6 Must-Have Canned Meats to Stockpile

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By Bryan Lynch •  5 min read

I think we all know that processed food isn’t the healthiest way to go and the more that food is processed the worst it probably is for us. Canned meat is no exception but for someone looking to be prepared for bad times, beggars cannot be choosers. 

If you are interested in canned meats for your stockpile I will quickly say that there is a healthier option available. And that would be to naturally source your meat and can it yourself at home. You may or may not get as long of a shelf life out of it and it certainly requires more effort, but it will be much better for you. 

Having said that, this article will be focusing on canned meats that can be picked up at most food stores. 

6 Types of Canned Meat to Stockpile


Fish usually isn’t the first type of meat that comes to mind when thinking of canned meat, unless of course, you love fish. Heck, I didn’t even think it was a thing for most of my childhood. 

Canned fish is a great option though because most of it is very lean and high in protein. Some options pack more than twenty grams of protein per serving. Fish also contains omega three fatty acids and good oils that are beneficial to our health. 

Another reason to pick up canned fish now is that during an emergency, many people won’t have direct access to certain varieties of fish. There are a lot of different types of canned fish available but below are a few examples that you can add to your stockpile. 


Spam is the classic example of canned meat for preppers because it is affordable, tastes great, and it can be prepared in several different ways. You can make fried spam and eggs, grilled spam, spam sandwiches, or you can simply eat it right out of the can. 

Some people have issues with spam because it is not a specific type of meat but rather a mixture of ham and other pork products. It also has a very high sodium content and some people describe it as having an odd texture. But given its affordability, versatility, and the that almost any food store carries it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to sock a couple of cans of Spam away. 

Canned Chicken 

Canned chicken is another one of my favorites and it is similar to tuna in that it can be used in a variety of ways, such as on sandwiches, in soups or stews, and casseroles just to name a few. Of course, these are more common options with chunk canned chicken but some stores actually sell whole canned chicken if you prefer that route. 

Chicken is lean meat that has around thirteen grams of protein per serving.

Canned Turkey 

Turkey is another favorite meat amoung most people. It is lean and has around eight grams of protein per one-ounce serving. Turkey is better served at evening meals because it contains L-tryptophan which can make you feel a bit drowsy. This is one reason that people tend to feel sleepy after eating Thanksgiving dinner. 

Canned Ham

Canned ham is somewhat similar to Spam but it usually comes in a larger tin. In terms of cooking it is just about as versatile as Spam and just as salty, so be sure to have a big glass of water handy. Although it is quite high in sodium, canned ham can have upwards of twenty-nine grams of protein per serving. 

Canned Beef 

Beef is one of the most consumed meats around so it should come as no surprise that there are several options available. Examples include ground beef, corned beef, and beef chunks. Beef is a fattier option but it contains around twenty grams of protein per serving. 

Pros and Cons of Canned Meat 



Open Questions about Canned Meat

How should canned meat be stored?

A: Canned meat can be stored the same way as the rest of your canned goods. For optimal shelf life, store canned meat in a cool ( between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit) dry location, and out of direct sunlight. 

Why doesn’t canned meat have to be cooked before eating?

A: Because part of the canning process requires the food to be cooked and brought to a high temperature in order to kill any bacteria that are present. 


Wrap Up

Whether you can the meat yourself or purchase it at a store, canned meat is a great item to stockpile. They are affordable options, extremely easy to store, and have a longer shelf life than fresh meat stored in the refrigerator. 

Protein may be difficult to come by during hard times but by stockpiling some of the meats discussed in this article, you will always have a source of protein available, even when the shelves at the store are bare. 

Let us know what kind of canned meats you like to store by leaving a comment below. Thanks for reading and stay prepared! 

Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land, and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually, he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. In 2019, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. His second book, Paracord Projects For Camping and Outdoor Survival, is scheduled to be released on March 2, 2021.