If you love Spam then you likely know it has a long shelf-life. But you may be wondering how to store Spam after opening. We’ve set out to answer that question and more in today’s post. So, let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
- What Is Spam?
- How Long Will Spam Last After Opening?
- Can You Refrigerate Unused Spam?
- Can You Freeze Spam After Opening?
- How to Thaw Spam
- How to Tell If Spam Is Bad After Opening
- Storing Spam After Opening Is Easy!
What Is Spam?
Spam is a meat product made of portions of pork meat that can be used on sandwiches, quesadillas, stir fry, and more. It originated in 1937 and helped fill the need for meat products that were budget-friendly at the end of the Great Depression. Even today, Spam remains a popular pick, and in fact, has recently seen a surge in popularity as people seek ways to stock their shelves with cheap and shelf-stable meat.
How Long Will Spam Last After Opening?
After opening, Spam will remain at room temperature for 2 hours before spoiling. Remember, that this isn’t only true of Spam meat, but is often true of many perishable items such as meat, eggs, dairy, and more.
With that said, you’ll want to refrigerate your Spam after opening it. Like many other foods, Spam will eventually go bad and will grow bacteria that can ultimately make you sick. The risks of eating old or rotten Spam include symptoms of foodborne illness which include:
- Low-Grade Fever
- Abdominal Cramping
See your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms for more than a few days. In the meantime, drink plenty of water and eat bland foods until you can get back on the right track.
Can You Refrigerate Unused Spam?
Does Spam Need to Be Refrigerated After Opening?
Although Spam is canned and is known for its ridiculously long shelf life (around 2-5 years post-manufacturing date), the fact of the matter is that Spam can and will go bad if you let it sit too long at room temperature. Therefore, you will, indeed, need to refrigerate your Spam.
In order to refrigerate your Spam properly, you’ll want to ensure a few things.
First of all, never refrigerate your Spam in the can it came in. By throwing the Spam can in the fridge without proper coverage, you allow air and particles in your fridge to affect the meat which can render it dry, oddly flavored, and susceptible to bacteria.
Instead, we recommend that you store your Spam in an airtight container on its own until it is ready to eat. Bear in mind that this sort of storage will not keep your Spam good indefinitely–it will however store your Spam in such a way that it tastes as fresh and delicious as it first did when you opened the can.
Another way to potentially store Spam in the refrigerator is to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil as a last resort. Both methods work well, although plastic wrap will likely work better.
How Long Does Opened Spam Last in the Fridge?
Opened Spam will last in the fridge for about 3-5 days. During this time you’ll want to note any changes in texture, smell, or color. Of course, if your Spam tastes funny or offensive, you’ll want to be sure to pitch it immediately.
Remember that prior to being opened, Spam will last quite a while on your shelf– a few years to be exact. With that said, we advise you to either consume your Spam quickly after opening it or resort to freezing your Spam which can further extend its shelf-life so you won’t have to throw it away.
Later on in this post, we will discover exactly how to freeze your Spam so that you can enjoy it freely months down the road!
Does Spam Go Bad in the Fridge?
Yes, Spam can go bad in the fridge.
While it may seem that placing some items in the fridge will preserve them much longer, the truth is that most items will eventually spoil if left in the fridge long enough. Therefore, you’ll only want to store your Spam in the fridge for no longer than 3-5 days for the best quality.
If you don’t mind the taste or texture change of Spam after these 3–5 days have passed, then you may safely continue to consume open and refrigerated Spam for 7-10 days. Beyond that, your Spam is likely no longer safe to eat.
Remember that perishable items, like Spam, will eventually go bad, even in the fridge. Placing an item in the refrigerator doesn’t stop decay, but it does slow the process. As such, you’ll want to keep your eye on your Spam while it is in the refrigerator and never consume Spam that doesn’t look, smell, or taste the way it should, no matter the length of time it’s been refrigerated.
Can You Freeze Spam After Opening?
Yes, you can freeze Spam after opening it! In fact, this is one of the best ways to store your Spam if you don’t plan on consuming it within a couple of days–or even if you do!
This is because freezing can stop the decaying process and can, technically, keep your Spam edible indefinitely.
To freeze Spam, you can simply remove the Spam from its can and place it in a freezer bag before placing it in your freezer. However, since Spam has to be sliced, we actually recommend that you slice it into individual portions before adding it to your freezer bag in a single layer and tossing it in the freezer.
The reason? Freezing your Spam altogether in one chunk may make it difficult to consume without consuming the entire portion at once. By slicing the Spam first, you can remove from the freezer only what you need and keep the rest frozen for later.
How Long Does Spam Last in the Freezer?
Spam lasts in the freezer at best quality for about 2-3 months. During this time, your Spam will continue to look, taste, and smell like fresh Spam even after thawing (assuming that you used the correct thawing methods). After the 2-3 month time period, however, your Spam may begin to lose its normal texture and taste, although it should still be fine to consume. Just be sure to keep your freezer at 0 degrees Fareinheght (or -18 degrees Celsius) to ensure your goods stay frozen and fresh.
How to Thaw Spam
Thawing Spam, and most other meats, are best done in the fridge.
To do so, grab your Spam out of the freezer and place it in a flat dish or plate on the lowest level shelf in your fridge to unthaw for at least 24 hours or more depending on the thickness and quantity of your Spam. If you aren’t able to consume all of the unthawed meat, you can refreeze the Spam provided that the thawed meat has not sat at room temperature for over two hours.
We do not recommend you thaw your Spam at room temperature as doing so is connected to bacterial growth and increased chance of sickness.
How to Tell If Spam Is Bad After Opening
There are several ways to know if Spam is bad after opening.
The first, is to look at the can and sell-by-date. If it has been more than 5 years since the printed sell-by-date, you’ll likely want to throw it out. In addition, if the an is bulging, dented, or has a dome-shaped top, then the meat on the inside may be spoiled and it may be time to pitch it.
Other more obvious ways to tell if Spam is bad after opening is to observe its taste, smell, and overall texture. If your Spam tastes funny, has an odd texture, or has turned brown, gray, green, or tan, it is in your best interest to throw it out.
Remember that not all foods that go bad show signs of spoilage. This is why following the date stamped on the exterior of certain products is so important. No matter what, always store your Spam as directed and never consume Spam that was housed in a damaged can.
You can choose to refrigerate Spam for 10 days or less (3-5 days for best quality) to store it. You can also freeze your Spam. Doing so will give it a shelf life of 3 months at the best quality.
Check the can sell by date. Smell the meat; is it off? The color should be pink, not gray or anything else. Lastly, is the spam slimy or sticky? These are all good indicators that you should throw your Spam away.
Storing Spam After Opening Is Easy!
Overall, storing Spam after opening is an easy process. You can either refrigerate your Spam for no more than 10 days (3-5 days for best quality) or you can choose to freeze your Spam which will last about 3 months in the freezer at the best quality.
Whichever you choose, make sure that you look over your Spam before you eat it to observe its overall texture, color, and smell if you aren’t sure of its freshness.
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