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Corned Beef hash...from a can. Preferred brands?

Hi. We are going camping this summer for 10 nights and I have been thinking of menus and camp stove ideas. One of my favorite treats when I go to diners or out for breakfast is homemade corned beef hash. Now, I have no plans to make my own and bring it with me camping. So, does anyone have a preferred brand of the canned kind? I'm in Massachusetts, so have Stop and Shop, Whole Foods, Big Y and Trader Joe's. Thanks!

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  1. I LOVE canned corned beef hash! And frankly, I've yet to meet a brand that has disappointed me. The only two brands that every supermarket around here regularly carry seem to be "Hormel" and "Mary Kitchen". Both are very good.

    5 Replies
      1. re: EWSflash

        Hello. I'm new to this board. Can someone tell me what happened to Mary Kitchen's corned beef hash. It seems much greasier than it used to be, and I can leave it cooking for almost an hour and it never becomes crisp-it just starts burning on the bottom. I've heated it at all different temps to see if that was the problem, but there is no different. I'm looking for another brand-I live in southeast Wisconsin, does anyone know where I can get a decent canned corn beef hash that actually becomes crisp?

        1. re: LuLuLuLuLu

          see shaogo's post below…

          he says don't move/stir the hash, so it will get crispy.

          1. re: alkapal

            Agree. We like Mary Kitchen the best. Use moderately high heat on a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, flatten it as you spread it out and don't touch it for at least 10 minutes. If you have an electric skillet, heat it to just under 375. If it starts spitting and popping, turn the heat down. As it crisps and browns, much of the grease should cook off.

          2. re: LuLuLuLuLu

            I know what you're talking about. What I do is turn it out of the skillet onto a fat layer of paper towels when it's about half to 2/3 done and blot a bunch of the grease out of it, then put it back in and finish it off.

      2. I'm in MA, too. I really liked the plastic pouch of shelf-stable roast beef hash that Trader Joe's
        USED to sell. It was labeled as from Argentina, if memory serves. So it was probably re-labeled product from a standing manufacturer, though I've no idea who. You might try tracking them down. I think the "grossery" canned offerings are awful - Mary Kitchen is slightly less horrible than Hormel. One step up from those is Chef-Mate, which I have seen in Costco and BJ's. It's what most restaurants use. Fried long enough to crust, it's pretty good, but it's in a very large can so unless you are sharing with a dozen people, or can refrigerate the unused portion, it's not suitable for your purposes.

        4 Replies
        1. re: greygarious

          Uhm...Mary Kitchen IS Hormel.


          I still preferred homemade corned beef/roast beef hash but Mary Kitchen is the go to if canned hash is going to be consumed.

          1. re: greygarious

            I join greygarious in mourning the loss of the TJ roast beef hash. I've never seen a comparable product

            I think Mary Kitchen/Hormel is about as good as it gets.

            1. re: greygarious

              TJ's roast beef hash was very good, but it wasn't made from corned beef, was it? Mary Kitchen used to be it for me, but since I started cutting back on fat, I haven't had it or any other CBH in years.

              1. re: John Francis

                You;re right, roast beef hash and corned beef hash are not the same, but I mentioned the former product because it fills the same breakfast niche, and the TJ version was markedly better than the canned RB and CB hashes. Haven't looked at this thread in some time - I think what I meant in my previous post was not Hormel but Libby's, now that I think of what the cans looked like.

            2. I like Mary's Kitchen. I think canned corn beef hash is a very different beast as "real" cornbeef hash. I love both, but canned is my dirty little secret. Have fun camping.

              4 Replies
              1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                dirty little secret, indeed. my husband likes to make sweet breakfasts (pancakes, french toast, etc....) but i am searching for something to satisfy my craving (always) for savory. so, while hormel's might be pretty gross, if i fry it up long enough and top it with some runny eggs, i will be a very happy camper after having spent the night on the ground!!! thanks for the replies.

                1. re: saintp

                  Mary Kitchen is the preferred brand of canned corned beef hash, but it could be considered a little 'gross' to some because it is quite fatty. I remember cooking it after I got out on my own and living in my own place. I had seen my mother serve it out of the frying pan with the poached eggs on top but I didn't know exactly how she heated it up. So I put about 5 tablespoons of oil in the pan first. Wow, talk about greasy.

                  1. re: saintp

                    One of my unorthodox food combinations is to drizzle a bit of maple syrup over (homemade) corned beef hash so there may be common ground between you and your husband!

                  2. In my area of Northern New Jersey, other than Hormel/Mary's Kitchen.....Broadcast and Libby's brands are also available in supermarkets......Wholesale in Number 10 cans for Foodservice....the diners often use a brand named Castleberry.

