Are you cooking spam in oil?

Spam is a well-known canned meat that has been around for almost a century and is a popular ingredient in many classic dishes. However, with its high sodium content, many people wonder if cooking spam in oil is a healthy option. In this article, we will explore the potential dangers of cooking spam in oil, provide healthy alternatives, discuss safe cooking techniques, and offer suggestions for incorporating spam into meals.

Brief history of Spam

Spam first appeared on the market in 1937 as an affordable source of protein during World War II. The name “Spam” actually stands for “spiced ham,” but it has since evolved to include different flavors such as turkey and bacon. Today, it remains a popular food item in many households across the world.

The Dangers of Cooking Spam in Oil

While there are certainly benefits to eating spam – it’s convenient, cost-effective and can be stored without refrigeration -, cooking it in oil isn’t the best option because both have their own health hazards.

High sodium content

One major drawback to consuming spam is its high sodium content. A single serving contains over half of the recommended daily intake of sodium for adults ( 1 ), which puts people at risk for heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), kidney disease and stroke.

Unhealthy fats in cooking oils

Using cooking oils to fry your spam also contributes to consuming harmful trans fats that are harmful to your health . Most vegetable oils used in frying are laden with omega-6 fatty acids that can lead to inflammation. Additionally, repeatedly heating these oils can cause them to break down into harmful compounds like acrolein or formaldehyde (2).

Discussion on increased risks for heart diseases and hypertension

Putting those two things together leads to problems related with one’s cardiovascular health such as obesity-related heart diseases and hypertension or chronic kidney diseases caused by excessive salt intake.

Instead of deep-frying, there are healthier ways to prepare spam.

Alternatives to Cooking Spam in Oil

Instead of fried spam, try these healthy alternatives:

Grilled or baked options

Grilling or baking spam adds flavor without adding unhealthy fats and calories. You can even marinate your spam before grilling it to add extra flavor.

Incorporating other protein sources into meals, such as chicken or fish

Introducing other protein sources into your diet can not only help reduce the consumption of processed food like spam but also give you a wider range of nutrients. Fish, for instance, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that improve heart health and strengthen brain functions.

Options for plant-based or vegetarian diets

Plant-based proteins are beneficial because they’re often loaded with antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Examples of plant-based proteins include legumes, grains, tofu or tempeh. For vegetarians out there, learning how to cook jackfruit is definitely worth trying (3).

How to Cook Spam Safely

Here are some tips on how you can safely cook spam:

Preparing the meat properly before cooking it

Ensure that the meat is fully thawed and moisture-free before starting to cook it since frozen meats tend to splatter oil when heated.

Safe storage and handling techniques

Prioritize safe handling especially if not consuming/cooking SPAM straight away. Chilled meats should be immediately stored in an air-tight container with a lid..

Proper cooking temperature and times

It is extremely important that SPAM reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F(74°C). Once reached this indicator means any harmful bacteria present has been eliminated.

Ways to Incorporate Spam into Meals

If you enjoy eating spam but do not want to fry it in oil, here are some alternative suggestions for incorporating it into your meals:

In salads or wraps instead of deli meats

Substitute high-calorie deli meats like salami and ham for SPAM slices in wraps or cold noodle salads.

In omelets or frittatas for breakfast meals

Whip up your SPAM whilst making scrambled eggs and add some cheese to create a quick hearty breakfast that can get you through the morning rushes.

As a topping on pizza, sandwiches, or burgers

For a tastier crunchier bite, cut up some spam into cubes and add them together with your bacon bits on top of your favorite pizza. Bonus: It will cut down on calories while increasing the level of satisfaction provided by your meal.

Nutritional Profile of Spam

SPAM contains 109 calories, 7 grams of protein and fats with about 6 grams per serving. The sodium level is noted at 796 mg per canned food alone (4).

Final Thoughts

While cooking spam in oil might be tempting, it’s not the healthiest option. Whether you’re trying to reduce sodium intake or avoid unhealthy fats, there are plenty of alternatives available. By incorporating other proteins sources into your diet and choosing healthy preparation methods like grilling or baking, you can enjoy spam and still remain healthy. Always remember proper food safety measurements such as paying attention towards storage techniques as well as total duration for heating to ensure avoidance towards unnecessary risks.


Q: Why is cooking spam in oil so common?

A: Cooking spam in oil is a popular choice due to the versatility of this dish. It can be served as a quick breakfast, an easy lunch option, or even as a dinner staple.

Q: Is it healthy to cook spam in oil?

A: While cooking spam in oil may be delicious, it is important to keep in mind that this dish is not the healthiest option. Spam is high in sodium and fat, and frying it in oil only increases its caloric value.

Q: Can I use any type of oil to fry spam?

A: Yes, you can use any type of cooking oil to fry spam. However, for best results, it is recommended to use oils with a higher smoking point such as vegetable or canola oils.

Q: How long should I cook spam in Oil?

A: Depending on the preferred texture and level of crispiness, cooking time for spam in oil may vary. Typically, it takes about 2-3 minutes per side on medium heat until the meat reaches a crispy golden brown appearance.

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