How to Boil Beef to Make It Tender

Beef brisket, chuck roast and shoulder roast are perfect cuts of beef for boiling. When boiled, the tough connective tissues between the muscle fibers break down. This process results in the beef shrinking, tenderizing and soaking up the flavor of the cooking liquid and any spices included within it. Boiled beef is an ideal Sunday dinner, because once cooked, the meat can be re-used in any number of individual meals over the course of the week.

Step 1

Remove the beef from your butcher's packaging and rinse it well under cool running water. Leave any excess fat intact, as the fat gives the beef flavor during the cooking process.

Step 2

Place the beef in a large Dutch oven and add your preferred seasonings to taste. For example, you can season the beef with 10 whole black peppercorns, 1/8 tsp. cloves and 1 bay leaf for a sweet and spicy flavor.

Step 3

Set the pot on the stove and fill it with water. The water should completely cover the beef.

Step 4

Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn the heat down and cover the pot with its lid. Simmer the beef for three to five hours, or until tender. Take the temperature of your beef before you stop cooking it -- the meat should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5

Remove the beef from the boiling water and transfer it to a cutting board.

Step 6

Slice the beef diagonally across the grain of the meat with a sharp knife. Serve the slices warm or cold.

Things You'll Need

  • 3- to 4-lb beef brisket, chuck roast or shoulder roast

  • Seasonings to taste

  • 8- to 10-quart Dutch oven with lid

  • Cutting board

  • Sharp knife

  • Meat thermometer

  • Boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage, optional


Boiled beef is most tender when sliced into 1/4-inch-think slices.

Serve leftover beef in a sandwich with mustard and rye bread.


Do not let all of the water boil out of the pot. If necessary, add more water to prevent the meat from burning.

Beef contains saturated fat. Limit your intake by keeping your portions small -- 4 ounces.

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