Taste Test: Canned Corned Beef

We tested 18 brands of canned corned beef to find the worthy additions to your pantry.

Did you know that the “corn” in corned beef actually refers to the grains of salt used in the curing process? Not actual corn! Corned beef is made from leaner cuts of beef like the brisket, which are salted and brined with spices like bay leaf, peppercorns, and cloves. In the West, corned beef is traditionally served with a side of cabbage on St. Patrick’s day, or in a Jewish deli reuben sandwich.

In the Philippines, corned beef is more familiar to us in its canned form. The convenience of salty, hearty beef in a can appeals so much to Filipinos that it’s wormed its way into so many of our staple meals; in breakfast classics such as cornsilog and pandesal sandwiches; or as a full ulam sautéed with onions, garlic, potatoes, or cabbage. It also appears as protein in pasta dishes!

Canned corned beef is so popular among Pinoys that it takes up almost half the canned food aisle at any grocery store—which is why choosing the one to bring home can be confusing. Do you stick with the kind your mom always gets or experiment with that brand you keep seeing in commercials? Is it worth splurging on imported ones with labels you don’t recognize?

To find the best canned corned beef, we tried as many brands as we could get our hands on, ranging from local favorites like Purefoods and Delimondo to imported brands like Palm and Libby’s. Whether you like your corned beef crispy or soupy, chunky or shreddy, there’s definitely something on our list for you!

How We Test

After hitting up a few stores, we ended up with 18 different kinds of canned corned beef and a very heavy grocery bag. Then, we sat down and did a blind taste test. We placed the winning brands into the following categories:

  • Guaranteed Crowd Pleasers
  • Time-Tested Classics
  • Best Served Crispy
  • Honorable Mentions

For this round of testing, we focused on plain corned beef. There’s a wide range of canned corned beef products like carne norte (corned beef sautéed in onions), caldereta, or chili garlic flavors, but we wanted to start with the most basic varieties. Maybe we’ll go through the rest in part 2!

To properly gauge their texture and flavor, we prepared the corned beef straight out of the can—no added oil or seasonings—and cooked everything to the same doneness. But no crispy corned beef! As much as we love it, crisping up any corned beef drastically improves it, so it feels a little unfair to pit them against each other that way. So we kept it simple by cooking off some of the corned beef’s extra liquid, but not enough to dry it out and get it crispy.

We categorized price based on this metric:
₱10-₱30 per 100g
₱31-₱50 per 100g₱₱
₱51+ per 100g₱₱₱

Guaranteed Crowd Pleasers

These brands were a cut above the rest, combining great texture with the salty and slightly sweet corned beef flavor that Pinoys love. If they aren’t in your pantry yet, they should be!


We noticed that local canned corned beef brands have a moderate saltiness, and can even be a little sweet compared to imported brands. Delimondo combines that salty-sweet corned beef flavor (leaning a bit more on the salty side) with high quality, fibrous bits of beef. It had a good amount of fat, litid (tendons), and silverskin (connective tissue), which gave it excellent chew.

Delimondo is the more grown-up version of our childhood favorite corned beef, boasting a deeper, beefier flavor. It’s on the pricier side compared to other local brands, but the splurge is worth it!

TextureFibrous + chunky
Salt LevelBalanced

Also Great: Palm

New Zealand’s Palm is heavy on the salt, but in a good way. With noticeably more fat and silverskin than other brands, this corned beef balances its beefy texture with a rich, velvety, almost silky mouthfeel.

Someone on the team described this as “Filipino-adjacent”, comparing it to the flavor of local canned corned beef that Pinoys love—but a touch saltier and beefier. This quickly made Palm a favorite among the imported brands that we tested!

TextureMeaty + lots of silverskin
Salt LevelHigh
OriginNew Zealand
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