How Does Arbys Make Their Roast Beef

How to Make Fast Food at Home

Im not going to lie. Being able to demystify fast food in my own kitchen makes me happy in a way. My recent attempt to make Arby’s Sauce served as the inspiration for the copycat recipe for Roast Beef Sandwich from Arby’s. But I’ve also written about Panda Express Chow Mein and How to Make a Fast Food Burger before.

A common fear among schoolchildren is that of mystery meat in the cafeteria. Though 3D-printed space beef is officially now an option, you have to believe in your heart that the suspicious slab that was placed on your plate originated from one or more Earthly creatures. But hope doesnt make your taste buds tremble any less. Fast food shouldn’t contain that mysterious elk, or any other surprising protein. However, the well-known meat retailer Arby’s has had to deal with customers’ skepticism regarding the real source of its roast beef.

Business Insider was given the opportunity to see firsthand how the Manhattan Arby’s heats its meat and the reasoning behind their bagged roast beef in 2015. To be honest, this sounds like a self-inflicted blow to the foot already. Regardless of the veracity of the claim, a gesture meant to specifically communicate, “Heres proof that our meat isn’t liquid,” seems like a terrible way to inspire confidence.

But just to be clear, Business Insider confirmed that the roast beef is solid meat that undergoes a few hours of slow-roasting. The bag does contain liquid — it just isnt liquid beef. Snopes asked Arbys to clarify what precisely sloshing around in those meat bags, and a Quality Assurance representative named Jim Crowder explained that “Arbys Roast Beef consists entirely of Beef and a Self-Basting solution, which contains just enough water to keep the product juicy throughout our restaurants 3-hour roasting process and during slicing.” See? Its just self-basting beef. Doesnt that sound delectable?

The name should be self explanatory — its beef of the roasted variety. Yet when Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributor John Kessler asked the internet what Arbys roast beef actually is, Ask.com responded with culinary nightmare fuel: “At Arbys, the roast beef is delivered in a liquid form in a bag. Then employees will squirt the liquid onto a flat tray and bake at 350 degrees for a specified amount of time, which turns the liquid into a solid … made into a sandwich.” Yikes. Thats the opposite of appetizing. Luckily, its also the opposite of true.

Ingredients In Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich

Here’s what you need to make these copycat sandwiches:

How Does Arbys Make Their Roast Beef

The recipe card below has a full list of ingredients and amounts.

  • Homemade Arby’s Sauce: All you have to do to make the sauce that comes in those little packets is whisk it up in a bowl using a carefully measured mixture of ketchup, vinegar, mayo, sugar, and spices!
  • Roast Beef: The best option for making this sandwich imitation is thinly sliced deli roast beef, which is comparable to what Arby’s serves. If purchasing the pre-packaged beef is more convenient, you can also obtain this from the deli counter. For four sandwiches, get a pound of roast beef.
  • The secret to warming the beef without drying it out is to use beef broth. We’ll put the beef and broth on the stove to simmer for a very short time.
  • Onion Rolls: A soft roll with onions atop is served with an Arby’s Beef and Cheddar. Seek out sandwich rolls with onions, or substitute your preferred soft rolls.
  • Cheese Sauce: Since making cheese sauce from scratch is so simple, we won’t be purchasing it premade. All you need is butter, flour, milk, sharp cheddar cheese, and a small pinch of salt.

Ask the person selling you the roast beef at the deli counter to “shave,” or slice it as thinly as they can!