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

  • cheri Aug 23, 2007 08:17 PM
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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 Snopes.com 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. http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient...

      1. 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!

        10 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: 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.

              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??

                      19 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

                                  I prefer the jazz Sammy.

                                  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!

                                  2. I don't want to know... for the price, I'll choose to be blissfully ignorant.

                                    1. Hi, new to chowhound, but very interesting. Found the site when researching how to copycat the recipe for Arbys Beef Sandwich (and the person who referred to "Snops" WOW!!!) Ending result, SCORE!!! A recipe @recipegoldmine.com/crockpotsand/betterthanarbysroastbeef.html. Didn't have to cook 24hrs, but turned out really good and it's real beef. Shredded not shaved, but you know what's in it. Even had leftover packets of Arbys and horsey sauses! RIGHT ON!!! Good Luck

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: SW Florida

                                        welcome to Chow, and I hope you look at more of the boards. I find it interesting and somewhat disconcerting to hear replies about the chains, but it's not disconcerting enough to stop me from eating, for example, a Big Mac or a Beef and Cheddar when I get a craving. But you seem to care enough about food to get this far, so more power to you.

                                      2. Well, it's always been a kind of "meat loaf" concoction, and I used to REALLY like it...I'd go WAY out of my way to eat there a couple of times a year (there are none close to where we live).

                                        Something has changed, though. A new Arby's was built about 30 miles from here last summer, so we went there.

                                        The texture of the beef has changed form vague (which was OK with me) to revolting, now including BONUS GRISTLE BITS.

                                        And the flavor? I suspect they changed the marinade to include a healthy splash of kerosene, if my taste buds don't deceive me.


                                        1. hello im a manager at arbys for the past two years and i was just looking around a bit when i found an interesting bit on snopes.com so i did a little more browsing and found this website where people post things about restraunts so i figured id put in my two cents.. if youve read the article on snopes youll find out our roast is not in gel form or liquid for that matter it actually arrives in cases 4 to a case they each weigh ten pounds so fourty pounds a case they are then cooked in 200 degree ovens for three hours enough time to let the middle get to a temperature of 140 degrees they are then moved to a holding oven called a sham to continue to cook for 30 minutes to let the temp reach 150 degrees and stays there untill time for it to come out onto the slicer wheras the article says its cooked cooled then sliced this is not true because if you let the roast cool it allows bacteria to grow it is the put on the slicer with a warming pad or heat lamps to keep the roast hot as most people see when they walk in they can see the roast being sliced the might not know what the warming pad lookss like so assumes its cooled. Anyway i just thought that id verify that arbys roasts are not gel form they even have packing and shipping routing numbers on each individule roast that we have to put that number on our "beef sheet" that way if a food bourne disease come in and people get sick the company will know what pasture that cow came from and stop recieving meat from that pasture until they resolve the issue so if you have any doubts about our roast you have nothing to fear, however our fries are not so healthy from the oil but thats another time thanks for reading this if youve made it this far lol, hope you have a great day and "Thank you for thinking Arby's".

                                          34 Replies
                                          1. re: c_porter88

                                            thanks for the post! hey, i'll still eat there

                                            don't forget your 'enter' key next time ;)


                                            1. re: c_porter88

                                              I don't believe it. I think that deep beneath the Earth in a secret cavern, there's this "Queen Arby" that deposits these beefy homogenized baby Arbies, that are then harvested, brought to the surface, and while still warm, sliced into piles of beefy deliciousness. That's what you MEANT to say, right?
                                              And the curley fries...they GROW that way, don't they? Yummmmm.....

                                              1. re: c_porter88

                                                I'm bored, so I read this thread.
                                                This is a great post. It sums up the fast food industry perfectly.

                                                1. re: Bobfrmia

                                                  It sure does. A coworker of mine (lovingly) refers to Arby's sandwiches as "butt meat and squirt cheese." And, FWIW, I never remember seeing this in an Arby's: "About 15 to 20 years ago you would in to Arby's and see actual beef roasts that they roasted in ovens on site."

                                                  1. re: Jen76

                                                    Not a chance it hell there were actual beef roasts. I used to go as a kid -- 40 years ago. Even then, if you looked at a single slice of the meat closely it resembled beef headcheese. Odd shaped blocks of meat in a jigsaw pattern.

