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Aug 23, 2007 08:17 PM

Arby's, just how is their roast beef made?

About twice a year I get a craving for a roast beef sandwich from Arby's, which makes me wonder, just what is in that roast beef loaf they use to shave the meat for their sandwiches and how is it made? is it then pressed or formed together somehow? Does anyone know how they do this? Is it then roasted or ............ ???

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  1. I don't think it's pressed...or maybe sort of. I always thought it was cured like a ham, which then allows it to be sliced like paper.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ML8000

      What is curing exactly? I have seen cured and uncured pepperoni and was wondering then, and also now that you mention it in relation to Arby's roast beef.

      1. re: cheri

        I think inuksuk hit upon it. When I mean cured, I mean with salt and sugar like the average supermarket ham or coldcut...not a real smoked/cured ham.

    2. This article on will not completely answer your question but might allay the worst of your fears. Arby's roast beef is not made from some sort of meat-flavoured congealed gel. I think, just my own guess mind you, that Arby's beef is just cheap round roast that has been tenderized with papain (or something) to its peculiar, almost gelatinous texture.

      16 Replies
      1. re: inuksuk

        First off is not 100% accurate. Second, until I can see with my own eyes the Arby's roast beef being made I stand by the Slurry, Gelatin and who knows what else.

        1. re: Remag

 is full of lies. Anyone who trusts an agenda driven team is a fool.
          You are correct. The roast beef is chopped into a slurry with added gelatin and then formed into a shape. This is why it is so tender and tasty. Gelatin is a healthy substance whether you know it or not. They feed gelatin to the elderly. I love Arbys and always will as long as they maintain their recipes.

          1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

            This is basically to both Remag a& Hungryman: I'm curious, just what type of agenda do you believe has a hold on Snopes?

            1. re: PollyTics

              My original post was removed due to me speaking the truth and it was construed as political..a no no.
              Here's the answer to your question sans political comments. does not always print the truth, but rather skewed to snopes agenda whatever that is at the moment. Anyone seeking the truth should not rely on snopes alone but rather search out other facts on a specific subject. ie. snopes stated things about Arby's Roast Beef that are not entirely true. That's just one example.
              Let's see what Hungryman8 has to say.

              1. re: Remag

                Thanks for the clarification and I am surprised your comment got removed. I didn't realize politics was a no no on this blog. Good to note!

              2. re: PollyTics

                Snopes is a propaganda tool that filters truth on specific material. The facts are distorted or missing. It is a filtered media site. Only those topics that fit their agenda are allowed to be broadcast unbiased. If you don't understand what this all means? Then you need to do more research. Snopes has been proven unreliable and wrong many times. They also have been caught re-writing history like so many other media conglomerates.

                1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                  Hungryman, no need to get snide with me. I was asking why "you" guys viewed Snopes in such a negative manner and not suggestive that I needed to do more research.

                  1. re: PollyTics

                    Nothing personal really. Sometimes words don't relay the proper inflection. I was just trying to say that there are ways to confirm the misinformation.

              3. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                I liked Arby's _until_ they strayed from their original recipe (of actual roast beef). Whatever flavor the current iteration of their "roast beef" has is from the added flavorings in the slurry. Some folks like it, and that's ok by me...but it doesn't really resemble actual roast beef. It's more like a kind of generic mystery meat loaf.
                To each his own.

                As for problem at all with that. I usually add some to my home made soups and stock.

                1. re: The Professor

                  I don't see how that is different from Chicken Nuggets. Aren't they made that way, with a meat slurry plus sticker-together stuff? And, come to think of it, how about lunchmeats? If you ever ate a piece of actual chicken or beef (or any meat) you can tell from the texture that the substance is different.

                  1. re: Querencia

                    Not all chicken nuggets are the same. For example...before YUM brands destroyed the original Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise (KFC). They made Kentucky nuggets. Those were the best chicken nuggets I ever had. And I had them all. They were cut pieces of whole chicken meat. With the seasoned coating, and dipped in Heinz bbq sauce. Today they sold out to one massive supply house that provides all prepared foods. Wendy's for example are horrible. I can't believe someone would eat those nuggets. Burger King ruined theirs too. They used to have decent chicken tenders - now gone !

                    1. re: Querencia

                      You're right. Arby's "Roast Beef" is definitely in the same category as most "chicken nuggets"...a homogenized, processed meat food (which I also find generally un-apealling). Nothing wrong with such processed foods per se (if they're done well). I just think it's funny that they call it "roast beef". "Roasted Beef Loaf" would be a more honest description.
                      It's great for Arby's that people like the stuff.
                      It just tastes odd to me, though I've certainly eaten it in a pinch. The horseradish sauce really helps it along though. It helps mask the odd and un-beef-like, salty flavor of the meat itself.

