A lot of people love Spam while others can do without it. The idea of canned meat isn’t really for everyone.
Whatever your opinion may be, however, there is simply no denying that it is one of the most widely consumed products around. For a lot of people, Spam is a staple in the pantry.
This is primarily due to its incredible versatility and accessible price. It is impressive when you think about how such a simple canned meat can fit seamlessly into a wide variety of recipes.
For instance, you can use it to cook breakfast or any sort of quick snack. That is why it is so popular!
Because it is a canned good, you can expect Spam to last you a long time. However, what happens to the Spam after you open the can? Can you save it to enjoy another day?
Can you freeze Spam? Yes, it is perfectly safe to freeze Spam. It is best to slice it and store only a few slices at a time. If frozen properly, Spam can last about three months, or even more.
Luckily, we are here to lend a hand. We’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about Spam and the proper way to freeze it. So, be sure to keep reading!
What Is Spam?
There is a common misconception that Spam is a kind of mystery meat, meaning it is impossible to know what it is made of, sort of like a bad hot dog brand.
Needless to say, nothing can be further from the truth! To dispel this misconception, we’ll need to take a closer look at what this stuff is made of.
By doing so, we’ll also be able to shed some light on other important matters like why it has such a long shelf life. With that listed below are some of the main ingredients used to make Spam:
- Potato Starch
- Sodium Nitrite
As you can see, there is no mystery to it. The meat Spam is made of is a simple combination of pork and ham.
Modified potato starch acts as a binding agent to ensure that everything sticks together and doesn’t come apart. The salt and sugar provide additional flavor to the mixture, and perhaps add to the shelf-life.
The sodium nitrite is an important component to Spam. It acts primarily as a preservative. It preserves the meat’s flavor and coloring while also preventing it from going bad.
It does this in two ways. First, it hinders bacterial growth. At the same time, it stops the oxidation process that usually occurs with the fats and lipids in the meat.
Similarly, the potato starch also plays another role. Aside from acting as a binding agent, it is also used to ensure the consistency of flavor, texture, and viscosity through the whole block of meat. Moreover, it also prevents the meat from undergoing any rapid or volatile change in acidity and temperature.
Take note that storage is crucial if you want to ensure that your Spam stays as fresh as possible. Make sure that you put your cans in a dark and dry environment. Your pantry or your cupboards should be able to work well enough.
If you notice any dents or leaks on the can, simply throw it away. It is not worth the risk.
How Do You Store Leftover Spam?
The overview above should be enough to explain why Spam is able to last so long in the can. Yet, this still doesn’t answer what happens once it is out of its original packaging.
What exactly should you do with your leftover Spam?
For that there are two methods available to you. You can choose between freezing and refrigeration.
This is altogether unsurprising considering that leaving leftover meat in any form at room temperature for extended periods should never be an option! Doing so is an easy way to get food poisoning.
Freezing Leftover Spam, Step By Step
If you are looking to further extend the shelf-life of your leftover Spam, you can never go wrong with freezing.
After all, this method has been proven as the most effective way to ensure that food doesn’t go to waste. It is unsurprising to see that it also works well with Spam.
Of course, the last thing you want is to simply stick your Spam back into its can and leave it in your freezer. That will surely lead to more problems down the road. Instead, you have to ensure that you follow the correct way approach.
To freeze your delicious spam, follow these steps closely:
1. Slice your Spam. The first thing you need to do is divide your leftover spam into defined portions. This way, you won’t need to thaw a whole block of meat every time.
2. Prepare your Sealable Freezer-Safe Bags. Line the inside of your freezer-safe bags with wax paper. This will prevent the Spam from sticking to the bags and to each other once it is in the freezer.
3. Place Spam in Sealable Freezer-Safe Bags. As a rule, you should never overstuff your bags. You should also divide your leftovers so that each bag contains a single serving of Spam. Around 3-4 slices per bag should be perfect.
4. Label the Bags. Make sure that the freezing date is clearly indicated on the bag as well as its contents. This will come in handy later on, trust us. After all, it is incredibly easy to lose track of the stuff we stick in our freezers.
5. Place Bags in the Freezer. Place your bags in the freezer. If you are freezing multiple batches, be sure to stack them on top of one another so that you know where they are.
How Long Will Leftover Spam Last in the Freezer?
Now, you may be wondering, how long your delicious Spam will last once it’s in the freezer. If you followed the instructions carefully, then you should have no trouble.
If properly frozen, Spam should be able to maintain its best quality for as long as 3 months. However, when kept consistently frozen, it is probably safe to eat for even longer.
Freezing serves as a long-term storage solution for your leftover Spam. However, if you are planning on consuming your leftovers within the week, then know that this may not be the best way to go. This is because the process of thawing your Spam will be a tedious and time-consuming process.
If you want to eat your Spam soon, you should try refrigerating it.
Refrigerating Leftover Spam
The second storage method for your leftover Spam is refrigeration. If done properly, your Spam can maintain its best quality for about 4 days to a week in the refrigerator.
There is a bit of wiggle room here as the storage conditions will have a large impact on its longevity.
At the same time, it is also worth noting that there are two approaches to refrigeration that you can follow.
The first is much simpler, but not as effective. It entails sticking your leftover Spam back in the can and covering it with cling wrap. The second method requires the use of food containers.
Needless to say, the first method doesn’t require much effort. However, you should also know that there are drawbacks to this approach as you are effectively cutting corners here. While it should do the job adequately, you may end up sacrificing quality over convenience.
Of course, the choice is ultimately up to you. However, considering that the second method isn’t all that complicated, we recommend that you also give it a try.
For those who are adamant about keeping their leftover Spam in top shape, then make sure to follow the steps below when refrigerating it:
1. Slice your leftover Spam. To make things easier later on, we recommend that you slice your leftover spam into equal pieces. This will make things easier when you decide to take them out later. At the same time, it also saves you the effort of having to cut your Spam every time the cravings hit you.
2. Prepare your Sealable Plastic Container. Next, you will need to take some waxed paper and line the bottom of your plastic container.
3. Place the Leftover Spam in the Plastic Container. Make sure that your slices are evenly spaced out.
4. Place Container in the Refrigerator. Place your container in an accessible section of your fridge. This is to ensure that they are as handy as possible. After all, no one likes fumbling around the fridge first thing in the morning.
As you can see, the second refrigeration method shares similarities to the freezing method.
The main difference is that refrigeration will never be able to keep your leftover Spam in top shape in the way that freezing can. At best, you Spam will stay tasty for about a week.
How Do You Thaw Leftover Spam?
There are three different ways to do this. Namely, you can place it in the microwave, leave it overnight in the refrigerator.
We recommend that you use your refrigerator to thaw your leftover Spam as it gives you more flexibility in terms of how to consume the Spam. Never thaw your Spam in the microwave. Thawing at room temperature is also not a great idea.
If you can’t wait overnight to enjoy your Spam, thaw it in cold water in a bowl or in the sink. Keep the Spam in its freezer bag or container and change the water every 30 minutes or so.
How Can You Tell if Spam Is Spoiled?
Look for any off odors, changes in color and appearance, as well as strange flavors. If you notice mold growth, make sure to get rid of it immediately.
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