Roughly two years ago I began to occasionally purchase canned hams from Walgreens and CVS Pharmacies. The hams that I am referring to are the small fully cooked hams that are packaged in almost-triangular, teardrop-shaped metal cans. The two brands of canned hams I’ve been buying and eating are Celebrity and DAK brand hams. Last year I tried a Hormel Black Label canned ham and it was very good.
You’ve probably seen different varieties of these hams on the shelves at specialty food stores, pharmacies, gift shops, discount stores and smaller grocery stores. Quite frequently they are called Danish hams because many of them are products of Denmark. The net weight of most of the canned hams that I see is one pound or close to one pound.
To be honest, for a long time I used to look at canned hams and wonder why anybody would want to buy and eat them. Before I actually purchased and tasted a canned ham I had doubts about their freshness, flavor and quality. As soon as I opened one of the cans my doubts were erased.
Canned hams generally range in size from 12 to 16 ounces each and they are usually priced between $3.99 and $4.99 per ham. Approximately once a month either CVS Pharmacy or Walgreens Pharmacy has at least one brand of canned ham on sale at substantial savings.
If you’ve never eaten one, canned hams are indeed amazingly fresh and usually of high quality. Most canned hams are soft yet firm in texture and are generally packed in a little bit of water. On the labels of many canned hams it is stated that the ham is cured with water, salt, sugar and other ingredients. Generally these hams contain roughly 35-50 calories per ounce and are low in fat. These hams usually contain no unpleasant matter and are completely edible straight from the can.
When it comes to flavor canned hams are usually very tasty. They are real hams and each of the varieties I’ve eaten has offered a mellow, highly pleasing flavor. Canned hams taste good hot or cold. While I prefer to bake them in the oven and serve them with potatoes and vegetables, sometimes I slice the refrigerated leftover ham and make sandwiches.
Opening canned hams can sometimes prove to be challenging. Most varieties feature pull-back tabs or handles on the bottoms. The lids are evidently designed to be pulled all of the way back but I’ve never been able to fully remove a lid by using the handle.
A couple of weeks ago I cooked and ate half of a Celebrity brand canned ham for dinner with some sweet potatoes and baked beans. When I opened that ham I did not use the pull-back tab. Instead, I utilized the tried and true, exceptionally effective Ecko hand can opener to open the can.
Canned hams are great items to keep in the food pantry. Within minutes you could be eating a full-course dinner of baked ham, potatoes or rice and vegetables. They’re great for sandwiches, grilled with eggs for breakfast or in ham salad.
The shelf life for most canned hams is at least two years, usually longer. Sitting in front of me is an unopened DAK brand canned ham and the expiration date printed on the bottom of the can is June 2016, four years from now. The curing and packaging process enables these unopened cans of ham to remain fresh and edibly stable for years without refrigeration. Once a canned ham has been opened it needs to be refrigerated.
If you’re looking for a convenient, tasty and easy to prepare dinner item look no further than canned hams.
Personal experience with purchasing and eating canned hams