Although Spam® may not be your go to meat choice, there are a lot of recipes that have been created around this canned meat. With 6 primary ingredients – pork with ham, potato starch, water, salt, sugar and sodium nitrate – Spam® was key to feeding our troops during WWII and retained some popularity since its introduction in 1937. Although this is a high sodium food item, it can offer some easy meal prep and is super easy to smoke. In fact, due to the small size of the servings, I’m going to show you how to grill-smoke this using my chimney starter only and a grill rack. Then I’ll take these charry slices and make an Asian Inspired Spam® Slider. Go select your favorite variety of Spam® and let’s get this smoked in no time!
Plain or with a Little Marinade Boost
Although you may love Spam® plain, I prefer to marinate it a bit for additional flavor. Today’s marinade is a mix of liquid aminos, rice vinegar, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, curry paste, fresh ginger, chopped garlic, and coconut sweet chili sauce. I cut the Spam® into 7 equal slices. Starting with about ¼ cup of liquid aminos, I add 1 tablespoon each of fresh grated ginger, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, chopped garlic, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon Thai curry paste, and 3 tablespoons coconut sweet chili sauce.
Mix well then place the cut Spam® slices in a storage bag, pour in the marinade, and seal the bag. Allow this to marinate for about an hour in the refrigerator, then remove to go to the chimney starter for grill-smoking.
Tasting Notes: There are 15 varieties of Spam® available including flavors like teriyaki, hot & spicy, Portuguese sausage, garlic. Keep this in mind when you go to add marinades or sauces.
It’s All About Flavor
You’ll need to wait until about 20 minutes before your marinating Spam® is finished prior to lighting your chimney starter. Only fill the chimney about ½ way as the grilling of the meat is quite fast. Once the chimney burns down to hot coals, add either 1-2 wood chunk pieces of your favorite hardwood or a handful of hardwood chips. Then place a roasting rack on the chimney and add your marinated Spam® slices. Allow to cook for just a few minutes then turn. You should see the sides of the slices crisp which will signal that they are ready to turn. Another couple of minutes, and theses slices are ready.
Tasting Notes: Keep in mind that chimney starters come in various sizes. Some hold 4 lbs. and others up to 8 lbs. of charcoal. You generally only need 4-5 lbs. of charcoal for this quick cook recipe. Remember, if using briquets, they will burn hotter so you may have to reduce the cooking time on each side of the Spam®.
Your Slider Design
For my Asian Inspired Sliders, I use a small roll, cut in half. To the bottom, a slather on a layer of Dijon or similar mustard. On goes one charred slice of Spam®, followed by a dollop of coleslaw. To the top of the roll, I squeeze some additional coconut sweet chili sauce. There you have it! I have no doubt that you can make this with star ingredients that fit your taste and style. Perhaps a big slice of fresh red onion or sliced pickle, or maybe kimchi. The possibilities are endless. I do love Spam® when crisping and char are added from something as simple as a chimney starter half filled with hardwood charcoal or briquets and flavored with wood chunks or chips. Keep this in mind for emergency food storage as Spam® can be a survivalist best friend!
What would be your Spam® slider toppings? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on all platforms. Providing tips, techniques, recipes, and the science behind the flame and fire to improve your skills with wood-fired cooking! That’s SmokinLicious®!
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