Brisket vs Corned Beef, What Is The Difference?

Brisket vs Corned Beef

There are a lot of things you probably don’t know or want to know when it comes to cooking meat. Among them would be the brisket vs corned beef debate.

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Some people think that brisket and corned beef are the same while others believe that they have notable differences.

So, what’s the truth? Is brisket different from corned beef? 

If yes, what’s their difference? If not, what are their similarities?


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In this post, let’s settle once and for all the truth about brisket and corned beef.

Is brisket different from corned beef?

If you suspect that brisket is different from corned beef, then you are correct. These two are different. However, you also need to know they are similar in many ways.

What is the difference between brisket and corned beef?

Here’s a quick rundown of the differences between brisket and corned beef:

  • Corned beef is pinker and more reddish.
  • Brisket and corned beef are packaged differently. Labels will quickly help you distinguish between the two.
  • Corned beef is brine-cured.

What are the similarities between brisket and corned beef?

While it is true that brisket and corned beef are different from each other, they still share some similarities. Here are some of them:

Now that we have a quick overview of the difference and similarities between brisket and corned beef, let’s now read more about each one of them.

Brisket vs Corned Beef

What Is Brisket?

The term brisket itself refers to a specific cut of meat. This cut of meat is then turned into different dishes. Perhaps, that’s where the confusion originates. When you say, brisket, it is not a term referring to a specific dish, but a specific cut.

Part of Cow

From which part of a cow does brisket come from?

A brisket is a meat cut from the frontal, lower chest muscles of a cow. Because the muscle is often used by the cow, it is exercised well — making the brisket cut lean and tough. Brisket also comes with a lot of connective tissues.

Because of the consistency of the brisket, it is often cooked slowly with low fire. The flat cut brisket is also considered a primal beef cut.

As you can imagine, the chest or pectoral muscle of a cow is large. Thus, you’ll find brisket in large cuts of meat. Its weight can range from 10 to 14 pounds.

How is Brisket Cooked?

How is brisket cooked?

There are different ways to cook brisket beef. However, when it comes to cooking, you should remember the terms, “low and slow.”

Yes, that’s right.

Whether you are cooking it on the stovetop, grill, oven, or slow-cooker, you must give your brisket meat enough time to enjoy the low cooking temperature.

Now, you might think, why should I slow cook a brisket?

Here’s why:

Brisket meat is tough meat. If you cook it too fast, you’ll get burnt meat on the outside and raw meat on the inside. It is only through slow cooking that you will tenderize your meat, make it juicy, and exceptionally tasty.

Simple brisket recipe

There are different ways to cook brisket. So, this is just one example of how you can cook juicy and tasty brisket beef through the oven.

What you will need:

Once you have these ingredients, you’re ready to go.

Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Mix soy sauce and barbecue sauce together with other favorite barbecue sauce items you like. Add a little water.

  2. Generously pour the sauce into your brisket. Slather all over the beef.

  3. Get the aluminum foil and wrap it around the beef brisket.

  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  5. Place your meat inside the oven and wait for several hours.

  6. Check if your meat is tender and soft.

  7. If you see the meat shred is falling apart, it is ready.

As you can see, baking brisket beef is super easy. Of course, if you want to prepare a more elaborate brisket beef dish, then you can search for more recipes on the Internet or in cookbooks.

If you want, you can also try to cook brisket with rye bread, swiss cheese, freshly ground black pepper and other spices, mashed potatoes, and others. You just have to be creative to see how you can best prepare brisket and its fresh meat.


What is Corned Beef?

Now, here’s where things get interesting. Corned beef is made of brisket. Yes, you can use other cuts of meat, but most people prefer brisket when having corned beef.

Like what was mentioned above, brisket is simply a cut of meat and not a type of dish. So, it’s not surprising that corned beef is made of brisket and that’s where people find it confusing.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Why is corned beef called “corned” beef?

To better understand what corned beef brisket is, we need to know why it is called “corned” beef.

It was in the 17th century when the British started using the term “corned beef.” The word corn here refers to the salt crystals or large grained rock salt used to cure the brisket meat, which is the size of a corn kernel.

