The Best Canned Ham (and Canned Luncheon Meat), Ranked

If you woke up today and thought to yourself, “What is the best canned ham?” well, go back to sleep, because you’re probably in the throes of a nightmare. If that’s not the case, and you are, in fact, quite serious about finding the best canned ham, then you’ve come to the right place! We tried all the brands of canned ham we could get our grubby, hammy hands on to bring you a curated list of the top five. 

Going into this taste test, I was looking for brands of canned ham with a savory, oven-baked flavor and smooth, springy texture that closely mimics freshly baked ham. And you know what? I found some pretty good ones. Actually, I expected to enjoy this taste test a lot less than I actually did. As the smell of cooked ham wafted over every unsuspecting victim in the Mythical bullpen like mustard gas, I was spooning this stuff down with a real smile on my face. (Apologies to my colleagues. I wish I could say something like this won’t happen again; it will.) While I’ve always been a SPAM enthusiast, you could say I’m a canned ham convert now. This stuff is yummy—especially if you’re a salt freak like myself. 

Of course, not all brands of canned ham are created equal. So before we get into this ranking, let’s go ahead and get some technicalities out of the way: Not every product below is strictly made of ham. Turns out, there aren’t a ton of canned ham brands on the market that are100% ham (and easily accessible from major grocery stores). So we expanded our search to include the best canned luncheon meat as long as the leading ingredient was ham or pork. Don’t go ham over it, okay? We’re trying our best.

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First Street Luncheon Meat: Best Luncheon Meat

Best Luncheon Meat

First Street Luncheon Meat

Wanna know a secret? I’ve judicially placed First Street’s Luncheon Meat in fifth place, but this was actually the brand I kept coming back to during my taste test. It has a very tender, marbled texture that looks (and tastes) like cured salami. Your spoon carves easily through the meat, which might sound a little gross and counterintuitive to the texture of real ham, but honestly? I didn’t care. Made with real pork and pretty simple ingredients, the flavor is very balanced and not too salty. It’s easily the best canned luncheon meat I tried from the bunch. 

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

SPAM Lite: Best Versatile Canned Ham

Best Versatile

SPAM Lite

When I say I’m a SPAM enthusiast, here’s what I mean: I would eat SPAM every single day of my life if my health could handle it. A SPAM and cheddar cheese omelet for breakfast? Gimme that. SPAM musubi for lunch? Yes, please. SPAM fried rice for dinner? Sign me up. There’s no denying the slightly smoky, extra savory taste (with a dash of maple sweetness that adds depth to its signature saltiness) that SPAM brings to your dishes. And there’s also no denying that remarkably high sodium content of regular SPAM (790 mg per serving). That’s why we recommend SPAM Lite. I tried both, and yes, the Lite version misses that extra salty kick, but you really don’t need it. Trust me. I’m a salt queen, you guys. It’s my whole brand.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Underwood Spread, Deviled Ham: Best Canned Ham Spread

Best Canned Ham Spread

Underwood Spread, Deviled Ham

Okay, we’re really hammin’ it up now, because our top three best canned hams are made of 100% cooked ham. Mustardy, fragrant with a dash of turmeric, and a tightly minced yet creamy texture, Underwood Deviled Ham spread should be on your grocery list if you’re looking to up your sandwich game. We were really surprised that, a.) we could find canned deviled ham in stores, and b.) it tasted this good. I’d use this to spice up my deviled eggs, or even throw it on a cheese quesadilla. 

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Bristol Ham: Best Canned Ham, Runner Up

Runner Up

Bristol Cooked Ham

Want to meal-prep your own deviled ham sandwich spread for the week? Snag a pound (yes, a pound) of this canned Bristol Ham and go to town. This is the best canned ham with a balanced, oven-baked ham flavor that doesn’t overdo the saltiness. The meat is very tender, a little springy, and easy to carve out of the can—but it doesn’t necessarily capture the texture of the freshly baked pig quite like our #1. For less than $5, though, it’s a pretty good deal (plus, you can find it pretty easily at Walmart or on Amazon!)  

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Hormel Ham: Best of the Best Canned Ham

Best of the Best

Hormel Canned Ham

Are you looking for three pounds (yes, three pounds) of cooked canned ham to go into your casseroles, split pea soups, or deviled ham recipes. Or how about a canned ham that’s large enough to serve at a neighborhood cookout? Hormel’s got you covered. Their ham is incredibly savory, marbled like real premium pork, and sold for a price you can’t beat. Out of all the brands we tried, Hormel tastes the most like freshly cooked ham in taste and texture. This is the best canned ham for your culinary needs…hams-down. 

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tried: Dubuque Ham, Great Value Chunked & Ground Diced Ham, Great Value Lite Luncheon Meat, Brookdale Pork Luncheon Meat, Great Value Luncheon Meat, SPAM Classic Canned Meat, Armor Treat Original


About the Author

Ariana Losch

Ariana Losch is a Sporked contributor, webcomic writer, java junkie, and bad TV enthusiast. She only ever feels at peace laying out on a beach like a kebab, roasting in the sun; sadly, she can never move back to Florida, her home state, because there simply isn’t enough good Mediterranean food. You can find her overstaying her welcome at just about every LA coffee shop, working on a screenplay and avoiding all eye contact. (She is embarrassed to be there, please leave her alone.)

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  • Best canned ham is Krakus from Poland

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