                    1. When l saw the thread, the only one that came to my mind is Armour corned beef hash. If l go to the new hot breakfast place or neat old diner, always order corned beef hash and it is never IMHO as good as Armour.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        YES - "Armour"! That's one of the other brands I couldn't remember before that I also sometimes buy.

                      2. Libby's has always done it for me, heads and shoulders above the rest in my little world....

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: KSlink

                          Libby's was what we ate when I was growing up. Have not had any in years. But always loved it.

                          1. re: KSlink

                            Residing in Hormel land (where it is still sometimes pronounced as rhyming with "normal"), we can't get Libby's. My mother used to request it from my West Coast siblings as a Christmas present. Only Libby's or homemade would do for her.

                            1. re: MplsM ary

                              Huh? Is it pronounced other way? (I didn't even know Libby made corned beef hash).

                              1. re: John E.

                                I live in the northeast US, where it is only pronounced hor-MELL.

                                1. re: greygarious

                                  Pronounced hot smell everywhere I've been. Always thought it odd how in NYC it's how ston nstead of hu ston for Texans.

                                  1. re: divadmas

                                    "Houston Street is named for William Houstoun , who was a Delegate to the Continental Congress for the State of Georgia from 1784 through 1786 and to the United States Constitutional Convention in 1787. The street was christened by Nicholas Bayard III, whose daughter, Mary, was married to Houstoun in 1788. The couple met while Houstoun, a member of an ancient and aristocratic Scottish family, was serving in the Congress."

                                    "It was still spelled "Houstoun Street" on maps of the area into the early 1800s. The spelling of the street changed (undoubtedly by mistake of some city cartographer and/or other officials), but New Yorkers continued pronouncing it the original way."

                                    1. re: JMF

                                      wow thanks for the history lesson. i had no idea. and sorry for the tablet autocorrect spelling in previous post, i hate that.

                            2. re: KSlink

                              After having "good" corned beef from a can, Libby's is like comparing water to fine wine.

                            3. Slightly off-topic, but I'm wondering if ppl add seasonings/ingredients to enhance their canned corned beef? I always do, the vanilla CCB is a little too much like something one would get at Petco.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: arktos

                                My mother always added leftover potatoes, roast beef, and onions. I think she actually added the canned stuff to her homemade if there were not enough leftovers.

                                1. re: arktos

                                  Canned corned beef - the stuff in the trapezoidal can that is opened with a key - is not the same as CBH. To turn it into hash, you need, at the very least, onion and cooked potato. Other seasonings and vegetable additions vary. I like to grind up sliced corned beef (when I notice it
                                  in the deli ends sold at the supermarket) and include it along with canned corned beef.

                                  I have never seen Saval CBH but noticed it on sale in the supermarket flyer. There was no picture of the package but based on the adjacent items in the flyer, I assume it is a refrigerated product.

                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    Deli ends corned beef +++! That's the way to go.

                                    We don't have to do that any more, 'cause my new restaurant features a corned beef special on thursday that we then make into hash on sunday for "sportsman's breakfast."

                                    Hash was *always* the traditional way to use-up left-overs but we can't get enough of it.

                                    Now, in a pinch, (or camping) (or lazy at home on one of those blessed mornings I don't have to go to work) -- Mary Kitchen is good, the huge #10 cans at the bulk stores (or Restaurant Depot) are better. Just oil up a non-stick pan and DON'T TOUCH THE STUFF once you've laid it out in the pan; that's the trick to a good "crust".

                                  2. re: arktos

                                    Garlic, onions, hot sauce, black pepper.....

                                    1. re: arktos

                                      For me, Arktos, I always saute a little onion and top with cheese. Feel free to use the domestic cheese in this application. :) But always...and you may want to write this down...always with sourdough toast. I live in a black and white world.

                                      1. re: arktos

                                        Ohmigosh, arktos! I used to work at Petco, and my only experience with corned beef hash was from a can sometime after starting that job. One of the natural canned dog food brands smells just the same. I can't remember what brand it was, it's been years.

                                        1. re: tracylee

                                          When I was in college, I was one of the trip leaders for camping trips with the mountaineering club. We did a laid back car camping trip to the lower Colorado River and we had about 15 people, mostly foreign students, in the group. Prominent in the food box were ten cans of el cheepo dog food.... The menu showed corned beef hash for the last night....... as the time approached, the food box got emptier save for the dog food. In my pack, I had ten cans of Mary Kitchens hash.. At dinner time, I sauted some onions and using the labels off of the dogfood cans held around the hash cans, added them to the mix. Everyone admitted that the "dog food" did smell good, but we had a few that would not even try it... Finally we produced the empty hash cans and the full dogfood cans and everyone chowed down.... Then we had a snipe hunt.