                                                2. re: c_porter88

                                                  I hope this is enough information to stop people from eating this product.

                                                  1. re: CindysFarmStand

                                                    Why? There's nothing there that even implies that this food is in any way unsafe or unfit for consumption. It's cool if you don't like it, but many people do, and for good reason. It's delicious.

                                                    Everyone oohs and aahs over Artisan Sausage. This is the same process, only bigger. It's certainly not as off-putting as Scrapple or Head Cheese, which are beloved by many Foodies.

                                                    1. re: acgold7

                                                      I love Arbys roast beef sandwiches. None of this information will change that. I will continue to go there and get their" MID" with Arby's sauce. Or their 5 for 5.95 to share with my family.

                                                      1. re: acgold7

                                                        I just can't get past the texture of the stuff; it's so unnaturally spongy. Unlike, say, Roy Rogers real roast beet, which has an actual beefy texture and sinew. But then I love me some crispy scrapple and tart mustardy souse.

                                                      2. re: CindysFarmStand

                                                        What? Nothing in the post you are referencing seems unhealthy to me at all.

                                                      3. re: c_porter88

                                                        Interesting rundown of the Arby's process. Thanks for the details.
                                                        Now if the company could actually make it taste like roast beef, they'd be on to something. It may not be a gel, but it definitely a 'cut/chopped and formed meat' product rather like deli counter lunchmeat (but unlike deli counter roast beef, which is usually an actual roast). Years ago, Arby's wasn't serving the kind of heavily processed product they've served for the past couple decades.

                                                        Kind of funny however that the holding oven is called a "sham". LOL. That's such a great setup for a joke.

                                                        In any case, people seem to like the "roast beef" Arby's serves.
                                                        In any case, I don't know what the Roy Rogers restaurants are serving these days, but they've always done it much better (but they're disappearing from the scene...so what do I know...LOL)

                                                        1. re: The Professor

                                                          I loved Roy Rogers. Wish someone would buy the rights and recipes and expand or return these great food experiences.

                                                          Sonic, 5 Guts, Wendy's, and the like are all inferior disappointing low grade flavorless gut filler for fools.

                                                          1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                            Roy Rogers IS expanding, mostly in MD and VA. And I can confirm that the roast beef is REAL roast beef with real texture, unlike the processed gelatinous product Arby's peddles. And their Gold Rush Chicken Sandwich is the best chain chicken sandwich available. Makes Chik Fil A look like a pile of puke. I've got three Roy's near me and they've managed to nail consistency from store to store, something Five Guys, in it's rush to over expand, has yet to figure out.


                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                              I'm happy for you. Glad to see you have Roy Rogers accessibility. I like both. I just had Arby's roast beef yesterday when my wife was kind enough to take some home on the plane flight back home.

                                                              I love Arby's and don't care that it is cut up and stored in gelatin. It makes for a tender bite. And gelatin is very healthy, that is why they feed it to the elderly.

                                                              I love both Roy's and Arby's and would eat at either whenever I get a chance.

                                                              The 5 Goys burgers are just for teens with burnt taste buds and no sense of both taste or thought.

                                                              1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                "The 5 Goys burgers..."

                                                                Hungryman, was that deliberate or just an odd typo?
                                                                Or perhaps they are not Kosher?

                                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                                  It was deliberate, because I can't stand announcing their name properly. So I substitute different letters. I'll probably use an "i" and then another "y" next.

                                                                2. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                  5 goys. i really hope that was not a typo. lol.

                                                                  1. re: ritabwh

                                                                    I wanted to use an "a", but figured it would be deleted. Search for 5 guys s**ks and you will find out what others think of them.

                                                                    I went once, tasted the food and it was bland. Looked at the bill and was shocked at the high price. Never will return.

                                                                  2. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                    I was stuck near an Arby's and decided to give their reuben sandwich a try. It was surprisingly tasty. Would definitely order again.


                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                      Never tried that, because they left my area over 15 years ago. I'm glad you liked it. I heard their sandwiches are very good. But I myself just need their roast beef and fries. And the three pepper sauce....

                                                                  3. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                    hm, my curiosity has been piqued. i wish there was a roy rogers in wa. state.

