Spam is one of those foods that divide people. Some love it, and others can't stand the stuff. But what about those of us who are undecided? We want to try it but are unsure how to cook it.
Fear not, undecided home cooks! Today we're going to show you how to cook Spam in an air fryer. Air frying is a great way to cook Spam because it gives it a crispy crust without making it greasy. And we'll show you how to de-salt your spam so that it's less salty and more delicious.
So whether you're a Spam fan or just trying it for the first time, give this method a try!
What is SPAM made of?
Since 1937, SPAM has been a mainstay of the American diet. It's a cheap and easy-to-cook protein that is popular in many cultures. While it's not the healthiest food out there, it can be a part of a balanced diet. In today's health-conscious market, SPAM's nutritional value and ingredients are being scrutinized.
Let's take a look at the 6 ingredients of SPAM:
1 Pork with ham
Pork is the main ingredient in SPAM. It's typically made from pork shoulder, which is a fatty cut of meat. To make SPAM, pork shoulder is chopped and mixed with ham. It's then canned and cooked.
Sodium is a necessary electrolyte for the body, but too much salt can lead to health problems like high blood pressure. The high salt in Spam acts as a preservative to extend its shelf life.
Water is a necessary ingredient in all canned meats. It helps to keep the meat moist and prevents it from drying out.
4 Modified corn starch
This modified food starch is a thickening agent that helps bind the ingredients together. It also helps to keep the moisture in the meat.
SPAM contains sugar for two reasons: to help offset the salty taste and act as a preservative. It is used as a flavor enhancer in many processed foods. We are not talking about the high fructose corn syrup often found in processed foods.
6 Sodium nitrite
This is a preservative that helps prevent the growth of bacteria. Sodium Nitrate upholds the pink color of the meat and gives it a distinctive flavor. The same curing salt gives hotdog and bacon their pink color.
Currently, there are different types of SPAM available on the market. The most popular is called "SPAM Classic." It contains the same simple 6 ingredients as the original SPAM. However, there are also "SPAM Lite" and "SPAM Less Sodium" versions with less fat and sodium, respectively. There is also a "SPAM with Bacon" flavor that contains pieces of real bacon.
How do you make Spam less salty?
Eating Spam with little less salt is more palatable for some people. Some people enjoy Spam's taste but find it too salty for their liking.
There are a few ways that you can make Spam less salty. One way is to rinse the meat before cooking it. As a result, some salt will be removed from the meat's surface. Another way to reduce the salt in Spam is to cook it in water or broth. Lastly, you can add other ingredients that will help balance the salinity of Spam, such as sweet fruits or vegetables.
Which Spam is less salty?
If you're looking for a less salty Spam, you should look for the "low sodium version". This Spam has about 40% less sodium.
There are a few different types of Spam; some are saltier than others. The original Spam is the saltiest, followed by the less salty Spam Lite. Spam Less Sodium is the least salty variety of Spam, which contains about 25% less sodium than the original.
How do you prepare Spam for air frying?
But before anything else, how do you prepare Spam for air frying?
If you're like me, I want to remove as much salt from the Spam as possible. Though this is optional, I highly recommend it. I know many people don't mind the saltiness, but I do. This step is a must if you're watching your sodium intake.
Once you've de-salted your Spam, it's time to cook it in the air fryer.
So how do you de-salt your Spam?
You can de-salt Spam in two ways, both of which are relatively simple. The ease of these methods is essential, as Spam is seen as an easy and convenient meal option.
- The first method is to soak the Spam in water for at least 30 minutes and change the water after 15 minutes if desired. Then drain and rinse it off before cooking. This will help remove some excess salt from the meat, making it less salty.
- The second method is to cook the Spam in a pan over medium heat, add some water to cover the Spam, and cook for about five minutes. You can reduce the saltiness of the meat by doing this.
If you're looking for a way to add some flavor to your Spam, you can try marinating it in a sauce or rub. In addition to offsetting the saltiness, this will give the Spam a little more flavor.
How to de-salt Spam in boiling water:
The first thing you'll want to do is drain the can of Spam. Then, rinse the meat with cold water to remove those gooey preservatives.
After rinsing, cut the Spam into thin slices, about ¼-inch thick. Try not to cut them too thin or too thick. The thinner the slice, the more it will dry out. The thicker the slice, the less it will cook through. A Spam slicer is handy for perfectly even pieces, but a knife works just as well.
