • Although I refer to Hawaiian rolls frequently in this recipe, you can also use sliders and other rolls that are comparable. Simply lay the rolls closely together if they have already been divided and cut into slices, or stack each slider separately before baking.
  • Keep toothpicks close by! After baking, slice the sliders and insert a toothpick into each one to keep them from falling apart. If not, the cheese will melt and the dressing will make the toppers slip off immediately!
Reuben slider held up to show close up of sandwich.


To any party spread, these reuben sliders are the ideal addition. These will be a favorite at any event, including the forthcoming basketball tournament, a birthday celebration, and more!

When I want to make these sliders more of a dinner, I love to make some Potato Wedges to go with them.

Then we go all out with some nachos, caprese skewers, chips and dip, and perhaps even some puff pastry nibbles for a party spread.

Reuben Sandwich with Canned Corned Beef

Three reuben sandwich halves stacked on top of each other on a cutting board
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez


  • Preheating the kraut and corned beef ensures that the cheese melts quickly upon assembly.
  • Toasting the rye on one side yields a crisp outer texture, but leaves the interior tender for maximum fusion with the cheese.

When I was in New York City, I once made the error of going into the Jewish 2nd Ave Deli and ordering a Reuben sandwich. The server patiently waited for my lapsed-Jewish brain to perform some simple math before tilting her head to the side and raising an eyebrow. I apologized after a few awkward beats and asked for a tongue on rye with mustard instead.

I would not have asked in the first place if Jewish dietary rules had been on my mind because observant Jews do not combine meat and dairy. That renders a Reuben, which consists of toasted rye bread loaded with corned beef, a mountain of warm sauerkraut, gooey layers of melted Swiss cheese, and a good amount of Russian dressing, to be utter blasphemy…or, perhaps I should say, sacrilege that’s purely delicious.

Many delis that are less strict will make you a Reuben, but I’ve been shocked at the subpar food served at some establishments, including one well-known deli in New York City that I won’t name (aside from saying that it’s on the corner of Houston and Ludlow, which of course isn’t going to be enough information for you to figure out which one I’m referring to). There’s no excuse to make the Reuben sandwich incorrectly because it’s simple. You won’t experience this issue if you make it at home.

Where’s the Beef?

Obtaining quality corned beef and Jewish rye is the most difficult aspect of constructing a nice Reuben. The rye isn’t really a problem; once buttered and toasted, even inferior loaves will taste great. Even though bad corned beef is more difficult to disguise, the Reuben is forgiving. We may thank the Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and melted cheese for that.

No matter where you live, try to acquire the greatest quality you can. There are a few methods for doing that. You can either settle for a premium supermarket brand from the deli or get cooked corned beef online from a business like Zingerman’s in Michigan. Even better, if you’re feeling ambitious, you may follow this recipe to step 3 and make and cook it yourself. Pastrami, which isn’t the typical meat in a Reuben but still tastes fantastic, could alternatively be chosen in place of the corned beef.

The meat is often steam-cooked whole at delis and then hand-carved while it’s still steaming. Use this technique at home if you have a really sharp carving knife and a steady hand. If not, you can slice the meat by hand while it’s still cool or, even simpler, ask the deli staff to do it for you. Even pre-sliced corned beef will be plenty tender and juicy if you reheat it properly (and we’ll talk about that in a moment). To be honest, I prefer my corned beef slightly thicker than what is seen in these photographs, but not as outrageously thick as some delis-that-shall-not-be-named typically serve it.

The Best Method for Making Reuben Sandwiches at Home

Here at Serious Eats, we believe that each slice of bread should be toasted on both sides to enhance the crunch factor in contrast to the soft, melted cheese. For melts, which is what a Reuben technically is, this rule occasionally holds true. However, when making a Reuben, I like to switch back to single-side toasting because I like the bread’s interior surfaces to be somewhat warmed and tender, partially fusing the sandwich together.

