Sporked Ranks 6 Salisbury Steaks with Rhett & Link

We tend to associate Salisbury steak with sad TV dinners and school lunches. But Salisbury steak is more than that; it’s a celebrated dinner staple across the globe. In Japanese cuisine, it’s better known as hambāgu and served with white rice. In Germany, it’s known as Hamburg steak. Wherever you are in the world, the essence of the dish remains the same: a formed ground meat patty topped with brown gravy. 

I had the pleasure of appearing on an episode of Good Mythical More to rank frozen Salisbury steaks. So, what did Rhett, Link, and I look for? Well, we wanted a nice, meaty consistency. Anything too processed and homogenous was off putting. Also, the meat should be seasoned well, ideally with salt and pepper. And as far as gravy goes, it got extra points for a strong umami element. Above all else, we wanted this dish to bring big savory flavor.

So how did these six rank? Peep the list:


stouffer's salisbury steak

Best of the Best

Stouffer’s Family Size Salisbury Steak

Stouffer’s does a great job with a lot of their products. As mentioned in our lasagna ranking, Josh is a huge fan of their vegetable lasagna, which is creamy and decadent. The Salisbury steak feels the same way, and was the meatiest of the steaks on this list. Link and I also agreed that this is really juicy. First and foremost, Salisbury steak should be savory, and this is savory.

Rhett gave it a 10, and Link gave it a 7. This was easily the best one we had, so I’m going to split the difference and call this an 8.5. Good job, Stouffer’s.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

hungry man salisbury

Best Nostalgia Steak

Hungry-Man Salisbury Steak

The Hungry-Man salisbury steak has a nice beef flavor in the gravy, which provides some needed umami, because the meat itself feels a bit too processed. There’s a nostalgic, microwaved taste here that you either love or hate. Link also liked the smoke flavor, which is subtle but nice. Link gave it a 6, and Rhett gave it a 5. I do think it’s better than a 5, so I’m going to break the tie and give it a solid 6. Not bad. Not great.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

6/10

Sporks

boston market salisbury steak

Best Seasoning

Boston Market Salisbury Steak

Boston Market’s Salisbury steak comes with a total of four thin patties, which I am dubbing a “Smashburger-style Salisbury steak.” This one might have the best seasoning of the bunch: the meat isn’t over or under salted; it achieves that perfect middle ground. The gravy is pretty savory, too, which makes the meal quite unctuous overall. The meat is really processed, however, which reminds me of Spam. I found out that neither Rhett nor Link likes Spam.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

6/10

Sporks

lean cuisine salisbury steak

Best Healthy

Lean Cuisine Salisbury Steak

Link correctly assessed here that this was missing a lot of salt, and that it would probably be better if it were not trying to be healthy. You can probably fix that on your own with a little salt and pepper, and the addition of some mushrooms and onions adds some additional flavor, too. This does read as a healthy product, and not one that’s intended to be the best tasting. Still, Link and I have a special place in our hearts for Lean Cuisine. There’s some mom-based nostalgia here for the both of us.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

5.5/10

Sporks

marie callender's salisbury steak

Best Unique Flavor

Marie Callender’s Salisbury Steak

It felt good to chime in here with some tasting expertise. Both Rhett & Link commented that this tastes like Thanksgiving, which I think is due to the addition of celery powder. When you add celery powder to beef, grain, and gravy, you get that stuffing-like quality we associate with a fall feast. I checked the ingredients and there is indeed celery juice concentrate in here. The boys commented that it felt like the sauce was soaked into the meat a little more than the others, which is nice. This one is saturated with flavor. Still, that flavor is a bit too much, and the quality of meat isn’t as good as Stouffer’s. 

Rating:

4.5/10

Sporks

banquet salisbury steak

Best Prison Food

Banquet Salisbury Steak

Unfortunately, we didn’t have anything great to say about this one. I laughed when Rhett said, “This is starting to feel like prison food,” because it’s true. Banquet has a state penitentiary-like quality to it due to its gloomy color and sad aesthetic. Everybody mentioned how the color is just alarming. It’s too light! This should be dark, delicious brown gravy. Nobody liked this one, and I laughed as both Rhett & Link got their shots in at Banquet.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

3/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • I always liked Marie calendar’s salsbury steak and definitely Boston Market’s but now I’ll have to try the Stouffer’s. One I must admit over the years I have tried Stouffer’s products and I really enjoy them but never tried their Salisbury steak. They have a restaurant meatball that they make and we have been getting them at a giant food market that was selling them at the deli these meatballs are so good and delicious I can’t say enough about them. You cannot get them any other way but at the deli. Now they stopped selling them and that made me so mad.

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  • I’ve tried them all and like them all, I guess it’s about personal preferences, but I like Banquet, for the price and taste. Mix in some buttered bread and it’s worthy of a quick dinner.

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  • How was nighthawk just completely looked over?

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    • Your got it girl

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  • Banquet brand is good for one thing: those on a really tight budget. Been there, done that. And I was glad I had the option of Banquet. But as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. And now that I have some money to spend, Banquet will not be on my menu anytime soon.

    Reply
  • My go to is generally Banquet. It might be the worst one, but c’mon for under $2? What did you expect? Waygu beef steak? I’d rather pay 99¢ vs $4.99. You did miss another brand…what about OnCor?

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  • I like Marie calendar l wish a apple pie or peaches pie for dessert ty

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  • The best I have ever ate was Hormel then they discontinued it. 🥲

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  • I’ve had them all. With the exception of Hungry Man I would agree with the ranking. I’d put HMan at #5.

    Reply
  • The Salisbury Steak is the best of them all.

    Reply
  • Nighthawk has the best in my opinion

    Reply