Can You Microwave Spam? Yes, But How To Make It More Delicious?

The savory flavor of a hot slice of spam is one of those things that you will always look forward to. Whether you are out camping or in the house, spam is one of those comforting foods that can uplift your spirits. Plus, you can use it to make various other amazing recipes.

But what happens when you do not have the time to heat it in the oven? Can you microwave spam? The answer is yes. But you should follow safe steps to get your delicious spam, or the taste of spam will be awful and you may hurt yourself.

So in this article, we not only talk about the detailed steps, but we also show you some delicious recipes that cook with spam. First, it is important to know what spam is, and what the right taste of spam should be.

What is Spam, and What Does It Taste Like?

Spam is processed and canned pork. It was first introduced by Hormel Foods Corporation in 1937. It is usually made from pork shoulder and ham. Other key ingredients include potato starch, sugar, salt, and sodium nitrite.

Spam has a truly delightful flavor. It tastes like salty ham and is a little spicy. It is quite moist, and its texture is close to bologna or sausage patties. 

Also, note that there are different flavors of spam. So the taste will sometimes depend on the particular flavor and ingredients used.

can you microwave spam

How to Microwave Spam?

You can microwave spam in 5 easy steps that will only take a few minutes. Here is a detailed overview of these steps:

What You Will Need

  • A can of spam
  • Microwave-safe dish
  • Can opener

Step 1: Take it Out of The Can

Spam will come in a meta can which is not suitable for microwaving. And so, the first step should always be to take it out of the container.

Most spam cans have a key or handheld tab on the lid. You will only need to pull the tab to open such cans. But some will not have them, so you have to use a can opener. You should be careful when using a can opener and other tools to open the can. There will be some sharp edges that can cut you.

Once the can is open, you should flip it upside and give the bottom a few smacks. The spam should slide out gently.

Pro Tip: Use a paper towel to handle the spam when removing it from the can. This will help prevent your hands from getting greasy.

Step 2: Slice the Spam

Spam usually comes as a huge 12-ounce chunk. Technically, it is possible to microwave all of it at once, but it will not work well for what you are cooking. You should hence always start by cutting it into thin slices or cubes.

You will need a sharp nice to cut spam. A sharp knife makes the job easier and ensures you get nice and uniform slices.

Pro Tip: Go with thin slices if you want to make spam sandwiches. Cubed spam works best for tacos and other dishes like fried rice.

Step 3: Place it in a Microwave-Safe Dish

You should then place spam in a microwave-safe dish. Here you do not have to use any specific dish or plate type. Anything that works on a microwave should be okay.

Spam can be quite greasy. It can leave a residue on the dish or make a mess. But you can use microwave-safe parchment paper. Or you can spray some oil on the dish before adding the spam.

Pro Tip: Do not overfill the dish to ensure the spam heats up fast and evenly. It is always better to have the spam in a single layer where possible.

Step 4: Set the Time and Temperature

Spam is already cooked. And you do not need to pay much attention to the temperature when microwaving. Furthermore, most microwaves set the temperature automatically. You can only adjust it by changing the power level.

The time depends on the amount of spam you are microwaving. But around 15 to 20 seconds per slice is optimal. You should check once the initial time has elapsed. If the spam is still not hot enough, you can keep adding 10 seconds until it cooks to your liking.

Pro Tip: Experiment with different times and temperatures. Do this until you find the ideal settings for microwaving spam.

Step 5: Allow Spam to Cool for a Minute

Spam can get super hot in the microwave. It will be hard to handle and can burn your mouth if you try eating it right away. So it is always wise to give it a minute to cool down.

Also, spam is quite greasy. When hot, the grease makes it hard to hold or cut. Allowing it to cool for a while ensures the grease solidifies a little. So you will have an easier time handling it.

Serve and enjoy your spam once it is cool enough!

How Long Should You Microwave Spam?

The time needed to microwave spam depends on the microwave’s power and the spam amount you are heating. But it is always best to start with a small amount of time. You can then increase the time if need be until the spam is hot enough.

If you are cooking a single slice of ham, microwave it for 15 to 20 seconds. Multiple slices will take around a minute. Frozen spam can take up to 3 minutes to defrost and heat.

How to Make Spam Crispier

How you cook your spam determines how crispy it gets. But there are some easy ways to make it crispier. They include deep frying and cooking it in a skillet.

Deep frying can give you the crispiest spam, but it also increases the calories. If you do not mind the extra calories, you should deep fry spam slices at 375°F. It will take around 2 minutes to cook. But you can just cook it until it is brown and crispy enough.

The skillet method keeps the calories down. Here you only need to cut the spam into slices and heat the skillet over medium heat. You should add a little oil and cook the spam for 2 minutes on each side until they are crispy.

