The popular spam meat product comprises chunks of pork you can use in many fresh meat dishes, including stir fry, quesadillas, and sandwiches. It first appeared in 1937, just before the time of World War II, and it served to meet the demand for affordable meat products at the end of the Great Depression.
Even today, many still choose Spam as it fits in with many other cured meats. The United States Department of Agriculture claims that unopened, properly-stored Spam lasts indefinitely and can be eaten well passed its sell-by date.
Spam, however, only keeps fresh for three to five days after being opened before going bad if your spam storage methods are not ideal. You can consume Spam within two weeks of opening to ensure the highest quality, or it dries and loses flavor.
In our guide, you can learn the ideal spam storage methods and how often is a can of Spam opened and not finished in one sitting. By the end, you’ll see how to care for your tin of Spam and, ultimately, how long is Spam good for before going bad and causing food poisoning. (Learn How Long Does KFC Chicken Last In The Fridge)
Do You Need To Refrigerate Spam Canned Meat After Opening?
The high salt content and sodium nitrite included in Spam and many other cured meat prevent bacterial growth. However, potato starch, ground pork, and sugar are other ingredients in Spam, all of which serve as a feast for germs.
With opened Spam, leftover Spam has to be chilled. Heat is used during canning to eliminate bacteria, and then the Spam is sealed within a can so that no other germs can access it. By opening the can, germs can only be halted by cold temperatures; thus, you need to refrigerate unused Spam.
How to Store Spam After Opening
Here’s a breakdown of how to store Spam after opening.
Keep Spam in the fridge:
After you’ve opened Spam, this is the most typical way to store Spam. Your refrigerated Spam will stay fresh for three to five days by just placing it in the refrigerator. You’ve started a battle against deterioration as soon as your Spam container is opened. That process will slow longer in the frigid refrigerator.
Spam and other perishables left at room temperature for as little as two hours will contain unsafe bacteria levels. Refrigeration cold confines this process but won’t stop it.
If you want opened spam to last longer, try freezing. Spam keeps its finest quality for up to six months after being frozen. Just place it in the fridge overnight to thaw before using.
Dehydrate and freeze:
If you love Spam, dehydrating is an excellent way to increase the spam shelf life. Before you cook Spam, you’ll need to rehydrate it in warm water. When properly kept, dehydrated Spam lasts for years when wrapped in wax paper and sealed in appropriate containers or Ziplock bags.
You can vacuum seal your Spam in the same way and freeze it so it lasts well beyond the sell-by date printed on the can.
How To Store Spam After Opening?
Dates marked “best by” are typically printed at the base of the container. The anticipated peak quality of the product is indicated by this date. The product is still safe to eat but may not taste as pleasant after this date. If you store it properly, it lasts for a very long time. (Learn How Long Do Grapes Last In The Fridge)
Here are extended details of how to extend the shelf life of your Spam.
1. Refrigerate Spam after opening:
The container base usually has “best by” dates. This date signifies product peak quality. After this date, the opened Spam is safe, but the taste will deteriorate. When following these instructions, you can increase shelf life for storing Spam properly.
- Take the desired amount of Spam out of the can, which means you can skip covering and uncovering the can each time you want to take a slice.
- Wrap each piece in aluminum foil or cling wrap, so the Spam stays moist and prevents drying.
- Slices of wrapped Spam need placing in an airtight container, which you keep in your refrigerator. Eat the opened Spam within 3 to 5 days for the best taste and texture before you end up with spoiled Spam.
2. Store spam in freezer.
If you want to keep Spam fresher longer, store it in the freezer for up to six months. In this instance, the term “shelf life ” means only the highest quality.” After that, there won’t be any risk of contamination. But the quality will have dropped. Wrap it tightly in foil or plastic wrap to avoid freezer burn.
Here’s the step-by-step guide:
Take the necessary amount from the opened Spam can. The intention is to prevent the Spam from coming into contact with the air, which could lead to drying out.
Lay the Spam thinly on a baking sheet covered in wax paper before you flash freeze spam to store.
To prevent them from sticking together in long-term storage, ensure the Spam slices don’t contact. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about two hours or once the Spam is completely frozen. To prevent freezer burn, once the food has been frozen, wrap each slice in foil or plastic film to help maintain the best quality.