                      1. re: The Professor

                        Funny how some people will ingest illicit pharmaceuticals and pop legal prescriptions like candy including giving and taking psychotropic drugs that screw up everyone's endocrine system and permanently damage their brains, YET complain about food that the body needs to survive. I am amazed at the amount of misguided lost souls.
                        Better worry more about drugs than Arby's great roast beef loaf or Roy Rogers....Jeesh

                        1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                          While I have no knowledge of your post being applicable to anyone here on CH, I do agree with your post in general. I know of many people who will swallow any pill or concoction that any stranger hands them with much alacrity but yet rail against the "evil" fast food empires.

                          1. re: PotatoHouse

                            Thanks. I see you use your brain God gave you. Unlike others in the world who just repeat rubbish taught to them by other ignorant mushrooms.

                            Of course I don't like all fast food. And in many cases they have degraded into cheap pig trough slop, such as Taco Bell, Burger King, etc. These establishments used to be great once upon a time. But they all seem to end up using artificial toxic food substitutes and shrinking the portion size while at the same time raising the prices. They don't prepare fresh and have their ingredients mass produced from bulk suppliers and shipped in. The death spiral of eats. I might even quite going to McDonald's next. I make more and more homemade fast food using real food ingredients instead nowadays. Take care my friend.

              4. re: inuksuk

                I use to like Arby's, but like everything else, it seems to me that when I now take a bite it is seasoned cardboard.

              5. About 15 to 20 years ago you would in to Arby's and see actual beef roasts that they roasted in ovens on site. When you ordered a sandwich, someone would slice it off the roast in front to you and make the sandwich. Obviously that has changed!

                12 Replies
                1. re: LikestoEatout

                  i don't get that. why would people accept a change like that?

                  1. re: fara

                    Because many people value cost more than quality.

                    1. re: ccbweb

                      ...and Arby's seems to "butter" (or is it margarine) their buns and it gives you that extra taste of fat. It's also a good change from a burger.

                    2. re: fara

                      Price, surely, and the manufactured meat is intensely flavored.

                    3. re: LikestoEatout

                      the way the beef was processed then, is the way it's processed now, emphasis on processed.

                      1. re: LikestoEatout

                        I worked at Arby's 20-odd years ago, and it might have appeared to be a "roast", and yes they were sliced after cooked, but I remember seeing what those things looked like when they came out of the packaging before they were cooked. They looked like processed meat that had been formed into a roast, not a real beef roast.

                        1. re: pescatarian

                          I too worked at Arby's many years ago and for a very short period of time . . . but I recall the pre-cooked roast beef looked similar to a loaf of liverwurst, hardly solid and entirely unappetizing. That being said, I never minded the flavor of the beef once cooked.

                          1. re: BRB

                            I worked there in the early 80's. It was regular meat. Once we were all chatting aboiut life and forgot to put the roast in the oven. Open at 10 with no meat.

                            1. re: Just Plain Craig

                              Off this subject, JPG, could you tell me the location of the old Twin Kiss in Newport?

                        2. re: LikestoEatout

                          I went to Arby's over 20 years ago and don't recall that at all. Arby's is terrible anyhow.

                          1. re: LikestoEatout

                            I'm posting to a old thread. I truly believed in my younger years. When hearing I was going to Arby's they would be slicing the roast beef when you ordered. Not seeing that. It was a major disappointment to me. Never have been back. It ranked right up there with not seeing real fleas at the flea market. Doing circus acts.

                            1. re: emglow101

                              Every time I went to Arby's.... I saw them slice the meat right there. That was in the late 1980's before all were closed down. Today they set up the establishment in a way that you can't see the kitchen. At least that is the way it is in a food court.

                          2. From the Arby's website, under "printable ingredients list"
                            Roast Beef:
                            Trimmed Boneless Beef Chunks (Minimum 70%) Combined With Chopped Beef For a Maximum of 12% Fat. Contains up to 9.0% of a Self-Basting Solution of Water, Salt, Sodium Phosphate.

                            But heck, it tastes pretty good, especially on an onion roll.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: ccbweb

                              I knew good ol' ccbweb would have an analysis for us. For one who despises chains and fast food joints alike, his analyses are always on point.

                              1. re: ccbweb

                                "From the Arby's website, under "printable ingredients list"
                                Roast Beef:
                                Trimmed Boneless Beef Chunks (Minimum 70%) Combined With Chopped Beef For a Maximum of 12% Fat. Contains up to 9.0% of a Self-Basting Solution of Water, Salt, Sodium Phosphate"

                                The unprintable ingredients, we don't want to know about1

                                1. re: Muskrat

                                  Hah! Is "printable ingredients" common nomenclature, or does it indeed imply that there are unprintable things included too?

                              2. When you can get 4 for $5, do you really want to know??

                                20 Replies
                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Exactly. Roast beef sandwich + Arby's sauce = yum.

                                  1. re: krez

                                    Actually, the ONLY thing at Arby's I ever enjoyed was the horseradish sauce.