                                      2. i cannot find this anymore in northern virginia. if i DO find it, it is extremely expensive. you have some source in trader joe's?

                                        1. Have a can of Herefords. never tried it before. Bought it at ALDI. Says its from Chicago.
                                          You couldn't find canned corned beef in the store for a while..there was shortage in argentina/brazil..wherever its manufactured.
                                          On a side note..i use canned corned beef..but mix it with fresh diced potatoes and fry up in a skillet. tastes good.
                                          what bugs me if you go to a diner ands its the canned corned beef and potatoes . Too mushy..Sheesh..you think they could cut up a can with some fresh potatoes. Always a turn off for me. There is a difference from "canned corned beef and hash" and corned beef and hash prepared with" canned corned beef".

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: rochfood

                                            There is a local breakfast spot in my area with two locations (I think I recently saw a third location even closer to our home) that seem to get rave reviews in the local papers, Chowhound, and Yelp. I ate there twice. The restaurant's name has Eggs in it. The eggs were fine. It was the canned corned beef on one visit and the bad biscuits and gravy on the other visit that had me wondering why so many people like the place.

                                            1. re: rochfood

                                              my mom would make a hash with diced potatoes, onions, canned corned beef and a little bbq sauce. cooked till a little crispy on the edges in a hot cast iron skillet. mmm, i can taste it now. good memories.

                                              1. re: rochfood

                                                Hereford is the best brand but like "rochfood' I buy just the canned corned beef and then add potatoes, onions and green bell pepper to it when I cook it up.

                                              2. I like the reduced fat Mary Kitchen stuff.

                                                I vastly prefer it to 'real' homemade or restaurant corned beef hash.

                                                1. I loved corned beef hash from the very popular, in Florida, Denny's Diners. Then they took it off the menu allegedly because of supplier issues. With that, my reasons for eating there vanished. That was a few years ago. Ever since then, I moved to the tri-state I have longed for a good old "my style" type of breakfast. Don't be confused here, I was born and raised in Latin America, but I guess for some reason I always loved a lot of stuff from my North American neighbors, from music like oldies, and jazz, New Orleans type of food, etc. Having said that, I finally decided it was about time to find at least one brand of canned corned beef hash that could bring that old feeling back. I started buying and so far I'm more inclined to the Libby's Corned Beef Hash than that of Hormel. Why? Because it's less dry, and it basically tastes better. I didn't add anything to it, just a good ton of heat. Don't burn it, but I like mine crispy. Mine came out juicy and crispy at the same time. Have a good breakfast everyone!!

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: pichinga2

                                                    I'd love a clone recipe of Mary Kitchen corned beef hash - and roast beef hash.

                                                    1. re: DougWeller

                                                      You can probably reverse-engineer it from the labelled ingredients, but you may find out some things you'd rather not know. :)

                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                        Beef and Cooked Corned Beef (Cured with Salt, Sugar, Water, Sodium Nitrite), Rehydrated Potatoes, Water, Salt, Sugar, Flavoring, Spice, Sodium Nitrite - I imagine it's the flavoring that's the key. I thought I remembered mustard being in it, but that must have been another version.

                                                        1. re: DougWeller

                                                          Well, mustard could certainly fall under the heading of "spices." I think the secret is a LOT of msg, and using a robot coupe instead of doing knife work so the texture won't be distinct.

                                                  2. I had leftover real corned beef today. So I made homemade corned beef hash. I hate to say it, I don't know why, the tinny, canned tasting Hormel hash is just more to my liking. But I can only eat it in small amounts. Though my homemade was not bad at all.

                                                    9 Replies
                                                    1. re: Owtahear

                                                      I feel the same way myself. In fact, I gave up bothering to make my own hash - the canned is perfectly fine for me. I'd much rather use any leftover corned beef for Reuben Sandwiches anyway. ;)

                                                      1. re: Bacardi1

                                                        Agree. Rueben sandwiches are a much more prudent use of good corned beef.

                                                        1. re: Owtahear

                                                          Where oh where is the "Like" button? I've got to agree: as much as I love a great homemade CBH, if it's an either/or proposition, I'll take that Reuben, hands down.

                                                      2. re: Owtahear

                                                        I usually make it using canned corned beef - the type in the tin with the key. But the best one I've made combined that with some leftover sliced corned beef from the deli. I find canned corned beef hash unpalatable unless heavily doctored with sauteed onion, and degreased. Even then, it's saltier than I'd like.

