What Is SPAM Made Of?
SPAM can get a bad rap. It comes in a can and looks a little strange when it first emerges. And what is SPAM made of, anyway?
But those who avoid this unique culinary item are missing out on a world of delicious flavor that’s easy to cook and great on the go!
Let’s dig in and take a closer look.
What Is This Mystery Meat?
SPAM is a canned lunch meat product that’s been around more than 80 years, delighting those daring enough to try it and becoming the butt of jokes for others (like the infamous Monty Python sketch.)
A Brief History of SPAM
Hormel created it at the end of the Great Depression to find a use for pork shoulder, which was an undesirable and unprofitable cut at the time. After initially advertising to homemakers looking for quick, no-prep meat with no luck, SPAM found major success with the U.S. Army during World War II.
The shelf-stable meat proved an excellent meal for troops on the go.
SPAM has gone in and out of style (mostly out) over the past few decades but has remained a fixture on supermarket shelves worldwide, with dedicated fans who have found various uses for this iconic meat.
What Is It Actually Made Of?
SPAM can look a little unusual, but its ingredients are fairly straightforward – pork and ham meat, salt, water, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrite (which acts as a preservative.)
That’s it. The answer to what is SPAM made of is less than ten ingredients and nothing out of the ordinary.
Now, let’s cook with SPAM!
Delicious Camp Cooking Recipes
SPAM is an excellent protein for campers, RVers, or others on the go due to its portability, lack of need for refrigeration, and low price point. Here are some ways to turn that simple can of SPAM into a classy camp meal!
#1 – Three Ingredient SPAM and Eggs
It’s hard to beat this meal for a hearty, simple, and fast breakfast. First, cube the meat and lightly brown it in a skillet. Then add some double cream and eggs, and scramble! In only a few minutes, your creamy, savory breakfast will be ready to go.
The SPAM serves the role of bacon or sausage here, allowing you to take your favorite breakfast scramble on the go much more easily. Better yet, there’s next to no cleanup since it all cooks in one pan!
#2 – SPAM Foil Packet Breakfast
Foil packet meals are always great for effortless cooking with minimal cleanup. Spread some melted butter or cooking spray over your foil. Add some pre-made hash browns, chunks of SPAM, and an egg. Next, cover it all with a slice of cheese.
Then, fold it up and toss it on the grill or the fire for about 15 minutes. Your all-in-one breakfast is ready to go!
#3 – SPAM Quesadilla
Add a little Mexican flair to your breakfast (or lunch) with this quesadilla, another super simple and versatile recipe. To start, dice up some SPAM and brown it in a pan. Meanwhile, add your large tortilla to another pan and add cheese.
Once the meat is browned, throw it onto the tortilla, add more cheese, and top it off with another tortilla. Lastly, give it a flip to make sure the cheese has melted, and dig in!
This is a great recipe to expand on, depending on what you have available. Try adding jalapenos, black beans, mushrooms, corn, or more to add even more flair to this delicious and savory quesadilla. They’re also a great choice to make ahead for a quick lunch or snack on the go!
#4 – Chili SPAM and Eggs
For a real burst of flavor, Chili SPAM and Eggs may be the right choice for you. This recipe involves frying up diced SPAM with vegetables, chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices to create a delicious chili that’s ready to eat in less than 40 minutes.
In addition, all of the cooking happens in one pan, making it a great camping recipe or pick for a quick-cleanup meal. Certainly, no one could dig into this complex and flavorful chili and ever have any doubts about what SPAM is made of.
#5 – SPAM Fried Rice
A nice carby bowl of fried rice may be just what you need after a long day camping, and you’ll love the protein and flavor that SPAM brings to the dish. This particular recipe is geared toward backpackers, but feel free to substitute real eggs for the egg crystals if you have them available.
First, rehydrate or add water to your veggies and add your flavorings.
Then, add the instant rice to your cooking pan, and let simmer until the water is absorbed. Meanwhile, dice and brown the meat, then scramble your eggs using the leftover fat. Add both of these to your rice and veggie mixture and dig in!
SPAM is a wonderfully versatile, affordable, and portable meat. So, get over your fear about it’s made of and bring some on your next camping trip! You’ll surprise and delight your friends and family with all the flavor you can pull out of one little can.
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But I don’t put tin foil near any of our food. ❤️🦋🌀
Thanks for the SPAM review. Grew up with it 60 years ago and have used it camping over many years. Been known to carry it in my hunting pack with crackers and good cheddar cheese. Great survival food. Slice it, fry it, couple off eggs and toast and a cup of coffee. It’s been breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of the flavored SPAM is good as well like the Chorizo, bacon is another.
There is no tin in foil or the SPAM can. That was stopped in the 50’s.
It’s the aluminum that I take issue with.