Mashed's Exclusive Survey Uncovered Fans' Favorite Canned Meat

Although canned meat may not be at the top of anyone's list of favorite foods, we can't deny that it's a good option for an easy meal. Even better, it's shelf-stable for a disturbingly long time — anywhere from two to five years, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture.

Shelf life aside, canned meat comes in many varieties. We asked more than 18,000 Mashed readers to vote for their favorite, and to little surprise, 43% of survey respondents chose Spam. As unappealing as this 'spiced ham' might seem when first scooped out of its can, clearly Spam is more popular than ever. In addition to having its own museum in Minnesota, Spam also boasts a two-week-long festival in Hawaii.

Of course, we can't have a poll with just one option. Besides Spam, respondents could choose from potted meat, canned chicken, canned fish, and Vienna sausages. So, how did these other canned meat options stack up against spiced ham?

Fans like canned fish for its versatility

While Spam was the obvious winner in our canned meat poll, the second-place meat also left other options in the dust. Canned fish received 26% of survey readers' votes, with people commenting on specific varieties like canned tuna, herring filets, and sardines. Others shared their favorite ways to eat canned fish, such as mixed with mayo and spread on pumpernickel bread, or folded into a pasta sauce.

Following canned fish, Vienna sausages and canned chicken tallied in at 14% and 13% of the votes, respectively. Last but not least, our fifth most-popular canned meat is potted meat, receiving 4% of readers' votes. Potted meat, for those who don't know, is essentially a blend of meats mashed into a can and then covered with a layer of fat.

At the end of the day, we can agree to disagree on the best canned meat. After all, as one survey respondent wrote, "pig in a can in its own pork jelly" is "one of the finest things in life," and you can sub in any canned meat you like.