The Ultimate Ranking Of Canned Roast Beef, According To Customer Reviews

Kirkland Signature Canned Roast Beef
Kirkland Signature Canned Roast Beef - The Image Party/Shutterstock

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Like most canned meat products, canned roast beef has a less-than-stellar reputation. As a result, many people turn their noses up at canned roast beef without ever trying it. Due to the use of low-quality meat and poor production processes, there are some products out there that justify such treatment. That being said, there are also several brands that produce good quality canned roast beef. In this article, we rank all these brands based on customer reviews, helping you to distinguish the latter from the former.

When done well, canned roast beef is a cheap, long-lasting, and easy-to-use alternative to traditional roast beef that customers across the United States can enjoy. However, if made poorly, it can verge on inedible. The quality of the beef, how it is cooked, and what further ingredients -- if any -- are added all contribute to whether canned roast beef is good or not.

While making a canned roast beef product is complicated, discerning which is good is a simple matter of checking customer reviews. We've examined and compared reviews of eight canned roast beef products from various retail sites, looking for a general consensus on each product's taste, the quality of its beef, and the purity of its ingredients. We've subsequently used these insights to create the ultimate ranking of canned roast beef products. After all, if the majority of Americans enjoy a product, there's a good chance you will too.

Read more: Canned Soups You Should And Shouldn't Buy

8. Butterfield Farms Roast Beef

Butterfield Farms canned roast beef
Butterfield Farms canned roast beef - Butterfield Farms

Butterfield Farms Roast Beef is packed in beef broth. The company uses broth in an attempt to make the product more flavorful. Unfortunately, its use results in an overwhelmingly salty taste that many customers have complained about. This should come as little surprise given that a single 12-ounce can contains 1,740 milligrams of sodium, nearly three-quarters of an adult's daily recommended intake.

The size and texture of the meat itself only worsens matters; instead of coming in tender chunks, the beef is portioned into small, tough pieces. This is a big turn-off for many customers as the following review left on Amazon highlights: "Do not bother with this product. It is of poor quality, the taste is inferior and the pieces of meat are small and grisly compared to other canned beef. It is almost half the price of premium brands and there is a good reason for that."

7. Great Value Roast Beef

Can of Great Value beef
Can of Great Value beef - Walmart

As one of Walmart's private label brands, it will surprise no one that Great Value Roast Beef is a well-priced product; a 12-ounce can costs less than $4. While cheaper than most other products on this list, Great Value Roast Beef is far from the best-reviewed. This is partly due to this roast beef being packed in a salty broth that's too overpowering for many customers.

Great Value Roast Beef is also criticized for containing low quantities of meat with many people stating that the majority of the product is made up of the aforementioned broth. Understandably, this draws a great amount of criticism from customers. As one Walmart review reads: "If you think you're getting meat tightly packed in cans like you get with canned tuna, you have the wrong idea. This is more along the lines of chunks of beef submerged in broth closer to, say, a soup."

In an effort to make the most of this product, some customers drain off the liquid and use it to flavor gravies. This also has the effect of removing some of the salt from the meat itself. However, this process does nothing to change the fact that there is only a small amount of beef present in each can.

6. Hereford Roast Beef With Gravy

Can of Hereford roast beef
Can of Hereford roast beef - AlaskaGranny/YouTube

Unlike the previously mentioned items, Hereford's canned roast beef comes packed in beef gravy. Much to customers' delight, this gravy is thick and flavorful, making it an ideal accompaniment to the roast beef. What's more, the meat is of a relatively high quality and the product contains assurances that the cows it was harvested from were not raised with added hormones. As a result, many customers happily use Hereford Roast Beef with Gravy as a basis for dishes such as beef machaca, stew, and beef tacos.

Hereford Roast Beef with Gravy has received many positive reviews, including the following which was posted to Amazon: "While this is not what I would call fantastic cuisine, it's okay for the price. I would not eat it alone as a main course, but over some nice jasmine rice it's pretty darn good tasting." While not effusive, reviews such as these indicate that Hereford Roast Beef with Gravy is a solid product that Americans should consider purchasing.

5. Keystone All Natural Beef

Can of Keystone beef
Can of Keystone beef - Keystone Foods

Keystone All Natural Beef is not packed in broth or gravy but in its own juices. This ensures that the product contains significantly less sodium than many other products included in this article. Per 12-ounce serving, Keystone All Natural Beef actually contains over 1,000 milligrams less sodium than Butterfield Farms Roast Beef, a huge plus for customers who are trying to limit their sodium intake.

A lower salt content does not mean Keystone All Natural Beef lacks flavor. In fact, many customers celebrate the product's taste as indicated by the following Amazon review: "The meat is so tasty and useful that it is hard not to break open a can 'for dinner tonight.' From sandwiches like barbecue beef to casseroles [...] So delicious and so not like other canned meats I've eaten. Keystone Meats have it figured out."