How to Season Spam

Spam is already quite flavorful in its original state. Most people will hence hardly ever need to add any extra seasoning. Still, you can season it to suit your taste or the dish you are cooking.

You should get creative and experiment with different seasonings. This allows you to make spam more flavorful. For instance, you can season it with a garlic and herb mix(oregano or basil). Also, you can use your favorite hot sauce or sriracha to make the spam spicier.

Other seasonings like soy sauce and brown sugar, teriyaki and chili, and lime are also perfect. It all depends on the specific flavor you want to achieve.

3 Easy Spam Recipes

1. Spam Sandwich

Spam Sandwich

When you are craving spam but don’t have a lot of time to cook, a spam sandwich will be perfect. A spam sandwich is super easy to make. It is just meaty enough and a little bit sweet. The savory salty flavor and chewy texture of spam make the sandwich even more delightful.


  • Spam slices
  • Bread
  • Cheese (optional)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 lettuce leaf
  • Mayonnaise

How to Make Spam Sandwich

Start by heating your pan at medium heat. Once the pan is hot enough, you should add the spam slices and cook each side for 2 minutes.

Next, spread the mayonnaise on one side of the bread slices. You can now start layering the sandwich. The lettuce and tomato slices should go first. You can then add the cheese slices if you are using them. Finish with the spam before placing the other slice of bread.

Also, you can toast the sandwich by cooking each side on the pan for 2 minutes. But, if you don’t like your sandwiches toasted, you can serve it like that.

Pro Tip: Customize the sandwich using different bread and topping types. Also, try grilling the spam instead of pan-frying for a different flavor and texture.

2. Spam with Scrambled Eggs

Spam with Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are delicious, especially when cooked with cream and butter. Adding spam to the mix makes the flavor more intense. The savory flavor and saltiness of spam will elevate your scrambled eggs. Also, spam gives the eggs a better texture and slight crunch, making them more enjoyable.


  • Spam sliced into small cubes
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Seasoning

How to Make Spam with Scrambled Eggs

Heat a skillet or work over medium heat and then add the olive oil. You can also use a tablespoon of butter instead of olive oil. Allow the oil to heat up before adding the spam. Cook the spam for a couple of minutes or until it is evenly browned.

As the spam cooks, you should beat your eggs in a bowl. Add the cream to your eggs and your favorite seasoning. Salt and pepper should be enough seasoning for most people. You should then add the eggs to the spam. Keep stirring until they are cooked and scrambled to the doneness you prefer.

Pro Tip: Add diced veggies like bell peppers and mushrooms to the spam before adding eggs. This will add some extra flavor and nutrition.

3. Spam Tacos

Spam Tacos

You can grill spam strips and use them to replace your usual taco protein. Spam adds a unique dimension to your tacos. And it can be quite delicious. Especially when topped with guacamole and tasty sauce. 


  • Thinly sliced/diced spam
  • Finely chopped onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Diced tomato
  • 4 small tortillas
  • Shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Creamy cilantro lemon sauce (optional)

How to Make Spam Tacos

Heat your skillet over medium heat before adding your spam pieces. You should then cook the spam until it gets brown and crispy. Once cooked, remove the spam and set it aside.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the same skilled and saute the onion and garlic. Cook the onions until they are translucent, and then add back the spam. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

You should heat the tortillas in a different skillet as the spam mixture cooks. Once they are well heated, you can start assembling the tacos. Start with the tortilla mixture. Top it with tomatoes and shredded cheese. Finish with the creamy cilantro lemon sauce.

Pro Tip: Elevate your spam tacos by adding toppings such as jalapeno or cilantro

Can you Air Fry Spam?

Yes, you can air-fry spam. Air frying can make it crispy without having to use too much oil, it’s healthier than traditional cooking methods. You only need a few drops of oil. Or you can even air frying without any oil at all. We recommend you choose an air fryer according to your family size.

Here is how to do it:

Start by slicing the spam and seasoning it with your favorite spices. You should then preheat the air fryer to 375°F- 400°F. The actual temperature depends on how hot your air fryer gets. Next, place the spam slices in the basket and set the timer to 8-10 minutes to start cooking.

Remember to flip the spam slices at the halfway mark (after 4-5 minutes). Flipping ensures more even cooking. Cook for the remaining time or until you achieve the desired crispiness.

Note: The exact air frying time will depend on the thickness of the spam slices. Also, it depends on the crispiness you want. The thicker the slices and the crispier you want them, the longer you have to air fry them.

Is Spam Already Cooked?

The ingredients are cooked and canned through a process known as retort cooking. The main aim of retort cooking is to obtain commercial sterilization. But it also extends the shelf life of spam. It usually involves cooking the spam under high heat and pressure inside the can.  

Is it Safe to Eat Spam Without Cooking?

