Salisbury Steak vs Meatloaf: 7 Differences You Need to Know 

Salisbury steak and Meatloaf are highly prized meat dishes, especially in American cuisine. Both dishes are made from the same type of meat, but the tastes are different. Additionally, they are authentic American recipes.

If you are interested in knowing more about Salisbury steak vs. Meatloaf, keep reading this article. We will dive deep into their differences and what makes each item unique. Also, we will shed some light on their basic characteristics.

Read on for more insight.

Salisbury Steak vs. Meatloaf
The main differences between Salisbury steak and Meatloaf are their shape, texture, taste, source of meat, way of cooking, serving method, and nutritional value. Both dishes are made of high-fat ground beef, but Meatloaf is not exclusively made of it. It can be made of pork or veal ground meat.

What is Salisbury steak?

When you hear the name “Salisbury steak” for the first time, you might think it is a fine dining dish. However, it is a dish cooked at home for many years. Salisbury steak is a popular dinner dish in American households. It is also commonly found as a lunch item at school meals.

Despite carrying the name “Salisbury steak,” it is not a real steak. It is a ground beef patty combined with bread crumbs to improve its texture.

To make a proper Salisbury steak, you must season the meat with salt, water, and other desired flavors. To enhance the flavor even more, you can add dry onion soup. Then, the beef patties should be browned on a heated skillet.

This dish is named after a 19th-century scientist, Dr. James Salisbury, who promoted ground meat dishes as healthy meals. He prepared and served these steak patties for soldiers during the American Civil War. Then, this dish found its way to American dining tables.

What is Meatloaf?

Meatloaf is another famous American dish of ground beef or other ground meat. You can also have this popular meat meal in a sandwich for lunch. The beef itself won’t be enough to be turned into a meatloaf. You will have to add salt, onions, spices, eggs, and bread crumbs.

These extra ingredients make the beef more tender and improve its texture. You can improve the nutritional value of your Meatloaf by adding some chopped veggies to the meat mix.

As the name suggests, Meatloaf is shaped into a loaf before baking. Once it is cooked and left to cool down for a little while, it is cut into slices. A dish of Meatloaf is usually mixed with ketchup sauce before baking. Once it is cooked and left to cool down for a little while, it is cut into slices.

A dish of Meatloaf is usually accompanied by ketchup sauce. Sometimes, it is topped with gravy sauce. So, there are numerous ways of serving and even seasoning the Meatloaf. Still, the basics of seasoning and shaping are the same. Meatloaf has found its way into various international cuisines despite being a traditional American dish.

The Meatloaf must be baked in the oven. You can’t cook it on a stovetop. Aside from bread crumbs, you can add other fillers, including oatmeal. Some regions don’t season meat with water but soak it in beef stock.

What are the Differences between Salisbury steak and Meatloaf?

Salisbury steak and Meatloaf share more differences than similarities.

Salisbury steak is considered the halfway point between a meatloaf and a burger. Aside from sharing the geographical origin and source of meat, there are a few common characteristics.

1. Shape

 Salisbury steak and Meatloaf look different. Salisbury steaks do not look like standard steaks or slices of Meatloaf. They are oval or rounded patties, whereas a meatloaf is cut into rectangular pieces.

2. Texture

Both dishes have fillers to thicken their textures, but a meatloaf must be smoother. This results from adding wet ingredients to the meat before baking, such as tomato sauce. However, you can balance this wetness by adding more fillers, such as oatmeal or breadcrumbs.

It is sometimes possible to include “softly crushed” cracking. On the other hand, a Salisbury steak has more juiciness in its meat patties.

3. Taste

The sauces or toppings contribute to the overall taste of either Salisbury steak or Meatloaf. However, a successful Salisbury steak will have a richer meat taste. This is a result of having fewer seasoning ingredients than a meatloaf.

4. Source of meat

Both recipes depend on seasoned ground beef. However, you can only make Salisbury steak from beef. It is possible to turn ground pork meat into a Salisbury steak in a few recipes, but that is different from the original recipe.

On the other hand, Meatloaf can be made from other sources, such as veal, pork, or even turkey.

5. Way of cooking

While Salisbury steak and Meatloaf are both made of ground beef, they are not cooked the same way. To cook Salisbury steak, you must use a pan or skillet. So, you should not bake your patties in the oven.

On the other hand, Meatloaf can only be adequately prepared in a preheated oven.

6. Serving method

Meatloaf offers more flexibility when it comes to the serving. Some various toppings and sauces can accompany meatloaves, such as brown gravy, ketchup, BBQ, or standard tomato sauces.

Salisbury steak is not that flexible, mainly served with mushroom gravy.

7. Nutritional value

In this comparison, you will find a small difference in the overall value. Both dishes are made with high-fat ground beef. However, a meatloaf can provide a richer meal. This is not related to the nature of the meat but to the other ingredients.

The recipe for Meatloaf can easily accept other ingredients, such as chopped vegetables or fillers. Mixing veggies with meat and fat can provide a healthier and richer meal on the same plate.

Salisbury steak vs Meatloaf: Are they the same?

No, Salisbury steak and Meatloaf are not the same meal. They are indeed both American dishes that are prepared with ground beef.

However, this could be the extent of their similarities. They are seasoned, cooked, and served differently. Also, the overall shape of a meatloaf slice is noticeably different from a Salisbury steak patty.

You can identify a Salisbury steak by its rich taste, whereas a meatloaf can have flavors other than meat. The latter is seasoned with more bread crumbs, tomato sauce, vegetables, and spices.

Also, Meatloaf has a softer texture. Lastly, a meatloaf slice can have more nutritional value, containing a mix of meat and vegetables. A Salisbury steak does not contain any vegetable fillers.

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