Salisbury Steak Comparison & Review – Banquet VS On-Cor

salisbury steak comparison - Banquet vs On-Cor - this vs that

Ever stand in the grocery store, in front of some food choice and seriously be confused thinking, “Ok – which ONE was the one I LIKED?” I do this often…. but I especially did it every.single.time in front of the frozen food section with Salisbury steaks. So, I decided to do my own salisbury steak comparison to put my mind at ease once and for all which one I really liked.

Honestly, I could never remember! Sometimes I would get home realizing I bought the wrong one… again.

This time, I bought both options, Banquet and On-Cor so I could test them and compare them side by side to finally figure out which one I liked better.

And yes, I know it’s not healthy but I love making Salisbury steak for us. I mean… LOOOOVEEEE. It’s one of those really quick, and super cheap meals (we make egg noodles with it) that fills us up and gives us that “comfort food” feel.

You can skip the history lesson right below to read our comparison review and winner, by our tastes of course.

But, if you are curious what Salisbury steak is …..

What is Salisbury steak?

The history of the ground meat dish called Salisbury steak comes from a man named James Salisbury (1823–1905) who was an American physician and chemist known for his advocacy of a meat-centered diet to promote health. The term Salisbury steak was for a ground beef patty served as an entree that has been used in the United States since 1897. Today, in the US, it is served with gravy over egg noodles, rice, or with mashed potatoes and a side of traditional corn.


According to the USDA Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book (page 154), the standards for processing and naming a product “Salisbury steak” requires:

  • a minimum content of 65% meat, of which up to 25% can be pork, except if de-fatted beef or pork is used, the limit is 12% combined.
  • No more than 30% may be fat.
  • Meat byproducts are not permitted; however, beef heart meat is allowed.
  • Extenders are permitted up to 12 percent (cereal, bread crumbs, cracker meal, soy flour, soy protein concentrate, isolated soy protein, and textured vegetable protein)

So… there’s that explanation…..

But let’s get to my review….

Banquet and On-Cor Salisbury Steak Comparison & Review

I first cooked them both according to their cooking time on the box, however, I tried to take them out halfway and switch them so that they were both still warm during the taste testing.

I also flipped all patties in the container as well as mixed the gravy where I could.

In addition to the patties, I did make some curly egg noodles to eat with them, too.

Here’s how my comparison went.

Comparison: Appearance

Winner: On-Cor

Let’s start with the “look”.

salisbury steak comparison - Banquet vs On-Cor - this vs that

You can definitely see a difference in color and consistency just by looking at them. Take a look at the picture.

On-Cor had a much darker brown color and looked a bit thin. The Banquet had a more caramel, basic gravy appearance, and also looked thicker with a bit more visible “chunks” of gravy that needed to be mixed together a bit more.

Something else was visible that I was not liking – there were very apparent dark spots on the Banquet patties. I wasn’t sure where they came from, possibly from the uneven heat disbursement in the microwave interacting weirdly with the patty contents. It was odd.

Comparison: Smell

Winner: Both

I think they both smelled good – no difference or pungent odor, or a frozen-type smell.

Both were nice smelling.

Comparison: Taste & Texture

Winner: Banquet

No matter what it looks like or smells like, the biggest question is if it tastes good!

First up, Banquet. I started to cut the patties and noticed that the dark spot was a bit tough, almost like it got burnt or something and it was pretty tough to cut. I actually cut off the corner where the dark spot was and ate the rest of it.

I really liked the Banquet flavor – it was a sweet but flavorful gravy – very pleasing.

The texture of the Banquet patty was soft and well distributed, it was on the smooshy side since it has the consistency of meatloaf, but overall the taste was really good.

Next was the On-Cor, which again, had a more soupy gravy. I cut a few pieces and they had the same consistency as Banquet but I noticed their patties were or maybe just appeared thinner. They were very soft as well.

The taste of the On-Cor was not as good as Banquet. I actually took a bite and while I didn’t hate it, I definitely thought there was something off – as if I could taste the packaging per se.

If I didn’t have anything else to eat except the On-Cor, it would make due….. but I wasn’t super thrilled with it.

Comparison: Tray, Box

**This was recently added per a comment by one of my readers**

Winner: Banquet

When I did this comparison, it didn’t dawn on me about the tray and one of my readers commented that they felt the tray for Banquet felt sturdier than the On-Cor, so thank you for pointing that out!

I agree the trays did have a difference. The On-Cor felt a bit more flimsy which is really a big deal when you’re taking the HOT item in and out of the microwave or oven to check it to rotate or mix to cover with the gravy.


Results of Salisbury Steak Comparison

So, overall, I would have initially thought that On-Cor would be the winner based on it’s dark rich gravy, but….

If you haven’t already guessed…..

 The WINNER for me is…… the Banquet salisbury steaks!

banquet on-cor salisbury steak comparison review

I did not do a price comparison of them as pricing can vary from store to store as well as coupons and sales, so in my opinion, they even out and are always close in price.

What do you think of these two?

Tell me in the comments!


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  1. The Banquet tray is slightly stronger in strength. Banquet is a bit easier to find here. Try Aldi’s brand.

    1. @Reader_1234 – Thank you for that added input! I completely forgot to mention the trays – I’ve updated the post.

  2. Never liked banquet much and if anyone remembers “freezer Queen” brand, they were the worst of the 3. Everytime I’ve gotten banquet, there’s always been big pieces of cartilage which grosses me out. I never have that problem with oncor plus oncor had that light smoke/grilled flavor salsbury steak should have that banquet doesn’t, but they’ve both gone way down hill over the years so now i only buy michealina’s, they may be small, but BEEF is the 1st meat in them and they have mash with them so I eat 2 boxes at a time.

    1. @Brian – Thanks for the info! I think I’m going to add a new bracket of salisbury steak testing where I will test the Michealina’s as well as another brand commented – so stay tuned for an update!

  3. Like your column. Am researching new mixture of chicken, pork, and beef used in Salisbury steak. So far have found no info. Would like to know comparison of amount of saturated fat etc. Both Oncor and Banquet packs of 3 with gravy are similar and tasty. Rick

    1. That’s interesting – wonder if there is a healthy version option out there that would taste similar – I will have to check our local grocery store and compare it to the winner (for me at least) which was the Banquet.

  4. Yes! I loved Banquet more than Oncor too! It had a much better taste to me – I don’t know what those dark spots are either because I get them when I cook them as specificied on the packeage

  5. Wow, great blog! The entire glance of your website is excellent, as well as the content!

  6. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

    1. Thanks for the comment!

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