Canned meats

Canned meats are something that, no matter how objective I try to be, always elicit a shudder and a mental “Ewwww”. I mean, just about every form of canned meat, when opened, whether it is Spam, chicken, beef, hash, whatever, smells and looks like cat food.

It was only with great trepidation and great surprise that I was willing to try the CostCo canned roast beef and discover that, once you fry it up, it’s really quite good. In fact, it was so good we have added it as a regular inventory item to our spreadsheet of stored food.

Up until now, most canned meats are pretty basic: canned chicken, canned pork, canned salmon, etc. But things are starting to get a little more ‘niche’. An example was this that I found in WalMart:

Canned beef fajita strips and canned meatballs. Part of me was quite curious about this stuff and another part of me was slightly nauseous contemplating how badly these things could turn out. Yes, I was a coward and took a pass on these…mostly on the strength of WalMart being known for ‘low prices’ and me not wanting to know where the corners were cut on these cuts of meat. BUT…it is interesting to to think that with some stored pasta, a jar of spaghetti sauce, and a couple cans of meatballs, you could have a hearty comfort-food meal with a shelf life measured by election cycles.

Interesting the things you see when you start mindlessly examining everything on the ‘canned meats’ shelf at WallyWorld.

13 thoughts on “Canned meats

  1. Wal-Mart canned meats are pretty good. I like the canned chunked chicken. The beef products I’ve tried (not seen the above down here yet) had less meat, more gravy. I pass on those now.

    But the chicken – hell yeah! Two envelopes of fast food mayonaise packets after draining and some veggies produce three or four sandwiches – good stuff!

  2. There should be a rule of thumb when considering post-apocalyptic canned meat options. If the canned meat option on the shelf strikes you as less appetizing than the fresh rat alternative of post-SHTF, leave ‘er be.

    Makes me think of that scene from Demolition Man. “Do you see any cows around here?”

  3. I can my own, but that’s just me. 90 minutes at 250 degrees is the way. I can bacon, other pork, beef, meatballs from beef and chicken. It tastes good and never has unpleasant odors.

    I don’t recommend that anyone can meat. It’s dangerous and morons will probably die. However, please send me your canning jars and lids.

    • I’m assuming the last was tongue-in-cheek! 🙂

      I also can my own meat. As a T2 diabetic, I don’t like to take chances with the added sugar in commercially canned meats. My favorite is ground beef – just the crumbles, not meatballs. I heat it up with my homemade taco seasoning & it’s great.

  4. the keystone canned beef, hamburger and pork are excellent and the pleasant hill/grabill farms brand is excellent as well. the pleasant hill has free shipping over 99 dollars.

  5. I was in Dollar General over the weekend and saw they had canned pulled pork in the same size can.

    I chickened out too.

  6. I have found that the DAK line of canned hams is pretty tasty but as will all canned meats you have to watch that sodium content (not good esp. if you are already on hypertension meds)

    We also can our own with the best results being chicken. Ground beef just does not look good after the canning process.

    • Form the ground beef into meat balls. Looks just fine. Makes good sandwiches or meat filling for soups, stew, etc.

  7. When I can ground beef I do it in a green chili sauce or with a spaghetti sauce so it already has a sauce to cook it in.

  8. I buy and eat several kinds of ‘ethnic’ canned and pouch meat. They are aimed at a hispanic market and are from Brazil. Really quite tasty. In addition, I buy 2 kinds of pouch meat made in the usa. Shredded beef and meatballs. I even get hotdogs canned in Holland for the kids.

    Lots of good choices at the ethnic market, and in the ethnic aisle at the bigger supermarkets.


  9. Here is a list I posted elsewhere of the stuff I’ve personally tried and liked.

    I’m one of the guys shopping at ethnic markets for preps (and the large ethnic sections of our major markets.) Most of the world does not have refrigeration, and those that do don’t have the size ‘fridges that we have in the US. This means that there are a LOT of choices in shelf stable foods produced for those markets. There are traditional canned foods, as well as ‘pouch’ foods. I prefer pouches as my storage area is prone to high humidity and cans can rust. I’ve lost cans to spoilage due to rust. Also, many of the pouches I’ve tried have very tasty, minimally processed food in them… they are aimed at mainstream consumers and are not the scrapings and cheapest cuts as US canned food (meat esp.) tends to be. Further, the wider variety of flavors and textures should help with food fatigue.

    Specifically, I’m buying canned beef, sold as ready to use for burritos, tacos, etc from Argentina and Brazil. The quality is high, the taste and appearance are great. The cans are fully lined. I’m buying pouch meat, shredded beef and pork, aimed at the same market, and produced in the US and Mexico. There are unflavored versions available too that are very versatile.

    I buy Indian entrees for variety, in pouches.

    I buy several “meal kit” type pouches that say “just add meat” for use with the costco canned chicken and beef. Some are aimed at US consumers, some are indian or hispanic in origin, some are asian. Lots of Hamburger Helper style box dinners are available now for chicken too. These are easy to integrate into our normal meals. The kids love taco night, and it is much easier than cooking the meat from scratch.

    I even buy canned hot dogs, from Holland. They are great for the kids.

    It used to be if you wanted animal protein in cans in the US you were very limited. Cheap meat loaves, tuna, chunk chicken, pickled fish, chili, or dinty moore style stews pretty much summed up you choices.

    You can store grains in bulk, but my challenge was always meat. Now I have so many good choices. Danish hams, pouch shredded beef and pork, whole chickens, meat balls, pre-seasoned meats, and chunk chicken/beef/fish, even hot dogs for the kids.


  10. Actual list

    Here’s a list of some of the things where a distributor was listed. – pouch meats, shredded – and meatballs, also the Ranchers Brand taco meat – pouch meats, flavored

    Just add meat: – indian ‘just add meat’ pouches – gourmantra indian meal kit

    Kraft Velveeta Cheesy Skillets

    Annie’s Homegrown, skillet dinners

    All good.


  11. You might want to try Yoder’s brand of canned meats. The bacon is seriously good and actually doesn’t cost much more then buying raw bacon on a per slice cost. Haven’t tried the others but friends have told me that the beef and chicken are very good as well – not much water in the cans.

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