The bread slices are all first toasted in butter on the skillet before being topped with corned beef, kraut, sauce, and cheese on a baking sheet and baked until the cheese is melted. This method was included in my original 2016 publication of the recipe. When you’re cooking sandwiches in large quantities, this tip is helpful. But the more time I’ve spent with this dish, the more I’ve found myself relying only on a skillet. First of all, this recipe makes four sandwiches, which fit perfectly in a 12-inch skillet, making the entire large-batch issue kind of meaningless (that said, if you want to double or triple or quadruple this recipe, the oven method is a good option). Additionally, you can steam, press, and toast the sandwiches in the skillet at the same time, eliminating the need for an oven and saving time. This results in what I believe to be the sexiest Reuben: one that is crisp on the outside, gooey with cheese and Russian dressing, and if you’re lucky, even has some crispy cheese bits that form as it melts and flows from the sandwiches and fries in the skillet. In essence, I enjoy them even more this way.

Preheating the corned beef and sauerkraut beforehand is always important so that you can focus on melting the cheese and toasting the bread rather than having to warm through the entire sandwich. There is no chance that the cheese will remain unmelted in the center, which would be the Reuben sandwich’s worst nightmare. The hot pork and kraut also aid in melting the cheese more quickly.

I pre-heat the corned beef using a restaurant tip that involves sealing the meat in a container or package with a small amount of water and placing it in a warm oven; aluminum foil works great as the package. The foil helps prevent the meat from drying out by trapping the steam produced by the water. In the meantime, I sauté the kraut in butter to intensify its taste and eliminate any remaining wateriness.

I start by toasting half of the bread slices in butter on only one side before assembling and roasting the Reubens. When the sandwiches are done, these will be the bottom sides. After pouring Russian dressing on the top and bottom bread slices, I assemble the sandwiches on a work table by placing the hot corned beef and kraut on top of those previously toasted slices, adding the cheese, and then wrapping the sandwiches. The Reubens must be placed back into the skillet untoasted top-side down with extra butter and cooked, first with a lid to trap steam and make sure the butter melts (I like to use a slightly smaller lid so I can also press down on the sandwiches as they heat through, helping them to fuse and get good contact for better toasting). Then I take off the top and continue to cook the sandwiches until the cheese is flowing and the bread is thoroughly toasted on the last side.

Just bear in mind not to serve these to any kosher-observant friends.

When cooking them in big batches, the original version of this recipe finished the Reubens in the oven. Since then, the author has changed it to use a stovetop-only technique, which works well for the four sandwiches it produces.

Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 15 mins

Active: 25 mins

Total: 25 mins

Serves: 4 sandwiches


For the Russian Dressing (see notes):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (35ml) mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (20ml) ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) dill pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) grated horseradish from a jar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Sandwiches:

  • 1 pound (500g) sliced corned beef (see notes)
  • 5 tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 pound (225g) drained sauerkraut
  • 8 slices Jewish rye bread
  • 8 slices swiss cheese


  1. For the Russian Dressing: In a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup, relish, lemon juice, and horseradish. Season dressing with salt and pepper and set aside.Overhead view of ingredients for russian dressing in a glass bowl
  2. For the Sandwiches: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lay a sheet of aluminum foil on a rimmed baking sheet and place corned beef in the center. Bring foil edges up to form walls, then add 2 tablespoons (30ml) water to corned beef. Seal package well and transfer to oven until corned beef is heated through, about 10 minutes.Water being added to corned beef in aluminum foil
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan or skillet, melt 1 tablespoon (15g) butter over medium heat until foaming. Add sauerkraut and cook, stirring occasionally, until any excess liquid has cooked off and sauerkraut is heated through and glossy, about 5 minutes. Keep warm.Overhead view of sauerkraut in a pan on the stove
  4. In a 12-inch stainless-steel or cast iron skillet, melt 2 tablespoons (30g) butter over medium-low heat. Add 4 bread slices and cook, rotating and moving slices around pan for even browning, until golden brown on bottom side, about 4 minutes. Transfer toasted bread slices to a work surface, toasted side down. Arrange remaining 4 untoasted bread slices in a row above them.Four pieces of rye bread in a pan with butter
  5. Spread Russian dressing generously all over every bread slice. Mound corned beef, making sure to let any excess moisture drip off first, on the toasted bread slices. Mound sauerkraut on top of corned beef. Lay cheese slices over sauerkraut.Four image collage of corned beef being added to rye bread then topped with sauerkraut, russian dressing and swiss cheese
  6. Close sandwiches. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons (30g) butter in skillet over medium-low heat and add sandwiches, untoasted (top) side down. Cover with a lid that’s slightly smaller than the skillet and cook, pressing down on the sandwiches with the lid, until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Uncover skillet and continue cooking, rotating and moving sandwiches around skillet and pressing down on sandwiches for even browning, until golden brown and crisp on second side, about 3 minutes longer.Four Image Collage of sandwiches being closed, added to a pan with butter, being pressed down in the pan, and then being lifted out of the pan when melty
  7. Transfer Reubens to a work surface, cut in half on the diagonal, and serve hot.

