The Best Corned Beef in a Can

Finding the best canned corned beef wasn’t easy, but we pulled it off. According to our taste test of several brands, this is the best corned beef in a can you’ll find at the grocery store.

I’ve put away a lot of canned corned beef hash in my day (I even led our taste test), but straight-up canned corned beef—just beef, no diced potatoes—was a blindspot. It’s pretty wild stuff, and not just because it comes in a rectangular can you need a little key to crank open, like you’re a mouse in a vintage cartoon about to crawl into a can of sardines for the night. It tastes sort of like corned beef brisket (aka beef that was brined in corning spices, like peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves, and bay leaves), but it’s mushier, fattier, and more affordable. (Not to get too visceral, but some cans were packed with unidentifiable bits of tissue that I thought were fat but wouldn’t actually render…you get used to it.) 

If you’re not prepared to marinate and roast a brisket, canned corn beef is pretty useful. You can slice it up for sandwiches or shred it for casseroles, or use it to make a variety of international dishes, like Filipino cornsilog, Jamaican bully beef, and Puerto Rican carne bif

We bought all the corned beef in a can we could find (we had to order a decent amount of it from Amazon), cranked open the cans, and then cooked the meat in a skillet. We looked for canned corned beef that crisped up nicely and actually tasted more like corned beef than can. We found two you should have in the pantry for the next time a salty meat emergency emerges. Here’s the best canned corned beef.

best low sodium canned corned beef

Best Less Sodium

Hereford 25% Less Sodium Corned Beef

All corned beef is salty (that’s kind of its thing), but canned corned beef is very, very salty. It’s not unpleasant and I’m sure it’s what people expect, even from the best canned corned beef, but I thought this lower sodium Hereford corned beef really benefited from a little bit of restraint. Cutting the salinity really lets the flavor of beef shine through. If you’re dubious that less salt is a good thing flavor-wise, I’ll stress that I don’t think you’d actually notice this canned corned beef was lower salt unless you were tasting it alongside full-salt varieties. Give it a shot! 




best corned beef in a can

Best of the Best

Great Value Corned Beef

When you open a can of Great Value canned corned beef, you’re gonna notice that it’s a different color than other canned corned beef, light pink rather than dark pink. That’s because it’s really fatty. And you know what? Fat equals flavor—especially when it’s seared in a skillet. Great Value makes the best canned corned beef because the extra fat really makes it crisp up beautifully in a pan. It develops a golden-brown crust in no time and we loved that. If you’ve been buying canned corned beef from one of the more expensive brands on Amazon, stop. Give this Walmart option a shot. 




Other products we tried: Libby’s Corned Beef, Underwood Corned Beef Spread, Signature Select Corned Beef, Iberia Corned Beef

About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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