You might be wondering, how long does Spam last. Maybe you found a can of Spam in your pantry and are wondering if it is safe to eat. A lot of people have questions about Spam, its shelf life, and how to best store it. Let’s look a bit closer at Spam so you can feel confident using it in your kitchen.
What is Spam?
Spam is a canned meat made with pork shoulder and pork ham. Other pieces of pork meat are added too. Like the kind of ham that is used to make lunch meat that is sold at the deli counter.
There are four other ingredients that are used to help flavor the ham and bind it together. Salt, sugar, potato starch to hold the meat together and retain moisture, and finally sodium nitiate as a preservative.
The Invention of SPAM
Hormel created the recipe for Spam back in 1937. It was originally a way to use pork shoulder. Back then, it was thought of as an undesirable meat byproduct. Today, we have found ways to cook this cut of meat to make it tender and delicious. However, that wasn’t always the case.
In addition to finding a use for this cut of meat, they created a non-perishable protein with a long shelf life. Housewives would use this as a budget-friendly way to feed their family. They could store it on their pantry shelves at room temperature.
During World War II and the Korean War, it was shipped to the troops to feed them. It was the only meat that could last the long boat trips to Hawaii and Guam.
Spam is still used today and two of the more popular recipes using Spam are Spam Musubi and Spam Fried Rice. We like to fry it and serve is alongside our morning eggs. Our local grocery store carries Spam cans. It is still quite popular in the United States and other parts of the World.
Where do you store spam?
The shelf life of Spam that is unopened is 3 to 5 years after the date of manufacturing. The “best by” date will show the date it should be used for the best quality and flavor. Some believe that this canned food has an indefinite shelf life, but that is not true.
It can safely be consumed up to 3 to 5 years past the manufacturing date. The date of the product from the Hormel Corporation, the food manufacturing company, has manufactured the can of ham can be found on the bottom of every can.
How do you store leftover Spam?
Once opened, store Spam in an airtight containers in the refrigerator. Just like any other fresh meat or ham meat, bacterial growth can happen quickly. So, make sure to refrigerate once opened. It will last up to 7 days.
Can you freeze unused spam?
Yes, just remove it from the container and place it in a freezer bag or other freezer safe container to prevent freezer burn. It will still be fresh for up to 4 months. Just thaw and use in your favorite recipe.
How can you tell if spam is bad?
Just like any luncheon meat once opened, look for mold, which can show a slightly different appearance. It can develop fuzzy mold patches or patches of color changes such as a tan, brown, or grey-green color rather than the bright pink. Discard the canned meat product. Another method is to smell the meat, if there is al off odor, discard the meat.
If the unopened can of Spam has any rusting, leaking, severe denting, or the top of the can bulging, it should be discarded.
Is Spam a Good Survival Food?
Spam is a good survival food because it will las a long time unopened. Further, it can be eaten directly out of the can with no cooking since it is precooked. It provides a lot of fat, protein, and calories in each serving. It and doesn’t require refrigeration unless opened.
How to Store Spam for the Long-Term?
The best way to store unopened Spam is in a cool, dark, and dry place. The shape of the can itself makes ideal for stacking multiple cans on top of each other.
Some of the most popular ways to eat Spam
It is amazing how many ways people have found to use cans of Spam. While it can be eaten straight from the can. There are so many different ways to serve this product.
In a sandwich. Substitute your regular luncheon meat with the Spam. Slice it as thin or thick as you like and add it in.
As a breakfast meat. We like to fry it in a pan and eat it with our eggs. We do not add any oil, just fry it a few minutes on both sides to caramelize the meat. It really takes the flavor to the next level.
Spam tacos. Just dice up the ham in small pieces. Add it to your tacos just like you would with your ground hamburger.
Fried Rice. Make your favorite fried rice recipe and cube it into small pieces and add it to your fried rice.
Spam Musubi. It is like a Spam sushi roll, except that the rice is shaped into the side of a slice of the meat. Additionally, the meat is marinated for added flavor. Wrap it in seaweed to bring it all together.