Such an impressive flavor does not occur by chance; Keystone follows a painstaking production process that starts with butchers inspecting and hand trimming all cuts of beef. The only added ingredient is a cube of sea salt, meaning the product is packed with the natural taste of beef and nothing else.

4. Kirkland Signature Roast Beef

Kirkland Signature canned roast beef
Kirkland Signature canned roast beef - Kirkland Signature

Costco's private label Kirkland Signature accounts for approximately 20% of all products stocked in Costco and is known for providing quality products at an affordable price. One of the most impressive Kirkland Signature products is the brand's canned roast beef. A review of the product left on Amazon reads: "This Roast Beef is the real thing. It comes in a can with big chunks of Beef [...] I use this as a go-to when I am too lazy to cook or don't have the time. It tastes delicious and it has many uses when preparing it for other dishes. The texture and price is very good."

As this review indicates, customers are often surprised at how good Kirkland Signature Roast Beef tastes. When combined with the product's versatility, this leads many people to recommend making Kirkland Signature Roast Beef a pantry staple, much like ketchup. That being said, some customers are put off by the price, correctly noting that it would be cheaper, albeit more time-consuming, to buy fresh beef chunks and cook them at home.

3. Underwood Premium Roast Beef Spread

Underwood Roast Beef Spread
Underwood Roast Beef Spread - Underwood

Unlike other products mentioned in this article, the meat in Underwood Premium Roast Beef Spread does not come in chunks. Instead, the beef is ground down to produce a smooth spread that's often used as a sandwich filling.

Underwood Premium Roast Beef is a very well-reviewed product. A lot of customers grew up eating it and buy the product due to the sense of nostalgia it invokes. While this undoubtedly contributes to the high number of positive reviews the product receives there is no doubt that the product itself is of excellent quality with customers frequently praising its meaty, satisfying taste.

Aside from a nice flavor, Underwood Premium Roast Beef Spread offers a uniquely smooth texture. This makes it suited to a variety of culinary applications that other canned roast beef products are not. As one customer highlighted on Amazon: "I enjoy the taste, and the smooth, creamy, pate consistency [...] I love to eat this spread right out of the can with crackers -- zero clean up. This is one of those, 'I have no idea what to eat' items that seems to hit the spot."

2. Hormel Roast Beef & Gravy

Person holding Hormel canned beef
Person holding Hormel canned beef - JourneyofBear/YouTube

Hormel is a brand that has a reputation for producing good quality, affordable food. The brand's canned Roast Beef & Gravy lives up to this tradition, offering a convenient, tasty source of protein at a reasonable price. One customer wrote on Amazon: "I like this Hormel product for its portability and preparation ease. The taste is above average for a canned good, in my opinion, and offers us, the consumer, various recipe options at a reasonable price [...] I highly recommend this product for its versatility, taste, and competitive price."

Many other customers echo this sentiment, listing a host of recipes in which the flavor of Hormel Roast Beef & Gravy shines, including quesadillas and ramen. Several people also note that the product is free of the metallic taste present in some canned products. All of this leads us to believe that, as a time-saving canned protein, there are few products better than Hormel Roast Beef & Gravy.

1. Walnut Creek Canned Beef Chunks

Walnut Creek canned beef
Walnut Creek canned beef - Walnut Creek Foods

The best-reviewed canned roast beef in our article comes from Walnut Creek, a company based in Ohio. The brand's Canned Beef Chunks only contain beef and salt. Aside from ensuring purity of flavor, this short ingredient list also means it is suitable for customers with allergies. This endears the product to many people as highlighted in this Amazon review: "I'm a beef lover. But I hate tough beef. This beef is tasty and tender. It is unadulterated, meaning its pure. So many survival food packages are full of grains and gluten I am allergic to. There are no strange additives either. There is nothing to worry about when it comes to allergies."

The meat itself is of an excellent quality, carrying an intense beefy flavor that's quite remarkable for a canned product. Nearly all those who left reviews celebrated this flavor and declared their intentions to reorder the product, a true indication of this canned roast beef's unrivaled quality.

How We Determined The Best Canned Roast Beef

Canned roast beef in production
Canned roast beef in production - Science Channel/YouTube

In this article, we only included canned roast beef products that are available for purchase in the United States. The order of the products was determined by the number and quality of reviews left on retail sites such as Walmart and Amazon. Products were ranked by the overall rating they had on these sites. In instances where products were reviewed across multiple sites, an average rating was calculated. When two products boasted the same overall rating, products were ranked on the effusiveness of written reviews; those that had more enthusiastic reviews were ranked higher. We also looked for reviews that specifically detailed the product's taste, quality, and ingredient list in order to understand the reasoning behind its overall rating. We did not take into account negative ratings that pertained to delivery or shipping issues.

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