                                                                    1. re: ritabwh

                                                                      I loved them too. I have none near me anymore either. The only ones are at rest stops on major highways and the food is not so good. Something about these food courts diminish the quality. Nothing like a stand alone Roy Rogers or Arby's.

                                                                      Remember Roy Rogers bbq sauce? It had a hint of nutmeg almost like cinnamon.

                                                                  4. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                    Answer; 5 Guts, Question; what do 5 Guys get when they eat at 5 Guys Burger and Fries!

                                                                    I LOVED Roy Rogers Fried Chicken. I would take that over KFC every day of the week, dipped in the creamy horseradish sauce, that was good stuff.

                                                                    There are still a few around but I can't name a location off the top of my head.

                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                      Here ya go.


                                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                        Thank you for the list monkeyrotic...........oh (interesting handle) LOL.

                                                                        Call me what ever names you want, but I have an "issue" with eating at rest area restaurants. Not trying to make any allegations it's just a personal thing I guess. Looks like the Pine Beach location is the only non-rest area option, I'll have to keep that in mind next time I'm in that area.

                                                                      2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                        Roy's chicken is great. The reason KFC sucks today is because YUM brands (owned by Koreans) bought them out years ago and changed everything from natural healthy cooking oils like lard to chemically produced vegetable oils and cheap ingredients all to save a penny. They continue to brainstorm on ways to reduce cost by imitating all costly natural ingredients and substitute man-made imitation unhealthy and disease causing alternatives. The vegetable oil movement was another big lie and smoke screen to fool the populace into thinking natural saturated fats like butter are bad. Nothing can be further from the truth. Read up and find out for yourself.

                                                                        YUM brands also ruined Taco Bell....

                                                                        1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                          I do enjoy KFC every now and then but I can't directly comment on a decline in it's quality as I've never paid that much attention to notice.

                                                                          I believe Pizza Hut is under the YUM umbrella and this could either be a maturation of palate, however when I was younger I LOVED Pizza Hut pan pie. You couldn't pay me to eat one today. When I was a teenager (mid 80's) Pizza Hut had pulled out of the NJ market my cousin's and I would take road trips into PA to the nearest Pizza Hut to get our fix.

                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                            Understand. However my taste as I get older is the same. I still enjoy certain other fast foods that have not changed in quality or flavor (maybe size).

                                                                            In the case of KFC, you may or may not remember that they once sold Kentucky Nuggets. No more now. Those were the best chicken nuggets ever. They also do not sell the Colonels crispy strips either. The frying oil went from natural lard to chemically produced un-natural vegetable oils.

                                                                            Pizza Hut used to have a great spaghetti sauce when they had sit in restaurants. That is gone too. Today YUMmy it is not....

                                                                      3. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                        Roy Rogers was great. Their Double R burger was excellent, with either the horsradish or barbecue sauce.

                                                                        I think the last one in NJ closed a few years back. I seem to recall that one of the big chains bought them; it would be nice if they could make a come back.

                                                                        1. re: jracpa

                                                                          Hardees bought Roys from the Marriot Corporation back in the '80s and turned most into Hardees. Most failed except a handful in Maryland. A private firm bought the brand and is slowly opening franchises so they can keep quality under control. Jersey has 8 Roy Rogers counting the ones on the Turnpike.


                                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                            Hate it, when the wrong party buys out an excellent fast food chain. It always ends up diminishing the quality or closing them down.

                                                                      4. re: The Professor

                                                                        "Kind of funny however that the holding oven is called a "sham". LOL." ... that is amusing, though I suspect it's a typo -- I think it's supposed to be Shaam -- http://www.alto-shaam.com/product/cid...

                                                                        1. re: The Professor

                                                                          ha. i view arby's classic roast beef just like the way i view canned asparagus. neither are anywhere like the real thing, but oh my, i sure do like them!
                                                                          sometimes i will be fooled and try some of the new fangled arby's sandwiches, and i kick myself because i don't like the new stuff. for me it's arby's classic roast beef sandwich all the way with arby sauce and horsey sauce.

                                                                          1. re: ritabwh

                                                                            I agree. Most of the time the classics are the best. This applies to all fast food restaurants. Most new items are flops. When you have something good, keep it and keep it the same. TB apparently does not understand or cares.

