The Difference Between Pastrami And Roast Beef: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted on

difference between pastrami and roast beef

Roast Beef


Prep time

Cooking time

Total time


Are you a fan of cured meats? Do you like to make delicious sandwiches with various kinds of cold cuts? Then this article will be perfect for you! I’m here to answer the age old question: what is the difference between pastrami and roast beef?

Having studied the different types of cured meats, I know that there can be some confusion when it comes to distinguishing between these two popular deli favorites. That’s why I’ve compiled this comprehensive guide detailing exactly what sets these two apart. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information needed to tell one from another and create your own tasty sandwich creations! So join me on a journey as we take a look at how each type is made, their respective flavors, their history and more. Let’s get started now and see just how different pastrami and roast beef really are!

Read also: is roast beef fattening?

difference between pastrami and roast beef

Pastrami and roast beef are both delicious deli meats, but they have some major differences.

Pastrami is a type of cured, smoked beef that originated in Romania. It has a deep red color and is usually served thinly sliced on sandwiches or as part of an appetizer platter. The meat is usually made from the navel end of the brisket or shoulder cut, which gives it its unique taste and texture. Pastrami is heavily seasoned with spices such as garlic, coriander, black pepper, mustard seed and paprika before being brined for up to 10 days in a mixture containing saltpeter (potassium nitrate). After this curing process the pastrami is then hot-smoked over hardwood chips until cooked through. This smoking process gives pastrami its signature smoky flavor and also helps to preserve it for longer storage periods than other types of deli meats.

Roast beef on the other hand does not involve any curing or smoking processes like pastrami does. Instead it’s simply oven roasted at high temperatures using either dry heat from an open flame or moist heat from steam roasting methods such as braising or stewing; depending on preference. Roast beef can be made from several different cuts including chuck roast, sirloin tip roast and round steak; however top round roast seems to be most popular due to its tenderness when cooked properly. Roast beef tends to have more fat marbling throughout compared to pastrami so it has a richer flavor profile while still remaining leaner than many other cuts of meat making it healthier option if you’re looking for something lower in saturated fats than traditional delis meats like salami or bologna .

some Ingredients and preparation methods for pastrami


Pastrami is popular for its signature smoky, peppery flavor which comes from a distinct combination of ingredients and preparation methods. The main ingredient in pastrami is beef brisket, which usually starts brined for several days with spices to enhance the meat’s natural flavors. This brine will typically include salt, garlic, sugar, black pepper or coriander and other seasonings like allspice or cloves.

Once the brisket has been brined long enough to absorb the flavors from the spice mixture it’s time to add an additional layer of flavor via a dry rub. Pastrami will often be seasoned with a combination of cracked black pepper and paprika as well as herbs like thyme or marjoram that are used for their flavor complexity. Some recipes might also include chili powder if you want even more heat added into your final dish!

The last step before cooking is smoking your pastrami over indirect heat at low temperatures for many hours until it reaches just the right texture and doneness. This longer smoking period allows time for those aromatic smoke flavors to permeate throughout every bite of this salty-sweet sandwich favorite! After it’s finished smoking you can either slice your pastrami thin or thick depending on preference but either way you’re sure to enjoy this classic deli favorite!

Read also: is london broil good for beef jerky?

Ingredients and preparation methods for roast beef.

The perfect roast beef starts with the right ingredients and careful preparation. It’s important to choose quality cuts of meat, preferably prime or choice grade for maximum flavor and tenderness. The most common cut used is sirloin tip roast, but other options include rib roast, chuck roll, rump roast, or a bottom round roast. All roasts should be at least two inches thick in order to achieve optimal results.


• 2-3 lb boneless beef sirloin tip/rib/chuck roll/rump/bottom round

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Once you’ve chosen your cut of meat it’s time to prepare it for cooking! Begin by lightly coating the surface of the meat with vegetable oil. This helps create a nice browned crust while providing some moisture during cooking so that the interior remains juicy and flavorful. Next season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper on all sides – this will help highlight its natural flavors without overwhelming them. Roasting Method

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Place seasoned beef in a shallow roasting pan.
  • Roast uncovered for 20 minutes per pound (1 hour 40 minutes total).
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325°F after the first 20 minutes.
  • Remove when internal temperature reaches 145°F (medium rare) or 155°F (medium).

Once cooked let your beef rest before slicing into thin slices against the grain for best texture and doneness.

How does pastrami and roast beef differ in taste?

The delicious, smoky flavor of pastrami and roast beef are very similar but still have distinct differences. Pastrami is made from cured beef that has been rubbed with a mixture of spices, including garlic, coriander, black pepper and paprika. The rub gives the meat its signature taste and texture. Roast beef is cooked slowly in an oven at low temperatures to preserve its juiciness and tenderness. Generally served with a flavorful sauce or gravy as an accompaniment to vegetables or potatoes, it does not contain any additional spices beyond salt and pepper.

In terms of flavor profile both meats have similarities; pastrami can be described as having a salty-smokey quality while roast beef has more of a savory sweetness because of the natural juices in the meat due to slow cooking . Both types of meat also provide wonderful aromas when cooked that fill your home with warmth. When comparing them side by side one can easily distinguish between the two meats:

  • Pastrami
  • : Firm texture due to curing process along with strong pungent smokiness.

  • Roast Beef: Soft texture because it’s been cooked in an oven along with subtle sweet flavors.

Although both offer unique flavors there are some key differences when it comes to what makes each so special – starting firstly with how they’re prepared. Pastrami goes through curing and smoking processes before being sliced thinly against the grain for optimal tenderness whereas roast beef requires no marination but instead relies on slow roasting techniques over long periods (often hours) at lower temperatures for maximum juiciness. Furthermore, when served hot you’ll notice that pastrami emits more steam than roast beef because fats within the former release more moisture during cooking giving you an all round ‘juicer’ bite!

Read also: what does sloth taste like?

Texture comparison: Is there a noticeable difference between pastrami and roast beef?

Pastrami is a type of cured and seasoned beef, usually smoked, that has a unique texture. It’s made from beef brisket or round cuts of meat that have been rubbed with spices like pepper and coriander. The result is an incredibly flavorful cut of meat that’s juicy on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside. Pastrami has become one of the most popular deli meats in America for its savory flavor profile when served cold or hot.

Roast Beef is another classic deli favorite prepared by slow roasting beef cuts like chuck roast, sirloin tip roast, and top round steaks over low heat to a medium rare internal temperature before slicing it thin for sandwiches. Roast beef typically has a bolder flavor compared to pastrami with strong notes of garlic and herbs depending on what seasonings were used during cooking time. Its texture can range from being extremely tender when cooked medium rare to firmer in texture due to overcooking if it’s cooked longer than necessary.

  • So how does their textures compare?

The primary difference between pastrami & roast beef lies in their preparation method & taste profile as well as how they’re served: while both are primarily enjoyed cold-cut style when served at room temperature, pastrami may also be heated up until it reaches its melting point while roast beef will remain dry & firm even after heating unless its sliced super thinly so that more moisture penetrates each slice quickly. On the other hand, pastramis tenderness comes from its curing process which gives it an extra layer of juiciness compared to roast beef which tends to be leaner without much fat content resulting in a drier texture overall​—​though this can vary depending upon the specific cut used for preparation!


You might also like these recipes