Why Is Corned Beef Cheaper Than Brisket (You Might Be Surprised)

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Wondering why corned beef is cheaper than brisket?

The reason corned beef is cheaper than brisket is; that corned beef is already cooked and brined, therefore has a longer self-life.

Plus it doesn’t have a high demand like brisket.

Let’s look at the differences between these cuts of beef. We’ll also learn why they are so expensive.

Is Corned Beef Really Cheaper Than Brisket?

Meat is often an expensive food.

The more preparation that goes into the meat, the more expensive it will become.

Since corned beef is made with brisket, you would expect the cost to be higher than the average cost of brisket.

Corning is a long process that requires extra time, labor, and materials.

Those factors determine the selling price.

Since corning is a type of preservation, corned beef has a long shelf life.

That means the turnover is lower and its cheaper to have it in the store than fresh brisket.

Since the demand for corned is relatively low that means the price isnt driven up.

What Is Brisket?

Brisket is the cut of meat that comes from a cow’s chest. Since the chest has strong muscles, it can have very tough connective tissue.

This meat of choice is great for slow cooking to tenderize the connective tissue.

A lot of people will grind the brisket for burgers. This is because of the high-fat content.

If you can’t afford brisket, here are some alternatives for it

What Is Corned Beef?

Corned beef brisket is brisket that has been brined and boiled.

This confuses many people because it technically is a type of brisket.

Corned beef has been through a curing process with sodium nitrite.

This is what makes corned beef tastes much different from beef brisket.

How Is Corned Beef Made?

Corned beef is cured in a brine solution.

The brine consists of rock salt and other herbs. 

It is then slow-cooked until it is tender and flavorful.

If you want to corn beef at home, that is a possibility.

You may even save money since you’re saving work for the butcher shop.

You will soak the brisket in a brine in the refrigerator for several days. Then you will slow cook it until it is fully cooked.

If you can’t afford or find corned beef, here are some alternatives for it

What’s the Difference Between Corned Beef and Brisket?

Corned beef has gone through the brining process and will taste very salty. Brisket is normally sold raw without any added salts.

Manufacturers vacuum seal corned beef so it will last for a long time.

Since brisket is best eaten fresh, it is packaged like other fresh meats.

Corned beef maintains a deep pink color while brisket becomes a shade of brown.

Corned Beef Recipes

The most popular way to eat it is probably in a Reuben sandwich.

This rye bread sandwich consists of corned beef, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing.

Many people pair it with cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s traditions.

A lot of people like to eat corned beef hash for breakfast or at diners.

Fry up some of the beef with potatoes and onions for this delicious dish.

Want to try smoked corned beef? Try my EPIC recipe!

Alternatives for Corned Beef and Brisket

Whether you need to spend less money or just can’t find corned beef, you may be interested in alternatives.

Pastrami is another product of brisket that goes through a curing process.

This may be a good alternative to corned beef.

Short ribs and chuck roast are cuts of meat that are very close to the brisket.

Smoking them will result in meat with many similarities to brisket.

Beef clods and beef shanks are also good substitutes. They become very tender after slow cooking.

Now that you understand why corned beef is so expensive, you might appreciate it even more!

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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