                                                                      5. Those new roast beef sandwiches they are showing in the commercials that are supposedly giving burger joints a run for their money look disgusting. They look more like shaved spam or thin sliced ham than anything resembling real beef. Yuk.

                                                                        1. If you check out snopes, they will tell you that they are addressing the urban myth that the roast beef arrives as a liquid at the stores. They are correct that it does not arrive at the store in that state, however, the story does not look at the sourcing of the roast beef.

                                                                          While it does not arrive at the store in liquid form, it does have a liquid (or more accurately paste) state during it's processing. What you are eating at Arby's is about 70% beef cuts, 12% fat, and and a whole host of chemicals that are mixed together, extruded, mixed with coloring shot through a metal tube in its liquid paste state into a form with hardening agents where it hardens into a meat type consistancy. It is then packaged in plastic with what is called "Self Basting Solution" and shipped to the stores where it must be cooked for 3 hours or it is unsafe for human consumption. If you want real roast beef, don't bother with Arby's, look at a real roast beef and then look at what is on your sandwich from Arby's, they are nothing alike.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: JeffereyAllen

                                                                            It's pretty much put together in the same manner as deli ham/chicken/turkey....think of the hams that fit into the oval shaped container. That's not a natural ham shape! Boneless sections of the originating animal are brought together under pressure with added water/solution and heat pressed to form the desired shape. The resulting meat product has a substantially even texture but unfortunately, doesn't retain the original texture of the meat. It's called "processing" and it is done with meats and cheeses.

                                                                            Why is this a surprise? Anyone can tell by looking at the product!

                                                                            1. re: Dee S

                                                                              Yeah guys, it's basically a gyro-type emulsified product. I mean just pull a slice out of the sandwich and look at it, it's easy to tell from the lack of grain.

                                                                              Damn I miss Arby's in China

                                                                          2. I believe it is ground beef, made something like Alton Brown makes Gyro's out of in this recipe.

                                                                            1. Whatever it is, my wife calls it the "green meat" and, she's right; it does have a greenish tinge to it at times.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                Ironically that green iridescent tinge reminds me of houseflies.

                                                                                1. re: ML8000

                                                                                  Now that you mention it..................

                                                                              2. The best thing about a Arby's "roast beef" sandwich is that you can leave it wrapped up on your dashboard for a week and it's just as good as if you ate it right when you got it!

                                                                                1. I did some digging on Arby's a while back. I hate and love them. Like a McDonalds, if you go at the exact right time, to the exact right place, and the exact right folks are assembling your food item, the results are actually "good"!

                                                                                  I grew up in Youngstown Ohio. Which is where the original two brothers who started the Arby's chain started their first restaurant.

                                                                                  They were already businessmen. The story goes, that on a trip to Boston, the one brother got a Roast Beef sammy at one of the local RB places that Boston area is justly famous for. It did not specify which one, but I kind of like to think it was that place that used to be open 24x7 next to Mass General hospital off the Red Line (the "T"). Right before the bridge.

                                                                                  Anyways, he was so impressed, he went back to Boardman Ohio and started up . The building for the original is still there. It is some kind of bird seed or pet food store on rte 224 right off of Market St.

                                                                                  Being over 50 years old, I can understand how / why they went to cheap meat. They really did, 40 years ago, roast whole beef roasts in the restaurant , and slice it up for the customer. I remember it being like nearly $3.00 (Three bucks! back then!) for a roast beef. But, man, were they good. We were VERY poor, but once a month, after church, Mom would take us to Arby's. The horsey sauce was much better then too. Much hotter, and with actual flecks of horseradish in it.

                                                                                  Kind of a childhood memory. In fact, I am going to go get an RB right now. I buy four of the value menu ones, take all the meat off of them, and put it into two nice sized sandwiches. It is that, or go across the street for the Indian food. But I figure, wait until tomorrow afternoon for the lunch buffet at the Indian place (Tandoori chicken and rice and all the Nan I can eat, yum!)

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: YoungstownBoy

                                                                                    I think that was Buzzy's Roast Beef? The horseradish sauce was great with the fries.