Place the sliced Spam into the boiling water and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Try to separate the slices so the water can leach out as much salt as possible from each piece.
After 5 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the Spam slices to a colander. Rinse them under cold water and let them drain off excess water. Pat dry with a paper towel if necessary. Cook according to your recipe.
How to Cook Spam in an air fryer?
Air frying is a healthier alternative to deep-frying as it uses less oil. It is also a quicker cooking method, so it's perfect for busy weeknights. I love using my air fryer for cooking Spam because it comes out nice and crispy on the outside while remaining juicy on the inside. The ease of cooking Spam in an air fryer is one of the reasons why I love this appliance so much.
Follow these steps:
How does reheating work? Preheat the air fryer for at least 3 to 5 minutes at 360°F. That will increase the cooking time and eliminate unevenly cooked Spam. Since a hot air flow surrounds the food in an air fryer, preheating it will ensure that your Spam is fully cooked.
Coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Any cooking spray will do; however, I prefer avocado oil because it has a higher smoke point.
Step 3: Arrange the Spam slices
Arrange the de-salted Spam slices in the basket, ensuring they are not touching each other. They will stick together and won't cook evenly if they are touching. Keep them apart to ensure even cooking.
Cook the Spam for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden brown and a bit crispy on the edges. For even browning, flip them halfway through cooking after 5 minutes.
Note: Cooking time will depend on how thick or thin your slices are, so keep an eye on them and adjust cooking time as necessary.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I dip mine in sweet and sour sauce, honey mustard, or BBQ sauce.
What's the best dipping sauce for air fryer spam?
There are a few different dipping sauces that would be great with air fryer spam.
- My personal favorite is a Sriracha mayo dipping sauce. To make this sauce, simply mix equal parts Sriracha and mayonnaise. You can also add a bit of lime juice to taste.
- Another great option is a sweet and sour sauce. To make this, combine equal parts sugar, vinegar, and ketchup.
- Or, you could try a BBQ sauce or honey mustard sauce. Really, the possibilities are endless! Get creative and enjoy.
Cooking tips when air frying Spam
1 Preheating the air fryer
Preheating the air fryer is a crucial step in this recipe. It helps to cook the Spam faster and more evenly. But why is that necessary? Cooking time is reduced by letting hot air circulate around the food.
2 Use a cooking oil spray.
When cooking Spam in the air fryer, spray the basket with cooking oil. The Spam will not stick to the basket, and the exterior will be crisper.
You can also crisp up the exterior of the Spam by spraying a bit of cooking oil on it. You may want to skip this step if you're watching your fat intake. Plus, I do not think adding more oil is necessary with Spam already containing such high-fat levels.
3 Cut the Spam into thin slices
For this recipe, it's best to cut the Spam into thin slices (about ¼-inch thick). This will help to ensure that the Spam is cooked through evenly. If you have a spam slicer, that would be perfect. Otherwise, a sharp knife will do the trick.
Slices of Spam have a larger surface area when they are cut thinly. The heat will be absorbed faster, so ensure the air fryer is preheated prior to cooking Spam.
4 Don't overcrowd the air fryer basket
Overcrowding the air fryer basket is a common mistake that people make. When you overcrowd the basket, the hot air can't circulate around the food properly, resulting in uneven cooking.
To avoid this, make sure the pieces of Spam do not touch one another in the basket. They will stick together and won't cook evenly if they are touching. Cooking in batches may be necessary, depending on the size of your air fryer.
5 Adjust the cooking time as necessary
The cooking time for this recipe will depend on how thick or thin your Spam slices are. If they are on the thicker side, you may need to cook them for a minute or two longer.
Thin slices of Spam will only need to be cooked for about 10 minutes or until they are slightly golden brown and crispy on the edges.
Personally, I like to cook Spam with a bit of a char on the outside. If you prefer, you can cook it for less time so that it's not as crispy.
Keep an eye on the Spam and adjust the cooking time as necessary.
What to serve with air-fried Spam?
There are many ways to enjoy air-fried Spam. You can serve it as is with a dipping sauce or use it as an ingredient in other dishes. Here are some ideas:
• Serve it with ketchup, BBQ sauce, or sweet and sour sauce for dipping.
