Mastering the Art of Extracting Spam from the Can

How to Get Spam Out of the Can: A Comprehensive Guide

Spam, a popular brand of canned meat, has been a staple in American households for decades. While it offers convenience and versatility in the kitchen, getting Spam out of the can in one piece can sometimes be a challenge. In this comprehensive guide, we explore several methods to help you get Spam out of the can effortlessly. From pressing on the can to using warm water, we will cover practical tips to ensure your Spam comes out intact. We will also look at the origins of Spam, its ingredients and how it can be used in various culinary applications.

The origins of Spam

During and after World War II, Spam gained immense popularity in the United States. It was created as a way to sell pork shoulder, a cut of meat that was less popular with consumers at the time. In addition, the difficulty of delivering and cooking fresh meat during the war made Spam a valuable invention for both manufacturers and consumers. Since then, Spam has spread to countries across the Americas, Australia, Europe and Asia, with each region developing its own unique ways of preparing and enjoying the canned meat.

What is Spam made of?

Spam is primarily made from ground pork and ham, although there are alternative varieties, such as turkey Spam. The classic Spam recipe contains only six ingredients: pork with ham, modified potato starch, water, salt, sugar, and sodium nitrite. Other varieties of Spam include Spam Bacon, Spam Jalapeno, Spam Teriyaki, and Spam Portuguese Sausage. These varieties offer different flavor profiles and options for those with specific dietary preferences.

Is Spam good for you?

While Spam is a convenient and shelf-stable food option, it is important to note that it may not be the healthiest choice. Although it provides some nutrients such as protein, minerals and vitamins, Spam is highly processed and contains high levels of sodium, fat and calories. Therefore, it is best to eat it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Methods to get Spam out of the can

  1. Squeeze the can on both sides: To remove Spam from the can, turn the can upside down over a plate or cutting board. Squeeze the can by pressing on the smaller sides. Despite the initial appearance of strength, the walls of the can are actually quite thin. Pressing on the smaller sides will release the pressure holding the Spam in place. Afterwards, a few gentle taps on the bottom of the can should cause the Spam to come out intact.
  2. Punch a hole in the bottom of the can: If the squeezing method does not work, you can try piercing a small hole in the bottom of the can with a sharp tool. This puncture will help release the pressure inside the can. Once the hole is made, open the can as usual and turn it over a plate. The Spam should easily slide out through the hole.
  3. Use warm water: If physical force alone does not loosen the Spam, warm water can be used. Hold the unopened Spam can under running warm water or place it in a metal bowl and pour hot or warm water over it. The heat from the water will cause the fat in the Spam to melt, making it easier for the entire piece to slide out effortlessly.

How long does Spam last once opened?

Properly stored Spam, whether refrigerated or frozen, can remain fresh for a considerable period of time. When stored in the refrigerator, Spam will typically last 3-5 days, and possibly up to a week. If you prefer to extend its shelf life, freezing is an option. Frozen Spam can be used for up to 6 months. However, it is important to inspect Spam for signs of spoilage before consumption, such as an unpleasant odor, slimy texture, or color changes.

Storage tips for leftover Spam

If you find yourself with leftover Spam after opening a can, it is advisable to store it properly to maintain its quality and prevent spoilage. Storing leftover Spam in the original can may not provide an airtight seal. Instead, transfer the leftover Spam to an airtight glass or plastic container. When stored this way, leftover Spam can last 3-5 days, or even up to a week if refrigerated properly. For longer-term storage, freezing is the preferred method.

Freezing Leftover Spam

Both cooked and uncooked Spam can be frozen to extend its shelf life. Slicing Spam before freezing makes it easier to thaw and use in different recipes. To freeze sliced Spam, first place the slices on a baking sheet and shock freeze. Once frozen, transfer the slices to a freezer-safe, airtight container or freezer-safe Ziploc bag. If you prefer to freeze the entire can, make sure it is sealed tightly to prevent freezer burn. Frozen Spam can be stored for up to 6 months without significant loss of quality.

Using Leftover Spam

Leftover Spam can be a versatile ingredient in a variety of dishes. Here are some ideas for incorporating leftover Spam into your meals:

  1. Spam sandwich: Thinly slice leftover Spam and use it as a sandwich filling. Add your favorite condiments and vegetables for a quick and satisfying meal.
  2. Spam Fried Rice: Dice leftover Spam and use it as a flavorful addition to fried rice. Sauté the Spam with vegetables, rice and seasonings for a delicious one-pan meal.
  3. Spam salad: Dice leftover Spam and toss with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and your choice of dressing for a hearty and flavorful salad.
  4. Spam and Egg Breakfast Burrito: Sauté diced Spam with onions and bell peppers. Scramble eggs and add to the pan with your favorite seasonings. Wrap the mixture in a tortilla for a protein-packed breakfast on the go.
  5. Spam Stir-Fry: Slice leftover Spam and stir-fry it with an assortment of vegetables. Add soy sauce, garlic and ginger for a tasty and quick stir-fry.
  6. Spam Hash: Dice leftover Spam and cook with potatoes, onions, and bell peppers. Season with herbs and spices of your choice for a flavorful and satisfying breakfast or brunch option.


Getting Spam out of the can in one piece is no longer a daunting task with the tips and methods provided in this comprehensive guide. Whether you choose to squeeze the can, puncture a hole, or use warm water, you can now enjoy Spam without the frustration of it sticking to the can. Remember to store any leftover Spam properly to maintain its quality and maximize its shelf life. With its versatility and convenience, Spam can be a delightful addition to a variety of dishes, providing a quick and satisfying meal option.


Is it difficult to get spam out of the can?

While it can be a bit challenging, there are several methods you can use to extract Spam from the can in one piece.

What are some tips for getting Spam out of the can without breaking it?

You can try pressing on both sides of the can at the same time, poking a hole in the bottom to release the suction, or using warm water to loosen the Spam and make it easier to remove.

Can I use a can opener to get Spam out of the can?

It is not recommended to use a can opener as it may cause the Spam to break apart. It’s best to use other methods such as squeezing the can or using warm water.

How should I store leftover Spam after opening the can?

To store leftover Spam, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate. This will help keep it fresh and prevent spoilage.

How long will Spam last after I open the can?

Properly stored, Spam will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. If you want to extend its shelf life, you can freeze it for up to 6 months.

Can I use leftover Spam in other recipes?

Absolutely! Leftover Spam can be used in a variety of recipes, including sandwiches, fried rice, salads, breakfast burritos, stir-fries, and hash. Its versatility makes it a great ingredient to have on hand.