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Spam Vs Corned Beef: What's The Difference?

Norah Clark
Slice of spam

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a seasoned food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

The main difference between Spam and corned beef is the preparation and taste, but they are similar in being canned and processed meats. Spam is made from pork shoulder and ham, which has a distinct salty, savory flavor. Corned beef is a cured beef brisket, which has a salty yet spiced flavor.

As a chef, I have to say that both Spam and corned beef have their place in the kitchen.

While Spam is often looked down upon as junk food, it can actually be quite versatile and flavorful in the right recipe. Corned beef, on the other hand, is a more traditional and flavorful meat product that can be used in a variety of dishes.

The key to using canned meats like Spam and corned beef is to pair them with strong flavors and spices that can balance out their saltiness and add depth to the dish.

In this article, we will explore the differences between the two and help you determine which one is best for your needs.

What Is Spam?

Tins of spam. Credit: Unsplash
Tins of spam. Credit: Unsplash

Spam is a canned meat product that has been around since the 1930s.

It is made from ground pork and ham, along with other ingredients like water, salt, sugar, potato starch, and sodium nitrite.

The mixture is processed, cooked, and packaged in a can, which allows it to be shelf-stable for long periods of time.

What Is Corned Beef?

Corned beef. Credit: Unsplash
Corned beef. Credit: Unsplash

Corned beef is a type of cured meat that is made from beef brisket.

The beef is cured with large grains of salt (or corns of salt), along with spices like peppercorns, coriander, and bay leaves.

After a few days of curing, the beef is rinsed and cooked, then packaged in a can.

Traditional corned beef is made using beef brisket, but other cuts of beef can also be used.

What’s The Difference Between Spam and Corned Beef?

While both Spam and corned beef are canned meats, they are actually quite different in terms of their ingredients, preparation, and taste.

  • Ingredients: Spam is made from ground pork and ham, while corned beef is made from beef brisket and spices.
  • Preparation: Spam is processed and cooked in a can, while corned beef is cured, rinsed, and then cooked before being packaged in a can.
  • Taste: Spam has a distinct salty and smoky flavor, while corned beef has a more balanced flavor that is salty and spicy.

Which One Is Better?

It really depends on your personal tastes and preferences.

If you are looking for a meat product that is quick and easy to prepare, then Spam is a good choice.

However, corned beef is the way to go if you are looking for a more traditional and flavorful meat product.


Is Spam Healthier Than Corned Beef?

Spam and corned beef are both processed meats that are high in sodium and fat. While neither is considered particularly healthy, corned beef is generally considered to be the healthier of the two, as it is made from lean beef and contains fewer additives.

Can Corned Beef Be Substituted For Spam?

While they are both canned meat products, corned beef, and Spam are quite different in terms of their taste and texture. While you could technically substitute one for the other in a recipe, the end result may not be quite what you were expecting.

Can You Eat Spam And Corned Beef Out Of The Can?

Yes, both Spam and corned beef are fully cooked and can be eaten straight out of the can if desired.

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