• Make Spam fries by cutting the Spam into thin strips and frying them in the air fryer. Serve with ketchup or mayo for dipping.
• Add it to a breakfast burrito or omelet.
• Use it as a pizza topping.
• Make Spam musubi by wrapping it in sushi rice and nori seaweed.
• Add it to a grilled cheese sandwich.
Frequently asked questions
There are lots of questions that people have about Spam meat. Here are some of the most common questions, with answers.
Is Spam bad for you?
While Spam is high in sodium, it is not necessarily bad for you. If you check the ingredients, Spam has 6 ingredients: pork, salt, water, sugar, sodium nitrite, and potato starch. Some people enjoy the taste of Spam and find it to be a convenient meal option. However, if you are on a low-sodium diet, you should limit your intake of Spam.
Can you eat Spam raw?
Do you mean eating Spam out from the can? If so, then yes, you can technically eat it raw right out of the can. However, most people prefer to cook Spam before eating it. Besides, Spam is pre-cooked meat, so it's not necessary to cook it again.
Can you freeze Spam?
Yes, you can freeze Spam. Just be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. When you're ready to eat it, thaw the Spam in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.
How long does Spam last?
Spam will last for about 2-3 years in the pantry or up to 6 months in the fridge. If you freeze Spam, it will last for about 1 year.
What can I do with leftover Spam?
There are plenty of things you can do with leftover Spam. You can fry it up and add it to some rice, or chop it up and add it to a frittata. You can also use it in place of bacon in some recipes.
What temperature should I cook SPAM at in my air fryer?
For best results, cook Spam at 360° Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. This will help to crisp up the outside of the meat while still keeping it moist on the inside.
How long does SPAM take to cook in an air fryer?
It usually takes about 10 minutes to cook Spam in an air fryer at 360°F. However, this will vary depending on the size and thickness of the meat. So it is best to check on it periodically to make sure it is cooking evenly.
Can I cook frozen SPAM in my air fryer?
Yes, you can cook frozen Spam in an air fryer. However, it will take longer to cook – about 15 minutes. Be sure to check on it periodically to make sure it is cooking evenly.
Can I cook SPAM without oil in my air fryer?
Yes, you can cook Spam without oil in an air fryer. Spam has plenty of natural fat that will help to keep it moist and delicious. However, if you are looking for a crisp outside, you may want to add a small amount of oil to the air fryer basket before cooking.
Best way to cook SPAM in an air fryer?
For best results, cook Spam at 360° Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. This will help to crisp up the outside of the meat while still keeping it moist on the inside. You can also cook frozen Spam in an air fryer, although it will take longer to cook – about 15 minutes.
Be sure to check on it periodically to make sure it is cooking evenly. You can cook Spam without oil in an air fryer, but if you are looking for a crisp outside, you may want to add a small amount of oil to the air fryer basket before cooking.
How to cook spam in air fryer (step by step guide)
- Air Fryer
- 12 oz spam
How to de-salt Spam in boiling water:
- The first thing you’ll want to do is drain the can of Spam. Then, rinse the meat with cold water to remove those gooey preservatives.
- After rinsing, cut the Spam into thin slices, about ¼-inch thick. Try not to cut them too thin or too thick. The thinner the slice, the more it will dry out. The thicker the slice, the less it will cook through. A Spam slicer is handy for perfectly even pieces, but a knife works just as well.
- Place the sliced Spam into the boiling water and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Try to separate the slices so the water can leach out as much salt as possible from each piece.
- After 5 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the Spam slices to a colander. Rinse them under cold water and let them drain off excess water. Pat dry with a paper towel if necessary. Cook according to your recipe.
How to cook Spam in air fryer:
- How does reheating work? Preheat the air fryer for at least 3 to 5 minutes at 360°F. That will increase the cooking time and eliminate unevenly cooked Spam. Since a hot air flow surrounds the food in an air fryer, preheating it will ensure that your Spam is fully cooked.
- Arrange the de-salted Spam slices in the basket, ensuring they are not touching each other. They will stick together and won’t cook evenly if they are touching. Keep them apart to ensure even cooking.
- Cook the Spam for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden brown and a bit crispy on the edges. For even browning, flip them halfway through cooking after 5 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I dip mine in sweet and sour sauce, honey mustard, or BBQ sauce.