                                                                                  2. I stumbled across this subject and joined so I could add some first hand knowledge. In the late 60's and very early 70's Arby's actually roasted big hunks of round in enclosed glass infrared ovens on the countertops. Since the demand outpaced the ability of the ovens to keep up, cooked roasts were kept in warming ovens. A roast was always kept in the oven so people could see beef roasting.

                                                                                    The problem with a real slab of meat is that the cooked product has to vary from well done on the outside to pink on the inside unless the thing is cooked so thoroughly that it dries out. A significant number of people just won't eat any beef that has pink in it. One solution is to cook it through then soak it in au jus. Arby's chose to go to formed roasts that had enough internal liquid to stay relatively juicy when cooked uniformly brown.

                                                                                    I understand the business necessity of universal appeal but I sure miss the lovely medium rare sandwiches of 40 years ago.

                                                                                    1. I've never been able to figure out why, but about the time I turned 30, I developed some sort of sensitivity to something in Arby's beef. Simply can't eat them; makes me ill. (which grumps me, because yes, they're pressed, but boy, they're tasty.)

                                                                                      But their peppercorn BLT's? Do they still even exist? Those were probably the one fast-food sandwich I've ever craved and driven out of my way for.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                        "Those were probably the one fast-food sandwich I've ever craved and driven out of my way for."

                                                                                        For me it was the chicken cordon bleu sandwiches from wendy's. I still crave those things all the time and they havent brought them back in at least 10 years (they used to be kind of like the mcrib in that they were usually available a few weeks a year)

                                                                                      2. There are three Arby's near me, and their roast beef is pretty vile. Green tinge, spongy texture, and an odd mouth feel. I'll still stop by to indulge my curly fries craving, but for real roast beef sandwiches, I will stop at the two Roy Rogers near me. Their roast beef actually tastes like beef and has the texture of meat instead of weatherstripping. Their roast beef sliders are quite good with a bit of salt and horseradish.

                                                                                        1. Its a Sausage! Chunks of beef with filler pressed together.
                                                                                          Its as much "roast beef" as you get a "glass" of Coke
                                                                                          these days in a container made of glass, or a packet of
                                                                                          Equal with "zero calories" (when it actually contains 4
                                                                                          calories as shown on the old truthful labeling).

                                                                                          To call Arby's Beef Sausage "Roast Beef" is a fraud on the
                                                                                          consumer. In truth it should be called "Roasted Beef
                                                                                          Sausage," but I guess if I was the FTC I would at least
                                                                                          insist on "Roasted Beef!"

                                                                                          1. Id like to see a picture of the loaf!

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: mrwilmoth

                                                                                              Way back last century, about 1969, I went with some friends to a newly opened Arby's in one of the Detroit suburbs, late in the evening. There was a crowd out the door and it took a while to order. The sandwich I remember was totally delicious as it was still a bit on the rare side and the meat was actually juicy. I went to that same Arby's a few weeks later when the crowd was light and was totally disappointed. The meat was dry, not a bit of juice, just not enjoyable! So forever after, Arby's was never good. If I'm thinking about fast food, it's one place that I won't stop at. I'll think about my very first Arby's, how exciting it was, then I'll drive on by.

                                                                                              1. re: kenn32

                                                                                                It is cheep beef formed and gelatin, It's crap lunch meat.

                                                                                            2. Okay! I currently am a shift manager at arbys, I've worked here for 6 years. As was already stated, our roast beef is processed, yes. It comes is air tight bags and is roasted in those bags for 3 hours until it reaches 138 degrees. It then sits in a holding oven for half an hour, when it reaches 150 degrees. It remains in there until used, and our beef is always kept at least 150 degrees. We also have real roast beef sandwiches. Our Angus beef is a whole roast, and is cooked medium well. It is an all natural roast that only contains preservatives and has a peppercorn crusting on the outside. It is a bit more expensive, but is a better quality meat. Our roast beef is always sliced to order. Hope this clears up any misconceptions.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: hkap91

                                                                                                I've always liked Arby's. I'd rather eat there than McD's or BK.
                                                                                                If you like the taste of the food,eat it.if you don't GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.
                                                                                                don't over analize it.
                                                                                                to each his own.

