What cut of meat does Arby's use in their roast beef sandwiches?

Looking at the slices (see: https://arbys.com/desktop/images/the_meats/beef_n_cheddar.png), they don't seem to have the muscle fibers I would expect to see in beef (e.g. https://www.eatdrinkri.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/20110315_charcutepalooza_mar_corned_beef_8.jpg). I wonder if this is a result of the specific cut of the meat? Or the method of slicing (e.g. very thin against the grain?), or something else? This video might help identify the meat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otDoG1OjBZA

I'm hoping to do a copy of their roast beef at home.

1 Answer 1


The "Arby's we grew up on" was a Steamship Round. That is the entire "round primal" shown in diagram. However, several years ago they went to a processed version in order to make production more uniform, I believe it is likely still 'mostly' round that has been pressed and shaped.

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You are unlikely to find a steamship round on your grocers shelves, you will need to go to a butcher. The 'whole round' is usually only purchased for restaurants and caterers, it is the cut you are most likely to see in a 'serving line' (think Furr's/Luby's etc.) as it is a very large piece. Commercially the round is broken down into smaller cuts, tri-tip, rump roast, eye of round, etc. for sale in the market. If you want to make it at home the closest you can probably get is an eye of round roast. You will definitely want to slow roast it in order to get it tender.

  • Very informative. I'm curious about this "pressed and shaped" concept. Is that something a butcher can do? Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 13:09
  • 6
    @CookingNewbie Anyone can do it. Or it can be bought. Think deli meat. And boneless hams are a perfect example of pressed and formed pork. But your butcher is unlikely to do it because there is a cooking process involved.
    – Cindy
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 13:26
  • In a quick search the best article I could find is about ham...but the process is the largely the same for beef. meatsandsausages.com/hams-other-meats/formed
    – Cos Callis
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 13:28
  • Here's a link to one process for beef: thecookinginn.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/what-is-pressed-beef .
    – Cindy
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 13:31

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