Transfer the spam slices to a freezer-safe bag or an airtight container for storage. If you’re using freezer bags, remove as much air as possible before sealing. Adding to this, if you want long-term storage, and to maintain optimal freshness for one year, store in the freezer after you vacuum seal your Spam
You have a limited amount of time once the Spam is opened before it grows bacteria and goes bad. Dehydrating meat, which, when properly preserved, can survive for a longer period.
You can keep Spam at its best quality for up to six months by reducing the water content. Meat is susceptible to spoiling when contaminated with mold, bacteria, and yeast. Meat dehydration can prevent the growth of certain spoilage organisms.
The meat will stay longer and taste better after rehydration, thanks to this process. Additionally, it enhances the meat’s flavor, making it the ideal road trip, camping, and hiking snack. (Learn How Long Do Cucumbers Last At Room Temp)
Here’s the steps for storing Spam by dehydration:
- Slice or chop the opened Spam into bite-sized cubes, with slices about 1/4 inch thick.
- Set the dehydrator to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and place the slices on the tray. The meat will be preserved, and bacteria won’t thrive.
- Dry the meat for 6 to 8 hours or until dry.
- Note: It is acceptable if there is a little moisture in the center of the slices. The middle of the slice should remain moist to prevent muscle fibers from becoming tough. This moisture is crucial if you cook the Spam after dehydrating it.
- Store the bags or containers in the freezer after writing the date on the label.
- When it’s time to use it, soak the Spam in water to rehydrate it. It can survive up to two weeks if you keep it in the refrigerator. It can last up to five years if stored in the freezer.
Best Rehydrated Opened Spam Recipe?
Add rehydrated Spam to omelets or scrambled eggs for a meal high in protein. Add the Spam to the eggs in the final few minutes of cooking after lightly browning them.
Can you refrigerate dehydrated Spam for storage?
Spam can be refrigerated. Bacteria need moisture to grow; thus, dehydrating Spam kills any bacteria.
Dehydrated Spam is oily, so store it in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Spam will prevent fresh longer if stored properly.
Does Spam need refrigeration?
No. Opening cans introduces bacteria that ruin Spam. After opening Spam, refrigerate it and keep it in an airtight container.
Open canned foods stored at room temperature can still produce bacteria. Spam can be kept in your refrigerator in a tightly closed container or wrapped tightly in plastic.
How long does Spam last in the refrigerator?
Spam has a long shelf life and can be stored at room temperature unopened. Make sure it’s stored cool and dry. Spam’s sodium nitrite prevents spoilage. For optimal flavor and texture, place in the refrigerator and serve the food within 3-5 days after opening.
How long before Spam expires?
How long is Spam good for? These questions are valid since Spam goes bad. Spam has a longer shelf life than most other foods, yet it can spoil like other food.
Though it never spoils, it loses flavor and quality over time. Since Spam has no expiration date, consume it within 3-5 years of manufacturing.
After then, it will be safe to consume, but the taste and texture will worsen. Spam has a very long shelf life due to its high sodium content. Once opened, it must be refrigerated and consumed within three to five days. (Learn How Long Does Eggplant Last In Fridge)
Can you eat expired Spam?
Yes, you can eat expired Spam, provided the seal is intact and no bulging or puncture is present. Spam’s flavor and texture deteriorate if it is older than five years. As long as it has been appropriately stored, Spam will be safe to eat even after the expiration date. This is according to the foodsafety.gov website.
That means eating Spam a few weeks or even months after the expiration date is probably okay. However, the longer it sits, the more the quality will decline, so it’s best to eat it sooner rather than later.
How can you tell if Spam is bad?
Checking the color of the Spam should be your first step. You should throw it out if the hue had changed from when you initially opened it.
If the texture of the Spam has changed to something slimy or mushy, it has gone bad. If the Spam is sticky or gooey to the touch, discard it.
You can also smell the Spam to see whether it has gone rotten. Spam that has a rotten or sour odor has been spoilt. Discard it. Since no one wants to consume bad meat, getting rid of it is the best option.
Verify the date of expiration. Spam that is older than five years will taste and feel less fresh. It is advisable to trash it as a precaution.