Brisket Vs Corned Beef – What is The Difference?

This vs That

Can you ever choose between brisket and corned beef? I highly doubt it for beef lovers because they are both too savory to pick just one. You could have both, and I would not judge on that.  However, can you really tell which is brisket and which is corned beef?

Some people can hardly tell the difference between corned beef and brisket since it is from the same kind of meat, but if you will look really close you can see their differences.

Typically, both are made from slices of beef. Corned beef needs to be cured in brine to become corned beef while brisket is simply a tough cut of raw beef. They also have different methods of preparation that make them entirely different and also taste different. These differences are what we wanted you to learn from this article so you can compare and tell your beef variety from one another.

The Difference Between Brisket and Corned Beef

You can easily tell which is corned beef and which is brisket if you regularly visit the meat shop or go to the meat section of a supermarket. You will notice that corned beef has a pinkish or reddish meat color. Of course, their packages are also labeled so you can easily know which is which.

In general, corned beef and brisket are cuts of beef that looks very similar in shape and size. You can also prepare or cook both in a variety of dishes. If you have tried a pot roast and mashed potatoes in gravy sauce, that is surely the customary pot roast made from brisket. However, corned beef are sometimes served as the same dish.

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If you started to get confused, do not worry. We have it detailed for you.

What Is Brisket?

Have you tried smoked brisket? It is one brisket recipe that is a must to try.  It is also the best option if you want beef barbecue. Well, pot roast is also a delicious dish for your brisket but it has been customary so you may want to try a different brisket recipe.

The lower chest or breast area is the least tender part of the beef and that is where brisket is cut from, but it is still considered the beef’s best cut. When brisket is cooked in the right method and ample time, it tenderize and can even make the beef to fall off. When cooked the properly it becomes chewy soft.

You can make a roasted brisket, a smoked brisket, or a baked brisket. Others boil it to tenderize but it is not the common practice. You can marinade it overnight or rub your choice of spices on the meat to taste. Others also prefer to inject some marinade to make the meat tastier.


Making and Serving Brisket

Apart from making baked, roasted, or smoked brisket, you can also cook it in a pressure cooker or in a crockpot. It is easier to tenderize the brisket when pressurized or under slow cooking. The brisket will become very soft and you will also have a delicious beef soup.

You can serve brisket as a whole cut of meat or in slices depending on the dish that you will prepare and the number of people to will take part in it. Keep in mind that if you serve it in a large portion you may have to deal with the leftovers.

Here is a list of dishes you can server or make with brisket:

  • Brisket soup or stew
  • Salad toppings
  • Brisket cold cut sandwich
  • Roasted and served with gravy and mashed potatoes
  • Brisket Barbecue
  • Shredded brisket with nachos or fries
  • Brisket stuffed pepper
  • Brisket hash with eggs
  • Philly cheesesteaks
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Street tacos
  • Veggie bowls
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These are just a few of suggestions on what you can make with your brisket be it a fresh cut or your leftovers. You can always do more or create your own recipe to favor your taste.

What Is Corned Beef?

Corned beef and brisket is from the same kind of meat. Corned beef is primarily a brisket since it also made from a brisket cut. This brisket cut which has undergone the curing and brining process for a certain period becomes corned beef which is then sold in grocery stores.

When curing brisket to make corned beef, the beef is sometimes injected with a brine or salt cured. The brine used for curing originally has rock salt thus it is also called salt cured. If you purchased corned beef, it usually comes with a sachet of seasoning that you need to sprinkle on it upon preparing.

You can also notice the different packaging of brisket from corned beef. Corned beef is in a vacuum-sealed packaging including its juice or brine, while brisket is often packaged as fresh meat. Corned beef also has some fatty regions which makes it more flavorful when cooked.

Though it is a bit softer than brisket because of the curing process, it is also tenderized over prolonged cooking. Slow and prolong cooking time makes the beef shreds to fall off easily. Even when cooked, the beef will remain rosy in color since it is cured. The beef usually becomes tender when its temperature reaches around 145 degrees in Fahrenheit.


Uses for Corned Beef

Corned beef also typically served like a pot roast or as a sauerkraut on rye bread. Others serve it with cabbage like the customary meal during St. Patrick’s Day. However, there are also different recipe you can follow to make a hearty meal with corned beef.

Here are the common ways to prepare corned beef which is also best options to prepare your leftovers.

  • Reuben sandwiches
  • Stews and soups
  • Corned beef and cabbage casserole
  • Noodle casserole
  • Corned beef hash
  • Egg rolls
  • Corned beef with eggs
  • Baked potato with corned beef
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Summary Review: Brisket Vs Corned Beef

I hope to have given you all the important information about brisket and corned beef. Here is just the summary between of the two for a quick reference.

  • Brisket and corned beef has distinct taste so you can tell the difference by tasting it.
  • Corned beef has pinkish meat color even after prolonged cooking as an effect of curing and brining whereas the brisket becomes brownish as it gets cooked.
  • There are dishes best prepared using brisket compared to corned beef even if both are used as main ingredient in some recipes.
  • Brisket is more versatile than corned beef when it comes to making dishes with it.
  • They are packaged and sold differently in the market or grocery store even when they are from the same variety of beef.



Related Questions

Both brisket and corned beef make sumptuous dishes and it is important to know their difference. We are glad to share with you some important information about these beef variety through this article. I hope this has been helpful. You may also find our questions and answers informative.

Is corned beef unhealthy?

Since the curing and brining process of the beef includes rock salt, it does not really make it healthy. The excess sodium the meat has absorbed may increase your daily sodium intake and it is not good for the body especially to those who need to watch their sodium level.

Do I need to rinse corned beef before preparing or cooking it?

Even when corned beef comes with its brine when sold, it is not required to rinse it before cooking it. Some people find it less flavorful after rinsing it while others wanted to rinse it to remove the salt it has absorbed from the curing process. If you have to reduce your sodium intake, then it is best to rinse it.

How long does it take to tenderize brisket?

A pound of brisket can become very tender when cooked at temperature not lower than 185 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and a half.

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