Is Corned Beef Round Better Than Brisket?

Is something sweet-smelling in the kitchen, and you cannot figure out whether it is corned beef or brisket? Most people think that they are the same meal, but they are not. They may be made of the same meat, but they have a lot of differences.

To know whether corned beef is better than brisket, you have to know their differences first. 

Essentially, Corned Beef round is not better or more nutritious than Brisket. They’re both meat. However, the main difference between the two meals is the way they are prepared. With corned beef, the beef used is brine-cured, and brisket, on the other hand, is made with raw meat. That means the two have different flavors, and they don’t taste the same.

This post is about the differences between brisket and corned round beef so that you can learn the difference between the two slices of meat.

What’s the Difference between Corned and Beef Brisket

Pork Grilling

It is easy to notice the difference between brisket and corned beef when walking through a meat section at a grocery store. If you have had both the dishes, it will even be easier to differentiate between the two. 

The first thing that distinguishes corned beef from a brisket is the color of the meat. Corned beef has a red color that stands out, and you cannot miss it. 

Another difference is the packaging, they are both packaged differently, but any store will have labels that will guide you. 

The main similarity between the two is that they are made from beef and packaged in the same size, and even the cutting is the same. 

Another similarity is that they are also prepared in the same way. They are served with the same side dishes, and they are mostly served with potatoes and gravy and even carrots sometimes.

What Is a Brisket?

Person Holding Knife Slicing Meat

Brisket is a cut of beef that is mainly gotten from the lower chest or the breast area. You can cook it in many different ways, but most people smoke it as it is a great BBQ option. Another option is to use it to make a delicious pot roast that many people love. 

By nature, the meat cut to make a brisket is very strong and muscular, and that means it is cooked for long periods before it becomes soft. You also have to learn how to cook the brisket, and it needs to be cooked in specific ways so that it can be tender and also to avoid overcooking it. 

The main common ways of cooking a brisket are roasting, baking, or smoking it. You can also choose to boil it, but it is not a common way to prepare it. You can also marinate it with spices so that it can have a lot of flavors. Now let’s learn about how to prepare and serve a brisket.

Making and Serving Brisket

Brisket can be cooked in a pressure cooker, or you can opt to use a crockpot too. You cook it on low heat for a long time so that it can be tender and delicious. The slower you cook it and the longer it stays on the fire, the better it will taste. 

After your brisket is done, there are a lot of ways in which you can serve it. You can opt to serve it as a large meal, but it is most likely to remain to have enough leftovers. 

Below are some side dishes that you can serve with brisket:

  • BBQ sauce
  • Street tacos
  • Add to soup or stew
  • Brisket hash with eggs
  • Fries and nachos
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Use it to make a sandwich
  • Philly cheesesteaks 
  • Top it on a salad
  • Use it to stuff peppers
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Veggie bowls

From the above list, there are several ways in which you can serve the brisket. No matter how you choose to make it, whether traditionally or in a modern way, you will not lack ways to serve the brisket. 

Brisket meat is sold at a very low price, and you can never go wrong with it. You will feed a lot of people and still have a lot of leftovers for the next day.

What Is Corned Beef?

Pork Barbecue on Plate

Well, to confuse you, corned beef is brisket. That is because it is made directly from brisket, and that is why it is brisket.

The main thing that differentiates the two is that before corned beef is brought to the seller, it is treated and cured and turned into something different. It is salt-cured using a special brine, and then several things are injected into it. The brine used for curing it has large corns and rock salt. 

It is similarly served as a pot roast, but some people serve it with cabbage, especially during St. Patrick’s. You can also find it served with sauerkraut which is then placed on a piece of rye bread that is used to make a sandwich that many people love. Like brisket, corned beef is also cooked for an extended period in low heat until tender. It is cooked until it can fall into shreds.

Another difference that distinguishes corned beef is that its color remains pink all through. The only way you can know whether it is done is by checking its internal temperature. If it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, it is now well cooked, and you can serve it with your favorite side dish.

Corned beef is mainly sold with seasoning packets that you use to marinate it. It also has some fatty areas, and they add to the general flavor of the meal. Another main difference between brisket and corned beef is the packaging. You will find brisket served in raw fresh meat packaging, but the corned beef is always sold in a vacuum-sealed packet. Corned beef will also have a lot of juice around it, unlike the brisket that has none.

Serving Corned Beef

There are many ways that you can serve your corned beef, but we will list some of the common ones so that you can have an idea of what to do. 

The options are also great for leftovers in case you have some corned beef left after the meal. They include:

  • Use it to make a potato bake dish
  • Serve with the cabbage casserole
  • Make a noodle casserole
  • Reuben sandwiches
  • Soups and stews
  • Corned beef hash
  • Egg rolls

Does corned beef have any health risks?

Grilled Meat Dish Served on White Plate

To make corned beef, you have to use curing salt, which gives the meat its pink color. Most people think that corned beef is terrible for their health because the curing salt has sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrite is an additive used to prevent the growth of bacteria so that food does not get poisoned or spoiled. 

Some health specialists say that sodium nitrite can damage your blood vessels and harden your arteries, making them narrow. That may, in turn, lead you to have heart diseases which can be very dangerous. It can also change how your body uses sugar, and that can make you develop diabetes. 

Well, that should not make you stop eating corned beef; some other sources say that sodium nitrite is harmless and has no adverse risk on your body. Those that argue that also say many foods have sodium nitrite. You can get it from celery, spinach, and even lettuce. The foods have sodium nitrite that is way higher than the one found in corned beef. 

Well, so far, we don’t know what to believe; just like any other food, consume corned beef in moderation and eat it with foods rich in antioxidants like vegetables and fruits. That way, you can enjoy your corned beef and still be safe.


Should you rinse corned beef before you cook it?

Yes, you can choose to rinse corned beef, but it is not a must. Rinsing your corned beef will eliminate all the excess salt, resulting in a mild flavor. You can also choose to cook the meat like it is in a crockpot, and you will experience the full flavors. 

How long should you cook corned beef?

The first thing you should avoid is cooking corned beef on high heat. That is because when you cook it at high temperatures for too long, it will boil for too long and end up being chewy and tough. No matter the method you are using to cook, cook it on low heat for a few hours, and it will turn out tender and soft.

How do you pick good brisket?

Brisket comes in flat and pointcuts. Go for pointcuts because they will have more marbling, which will ensure that you get more juice and flavor from the fat. You can also go for flat cuts if you are after meat that is easier to slice uniformly.


To conclude this article, we have already learned that both corned beef and brisket, when cooked well, taste great. However, they don’t taste the same as the corned beef is cured, which significantly changes its flavor.

Corned beef also remains pink/red even after cooking, while when you cook brisket, it will turn brown.

Another main difference between the two is that brisket is more versatile than corned beef. There are many ways you can serve brisket as compared to corned beef. They may both come from the same type of meat, but they are very different.