Welcome to Jercol's Back to the Basics. This is where I will post useful information, tips, and gear reviews about what I learn about Outdoor Survival, Activities, and Disaster Preparation. My only goal is to be informative, realistic, and at least a little entertaining.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Spam vs Corned Beef

I read a post on the Survivalboards a while ago on which was a better canned meat product to store: Corned Beef or Spam.  I thought this was hilarious, so I decided to have a little fun and check this out myself.

Living in Hawaii, SPAM is almost a food group, yet I never really ate much of it.  Every once and a while when I was a kid my Dad would fry up a slice or two with eggs for breakfast.  Other than that I didn't really have an opinion either way and I'd never had Corned Beef in a can before.

When I bought them the Corned Beef was cheaper but that was because it was the smaller container.  The price per oz for the two cans was only a penny or two apart.  You might be able to find a better deal at costco or something, then maybe the price difference would be a deciding factor.

The Nutritional Info per 2oz serving:

Calories: SPAM 180, CB 160
Fat: SPAM 16g, CB 12g
Cholesterol: both had 40mg
Sodium: SPAM 790mg, CB 420mg
Carbs: SPAM 1g, CB 0g
Protein: SPAM 7g, CB 13g

I kind of considered the Nutritional Information to be a bit of a wash between the two.  The Corned Beef had slightly less Calories, Fat, and Sodium (not necessarily a good thing for survival scenario), but had more protein.  The difference between the two was just too close to tell definitively which was better.

Taste test:

Both of these can be eaten cold, out of the can.  I can't say I was looking forward to it but heating them up might not be an option if you ever had need for your canned stores.  When I opened the cans neither of them looked very appetizing, both looked like bad variations of wet dog food, slimy and chunky.  Yum.

The corned beef was surprisingly edible out of the can.  It was as if I had cooked some corned beef the night before and I was eating some of the left overs.  Not quite as good as the home made but not all that far off.

Eating the SPAM cold was like eating a cold, very salty, hot dog.  It's edible but not anything I would eat on a normal day.  Other than today, I guess.

The Corned Beef got better when it was cooked, even closer to home made.  I wouldn't mind eating this again.

The SPAM, when sliced up and fried, got even saltier.  It wasn't all that bad but it was REALLY salty.  In a survival scenario the salt might be a desirable thing, refills electrolytes and all that, but the taste left something to be desired.

Both of these items are good things to have around, stacked for emergency use.  However, with how close they are nutritionally, I can only say that I vastly prefer the Corned Beef because of the far better taste.  Cold or hot the Corned Beef was just better.  I know what I'm going to be picking up the next time I go to the supermarket.  (Just don't tell anyone in Hawaii that I didn't choose SPAM, it would be considered sacrilegious)

I hope you enjoyed the mental image of me slurping down cold, chunky meat out of a can.  I made that sacrifice for you.  I hope you appreciate it.

What's next, canned dog food brands?  You'll just have to wait and see.


  1. awesome thank you so much I have been wondering because I make these sandwiches called westerns I smash up spam I add onions and green peppers and two eggs mix it all up cook it on each side for 10 to 15 minutes and then put it on buttered toast from now on I'm going to use corned beef...

  2. Great review. Amusing and informative.
    I bought a can of corned beef and mixed it with chili, heated it up and ate it.
    Good flavor.
    It's been over 40 years since I had corned beef.
    (I think the last time I had it was when I was in the Army.)
    I can't remember if I ever ate Spam.
    But based on your review, I will stick with corned beef.

  3. Never had corned beef from a can, where have you been?
    Down under in Oz we can get it from the deli, being a limey Ive only ever had it from a can and I love it!

  4. Awesome write up made me laugh too

  5. Have never tried spam altho have a tunnel in my cupboard to try one day (maybe) but have always had tinned corn beef. Use it for sandwiches, corn beef hash. Its something that I remember as a child growing up her in New Zealand