Roast Beef vs Pastrami: What’s the Difference?


Historically, meat has been considered a delicacy reserved for the wealthy. Partisans cooked potatoes and ate cabbages and turnips while the aristocracy feasted on roast lamb, steak, and burnt veal. Clearly, meat has always been the main attraction.

Humanity has come up with a zillion different ways to prepare this gastronomic monster as a tribute. A wide variety of cooking methods include roasting, broiling, pan broiling, pan-frying, stir-frying, and grilling. All of it was done by us.

Roast beef and pastrami are two of the most basic types of meat, and this article will focus on the differences between the two in terms of cooking methods.

Pastrami and roast meat are two of the most frequent forms of beef available. You must be able to discern the difference between these two types of beef so that you know which method to utilize when cooking. It is easy to tell the difference between pastrami and roast beef by looking at them. In terms of appearance and flavor, they are distinct.

You can learn more about the contrasts and similarities between the two countries by reading this lengthy article.

What is Roast Beef?

Roast beef is, as the name implies, roasted beef. It’s a typical lunch or dinner dish in the UK. Unlike pastrami, which is made via a unique process, roast beef is obtained directly from the meat of a cow. In addition to making corned beef, beef brisket can also be used to make roast beef.

If you want to grill, smoke, or roast, this is a great cut of meat. Beef roasts can be made with a variety of different cuts of meat.

Tenderloin, roasted prime rib, sirloin tip roast, and bottom round steak are just a few of the more popular cuts. It is possible to roast any of these cuts in your oven. Salt, pepper, and garlic are common seasonings for roast beef in the traditional sense. Cooking may be an exciting experience if you are ready to branch out from the tried and true.

Traditional roast beef and mashed potatoes with gravy and green beans are always a winner, no matter the season.

What is Pastrami? 

The cow’s naval cut is used to make pastrami. The brining process is the first step before it reaches your dinner table. Corned beef, which is prepared from brisket, goes through the same brining procedure as brisket. The brining procedure might take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Kosher salt, granulated and brown sugar, mustard seed, pickled spices, nitrites, and garlic can all be used to season the brine for pastrami.

Before being smoked, the meat is thoroughly seasoned following the brining procedure. A pot of hot water packed with peppercorns, allspice berries, and other herbs would be used to cook the corned beef at this time.

Pastrami is smoked after brining. Smoking brined meat gives it a distinct flavor that corned beef can’t compete with.

A thick coating of roughly powdered coriander seeds and peppercorns will be applied to the pastrami meat once it is withdrawn from the brine. The meat is put in a smoker for around five hours at this time.

When the meat has finished smoking, it should be refrigerated before slicing. Even if you just eat it cold, the weeks it takes to prepare it are well worth the wait.

What is the Difference Between Roast Beef and Pastrami?


While roast beef originates in the United Kingdom, pastrami is a Romanian dish.

Production Process

The curing process for corned beef and pastrami is identical, although roast beef does not go through it. Brining and drying raw meat is the first step in making pastrami, which is then spiced and seasoned. Then, it is smoked and steamed for a few hours.

Instead of undergoing any particular treatment before being roasted, roast beef is simply beef. It can also be cooked with a variety of meats, such as beef, lamb, and even turkey. Roast beef, on the other hand, is simply made from beef.

Different cuts of cattle can be used for roast beef, although pastrami is typically produced from the brisket.


Pastrami is hot. As previously said, the brining and seasoning with herbs and spices are what give it its unique flavor. Roast beef is pure beef that absorbs the flavor of the cooking liquid. Pastrami, on the other hand, has a distinct flavor, but roast beef doesn’t, because it may be cooked in a variety of ways.


When compared to roast beef, the color of pastrami is more reddish pink. This is due to the curing process, which uses certain substances to get the color. Furthermore, you can purchase thinly sliced pastrami at food stores, although thinly sliced roast beef is extremely rare.

Methods of Cooking

You can cook pastrami by boiling or roasting it. To be clear, roast beef can never be boiled; it must always be roasted. Furthermore, pastrami is typically served on a sandwich, while roast beef is typically served with a side dish. As a result, it is typically eaten for dinner or lunch.


This is the amount of food that is needed to feed one individual. When it comes to portion sizes, there are numerous variables that come into play. These include the age and gender of the person, their weight, height, hunger, and degree of activity.

Because children’s appetites tend to be larger than adults, they require smaller servings than adults.


The order in which several ingredients are combined is referred to as pairing. It’s a way of describing how different dishes complement each other. For example, red wine and blue cheese are often paired together. This is due to the fact that the flavors work nicely together.

Sizes of servings depend on the type of food you’re consuming, serving sizes can vary. A salad is an example of a meal where you’ll likely consume half of the bowl. If you’re having spaghetti, on the other hand, you’ll probably finish the entire box.

Roast Beef and Pastrami

As you can see, the most significant distinction between pastrami and roast beef is the method used to prepare the meat. Cooked roast beef can be utilized in a variety of ways. The whole or cut-up roast can be used in a variety of dishes, such as stir-fries and stews.

