Preserving Perfection: Can You Freeze Spam?

Can you freeze spam?

Spam, the canned meat loved by many and debated by others, is undeniably a popular pantry staple. Its versatility and affordable price make it a go-to ingredient for a variety of recipes. But what happens when you open a can of Spam and have leftovers? Can you freeze Spam? The answer is yes! Freezing Spam is a safe and effective way to extend its shelf life. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of freezing Spam and give you helpful tips to ensure that its quality and flavor are preserved.

Understanding Spam

Before we dive into the freezing process, let’s take a closer look at what Spam is made of. Contrary to popular belief, Spam is not a mystery meat with unknown ingredients. It is a simple combination of pork, ham, potato starch, sodium nitrite, water, sugar and salt. The pork and ham provide the meaty base, while the potato starch acts as a binder. Sodium nitrite acts as a preservative, inhibiting bacterial growth and preventing oxidation. The sugar and salt add flavor and help extend the shelf life of Spam.

Storing leftover Spam

Once you’ve opened a can of Spam and have leftovers, it’s important to store them properly to maintain freshness and prevent foodborne illness. There are two main storage methods for leftover Spam: freezing and refrigeration.

Freezing Leftover Spam

Freezing is the ideal method if you want to extend the shelf life of your leftover Spam. Follow these steps to freeze your delicious Spam:

  1. Slice your Spam: Divide your leftover Spam into defined portions to avoid thawing more than necessary each time.
  2. Prepare freezer bags: Line the inside of your freezer bags with waxed paper to prevent the Spam from sticking together or to the bag.
  3. Place Spam in bags: Place a single serving of Spam (approximately 3-4 slices) in each freezer bag. Avoid overstuffing the bags.
  4. Label the bags: Clearly label each bag with the freezer date and contents to keep track of what’s inside.
  5. Place bags in the freezer: Stack bags in the freezer for easy access and organization.

When properly frozen, Spam can be kept at its best for up to three months or even longer. Freezing is an excellent long-term storage solution, but if you plan to consume your leftovers within a week, refrigeration may be a better option.

Refrigerating Leftover Spam

Refrigeration is an appropriate method if you plan to consume your leftover Spam within a few days. Follow these steps to refrigerate your Spam:

  1. Slice your leftover Spam: Slice your leftover Spam into equal pieces for easier handling and quick meal preparation.
  2. Prepare a plastic container: Line the bottom of a sealable plastic container with waxed paper.
  3. Place Spam in the container: Arrange the Spam slices evenly in the container, making sure they are not overcrowded.
  4. Refrigerate the container: Place the container in a convenient and accessible area of your refrigerator.

Refrigerated Spam can be kept at its best for approximately four days to one week, depending on storage conditions. Remember that refrigeration does not preserve Spam as effectively as freezing, but it does provide a shorter-term storage option for quick consumption.

Thawing leftover Spam

When it’s time to enjoy your frozen Spam, proper thawing is crucial to preserving its texture and flavor. Here are three recommended methods for defrosting leftover Spam:

  1. Refrigerator thawing: Place frozen Spam in the refrigerator and allow it to thaw slowly. This method works best if you plan ahead, as it may take several hours or overnight for the Spam to thaw completely.
  2. Cold water thawing: If you’re in a hurry, place the frozen Spam in a sealed freezer bag or container and submerge it in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes to maintain a safe temperature. This method is faster than thawing in the refrigerator, but requires more active monitoring.
  3. Microwave thawing (not recommended): While it is possible to defrost Spam in the microwave, it’s not the preferred method. Microwaving can cause uneven thawing and may affect the texture and flavor of Spam.

Remember, once Spam is thawed, it should be consumed immediately and not refrozen.

Signs of tainted Spam

Before consuming Spam, it’s important to check for signs of spoilage to ensure your safety. Here are some indicators that your spam may have gone bad:

  1. Off odors: If you notice a foul or sour smell coming from the Spam, it’s a clear sign that it’s spoiled.
  2. Changes in color and appearance: Discoloration, mold growth, or unusual physical changes indicate spoilage.
  3. Strange tastes: If the Spam tastes strange or unpleasant, it’s best to throw it away.
  4. Texture changes: Sliminess, excessive dryness or a mushy texture are signs that the Spam has deteriorated.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to err on the side of caution and throw away the tainted Spam. Eating tainted meat can lead to foodborne illness and should be avoided.

Tips for freezing and using frozen Spam

To get the most out of your frozen Spam, follow these tips:

  1. Portion control: Cut your Spam into individual servings before freezing. That way, you can thaw only what you need for each meal, minimizing waste.
  2. Proper packaging: Use freezer-safe bags or airtight containers to protect Spam from freezer burn and preserve its quality.
  3. Labeling: Clearly label each package with the freezer date and contents to keep track of the Spam in your freezer.
  4. Freezer Organization: Keep your frozen Spam organized, with the oldest packages in the front for easy access.
  5. Recipe versatility: Frozen Spam can be used in a variety of recipes, including stir-fries, casseroles, sandwiches and even fried rice. Experiment with different dishes to enjoy the versatility of Spam.

Keep in mind that while frozen Spam will keep for several months, its quality may gradually deteriorate over time. It’s best to consume it within the recommended shelf life for optimal taste and texture.

Bottom line

In conclusion, freezing Spam is a safe and convenient way to extend its shelf life. By properly slicing, packaging and storing your leftover Spam, you can enjoy it for up to three months or longer. Whether you choose to freeze or refrigerate your Spam, always keep food safety in mind and discard any spoiled or questionable portions. By following these guidelines, you can get the most out of your Spam and enjoy its versatility in a variety of recipes. So the next time you open a can of Spam, remember that freezing is an excellent option to ensure that you can enjoy its deliciousness for an extended period of time.


Can I freeze Spam after opening the tin?

Yes, you can freeze Spam once it has been opened. Cutting it into portions and storing it properly in freezer-safe bags or containers will help maintain its quality.

How long can I freeze Spam?

When properly frozen, Spam can be kept for about three months or even longer. However, for the best taste and texture, it is recommended that you consume it within this timeframe.

Can I freeze Spam straight from the tin?

It is not recommended to freeze Spam directly in the can. Transferring Spam to freezer-safe bags or containers will help prevent freezer burn and maintain quality.

Can I freeze Spam again after defrosting?

No, it is not recommended to refreeze Spam after thawing. Once thawed, it should be consumed immediately and not refrozen.

How should I defrost frozen Spam?

The recommended methods for thawing frozen Spam are thawing in the refrigerator, thawing in cold water or thawing in the microwave (although this method is not preferred). Thawing in the refrigerator or in cold water is the safest and most effective way to thaw Spam.

How can I tell if Spam has gone off?

If you notice any strange odours, changes in colour or appearance, strange flavours or changes in texture such as sliminess or excessive dryness, this is an indication that the Spam is spoiled. In such cases, it is best to throw it away to avoid possible food poisoning.