                                                                                                1. re: riffjamer

                                                                                                  I was getting the rb sandwich w/o the bun since i can't eat gluten. I just started noticing how greasy it is and how processed it looks. It also is very salty to hide what's in it I guess. I wonder if how to get Brian Ross, ABC news to investigate as we can't find out on our own. And yes, I quit eating there.

                                                                                                2. re: hkap91

                                                                                                  Arby's "roast beef" comes stores frozen. It's been processed as you say but you don't tell the whole story. You try to make it sound like REAL SOLID meat which it is not. Let me put it this way. What Arby's "roast beef" is the same as what Turkey roll is to Turkey Breast.

                                                                                                  1. re: Remag

                                                                                                    It is delicious and that is all that matters. Life is too short to be picky. I would eat at Arby's every Friday if there was one near me. Those beef & cheddar's, regular roast beef, fries and sauce are the bomb.

                                                                                                3. I apologize in advance for this however after seeing the topic I just couldn't help myself.

                                                                                                  Where do Pirates like to have lunch?


                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                    I love Arby's!!!! Just wish that Wendys did not close down all the Arby's locations where I live. That is why I hate Wendys too, besides the crappy burgers with cold cheese and tasteless french fries.
                                                                                                    Anyway I LOVE the ROAST BEEF! I'm glad it has gelatin mixed in and that it is processed into a loaf. Gelatin besides being very healthy adds a nice uniform texture and smoothness to the meat. I hate chewing meat that is stringy and tough. I like all my sandwiches and steaks to be fork tender like pot roast.
                                                                                                    So those who make fun of the meat are only being stubborn to them selves. Because Arby's roast beef is delicious and tender.
                                                                                                    I love Arby's so much that I duplicated their signature sauces spot on. Both their Arby's sauce and red ranch sauce used on the bottom of the beef&cheddar and super roast beef sandwiches respectively. Took me years to finally get the tastes correct. The flowing texture of most restaurant condiments is from corn syrup. Only hint I can give.
                                                                                                    I had no choice but to make my own sauces, because the closest Arby's too me is 25 miles away!
                                                                                                    Praise the lord and Arby's!

                                                                                                    Now I can make my own beloved Beef&Cheddar sandwiches at home!!!

                                                                                                    1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                      right on!

                                                                                                  2. years and years ago ( I am 55) in Illinois I worked for YANKEE DOODLE fast foods, it was like Mcd and BK. I don't remember Arbys in business back then.I started in high school and at 17 was made a food line superviser. Training supervising and also working in food prep like everyone else. But It was also my job to prep and cook the whole roasts much like prime you can buy in bags in a lot of food stores. May have been prime back then.things were cheaper so was food. I would unbag 12 of these at a time and put in large pans ontop of a drip pan inserted into large roasting pans. I would then take a large metal shaker with very flaky salt on sprinkle these roasts coating them well. Was told this is what pulled the blood out of the roast . and gave it flavor. I am still looking for this kosher salt. Then they where placed in ovens at 250 degreed and slow roasted 3. Think it was like 5 to 6 hours. Before my shift ended I know I would pull out of ovens , which I had to check on them several times a shift while cooking, let them cool some before placing in cooler. They were sliced very thin . almost wafer like , 1 at a time as needed to restock for sandwich making. I did this 4 times a week sometimes more. We went thru a lot. Upon an order the sandwich was made by weighing 4 oz out and placed on a bun, with a quick shake of more salt season, then wrapped. I was poked with a 2 prong steamer poke and steamed for like 2 seconds by pressing a pedal on floor . this was a part of the sandwich prep area and this was built into area. It steamed the meat making and keeping meat moist and warmed the bun. It was a very popular sandwich and always a favorite, Their Yankee doodle burger was like a Whopper from BK use to be ,it was big , but their secret sauce was thousand island dressing instead of mayonnaise.

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: twistedsheets

                                                                                                      38 years ago would be 1975. There were plenty of Arby's in Illinois then.

                                                                                                      1. re: twistedsheets

                                                                                                        If only Arby's would expand their locations and open where they used to be.... Roast beef sandwiches are the best. And nothing like a slow cooked beef chunk dry rubbed with salt prior to cooking and then sliced paper thin. Mmmmm!

                                                                                                        Nothing wrong with a composite roast made of chunks of beef formed into an easy to work with mass.... It is still all meat in the end!