                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                          Yes. Onions. Big fat sweet onions, not those little yellow things that come in a mesh bag.

                                                          Greygarious, I always admire your interest in health, but for me, I say bring on the grease! (the presence of a lot of oil/fat in corned beef hash makes it easier to make the crust when you fry it).

                                                          Also, in my 56 years, I've not tried the canned corned beef, and you've got me started. I'll chop up some potatoes and onions and try it out this Monday morning.

                                                          No one yet has mentioned the importance of having perfectly-cooked runny poached eggs to go on top of this hash....

                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                            I love canned corned beef, and haven't had it in so long- but when I do heat it up (as opposed to cooking it) I turn it out from the skillet onto a big pile of paper towels and roll it up gently but seriously :-) which pulls a lot of fat out of it, but you knew there'd be plenty left in it to flavor it. Makes it nice without the spreading grease pool that would accompany it otherwise. Sometimes I throw it back in the skillet to crisp up again.
                                                            But mostly I don't buy it, because it's a LOT easier to not buy it than to not eat it, and when I eat it I eat the whole damn can. There. I said it and I'm a little embarrassed but I don't feel like I'm the lone ranger here on this thread and I comfort myself with that thought.

                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                              EWSflash, I hear what your're saying about the whole can. I buy the small single serving cans for when I can't make it from scratch. Just so I don't have the temptation to eat a whole can.

                                                          2. re: Owtahear

                                                            I am the exact same way. I grew up with the canned. The first time I ordered it in a diner as an adult and got "real" corned beef hash I was very disappointed.

                                                            My granny used to use the canned CBH to make tacos. It's a weird family recipe, but total comfort food for us.

                                                            1. re: Jelly71

                                                              I can totally see the attraction to CBH tacos. Thank you for that idea...

                                                          3. I am so glad this thread has been resurrected...I have a serious craving for corned beef hash and am seriously tempted to grab a few cans tonight at the store.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                              A friend of mine from the Bahamas makes a breakfast dish he calls 'fire engine'. Canned corned beef sauteed with diced onion, sweet and hot peppers, and a big scoop of tomato paste. Pretty good with a couple fried eggs.

                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                What brand are you going to get???

                                                              2. I hope Will Owen pipes up on this thread. He has posted before that he *prefers* canned hash over fresh made. I wonder if he has a favorite brand...

                                                                1. Broadcast Corned Beef Hash is the best. It's a Midwestern brand so not always available here in NJ. One of my favorite breakfasts is corned beef hash, poached eggs (on top) & rye toast. When I order it out I always ask if they make their own. Some people add a lot of extra ingredients (like green peppers) which I really dislike in my hash. So, I prefer mine or canned.

                                                                  A side note - a couple years ago we stopped in a tiny place just north of Bath, ME called Ship's Chow Hall. It had maybe 4 booths & 2 tables. They had corned beef hash on the menu so I asked the proprietor/waitress/chef 'What's in your corned beef hash?'

                                                                  She glared at me & said "Corned beef & potatoes - you want something else in it?"

                                                                  Turned out they made their own rye bread every morning too.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: JoeBabbitt

                                                                    Are you saying that Broadcast still exists? I grew up on it (born in '53) in NY, I consider it the best canned CBH, and I thought it was no more as of around 8 years ago. You've seen it?

                                                                    1. re: JonL

                                                                      I've had a can within the last year. I only ever saw it occasionally here in NJ.

                                                                      1. re: JoeBabbitt

                                                                        Then there's hope! Until it disappeared, it was always on the shelves of my NY supermarkets & bodegas--not sporadic. I'd never thought of it as regional. Something must have changed.

                                                                  2. I now live in New Mexico and the supermarket meat here is terrible, even the "premium" stuff. Canned Corned Beef seems to be a lot more wholesome than local. I fried some in mutton fat and really liked it that way. However, all the recipes I find are only 'fixins' which disguise and do not enhance it, so I'm still looking for an actual recipe worthy of the name. I'll get back to you.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: ffolkes

                                                                      i got some hormel canned beef corned, not canned corned beef. it comes in a spam shaped can not the traditional one with a key. it is greasier and denser. barely edible, avoid. $2.99 a can.

                                                                      1. re: divadmas

                                                                        That's what you can use, adding onion and potato, to make your own CBH. I also add shaved corned beef from the deli counter to it.

