Are all canned food ready to eat without any cooking?

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kenny1999

Senior Cook
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
393
Location
Far East
Regardless of the taste, are all canned food cooked before it is put into the can and ready to serve immediately after opening? Is there any exception? Is it better to cook them first? Will it remove or reduce chemical preservatives left if washed or cooked?
 

thymeless

Senior Cook
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
373
Most are cooked in the can during the canning process. They can be eaten when opened but usually taste better heated. Washing or cooking won't make much if any difference to the product additives.

As a counter point, chipped dried beef is sold in jars with no liquid. Just a vacuum seal. its food safety is achieved through the high salt and dryness but it might also be packed under nitrogen so that might be a difference too. I will soak and rinse that product before consuming to reduce the salt and prehydrate it a bit. Usually for creamed chipped beef on toast.
 

blissful

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
5,048
I usually drain my canned foods. Like green beans, corn, or legumes. There is some salt in the liquids. I don't usually wash or rinse them.
They can be eaten cooked, warmed, or cold right out of the can. Like with legumes and green beans, if I'm making a 3 bean salad, I wouldn't cook them.
We keep some canned goods in our emergency stash in the truck, in case we get stranded. (which has happened twice in the past 5 years)

Canned fruit I would get in water or low sugar, and wouldn't necessarily drain it depending on the recipe. When I can pineapple or grapes in water, I drink the water because it is sweet from the fruit.

Exceptions where you must cook canned food? I can't think of any but maybe someone can.

Thymeless- Like you said, I'd also recommend soaking the salt off of or out of chipped beef too! I've also been known to rinse sauerkraut if it is too salty. :)
 

emilymh2018

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
28
Location
Minnesota
Most are, but many would not taste good cold (example: canned soup). Still, in a pinch (like a situation without electricity), you would survive eating them.
 

cloudela

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
4
Location
New York
In most cases, the food is already cooked before being canned (the manufacturer will put notice outside the can if the food needs to be cooked). I usually rinse them or just reheat before using them.
 

pepperhead212

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
3,741
Location
Woodbury, NJ
Safe to eat, yes, but many things are not really things to eat from the cans/jars, but are ingredients to be used in cooking. Think about all those Asian ingredients in jars that you wouldn't want to eat as is, but you add them to dishes, when cooking them.
 
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