Corned Beef vs Brisket: What’s the Difference?


If you’re looking for a new twist on an old favorite, or just want to find something different to eat that is still grilled up outside, then this article will be your go-to. There are several differences between corned beef and brisket, including what they are made of and how they taste.

If you’re having trouble deciding which one to grill up next time, consider reading through our list of seven major differences below!

What is Corned Beef?

Corned beef is a cut of beef that has been salted and cured in pickling spice, like paprika, coriander, peppercorns, garlic, etc. The purpose is to preserve the meat before cooking it by smoking it or boiling it in water.

It then needs to be cooked thoroughly by boiling and needs to be consumed after one week because of the high salt content.

Corned beef can be prepared in many ways but typically requires long periods of simmering, making it quite similar in preparation to brisket. The meat is typically boiled in water and then needs to be cooked thoroughly by boiling.

It’s important that the salt content is taken into consideration when cooking corned beef because it can be very dangerous to consume if undercooked.

Corned beef is a cured and salted piece of meat. It’s typically made with brisket or top round cuts but can sometimes include other meats such as chicken or turkey.

The process for corned beef begins by brining the cut of meat in saltwater, spices, vegetables like carrots and onions then rinsing it in clean water. Brisket is typically associated with corned beef, but other cuts of meat such as top round can also be used in its place.

If you’re looking for something with a lot of flavors and a little bit less fat that is still grilled up outside, then corned beef might be the right choice for you.

What are the Uses of Corned Beef?

If you have corned beef in your fridge and don’t know what to do with it, here are a few ideas. Corned beef is typically used in sandwiches, but can also be eaten by itself. It is a great addition to salads as well.

Try adding chopped corned beef to your traditional Caesar salad for a new twist on the dish. Corned beef is also an excellent alternative to ham in an Irish omelette recipe.

If you’re looking to add some spice into your corned beef sandwich, try using horseradish mayo and Sriracha hot sauce (75% less sodium) on your sandwich instead of mustard (or at least mix it in).

Corned beef can also be used in a variety of soups. It is frequently added into dishes such as New England clam chowder, Irish stew, and even chili.

The meat will give the soup an extra boost of flavor that it wouldn’t have had otherwise! Try using it in minestrone soup.

The next time you’re looking to grill up something new and different this summer, consider trying out corned beef instead of your traditional brisket.

Corned beef is also delicious when served with cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day or whenever you want to celebrate Irish culture. A new twist on old favorites is always a great way to introduce your taste buds to something completely different.

What is Brisket?

Brisket is a cut of fatty meat from the chest of beef cattle that includes the breastplate and lower ribs. It can be prepared in many ways but typically requires long periods of simmering to become tender enough to eat.

The brisket can be separated into three main cuts:

  • Point section – It is fattier than the flat sections. It also tends to have a more intense flavor.
  • Flat section – It tends to be more leaner and contain more connective tissue than other areas of the brisket.
  • Outside flat – It is the leanest cut of brisket, but it does not include any fat.

The fat on the brisket will melt down into the meat so it’s important to keep an eye on how much fat remains on the meat when cooking.

Brisket tends to have less flavor than corned beef does, but has more fat so it’s typically considered healthier as well.

What are the Uses of Brisket?

Brisket is a fatty cut of meat that is commonly used in cooking barbecue. It can be cooked in a smoker, roasted, or grilled. Brisket is often made with other cuts of beef, such as ribs and short plates. It may also be smoked with beef fat to make it more flavorful.

Brisket has many uses including as a barbecue, in stews, with pasta sauce, or on pizza. Brisket is used as the main ingredient in many ethnic recipes such as Beef Stroganoff and Barbecue brisket sandwiches.

One of the most commonly used parts of the brisket is as a cut of meat for BBQ. Brisket is fattier than corned beef, and this makes it perfect for grilling or cooking in an oven/slow cooker.

Brisket is also used to make smoked beef jerky. Corned beef jerky does exist, but is not as common and typically uses lighter beef cuts like top round steak instead of the tougher and fattier brisket cuts.

Another common use for brisket is in corned beef recipes. In this case, the recipe calls to put all of the spices and seasonings on top of a flat-cut piece of corned beef as opposed to a more fatty cut like we mentioned earlier.

What are the Main Differences Between Corned Beef and Brisket?

The main difference between corned beef and brisket is that they are cut from different parts of a cow, with corned beef being cured while brisket comes from the chest area and requires long periods of simmering to become tender enough to eat.

Corned beef also needs to be consumed within one week because of the high salt content.

Corned beef has a very distinct and strong flavor that some people really enjoy, while many others find it too overpowering for their taste buds!

Brisket on the other hand tends to have a much more subtle flavor that is often complemented by the spices used during cooking, as well as any sauce or gravy it might be served with.

Which One Should I Choose?

Corned beef and brisket are both on the fattier side, as they are made from different types of cuts that have a high-fat content. Corned beef is typically served in sandwiches or just by itself with some sides to go along with it.

If you’re looking for something lighter and less fatty, then brisket might be the better choice for you.


As you can see there are many differences between corned beef and brisket, including what they’re made from, how they taste, where they come from on the animal, and more!

If you want to experience some of these flavors for yourself then give one or both of them a try next time you’re grilling outside.

Bobby Johnson

When he's not writing about barbecue, you can find Bobby smoking meat for friends and family. He's been a backyard pitmaster for roughly half his life, and has worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands-on guide to teach them BBQ, but that's what Bobby hopes to do with Electric Smoker HQ. He wants to help people create amazing food that they can be proud of.