                                    1. re: krez

                                      I love the horsey sauce too. I alternate bites with it and the Arby's sauce. I don't care what it's made out of, I love an Arby's every once in a while. Crave it, in fact. It's the only thing I've ever ordered there, going back to the '60s.

                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                        I could probably eat that horseradish sauce on cardboard and be happy.

                                        1. re: jeanmarieok

                                          A great and maybe exact copy is the 1905 Brand Horseradish Sauce found in Dollar Tree Stores.

                                          It is just as white and smooth as Arby's Horsey sauce. YUMMY!

                                        2. re: EWSflash

                                          Amen to that! I alternate too. LOL

                                          Humans need meat protein, especially Males for proper hormone balance and healing.

                                        3. re: krez

                                          Actually, I do like their roast beef sandwich's! I do get a craving for them every so often. It started in 1970 and continues today! I see they have changed their menu quite a bit to offer other alternatives but I still go for the large RB Sammy..YUM! Almost prefer it plain.

                                            1. re: ddarche

                                              They are smart to keep their classics, in other words what they are known for..... Many other companies like Burger King, Taco Bell and others change recipes, items and sizes. It turns out for the worse. Aside from a smaller Big Mac and burger patties, McDonald's at least kept their recipes the same. The only other fast food restaurants other than Arby's (mostly McDonald's) that kept the same menu items and recipes from the beginning seem to be White Castle, and Nathans. This is why I only go to them and McDonald's. I wish I could go to Arby's but there are none my way.

                                              1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                I think that Nathan's Hotdog recipe has changed recently with the addition of sugar or some kind of sweetener. Being a diabetic I never had any problem with Nathan's hotdogs, Recently I noticed my glucose reading went way up shortly after eating a hotdog. I'll have to try again and will post results.

                                                1. re: Remag

                                                  Actually I go there for everything else but the hotdogs. Really. They make the best cheeseburger, fries, and hush puppies. Have not found anything bland there yet. Very flavorful and satisfying. Even Arthur Treacher's menu items are great. I just can't bring myself to spend over $3 for a hot dog.

                                                  1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                    I have never tried anything else at a Nathan's, but for me it is their hot dogs that give me goosebumps. I have even dreamt of them once or twice...YUM! I'm not sure of the differences in their dogs versus other brands, BUT their casings and "snap" is what puts them over the moon for me. They taste great but that resistance when I bite into them is sheer heaven.

                                                    Splurge once and see if what I say might turn you into a fan. BTW, you can also buy them at some grocery stores and that saves $$$.

                                                    1. re: PollyTics

                                                      Polly, I have eaten and sold more Natural Casing Franks than you can imagine. The Original Hygrade Franks were every bit as good as Nathan's or any other for that matter. Then there was House 'O Weenies, just as good. Also on the list Sabrett. House 'O Weenies bought out Sabrett and they now make hotdogs for Nathan's. The original Hebrew National were the same as the above mentioned brands but they have gone down in quality and taste.

                                                      1. re: Remag

                                                        Remag? What brand do you recommend with natural casings? My in-laws buy Karl Ehmer dogs that are red in color. They are wonderful, but BIG $$$$! I love their Weisswurst (Bockwurst) also. It is divine.

                                                        What do you recommend? Boars Head maybe? I want the ones with casings only.

                                                        1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                          I've always been a Sabrett fan, but usually any hot dog with a natural casing is good. The red casings are a turn off for me. For German wurst the Best and I mean the BEST is Shaller & Weber. Weisswurst is not Bockwurst. Weisswurst is Whitewurst made with Veal. Bockwurst is usually made with Pork. Both delicious. Try the Teawurst and Landjager. Black Forest Ham is a little too smoky for me. Enjoy.

                                                          1. re: Remag

                                                            Thanks.... Since price is a factor for me unfortunately, I'll probably just get Sabrett, Hebrew National, Nathans or Boars Head with casings. Whichever is on sale or costs the least.
                                                            I guess it is the Whitewurst I like so much. The meat is really very light in color. Tastes excellent! I see Arby's came out with a brisket sandwich. I wish they would build one near me....

                                                          2. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                            Hummel Brothers (New Haven CT) - natural casings are #1 - the only hotdog we'll buy..

                                                            1. re: Clams047

                                                              Sounds good. But for me there are no stores that carry that brand.......

                                                        2. re: PollyTics

                                                          I will try them. I like that snap too. I know Sabrett hot dogs with the natural casings do that too. I have seen Nathan's in the super market, but not the one with casings I don't think. Will check for them too. I'll put onions w/ tomato sauce and some deli mustard on them YUM like you said!

                                                          1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                            Hebrew National make great franks, better than Nathan's IMHO. Aldi has the Parkview brand beef which is made by Vienna. At Aldi during German weeks there is knockwurst, which is inCREDible. If you get the Hebrew Beef Dinner Franks you'll be amazed at being overwhelmed by flavor. I get huge buns for the regular frank because they are soooo rich.