Can You Eat Spam Raw? [Should You?]

Spam is processed canned meat that is a quick and easy meal option. But is it so quick and easy that it can be consumed raw? Let's take a look to see if this is a viable way to eat spam.

Spam is a precooked processed meat that can be consumed right out of the can. As long as the can is in good condition with no puncture holes or signs of leakage, then it is safe to eat. You can eat spam as is, add it to crackers, or make a sandwich.

Understanding how spam can be consumed is important to mitigate the risk of getting sick. In this article, we will take a closer look at what spam is and how it can be consumed. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about spam, so read on!

Is Spam Already Cooked?

You can find spam in almost every canned food aisle in a grocery store. It makes for a quick snack or meal, as it is already cooked and safe to eat at the time of purchase.

Can of unopened Spam in foreground with eggs behind

Spam is actually an acronym that stands for "Special Processed American Meat." It gained popularity during World War II when it was given to troops. Thus, it was so popular in Hawaii (and still is), as many troops were stationed there during the war.

While there are several recipes that call for spam, it's perfectly safe to eat it directly from the can. While it may look raw, spam is no different from other canned meats you will find in a store. For example, canned chicken breast, beef, or fish, are all cooked meats that are processed and canned.

However, spam still has a "best by" date that will be labeled on the can. The "best by" date signifies when the meat should be eaten by for the highest quality. Typically, the "best by" date will be around three years after it's canned.

If you like to doomsday prep or have extra cans of spam on hand, then it's best to check the condition of the can before consuming spam. If you notice any leakage from the can, then this is a sign that the can has been damaged.

In this case, air and bacteria can develop on the meat, which can make it unsafe to eat. After opening the can, check for any signs of spoilage, including foul smells, mold, a slimy texture, or an off taste.

If you notice any of these signs in conjunction with a damaged can, then it's best to toss it in the trash.

How Long Does Spam Last?

How long does spam last, Can You Eat Spam Raw? [Should You?]

A few factors determine how long a can of spam will last, such as how it's stored and whether or not the spam has been opened.

First, if the can is unopened and stored in a cool, dry place, then it can last between 2-5 years or longer. While the spam may not expire, the taste quality will continue to decline over time.

Once you have opened the can, you have two hours before the meat needs to be refrigerated. If you leave spam exposed at room temperature for too long, then it can develop bacteria and won't be safe to eat.

Now, if you refrigerate the spam in an airtight container, it can last up to a week before going bad. After 3-4 days, check the spam to see any signs of spoilage before consuming.

To extend its shelf life, you can also freeze spam. Be sure to remove it from the can and place it in an airtight freezer bag or container. When frozen, spam should last 6 months or longer.

When you are ready to use the frozen spam, let it thaw in the fridge before consuming it.

What Can You Make With Spam?

The possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking with spam. You can pretty much substitute spam for any recipe or dish that has meat in it. To give you an idea, here are some simple meals you can make at home.

Sandwiches And Wraps

If you are out of deli meat or don't want to prep chicken, you can opt for spam instead. For sandwiches, you can cut slices of spam and add them with vegetables, condiments, and your favorite cheese. You can also dice up the spam and make a spam salad sandwich.

You can do the same for wraps but use your favorite wrap or tortilla instead. If you want to get creative, you can also use your wraps or tortillas to make spam quesadillas. This is a simple but delicious meal that you can make in 5 minutes.

Macaroni And Cheese

Instead of putting hotdogs in your macaroni and cheese, you can use spam instead. More than likely, you and your children won't even know the difference.

Spam Fried Rice

Homemade spam fried rice

Like ham, spam is very good in fried rice, especially if you add pineapple to the mix. Dice up your spam and toss it with the rice and vegetables. This is a quick and inexpensive meal that will feed a whole family.

Spam Breakfast

Common hawaiian breakfast of spam, eggs and rice

One of the most common ways to eat spam is to fry it and serve it with eggs. It's similar to frying Canadian bacon or breakfast sausages and goes well with hashbrowns and toast.

You can also add spam to breakfast bakes or a Filipino breakfast which is spam, eggs, and white rice. Top it with your favorite hot sauce or a splash of soy sauce, and enjoy.

Another idea is to use fried spam in your eggs benedict. If you want to make it simple, you can use a hollandaise sauce package and drizzle it over open-face English muffins, poached eggs, and spam.

Spam Tacos

It may sound crazy, but spam tacos are actually a thing and are loved by many. It's quick, easy, and can feed a family of five.

Choose soft or hard-shell tacos, and fill them with taco-seasoned spam. Topped with shredded lettuce, Mexican blend cheese, and a dollop of sour cream and salsa.

Hawaiian Pizza

Whether or not pineapple goes on pizza has been a debate for decades. While many are against the thought of it, many enjoy ham and pineapple pizza.

If you want to make a Hawaiian pizza at home but don't have ham, then opt for spam instead. When diced up and placed on pizza, there isn't much of a difference.

Homemade Musubi

If you enjoy sushi but don't like how it puts a dent in your wallet, you can make homemade musubi. Musubi is fairly easy to make and is an inexpensive treat.

You only need three ingredients to make musubi, including sushi rice, spam, and nori (seaweed). If you don't have sushi rice on hand, you can use regular white rice.

All you need to do is make a small block out of the rice, place a piece of fried spam on top, and then wrap it in a nori. Musubi pairs well with soy sauce, wasabi, or chipotle mayo.


Spaghetti samyang spicy sauce with spam ham ontop onion cutlet

Last but not least, you can add spam to a pasta salad or pasta dinner recipe. Any pasta recipe that calls for sausage can be substituted with spam. Spam pairs well with a creamy sauce such as alfredo or a pasta salad that has ranch or mayo dressing.

As you can see, there are several ways to use spam, so don't let it go to waste!

Is Spam Better Cooked Or Uncooked?

It's tough to say whether spam is better cooked or uncooked as it comes down to personal preference. Spam straight from the can have a soft and slightly slimy texture to it. Some may find this unappetizing, and if it's their first time trying spam, it may ruin them forever.

When fried, spam has a nice crispy texture and less salty flavor. When making a sandwich, you might find that spam is more enjoyable fried than when it's eaten directly from the can.

Think of spam as a sausage or hotdog. Most people will fry or barbecue a hotdog before eating it, as it has better flavor and texture. But that doesn't mean some don't enjoy a hotdog straight out of the package. In other words—to each their own.

Is Spam A Healthy Meat?

Spam brand of instant burger

Unfortunately, spam doesn't offer much nutritional value like other processed foods. Spam is high in sodium and saturated fat, which can cause health issues down the road.

Spam is great for a quick snack or meal but should be consumed in low quantities. If you want to fill your pantry with healthy canned meat, then opt for canned chicken breast or fish. While they still contain preservatives, these canned meats have vitamins and minerals that are good for your health.

Final Thoughts

Overall, spam isn't raw and is a precooked meat that is canned and ready to eat. It's a versatile meat that can be used as an alternative to sausage, bacon, ham, and even chicken. Experiment with spam, as you never know when you will come across your next favorite dish!

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might find helpful:

How Long Can Raw Steak Stay Out Of The Fridge?

How Long Can You Leave Shrimp Out? [Raw And Cooked]

How To Turn Turkey Sausage Into Italian Sausage

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