Food Guide

Which Is Better For Your Diet: Spam or Corned Beef? Find Out Now!

Spam is a delicious meat product that has been around for decades.

It’s so popular and easy to make, it’s no wonder why people all over the country enjoy it.

Canned corned beef is another one of those staple foods that we’ve come to depend on for our culinary needs.

Both are great in their own way but there are some fundamental differences between the two that you should know about before deciding which one you want to eat tonight!

SimilarityBoth Spam and Corned Beef are processed meat products
Both are widely used as a protein source in various dishes
DifferenceSpam is made from ground pork shoulder meat and ham, while Corned Beef is made from beef brisket
Spam has a more uniform texture, while Corned Beef has a grainy texture
Corned Beef has a more robust flavor, while Spam has a milder taste
Spam has a longer shelf life than Corned Beef, which requires refrigeration.


Beef Spam is an American food product made from cooked beef, ham, salt and water mixed with a binding agent (commonly Sodium Phosphate).

It was developed in the Philippines during the Second World War when it was given to US troops as a cheap alternative to pork products.

It was then introduced into civilian markets in 1950s.

Corned beef is similar to corned beef brisket but has less fat content and more tender flavor than regular corned beef brisket.

It’s also cut from different part of the animal than traditional corned beef so you won’t find as much connective tissue which makes cooking easier and quicker!


To the untrained eye, it is easy to mistake Beef Spam for Corned Beef.

Both products are canned meats that can be found in your local supermarket or deli section.

They both come in a can and have an “unnatural” appearance.

The difference, however, is that one is a meat product made from beef, pork and chicken (Beef Spam) while the other is a cured meat product made up of corned beef brisket with seasonings (Corned Beef).

The look of these two products may seem similar at first glance but upon closer inspection there are clear differences between the two:

  • One has more fat content than another
  • One has added sodium levels compared to another

Main ingredients

The first thing to know about beef spam and corned beef is that they are both made from meat.

Spam, which comes in a can, is usually made from pork and beef while corned beef, which you’ll find wrapped in plastic or in a tin container at the deli counter, is made with just beef brisket.

If you’re vegetarian or looking for more information on eating less meat as part of your diet, then stick with corn-free options like turkey breast or dried lentils and beans instead!

There are a few differences between beef spam and corned beef that might make one more appealing than the other.

Spam is usually cut into slices, which makes it easier to use as an ingredient in recipes or just to serve with some rice and vegetables.

Corned beef, on the other hand, comes in larger chunks that are perfect for sandwiches or making quesadillas.

If you need to store your beef spam or corned beef, both foods will keep for several months in the refrigerator.

You’ll also want to make sure that whatever container you use is airtight and moisture-free so that the meat doesn’t spoil before you get a chance to eat it!

Taste and flavor       

The first thing to remember is that beef Spam has a very sweet and salty flavor, while corned beef is salty but not sweet.

This means you can taste the saltiness of corned beef in your mouth for some time after eating it, whereas with Beef Spam, the sweetness makes you forget about the saltiness quickly.

Because corned beef has more intense flavors than its counterpart, it’s sometimes used as an ingredient in recipes like sandwiches or omelettes.

However, since Beef Spam has more versatile uses than corn beef (it can be used in fried rice or casserole dishes), it’s considered to have better flavor overall by most people who enjoy being able to use something different from time to time without having to make huge changes in their routine!


Here’s the nutrition breakdown:

  • Calories

Both beef spam and corned beef are high in calories.

A slice of corned beef contains about 280 calories, while a single serving (one slice) of canned beef spam has about 260.

That’s not a big difference—but it does mean that if you’re watching your waistline, it’s best to limit your intake of both products.

The most important thing is to manage your portions wisely!

  • Protein

While both have similar amounts of protein per serving (15 grams), there are some key differences between them in terms of their amino acid composition.

For example, cornfed cows tend to have higher levels of methionine than grass-fed cows (which means more energy for you).

On top of this, saltpeter—a preservative commonly used in canned foods—can affect how much B6 and B12 we absorb from our food sources; so if you’re eating canned goods like these every day then make sure they contain no added sodium nitrite!

  • Vitamins and Minerals

Corned beef contains more vitamin B1 (thiamin), riboflavin and niacin than canned spam.

But because it’s not as high in protein, cornfed cows tend to have lower levels of vitamin A, B6 and B12.

Cooking time and method

The cooking process for beef spam is a bit simpler.

Beef Spam is cooked in a microwave, whereas corned beef is boiled on the stove and braised.

This means that your beef spam can be ready to eat in less than five minutes!

If you want to get fancy with it, you can also bake it after frying it up in the skillet.

Corned Beef

The cooking process for corned beef takes longer than that of a regular pot roast or other slow-cooked meats such as brisket or chuck roast.

Corned beef is boiled first until tender, then simmered with vegetables and sometimes beer before being braised with some added liquid like wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (or both).

After being cooked, corned beef is usually sliced very thin and served cold.

You can also make sandwiches or use it in recipes where you’d normally use pastrami (like on a Reuben).

Side dishes to pair with

No matter what type of meat you decide to pair your corned beef with, there are a few side dishes that are always a safe bet.

Potatoes: mashed potatoes or boiled potato wedges are the best options for this recipe.

You can also try making french fries or potato pancakes if you’re looking for something a little different.

Rice: whether it’s jasmine rice or brown rice, white rice is another good option for pairing with corned beef.

Pasta: pastina is one of our favorite pasta shapes because it’s so small and bite-sized!

It pairs perfectly with corned beef and makes an excellent alternative to other pastas like macaroni noodles or little shells (it’s also gluten-free).

Cabbage: coleslaw is usually my go-to when it comes to cabbage because I love the sweetness and crunchiness of this vegetable dish.

Carrots: carrots go well with almost anything but they especially work well when paired with corned beef; try roasting them until tender then adding them on top of your plate during dinner time!

Corned Beef Hash: start by making some homemade hash using leftover ingredients from the roast itself—corned beef chunks mixed up with potatoes make for an awesome combination.


We hope that this article helped you decide which one is better for your next meal.

If you want to try both, that’s fine, but please be careful with how much you eat at once!

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Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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