Spam is a cooked, canned meat product. So it is perfectly safe to eat it straight from the can without cooking it first. But there are so many advanced appliances nowadays, you can choose an air fryer microwave combo to cook it, as the name says, it can both air fryer and microwave your food.

Still, you need to handle and store it properly, especially after opening the can. Proper handling helps prevent growth and contamination by harmful bacteria and other organisms.

You should always keep spam refrigerated at all times. Also, once you open the can, you should transfer it to a covered container and ensure you eat it within a few days. But you can also freeze any open spam that you do not intend to eat within a few days. Freezing helps extend its shelf life.

can you eat spam without cooking

Can You Cook Spam in the Oven?

Yes, you can cook spam in the oven. It is one of the most popular ways of cooking spam. Many people prefer this method as it simplifies things. 

You should preheat the oven to 350°F-400°F. Next, slice the spam and arrange the thin slices on a baking tray. You can line the tray with a baking sheet to prevent sticking. Bake the spam for around 10 minutes or until it is crispy and brown.

Remember that spam is already cooked. You should be careful not to overcook. The goal should be just to heat and crisp the spam.

Can You Cook Spam in the Can?

Technically it is possible to cook spam in a can. Remember that spam was cooked in a can in the first place during processing. But, it is not recommended to cook it in a can.

Cooking spam in the can is dangerous. Cans are not designed to be cooking vessels. They can easily rupture or explode. 

Besides the risk of explosions, the high heat and pressure can affect the texture and taste. It is always better to remove the spam from the can before cooking. This also gives you more control over the cooking temperature and time.

Other Ways of Cooking Spam

There are still many other ways of cooking spam. Remember that spam is already cooked, so you can heat it using almost any cooking method. But here is an overview of the 3 other good ways of cooking spam:

1. Stir-fry

Stir-frying spam allows you to sear the spam quickly and lock in all the moisture. This way, you can get a crispy exterior while keeping the interior tender. The high heat also speeds up cooking. It should only take a few minutes to stir-fry standard-size spam slices.

Another benefit of stir-frying is that you can easily enhance the flavor. You can add sauces and spices to the spam as it stir-fries. Also, stir-frying allows you to add other ingredients to the spam. You can add veggies and grains to create a more delightful meal.

How to Stir-Fry Spam

Start by cutting the spam into thin slices or cubes, depending on your preference. You should then heat a small amount of oil in a large frying pan or wok.

Allow the oil to heat up for a few seconds before adding the spam. Stir the spam constantly and cook it for around 2 minutes or until it is brown enough.

Pro Tip: Add some veggies to the spam or your favorite seasoning. Stir-fried spam always tastes better with extra seasonings and veggies.

2. Bake

Baking spam is a good choice if you want a mess-free cooking method. It produces little sputter. And you never have to worry about spills.

But the biggest benefit of baking spam is that it is not hands-on. You can pop the spam into the oven and attend to other things. You do not have to keep stirring.

Also, baking is healthier. You do not need to use any oil when baking spam. And the spam will cook more evenly. The oven has both top and bottom heating elements. This ensures the spam will be heated from all directions.

How to Bake Spam

You can bake spam even without slicing it, but it takes longer to cook. Also, the inside might heat poorly. Hence always start by cutting it into small cubes or thin slices.

Once the spam is cut, you should preheat the oven to around 400°F. Arrange the spam on your parchment paper-lined pan. Keep them in a single layer for even cooking. 

Brush the spam with a little oil and sprinkle some seasoning before adding it to the oven. Cook for 10 minutes or until it is perfectly browned.

Pro Tip: Place the spam under the broiler for a few minutes after baking. Broiling helps make the exterior crispy.

cook spam recipes

3. Pan Fry

Pan frying is also a quick and easy way of cooking spam. It is a good method if you do not have a wok or oven, as you can use your regular pan.

Also, pan frying exposes the spam to high heat. This allows it to sear and lock in all the moisture. And so you end up with a crispy exterior and tender interior.

How to Pan-Fry Spam

Pan-frying spam is straightforward. It is similar to pan frying any other food type. And like all the methods we have looked at, you should start by cutting spam into slices or cubes.

You should then heat up the pan. Once the pan is hot enough, you can add the spam. Fry each side for around 2 minutes. You can fry it a little longer if you want it to get crispier and brown. Also, make sure the slices or cubes are heated before taking them out.

Final Thoughts

So, what is the verdict? Can you microwave spam?

Well, it should now be clear that it is perfectly okay to microwave spam. Microwaving spam is one of the best ways to reduce cooking time. It is a perfect method for heating spam when in a hurry.

There are still many other ways of cooking spam. You can stir-fry, bake or even pan-fry your spam. Ultimately the goal should always be to make it as tasty as possible. Besides cooking it well, you can achieve this by combining it with other dishes.

Comment below if you still have any questions, you can also share another spam recipe with us!

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