Canned meat review

Some weeks ago, a kind contributor sent me a whole bunch of canned meat to help see me through the winter. I’m only familiar with one of these products, so I was interested to see how it went. Maybe you’ll profit from a review, for your canned food storage needs.

(The first of these reviews is going to sound like I’m complaining, which is not the case! I appreciate this gift very much, and if one of the four types of food didn’t work out, well, that’s a 75% success rate.)

Be that as it may, let’s get that pesky 25% over with quick.
meat1All I can say about Banner canned sausage is Oh. Dear. God. This is the worst canned food product I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried canned corn beef hash. I’ve tried canned menudo. I’ve seen (but never tried) canned haggis. None of those things are as horrible as Banner canned sausage, which (guessing here) consists of 99.736% recycled fat, some wheat, and a homeopathic dose of …never mind, let me just go ahead and print the ingredients:

Partially defatted pork fatty tissue, beef tripe, mechanically separated chicken, water, wheat flour, salt, [and a bunch of the usual chemicals.]

A serving suggestion is helpfully included, and I highly recommend it for your slow suicide pleasure: “Heat sausage; add slightly beaten eggs and continue heating, stirring occasionally, until eggs are set.” The eggs are important, because when you heat the contents of this can it melts. The contents, not the can. I mean it just…melts. You need the eggs to give it any body at all. The taste is vaguely sausage-like, but mostly it tastes like the stuff you pour off a skillet of cheap hamburger into a mason jar. I only tried a few forkfuls, even with the eggs. I gave the remainder of what I had cooked up to Little Bear, and 20 minutes later he copiously vomited all over the Jeep’s driver seat. And I deserved that.

meat2By comparison, Kirkland canned roast beef is fantastic stuff. It’s exactly as advertised, fully-cooked beef falling apart from its chunks. You can use this for anything, or eat it right out of the can. I’ve mostly used it in stews so far. Some day I’ll be near a Costco, and I’ll get more.

I had my doubts about the next two, but they’re not so bad.

meat3I confess I cheated here. I had a feeling this wasn’t going to make very satisfactory hamburger patties, and I was right about that. But I have a spaghetti sauce recipe that calls for cheap ground beef, and this was perfect in that. The texture, smell and flavor are … not great, not what you’d serve to the Pope, but not that bad as long as you have plenty of other flavoring going on. As meat in spaghetti sauce, it’s great.

meat4“Heat and serve pork,” to me, screams pulled-pork sandwiches. I approached this one with trepidation, because I bow to no man in the extent of my love for pulled-pork sandwiches and I haven’t had one in years. The label suggests barbecue sauce, and that sounded like good advice so I waited to open this can until I had the ingredients to do sandwiches right. As a fall-back, it would go into spaghetti sauce.

And you know, with some barbecue sauce this actually works. It’s not great pulled pork, but like the canned ground beef it’s not that bad. It doesn’t take a saucepan full of seasoning to make it palatable.

So there we are, samplings of the four canned meats sent to help me get through the winter with some protein in my bloodstream. Thanks so much!

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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11 Responses to Canned meat review

  1. David343 says:

    “Not what you’d serve to the Pope”? Have you heard this Popes Ideas? He’s essentially Barry Sotero’s brother. Sorry,I digress, the review was helpful though!

  2. MamaLiberty says:

    I guess 3 out of 4 isn’t bad. I’ve never been much of a fan of canned meats myself, though I used to buy canned corned beef. That ended years ago when the fat to meat ratio got so bad that after rendering it out… there wasn’t enough meat to make a good full sandwich. And the price just kept going up and up. I keep a few cans of chicken and tuna for emergencies, that’s all.

    As for the sausage stuff, the dogs would probably benefit greatly from it if they got it in small enough amounts. LB threw it up because it was too much, too fast, and he wasn’t used to it.

  3. jon spencer says:

    Bet the chickens would love that canned sausage.

  4. guffaw1952 says:

    One of my fondest childhood memories is that of Vienna Sausages. In eggs or by themselves. Terrific!
    BUT, it had been probably 40 years since I’d eaten any. I ran across cans in the grocery, and picked up a couple on spec.
    I’m certain canned cat food would have been an improvement! Of course, I’m certain the ingredients had been altered during the missing time frame.


  5. Robert says:

    I had the opportunity recently to help take care of someone’s exceedingly finicky dog who would eat only a particular brand of gourmet canned doggie food. And only if it were hand fed to him- no eating out of a bowl like a commoner. After seeing it and reading the ingredients, I must say that, although horribly overpriced, it was absolutely delicious. Rivalled some pot roast I’ve had and the peas and potatoes were not overcooked. I don’t remember the brand at the moment. Darnit, now I’m hungry.

  6. coloradohermit says:

    Darn shame about that canned wannabe sausage! It did sound like a good idea to go with all your eggs. Thanks for being the guinea pig for that idea and saving the rest of us. 🙂 I’m glad at least some of it worked out.
    Oh well. Maybe just small amounts mixed in with kibble would work for Ghost. He doesn’t seem to have as touchy a digestive system as LB.

  7. Howard says:

    We use home canned burger in spagetti, chili, sloppy joes ant etc all the time. It shoule work just fine with commercial stuff. Als try seasoning it for tacos.

  8. Bear says:

    I bought some of that Banner stuff a few years ago, mainly because I’m always interested in canned stuff that might work for storage.

    I tried frying a patty. Urk. I tried mixing it with an egg. Ruined the egg, but ate it anyway because I’m not in a position to throw out anything still edible. Tried mixing some with ground beef as a simpler extender. Not worth it.

    Despite the disclaimer on throwing stuff out… I threw out the remainder of the can. I noticed that a friend added a can of the stuff to his pantry a while back. I considered warning him, but… I have an evil sense of humor.

    RE:Vienna sausage. I’ll by some of those to cut up and toss in with my beans sometimes, for a bit of actual [semi-identifiable] animal proteins. Not as good as Spam Lite, but cheaper.

  9. Matt, another says:

    I had several cans of the Banner Sausage. Your assessment is correct. Only value,they might have is,to,slightly warm them and distract zombies.

    Breakfast this morning included sliced and fried luncheon meat. Great Value brand from Walmart. Cut rate Spam. Mystery meat. Salty with an odd texture. Dogs loved it.

  10. anonymous says:

    I’ve passed on the canned hamburger, but it sounds like its worth a try. We made ‘Quick Chili’ last night, cooking 1/2 pound of hamburger meat, 1/2 a cubed onion, 1/2 a green pepper (no seeds – children are around, lol) and a can of Bush’s Grilling Beans, which made a pretty kick-ass chili that cooked up in about 45 minutes, not bad at all.

    Our canned sausage pretty much mirrored your experience. Looked like potted meat, only smelled worse and cooked with eggs – yech! Nope, that product is out. Did hear of some sausage patties though that might be worth checking out, but haven’t seen that animal yet.

    Canned chicken chunks – really good. This, and packet or two of mayonnaise makes a pretty good chicken salad sandwich. Leave them in the cooler if you like your chicken cold – this stuff is a keeper!

    Thank you for the review.

  11. Tahn says:

    Thanks Joel (and all) for the reviews!

To the stake with the heretic!