Spam and corned beef are two of the most commonly consumed processed meats in the United States. They are handy, simple to use, and have a long shelf life. But what distinguishes them from one another? Let us investigate! So, what exactly is the distinction between Spam and corned beef? Spam is a processed canned product made from pork shoulder and ham, whereas corned beef is a type of cured meat made from brined brisket.
Continue reading to learn what Spam and corned beef are made of, how they are made, how they are served, how they taste, and much more!
What Is Spam?
Popular canned meat brand Spam first appeared on store shelves in 1937. It was invented in Austin, Minnesota, to fill a significant market void for low-cost meat products, and its ubiquity has increased ever since. Spam is a product made from a combination of ground pork and ham along with a variety of flavorings and preservatives. Its name is thought to have originated from the words “spiced ham.”
Pork with ham, salt, water, modified potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrite are all listed as ingredients on the packaging. The chopped meat is bound together with potato starch, which also serves as a preservative. Natural pork gelatins that solidify when cooled are what create the jelly-like coating that surrounds the meat. The other ingredients are combined with the ground pork and ham, which is then pressed and cooked.
The mixture is vacuum-sealed into cans once it reaches a specific temperature. After being boiled, the cans are then allowed to cool before being labeled. There are 15 different flavors of spam, and depending on the variety, it might also contain chicken or turkey. It has a pleasing mouthfeel and a fine texture. Since ham is one of the main ingredients, it has a ham-like flavor and is salty and mildly spicy.
Spam can be safely consumed right out of the can because it has already been cooked; alternatively, it can be baked, fried, or grilled. Since the meat is already cooked, heating is not necessary when eating directly from the can.
The most popular use for this rectangular canned meat is as a sandwich filling, but Spam is incredibly adaptable and can be used in many other dishes as well. A common option for breakfast is pan-fried Spam served with eggs, and many people adore Spam musubi!
What Is Corned Beef?
Corned beef is a type of preserved meat that has been salt-cured. Corned beef is most commonly made in the United States from beef brisket and can be found in Jewish delis across the country because beef brisket is kosher meat. It can also be made with beef round primal cut, as both are relatively tough cuts of meat that benefit from slow cooking. Corned beef is produced through a curing process that takes approximately 5-8 days.
The beef brisket is marinated in a large pot of salt water and refrigerated. Huge barrels of brisket are cured commercially in a walk-in cooler. Spices, garlic, and herbs are added to the mix, along with beef and salt water. Bay leaf, black peppercorn, mustard seed, dried red pepper, and coriander are common ingredients.
A salt-nitrite blend known as “pink curing salt” is frequently added to the mix, in addition to the salt and spices, to keep the beef from spoiling while curing. Pink salt is used in a variety of cured meats, including bacon, ham, salami, and hotdogs. Contrary to popular belief, “corned” beef has nothing to do with corn. The rock salt used to preserve the beef is referred to as corn!
Corn was used as a generic term for any type of grain in the 17th century, and because large chunks of rock salt are roughly the size of a kernel of grain, they became known as salt corns. As a result, the beef is “corned”! Corned beef can refer to either store-bought cured beef, homemade cured beef, or the canned salt-cured product sold in supermarkets.
Canned corned beef is fully cooked and can be eaten on its own or in a corned beef sandwich with mustard and horseradish sauce. Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional Irish-American St. Patrick’s Day dish. You can also make corned beef hash with chopped up meat, potatoes, and onions using the cured meat. When cooking raw corned beef, the best method is to cook it slowly. It can be baked, boiled, or cooked in a slow cooker.
Tender corned beef with a salty flavor. Because pickles and corned beef use the same brine, it tastes similar to pickles. Corned beef is even known as pickled beef! Because of the curing process, corned beef tastes nothing like roast beef and has a soft, supple texture and pinkish-red color. The briny taste of corned beef is bold but not overpowering, with a balanced flavor that is salty, spicy, sour, and meaty, especially when paired with other ingredients.
How Are Spam And Corned Beef Different?
Products like corned beef and spam have very different flavors, textures, and compositions. While corned beef is a preserved meat product made from beef brisket that has been brined in salt and spices, spam is a canned food product made from pork shoulder and ham.
While corned beef is frequently used in sandwiches, tacos, casseroles, and stir-fries, spam is typically only used on its own or in sandwiches. The main distinction between the two is that while corned beef can refer to any cut of meat that has been brined or cured, “SPAM” is a term that Hormel Foods Corporation has trademarked.
How Are Spam And Corned Beef Similar?
Despite the fact that they are different types of processed meats, Spam and corned beef have many similarities. Both are pre-cooked and processed meats that are ready to eat. Because they require no preparation, Spam and canned corned beef are extremely convenient. All you have to do to enjoy these canned meats on busy weeknights and quick lunches is buy them, take them out of their packaging, and enjoy them however you like!
Because of the additives used, almost all processed and canned foods have a bad reputation. Despite the fact that Spam and corned beef are made from different main ingredients, both are high in sodium. Salt and other preservatives add flavor and help extend the shelf life of such products, but they are unhealthy for frequent consumption. Because of the high sodium content of these products, they should be consumed only on occasion.
Which One Is Better?
The two products, spam and corned beef, are very dissimilar. It really depends on your personal preferences which one is more delicious and practical. Spam is the undisputed champion if you prefer ham and pork. But you’d enjoy corned beef a lot more if you like beef brisket. You can try them both out and decide for yourself which one you prefer.
Health-wise, Both canned corned beef and spam are high in sodium, heavily processed, and may be harmful to your health preservatives like sodium nitrite. You should limit your consumption of these processed foods in light of that and choose fresher, better-for-you options instead.
Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about Spam and corned beef, and how they compare, here are a few more questions we thought you might have.
What is the difference between Spam and luncheon meat?
The cost and type of meat used are the main distinctions between Spam and luncheon meat. Compared to luncheon meat, which uses higher-quality and more expensive meat, spam is primarily made from pig meat and is less expensive.
What is the difference between Spam and deviled ham
Deviled ham is a canned food item made from ground ham and spices. It is not to be confused with Spam, which is mostly made of pork shoulder and lacks the spiciness of deviled ham.
Why is corned beef so pink?
Due to the presence of sodium nitrite, a substance used to cure various types of meat and keep the meat pink even after cooking, corned beef has a recognizable pink color.