Difference Between Cube Steak And Salisbury Steak (Comparison Table)

Ever been out to eat and seen cube steak and Salisbury steak on the menu and wondered, what’s the difference? Well, they look the same, right?

The main difference between cube steak and Salisbury steak is that cube steaks are actual cuts of beef that have been tenderized. In contrast, Salisbury steaks are hamburger patties made from ground beef mixed with other ingredients such as eggs or breadcrumbs.

cube steak
Cube steak meat. Credit: canva

Let’s take a closer look at these two steaks to see what makes them unique. 

About Cube Steak

Cube steak is a cut of beef that comes from tougher parts of the cow. It is made from the round or sirloin area of the cow that has been tenderized or “cubed” by pounding it with a meat mallet.

This process breaks down the muscle fibers in the meat, making it incredibly tender when cooked. Texture and flavor are greatly improved by their ability to be chewed easier.

Cube steak is a lean cut of beef. Because it is a lean cut, cube steak doesn’t include much fat or marbling.

The downside to cube steaks is that they can dry out quickly if overcooked, so it’s important to follow cooking instructions carefully.

These steaks typically have a mild flavor and are usually served with a sauce or gravy. It is famous for dishes such as fried chicken-fried steaks or Swiss steaks. 

About Salisbury Steak

Salisbury steak is not technically a steak at all. Salisbury steak is made from ground beef (or sometimes minced pork) mixed with seasonings and formed into patties.

This type of steak is usually seasoned generously with garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings.

Unlike cube steak, Salisbury steaks do not require additional tenderizing before cooking; however, they must be simmered to ensure that the patties remain juicy and flavorful.

Once cooked thoroughly, Salisbury steaks have a rich flavor and are usually served with gravy or mushroom sauce. 

Dr. James Henry Salisbury invented Salisbury steaks in the late 1800s as part of his theories about combining food for good health. 

Difference Between Cube Steak And Salisbury Steak (Comparison Table)
Salisbury steak. Credit: canva

The Difference Between Cube Steak and Salisbury Steak

What exactly are the differences between these two popular types of beef? Let’s break them down:

Part of Cow

Cube steak is derived from a cow’s sirloin or round part, while Salisbury steak originates from pork, onions, seasonings, and ground beef.

Cut of Beef

Cube steak is made from leaner cuts of beef which are lower in fat and calories than the ground beef used to make Salisbury steak.


Cube steaks tend to be more tender than Salisbury steaks due to the tenderizing process they undergo. However, Salisbury steaks can be just as tender if cooked properly.


Cube steak offers a more subtle taste than Salisbury steak, as it is crafted with only one type of meat (beef). On the other hand, you can expect a robust flavor when indulging in Salisbury steak due to additional components like onions and mushrooms.


Both types of steak are generally inexpensive compared to other cuts and styles of beef.

Best Cooking Method

You can cook cube steak by pan-frying or grilling for the best results. For Salisbury steaks, opt for broiling or baking in the oven for best results.

Typical Dishes

Common dishes that use cube steak include chicken fried steak or Swiss steak.

Salisbury steak is usually used for dishes such as Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes or Salisbury steak sandwiches.

Difference Between Cube Steak And Salisbury Steak (Comparison Table)
Cube steak. Credit: canva

Comparison Table

Cube SteakSalisbury Steak
Part of CowRound or sirloin area of the cowCombination of ground beef, pork, onions, and seasonings
Cut of BeefLean and tough cut of meatLean with a bit of fat
TextureTender and softTender if cooked properly
TasteMild flavorRich flavor
Best Cooking MethodQuick cooking methods such as grilling or pan-fryingBroiling, baking, or slow cooking
Typical DishesChicken fried steak or Swiss steakSalisbury steak and sandwiches
Cube Steak vs. Salisbury Steak
Difference Between Cube Steak And Salisbury Steak (Comparison Table)
Salisbury steak. Credit: canva


What is another name for cube steak?

Folks in the South often call cube steak “minute steak” because it cooks so quickly and can be an economical way to get some delicious-tasting meat. 

What makes Salisbury steak different?

If you wonder what makes Salisbury steak different, the answer is simple: it’s not just beef! Salisbury steak consists of ground beef, onions, and seasonings molded into a patty and served with gravy.

It was named after Dr. J.H. Salisbury in the late 1800s, who believed that eating very little meat (along with other hearty vegetables) would benefit people’s health. 

Is Salisbury steak just a hamburger?

No, Salisbury steak is not just a hamburger. While it may look and taste like a hamburger, the two have several significant differences. 

Salisbury steaks are made with ground beef mixed with bread crumbs, herbs, and seasonings, forming an oblong patty that looks much like — but isn’t — a hamburger patty.

While hamburgers typically consist of a single all-beef patty (or blend) seasoned only with salt and pepper, Salisbury steaks usually contain far more complex ingredients: Worcestershire sauce for flavor, onion powder to bring out its savory flavor, and black pepper for natural spiciness.

The finished product has far more texture than the average burger.

How do you cook cube steak so it’s not tough?

It’s important to remember that this type of meat can easily become tough if it’s not cooked correctly.

To avoid toughening up your cube steak and ensure a moist and delicious meal, you must cook at a low temperature. Don’t overcook because it will dry the meat and make it tough.

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