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Q&A: How to cook Spam?

Spam is a versatile pantry staple you can use to whip up a quick yet hearty breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. If you are wondering how to cook spam (or does spam need to be cooked?), this article covers whether you can eat Spam uncooked, and some of the best ways to cook spam. 

Cooked spam on a plate with rice and scrambled eggs.
How to cook spam.

Spam is a brand of canned, processed pork and ham. Because it is canned it is handy to keep in the pantry, and can be used in many different recipes for a quick and satisfying meal.

You can slice it and cook it in a similar way to ham steaks, or try substituting Spam for ham in your favorite recipe. 

Read on for some more ideas on how to cook Spam. 

Can you eat Spam raw?

Yes, you can eat Spam without cooking it first. 

Spam is pre-cooked and pasturized during the canning process. This means it is safe to eat raw, or straight from the can if you want to. 

However, most people cook Spam before eating it, and this article covers some of the most popular ways you can cook Spam. 

Luncheon meat vs. Spam

Spam is a type of luncheon meat – all Spam is luncheon meat but not all luncheon meat is Spam. 

Luncheon meat is any kind of meat that is typically cured and precooked. Deli meats, cold cuts, and canned meats (including Spam) are all “luncheon meats”. 

Spam is also a brand name.

Is Spam corned beef? 

No, though both are canned processed meat products, Spam is made from ground pork and ham, whereas corned beef is made from beef. 

1. How to fry Spam

Probably the most popular way to cook Spam is to fry it on the stove. Because it has a high fat content it will brown and crisp up nicely. 

You can pan fry slices (see recipe below for details), and serve them like steak or with scrambled eggs and rice (a popular breakfast in Hawaii). Alternatively, cut the Spam into sticks and make spam fries to serve as a snack or appetizer with a dipping sauce. 

Another popular way to fry Spam is to make Spam fried rice. 

Add cubes of spam to your favorite fried rice recipe around 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, or try this recipe for California Spam Fried Rice

2. How to cook Spam in the oven

You can easily bake spam in the oven. You can bake it directly on a sheet pan (see recipe below for more details), with a glaze or seasoning of your choice.

Or, try adding it to a pasta bake. Cut the spam into cubes and stir into the pasta bake just before you put it in the oven. Or try adding it to this easy cauliflower mac and cheese recipe

3. How to cook spam in microwave  

You may be wondering can you microwave spam? 

Yes you can. In fact, this is probably the quickest and easiest way to heat spam. 

This is a good option if you want to make a grilled cheese and spam sandwich, as grilling cold spam between slices of bread will not heat it through quickly enough.  

How to cook Spam recipe card

Cooked spam on a plate with rice and scrambled eggs.

How to Cook Spam (3 ways)

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How to cook spam 3 different ways.
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 15 minutes
Servings 6 Servings


  • 12 oz Spam 1 can
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of seasoning or glaze


  • Remove spam from the can and slice into ½ inch thick slices. 

Pan fry spam

  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a skillet over a medium heat. 
  • Fry the Spam slices for 2-3 minutes each side until they are golden brown and crispy. 

Bake spam

  • Preheat oven to 360°F/ 180°C. Spread the Spam slices on a sheet pan and drizzle or brush with glaze or sprinkle with seasoning.  
  • Bake Spam in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. 

Microwave spam

  • Spread Spam slices on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 30 seconds. 


Serving: 1Calories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 8gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 1551mgSugar: 5g

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I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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