                                                                                                        1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                          Chicken nuggets is chicken but what else is in them besides binders???
                                                                                                          Not all meat is meat. Remember PINK SLIME???

                                                                                                          1. re: Remag

                                                                                                            Actually, McDonalds stopped using mechanically separated poultry (MSP) in their chicken nuggets in 2003.


                                                                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                              True, that is why they became dry, but that man made vegetable oil makes up for it since it soaks into food instead of forming a crispy barrier like tried and true animal fat. Those un-saturated fats are the killer. Saturated fats are healthy fats. A heart surgeon recently came clean on this fact.

                                                                                                              Nothing wrong with eating the entire chicken. My family would clean the bones whenever we had a whole one for dinner. All natural, just like a pig. I think the McNuggets were better years ago.

                                                                                                            2. re: Remag

                                                                                                              The only chicken nuggets that were prime were the Kentucky Nuggets made by Kentucky Fried Chicken. Those are gone and now "KFC" as they are known cut the healthy, tasty and normal ingredients from their menu items. YUM brands turned them into trough food. Unhealthy man made cheap disasters.

                                                                                                        2. This was how it was made 35 years ago, I doubt that much has changed other than improved chemistry. 1- Roast beef is water cooked, just like boiled ham you get in the deli. 2- The meat is Frozen Bull meat. 3- Frozen meat is put into machines that shave it. 4- It is then put into vats and flavorings, binders and other mystery spices etc. 5- The Slurry is then piped into heavy plastic bags into heart shaped bags [looks like real top round roast beef]. The bags are then put into large cage like vats and lowered into boiling water. 6- After cooking they are frozen and shipped to the stores.
                                                                                                          Of course it's delicious with all the flavorings, salt, MSG etc.
                                                                                                          Turkey roll tastes better than plain turkey breast for the same reason.
                                                                                                          Chicken Nuggets is another story that's similar to Arby's "roast beef"..

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Remag

                                                                                                            Sounds good to me. I love that beef. So tender and flavorful. I wish I still had an Arby's close by : (

                                                                                                          2. I often wonder the same thing. I get a craving once in a while and when I look at the meat, I do wonder. But it's delicious in combination with that bun and horsey sauce!

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                                                              If you live in Arizona? You can also get the Three Pepper Sauce at Arby's. That was awesome ! I like the horsey sauce too. You can buy that in the dollar stores under the brand 1905. I was able to copy the Arby's Sauce and the red sauce used on the bun of the Beef & Cheddar or Super Roast Beef sandwich. I now only need the Three Pepper Sauce recipe....

                                                                                                            2. I worked for an Arby's when I was a teen and was somewhat thrown off after seeing the meat before it is cooked. The "loaf" of meat is in a plastic wrap basically the same as a roll of sausage. The meat is very pasty looking/feeling before it is cooked, but becomes solid like an actual roast while cooking. I still love to eat it even though it is made somewhat like hotdogs!

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: phoenixsomeday

                                                                                                                The meat was cooked, all that had to be done was to heat to temperature; The same as hotdogs & baloney. Hotdogs are heated but most people think they're cooking them.

                                                                                                                1. re: phoenixsomeday

                                                                                                                  Still great tasting and fine.

                                                                                                                2. I remember in 1975 they quit using roasts. they use beef that has been trimmed and put into loafs with a meat glue. Its eatable, but just not the good old medium Roast beef that Arby's and Roy Rogers chain's. look up meat glue its used to make some of the most expensive steaks. But I'll pass. but their fries are great.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: paulinetheorigional

                                                                                                                    Whatever it is.... it is awesome!

                                                                                                                  2. In simple terms, it is extruded from "meat substance mixture" like play-doh through a series of pumps and dies.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                      The way we like it. That is what makes a heavenly sammich!

                                                                                                                      1. re: HUNGRYMAN8

                                                                                                                        Some people eat Crap if it looks good.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Remag

                                                                                                                          You are right about that. Like Sushi, bugs, worms, maggots, and the rest of the godforesaken things they eat in the third world. No wonder they are all infested with diseases, parasites and ailments. The WWII generation ate everything deemed by the food police as a "No-No" like animal fat (lard - tallow), red meat, etc. and have been the healthiest longest living generation in U.S. history. LOL go figure...