Pastrami can only be used in a few sandwiches and a few Italian dishes. Pastrami is pricey because of the time it takes to prepare.

It takes a lot of time and effort to make one, and it can take anything from a few days to several weeks before you have a finished result. Pastrami is expensive because of the time it takes to make it, just like wine. In addition, just like winemakers, each pastrami manufacturer has a somewhat different recipe from the rest.

What are you waiting for? Order a slice of naval beef, and get ready to compete!

Beef has been roasted all across the world since man first discovered that combining fire and meat was a delicious combination. Pastrami’s origins have been debated, with some claiming it originated in Romania and others claiming it originated in the Ottoman Empire.

Whatever its origins, curing meat so that it can be obtained when hunting is not possible was a significant development in human culture. Preserving meat with salt and herbs has been practiced since the dawn of time. In addition to dehydration, it is one of the oldest techniques for preserving food Modern refrigeration has eliminated the need for several of these methods of food preservation.

Despite this, pastrami is still around because it has become popular sandwich meat in the United States and worldwide, despite its origins as a meat preservation method.

Roast Beef vs Pastrami: Which is Better? 

From the analysis, roast beef is considered the best for various reasons. Some of the reasons that make the roast beef better include:

Beef is high in protein

The body needs protein on a daily basis as a macronutrient. It aids in bone and muscle growth and development. It also aids in tissue regeneration and repair. 9 necessary amino acids are contained in the protein found in roast beef, which the body cannot manufacture on its own. In order to achieve these goals, you need to eat beef.

Beef is high in iron

Roast beef and pastrami both contain a significant amount of iron. The body needs iron as an important mineral. Your red blood cells transfer oxygen from your lungs to every part of your body thanks to the production of hemoglobin in your body.

Beef is a good source of iron, which can help prevent anemia and other iron-deficiency illnesses.

Beef is high in vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is a vital nutrient that the body needs. It aids in the growth of one’s mind. In addition, it aids in the production of new red blood cells by the body. Vitamin B-12 is also important in the process of transforming food into energy. Beef is a good source of vitamin B-12, which your body can get via beef consumption.

Beef is low in carbohydrates

Because of the low carbohydrate content of beef, it’s a great choice for a hearty meal. If you’re attempting to lose weight, this is a wonderful thing. As a result, if you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet, roast beef is a wonderful choice.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Healthier Pastrami or Roast Beef?

Fat and calorie content are low in both pastrami and roasted meat. When compared to pastrami, roast beef has a reduced sodium content. If you’re looking for something a little more exciting than a boring sandwich, this is a great option. It’s not only delicious but also a healthy lunch choice.

Meat that has been cured with salt, spices, sugar, and nitrates is called pastrami. It is often served chilled, although it can also be heated up in the oven if desired. Unlike corned beef, which contains corn syrup, pastrami does not. Slices of it are commonly used as a sandwich stuffing or as a light snack.

Is Roast Beef Healthier Than Hamburger?

If the roast beef is served on bread with condiments like ketchup, mustard, cheese, etc., it’s the same thing. Choose roast beef with a side of vegetables over hamburger if you want a more nutritious supper option. Roast beef is substantially lower in salt than hamburgers.

Is Roast Beef Good For Diabetics?

For diabetics, lean meats are the best option for cutting down on the amount of unhealthy fats they consume. There is no need to worry about the safety of lean meats such as chicken, fish, and trimmed Beef. Diabetics should avoid roast beef because of its high cholesterol, calorie, and saturated fat content.

Is Pastrami Bad for You?

For those who are concerned about their health, roast beef is a better choice than pastrami. A large amount of salt is added to pastrami during the brining process, which is not present in roast beef. An important consideration in the pastrami-making process is whether or not the high intakes of nitrite-cured meats will have any long-term negative impact on health.

Are Pastrami and Roast Beef Both Deli Meats?

Precooked or cured deli meats can be eaten both hot and cold if you don’t already know what they are. All kinds of sandwiches and wraps call for them, and they’re commonly known as “lunch meats.” Sliced beef from a deli counter is standard fare.

Among the most popular cold cuts (deli meats), pastrami and roast beef are two of the most popular.


Roughly half of all Americans’ diets consist of some variation of roast beef or pastrami. The salty meats may be found in almost every deli and café. Cured in salt and spices such as coriander, mustard seeds, bay leaves, juniper berries, and black peppercorns, roast beef is a type of beef brisket. Corned beef has a pinkish tinge because of the addition of pink salt (sodium nitrite) in the curing process.

Beef brisket is rarely used in the making of pastrami, which is created from the navel and the deckle of the animal. Brined in a salt-and-sugar solution with a variety of herbs and spices (including black peppercorns, cloves, dill, juniper berries, and bay leaves), it tastes just like roast beef.

Pastrami is sprinkled with a savory spice mix that includes fennel and mustard seeds, coriander, black peppercorns, brown sugar, and garlic after brining in the brine. The rich, delicious crust on the meat is thanks to this rub. In the United States, pastrami is typically served atop a sandwich with mustard.

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.