                                                                      2. re: ffolkes

                                                                        Whenever I make homemade corned beer hash it is actually leftover roast beef. I dice onions and saute them and remove from the pan. Then I fry diced leftover baked potatoes until brown and then add diced leftover roast beef. when the beef is somewhat browned I put the onions back in and mix it all up. I serve fried eggs on top of the hash.

                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                          That's beef hash. Not corned beef hash.

                                                                          1. re: JMF

                                                                            Yes, roast beef hash, I thought I made that clear. Hormel (Mary Kitchen) sells canned versions of both corned beef hash and roast beef hash.

                                                                      3. A very easy brunch dish: Put canned corned beef hash in a baking dish. Bake it until it is good and hot. Using a wooden spoon, make indentations about an inch and a half deep and break an egg into each indentation. Return to oven and bake until the eggs are as done as you like.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Querencia

                                                                          My mom did this for us in a fry pan more than 50 years ago. Loved it.

                                                                        2. Oh god. I just had flashbacks to when we were kids. My dad was a NYC Police officer. When he worked 4 to 12 shifts, he would always make a nice "snack" before leaving for work--and the snack was Hormel Corned Beef Hash. To this day, it is the only hash I will eat. Thank you for allowing me to have a memory of my dad. RIP--I miss him and things like that just bring back memories of him!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: jarona

                                                                            I hear you. I'm saying RIP to my mom who made those wonderful breakfast meals (the hash and eggs; Milquetoast; warm rice with butter, brown sugar and warm milk; oatmeal; etc.) and she did it every day on school days as long as I can remember and she worked too!

                                                                          2. Back in the late 70's early 80's, Des Moines got it's first warehouse store. I believe it was called Pace. They sold Stagg corned beef hash with green chilis. My God it wass good. When Sam's club came to town they bought and closed Pace. Hormel bought Stagg. It went away, and I've never found anything that compares. I know that doesn't help the OP, the thread just got me reminicsing.

                                                                            1. One thing I have not yet mentioned is a technique we use. Take a can of Mary Kitchen hash and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then use a can opener and open both ends of the can. Push out the now frozen hash and slice it and fry it.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                The new cans do not have a bottom rim anymore, making this virtually impossible...

                                                                                1. re: NVJims

                                                                                  I confess I have not done this for a while and did not know the cans were changed.

                                                                              2. I just bought a can of Hormel Mary Kitchen Roast Beef Hash. I remembered it always tasted good. IMHO, not anymore. It was greasy, (didn't remember it being that greasy) and even though it lists "beef" as the main ingredient, my taste buds cried "foul" that it was real beef. Maybe beef renderings or something that doesn't resemble beef any more. It was really pretty nasty. Anyway, another fond memory bites the dust. But on the bright side, there is a restaurant close to me that makes beef hash with real beef and real potatoes (not rehydrated) so whenever I get the craving, I will go there.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: lolitadavis

                                                                                  I'm not positive but I believe that industrial grade beef can contain up to 50% fat and still be called beef.

                                                                                  1. re: lolitadavis

                                                                                    My mother used to make roast beef hash and she usually started with a can of Mary Kitchen. I remember deciding to cook a can when I was about 15. I never really paid attention to how she made the hash, but I did know that she fried potatoes in vegetable oil. So I put about a half a cup of oil in the pan and then the canned hash. The results were about what one would expect.

                                                                                  2. Have no idea about canned hash, but on the corned beef front I choose most anything I can find from Australia or New Zealand.

                                                                                    1. if I have bought the canned version it's been Hormel.
                                                                                      not a frequent purchaser of the stuff, like a handful of times in my entire life.

                                                                                      have made the home made from scratch a couple of times and was seriously in heaven. I'd do that again in a heartbeat...

                                                                                      1. I just saw Keystone brand Homestyle Corned Beef Hash at Walmart. All I can find about it is that it is from a family owned company that's been around for 40 years or so. Comes in a big can. Anyone ever tried it?

                                                                                        1. I prefer a crisp crust on my corned beef hash. I bake my hash on a round pizza pan that has a lip in order to allow the excess fat to collect around the outer rim. I spread the hash in a very thin layer to maximize the browning effect. If the hash has a very high fat content I will prop up one side of the pan in order to allow the extra rendered fat to drain away from the browning hash. The temperature of the oven needs to be kept low enough to prevent the excess fat from starting to smoke.

                                                                                          The consistency of flavor from one can to the next within a brand can vary tremendously. I have a store within a block of my home. I will go to the market in the morning and purchase a single can of hash. I will cook up that can immediately when I get home. If it proves to be of superior taste I will go back to the store and purchase every single can that has the same production lot number as the can I just ate. I do the same thing with all my canned staples.