How is corned beef made?

Now, you might be wondering how corned beef brisket is made. We have already mentioned salt crystals. Let’s start with that.

Salt Crystals

What do salt crystals have to do with cured meat or corned beef?

A lot.

Corned beef brisket is made by curing brisket with salt in a process called brining. Rinse corned beef brisket for a few hours.

Brining beef is done by submerging the meat (in this case, the brisket cut) into a salt and water solution. Generally speaking, brining should only take one hour per pound of meat. Beyond this timeframe, you might end up ruining the meat consistency.

During the brining process, salt sips into the meat. Since salt attracts water, the meat would then absorb and retain more moisture. With more moisture, the meat starts to soften and become more tender.

As a result, the meat loosens up, swells, and unravels. Because the added water doesn’t completely evaporate, the meat becomes juicier and tastier.

This makes brining one of the best-kept secrets of master chefs who want to create a slice of super tender meat.

Different corned beef recipe

Once you have prepared corned beef, that’s not the end of the cooking process. It’s just a way to prepare your meat for a wide range of recipes.

Here are a few ideas you can cook corned beef brisket:

  • Smoked brisket corned beef – this recipe is also known as pastrami. By smoking and adding black pepper and ground coriander, you can make your corned beef extra tasty.
  • Reuben macaroni and cheese – comes with creamy and delicious cheese and macaroni.
  • Instant pot corned beef and cabbage – with the use of an Instant Pot pressure cooker, you can make corned beef complete with cabbage and other side dishes in the quickest way possible.
  • Corned beef brisket and casserole – if you have egg noodles (or pasta), cheese, and diced corned beef, you can easily make this dish. Add a few vegetables to make the dish healthier.
  • Corned beef and cabbage soup – had a party last night but there is some leftover corned beef? No need to worry because you can turn it into a flavorful, tasty soup.

Tools you may need to cook brisket and corned beef

To make the perfect brisket or corned beef dish, you will surely love to have the following items:

Mairico Carving Knife

Ergonomically designed, this knife is made to easily slice brisket and corned beef. The long and sharp blade of this knife delivers precise cuts without putting too much effort. Simply put, its versatile slicing power can help you prepare meat quickly and easily.

You can purchase this now on Amazon


Z Grills

With so many functionalities, you can cook your brisket and corned beef in the best way you like. Smoke, grill, roast — you name it and this grill can do it. It has pellet grill technology that gives you that amazing aroma charcoal can produce.

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ThermoPro meat thermometer

Be sure to keep your meat at the right temperature throughout the cooking process with this device. It has large LCDs to conveniently monitor the meat’s temperature.

If you are interested to buy this product, click on Amazon


Grill Bump Meat Injector Syringe Kit

Add flavor to your brisket and corned beef in the most effective way possible with this meat injector. It allows you to evenly add juiciness inside hard-to-reach parts of your meat. You can inject flavor into your meat without destroying its look and texture.

Buy this on Amazon


Pappy’s Choice Seasonings

Make your brisket and corned beef extra special when you use this seasoning. This product is the choice of many chefs and professionals who want to make sure that their food tastes superbly good. Aside from brisket, it can also be used for steak, ribs, seafood, popcorn, pizza, chicken, and so much more.

To purchase this product, buy this on Amazon


Brisket vs corned beef: which one should you choose?

There you have it, a brief and easy-to-understand explanation of the difference between brisket and corned beef.

If you like to have a slice of meat you can use for a wider application, go for the brisket beef. If you want meat that is juicy and already cured with salt, then go for corned beef.

Whichever you choose, you won’t go wrong as each of these options gives you benefits that will make your food extra special.

ProductBrandNamePrice
Z GRILLSZ GRILLS ZPG-450ACheck Price on Amazon
MAIRICOMAIRICO Ultra Sharp PremiumCheck Price on Amazon
ThermoProThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer with Dual Meat ProbeCheck Price on Amazon
GRILL BUMPGrill Bump Meat Injector Syringe Kit with 3 Professional Marinade Injector NeedlesCheck Price on Amazon
Pappy's Fine FoodsPappy\'s Choice SeasoningsCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.