Everyone has a favorite way to eat SPAM, but you won’t always have time to fry it up. If you’re in a rush or don’t like a crisp exterior, you can cook SPAM in a microwave. However, you can also eat it straight out of the can without cooking. The SPAM company provided millions of cans every week to the US military. So this easy-to-eat meat became a fast favorite among hungry people in addition to securing its place as an icon. Soldiers during World War II often ate this shelf-stable staple right from the containers. Since SPAM is cooked completely only after it’s canned. Heating it again is optional, and tasty. I’ll teach you more about this mysterious meat, share cooking tips, and more so you can have this salty treat anytime.
Can you cook SPAM in the microwave? You can cook SPAM in the microwave. Although it won’t get the crisp, brown exterior, microwaved SPAM is safe to eat and much faster to prepare. However, you must remove it from the can for safety and cook in short thirty-second bursts to get even heating throughout.
Can You Eat SPAM Without Cooking It
Though you can cook SPAM in the microwave, you don’t have to do this to eat it. When SPAM is first canned, it is not in its cooked form. However, the meat gets cooked inside the can long before it reaches your local grocery shelves.
As a result of this clever and intentional process, you get fully prepared, cooked meat. All you have to do is get it out of the can to eat it. I’ll give you some tips on the best way to get SPAM out of the can in a moment. The point is, there is no such thing as ‘raw’ SPAM.
If you haven’t had this unique food before, then you probably wonder what it tastes like, and what it is made from. The answer is simple. SPAM is made up of ham and pork shoulder. In addition, there are spacers and binders that help it hold together in that iconic square form.
There is also plenty of salt in SPAM. In short, it tastes like salty pork. The texture is that of any ground or pureed meat that has been bound into a patty form. It’s not bad on its own, but microwaving it will give you a pleasantly warm meal.
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Easy Meal Options With SPAM
If you prefer the crispy-on-the-outside flavor, you can fry your SPAM. Moreover, you can opt to pre-cook your sliced SPAM ad reheat it in the microwave after. Doing this will keep that brown outer layer, but still, give you a super-fast meal on the go.
Especially for people who work in an office or other job where a microwave is the only hot-lunch option, this is a great way to prep several meals in a few moments’ time. Fry your SPAM and make it into sandwiches, or add it to other foods and store them in Tupperware.
You can make a whole week’s worth in less than thirty minutes if you aren’t looking for a complicated luncheon. Best of all, SPAM lasts seven to ten days in the fridge after you open it. The salt and pre-cooking are what give this meat its longevity.
How To Get SPAM Out Of The Can
You’ve probably seen it a million times, and you may have done this yourself. You pop the tab and turn the can upside down. So far, you’re doing okay, though not great. Then the smacking starts.
What if I told you there is a ‘right’ way to get SPAM out of the can? I’ll share the ‘secret.’ Never again will you need to fight canned meat to get your meal ready.
Smacking the bottom of the can and shaking it may eventually get you that SPAM, but it’s not the best method. Likewise, you could put a spoon or knife inside and pre-chunk your meat. That makes a mess, and there’s a better way.
Grab a can opener. Either the crank or old-fashioned puncture variety works. Before you open your can, put a small hole in the bottom. This will help release the pressure. Next, pop the tab and peel back the lid. You can throw that part away.
Flip the can upside down. Then all you need to do is squeeze the two small sides gently. Doing this will bend the thin metal and break the vacuum seal holding your SPAM inside. After that, a firm shake and your canned meat should drop right out onto your plate or cutting board.
Can You Eat SPAM Out Of The Can
Did you know that almost every canned food is pre-cooked? Whether you have a microwave to cook your SPAM or not, it’s safe to eat. In fact, if you like you can literally grab a fork, knife, or spoon and eat straight from the can with no need to dirty other dishes.
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Although the idea of SPAM seems to be the antithesis of nutrition, it’s not as bad as you might think. A single serving of this canned meat offers a surprising seven grams of protein in the Classic flavor. It is low in sugar and carbs, and though it has thirty-four percent of your daily sodium, a body needs salt to function.
Furthermore, you can get lower-sodium varieties of SPAM. There are a number of flavors to choose from. Plus, unopened cans can be stored at room temperature for two to five years. As shelf-stable meats go, it’s a good option. So long as you don’t overindulge in it, SPAM is a fine part of a balanced diet.
How Long Does SPAM Need To Be Cooked
Although you don’t technically need to cook SPAM, a warm meal is always a delight. Cooking your SPAM can be part of a complex meal, but the two easiest methods are microwave and frying. I’ll outline these two quick methods below.
Microwave SPAM: Take sliced spam and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Cook for thirty seconds. If desired, or necessary, flip the meat and cook for another thirty seconds. Generally add about thirty seconds per slice, up to four or five slices. Cooking more is not recommended.
Once the meat is cooked, carefully remove your plate. It will be hot. Let your SPAM sit for a minute to finish heating internally, and eat when it cools to a comfortable temperature for your mouth.
Fried SPAM: You will need a nonstick frying pan over medium heat for this method. Slice your SPAM the same as you would for any other meal and preheat your pan for a darker crisp. Then put your slices in the hot pan.
It should take two to five minutes per side to get a perfectly crispy brown SPAM slice. Naturally, the thinner you cut, the faster it will cook. Likewise, overly thick slices will not always warm up in the center if you fry for a shorter time. Use a lower heat and longer cook time for large slices.
Can You Boil SPAM
A lot of things fall apart in water. In fact, most things will dissolve eventually, but what about SPAM. Is it going to turn into a pink broth if you add it to soup?
The cooking process and binding agents in SPAM do their job well. You can slice, cube, or mince spam and it will not fall apart when you boil it. SPAM soup is a possibility.
However, it is worth noting that boiled SPAM will lose some of its salt, oils, and flavor into the water. Personally, I would still fry it first. Pre-frying will help hold some of that flavor inside and give you the unique taste that only fried SPAM can offer.
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SPAM has a fascinating history, and because of that, entire cookbooks have been written about it. When you’re in a rush and need a simple, salty snack, you can always warm it up in the microwave. However, there are gourmet recipes as well if you have the time and inclination.
If you ever visit Hawaii, you’ll notice a particular affinity for SPAM. This is because the soldiers stationed there during WWII weren’t the only ones whose survival sometimes depended on the pre-cooked meat in a can. Try the SPAM sushi if you see it on the menu there. Like most pre-cooked foods, SPAM is easy to reheat, but there are a million ways to prepare it. Luckily, with the initial cooking already done, you don’t need to get fancy or even own a stove to enjoy SPAM.