Corned Beef vs Roast Beef

Corned Beef vs Roast Beef

Corned beef and roast beef are often confused. However, the 2 have distinct differences as well as similarities. It is very important to be able to physically tell them apart so that when you are cooking you know exactly the right methods to use. Below is a list of differences and similarities which will help you to distinguish the two.


What is corned beef?

Corned beef is meat that has been cured first before cooking. Usually it is cured using curing salts in a special brine and just like salami and bacon which are cured meats, it has a strong reddish or pink colour as compared to other types of meat. Corned beef is often served as a traditional meal in the United States of America on St Patrick’s Day. The most common way of cooking corned beef is by boiling it although it can actually be roasted. Corned beef and cabbage is an American authentic dish whose recipe you can find almost anywhere because it is very popular.

NB: corned beef is very healthy because it undergoes the curing process. However, it is very high in sodium so be careful not to over consume it.

What is roast beef?

Roast beef is a traditional English dish which is very popular in the global world. As the name suggests roast beef is beef that is roasted. It does not contain any additives before being cooked. The only additives that are added to the roast beef are when you are cooking it.

Differences between corned beef and roast beef


Roast beef is an English cuisine whereas the origins of corned beef are unknown. There is a debate on whether it originated in Ancient Europe or in the Middle East.

Furthermore corned beef in America is usually served on St Patrick’s Day whereas roast beef can be served any day. There is no specific holiday in which roast beef should be served as a traditional dish.


The other difference to note between corned beef and roast beef is that corned beef has a distinct pink or red colour as compared to that of roast beef. This is because the ingredients used for curing the beef give it that distinct colour.

Cooking methods

The third difference between corned beef and roast beef is the way in which they are cooked. Corned beef can be cooked in many different ways and it can actually be boiled. However, roast beef can never be boiled. It is always roasted as the name suggests.

Production process

Corned beef is cured first before it can be cooked whereas roast beef doesn’t go through the whole process of meat curing. It is simply roasted and served. Curing beef helps to preserve it for a longer period since the salt used to cure the beef contains sodium nitrate which kills bacteria that affects meat.

To add on corned beef lasts for a longer period of time as compared to roast beef. This is because the meat used to make roast doesn’t contain any preservatives or additives to it. Whereas corned beef is made using curing salt which has the potential to preserve the meat for a longer period of time.


Corned beef has a briny taste which is salty and spicy. This is because it is cured before it is cooked, thus it takes the flavours of its curing agents. On the other hand roast beef takes the flavour of the spices that you cook it with.


Corned beef has a softer texture as compared to that of roast beef. This is because corned beef is usually served while boiled whereas roasting tends to toughen meat a little bit.


Although corned beef and roast beef are treated differently they are both derived from the meat of a cow. Therefore they belong to the same family.

Furthermore roast beef and corned beef can be served with the same side dishes. So you don’t have to worry about making a different side dish when cooking either of the 2.

To add on corned beef can be roasted just like roast beef. So you can always prepare them the same way. Although as previously noted roast beef cannot be treated as corned beef.

Advantages of eating beef

High in protein

The advantage of eating beef is that it is very high in protein which is essential in keeping the bones strong. It also aids in strengthening the muscles. So if you are someone who is very keen about maintaining their body then beef will help you.

High in iron

Iron is an essential mineral for the body and it is found in beef. Iron helps red blood cells in carrying oxygen thought the body. It is also essential in promoting brain development. Iron is also essential in the production of haemoglobin in the body which helps to transfer oxygen from the blood to the lungs and tissues.

High in zinc

This is a mineral that is important in boosting the body’s metabolism. If you eat beef you will boost your zinc levels. Furthermore, zinc helps to promote cognitive development in the body. It also helps with wound healing in the body, cell division and cell growth.

High in phosphorus

Phosphorus helps the body to convert food into energy and when you eat beef you gain this mineral. It also helps to in repairing body cells and tissues. Phosphorus is also an essential mineral for the formation of bones and teeth in the human body.

High in vitamin B

Beef is very high in vitamins B6 and B12. Vitamin B6 helps to boost the immune system. It aids digestion and also it promotes healthy skin and eyes. Vitamin B12 is important for the nervous system.


Corned beef and roast beef are both healthy. They are often mistaken but the 2 have distinct differences which can actually be noticed by the naked eye. The next time you enter a grocery store carefully look at the two you will notice all of the stated differences as well as similarities.

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