Health Benefit of Beef

1. Beef is High in Protein and Helps Improve Muscle Mass

Our bodies require protein, so it’s crucial to consume it every day. The essential building blocks (amino acids) that our bodies require for the repair and development of muscle, bone, skin, hair, cartilage, and other tissues are provided by proteins. Our bodies need protein on a daily basis to maintain our lean body mass, often known as muscle mass. Additionally, proteins are the most satiating of all the nutrients and help us feel full for a longer period of time, reducing unneeded cravings.

One of the main sources of protein in the human diet, beef is brimming with amino acids that are good for your health. As an illustration, a 6oz (170g) serving of 80% lean beef has 46g of protein. The protein content rises if we choose a leaner breed of cattle! We provide Certified Angus Beef at Five Star Home Food because of this.

2. Beef is Extremely Rich in Minerals

Beef is also very rich in minerals like potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron. In fact, a 6oz portion will give you (%DV):

Copper 10%
Iron 18%
Magnesium: 7%
Phosphorus: 40%
Potassium: 10%
Selenium: 50%
Zinc: 65%

For people with certain mineral deficiencies, beef is an excellent source of nutrition!

3. Eating Beef Helps Prevent Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron Deficiency Anemia is one nutrient deficiency worth highlighting (IDA). Iron deficiency “remains a major public health issue even in a developed country such as the United States,” according to Dr. Ian Griffin. Currently, 10% of the population suffers from iron deficiency, with IDA accounting for half of these cases. It is linked to variations in dietary intake quality, which is one of the reasons Five Star Home Foods exclusively offers the highest-grade Angus certified beef.

4. Beef Contains Carnosine

A further benefit of beef is that it contains 50% more carnosine than other proteins like poultry. The amino acids alanine and histidine are combined to form carnosine (beta-analyl-L-histidine). It can be found all over the body and plays several crucial roles in maintaining good health, especially when it comes to exercise performance and muscle mass balance.

What Does Carnosine Do?
Carnosine contains anti-glycosylation effects, for starters. This means that carnosine lessens the negative effects of a process known as “glycation,” which is directly tied to human aging. Exercise performance, skeletal muscle homeostasis, immune system stimulation, and inflammation reduction are all aided by carnosine. The substance may also aid in stopping lipid peroxidation in our cells.

5. Beef is Full of Vitamins

There are many important nutrients in beef, and those present in significant amounts include the range of B vitamins, which are vital to energy metabolism (amount per 6oz 80/20 beef %DV):

Vitamin B1 6%
Vitamin B2 20%
Vitamin B3 45%
Vitamin B5 17%
Vitamin B6 42%
Vitamin B12 152%
Folate 3%

The vitamins E and K are also present in lower concentrations in beef. Importantly, Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a necessary ingredient that is exclusively found in animal diets. Additionally, this vitamin provides a wide range of advantages, such as improved skin, happier mood, better sleep, and neural regeneration. It’s crucial to understand that low vitamin B12 levels may also make depression and other mental health problems more likely.

6. Beef Contains the Natural Creatine

Did you know that beef includes creatine as well? Nearly everyone is familiar with the form of creatine found in nutritional supplements. In actuality, each 100g of beef normally contains 350mg of creatine.

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