I’ve recently started eating tinned chicken, specifically the Roberts brand as shown below.

When I open the can, it looks kind of raw and kind of tastes as such, but that could just be my imagination.

I have tried to contact the manufacturer for more information, but have had no luck.

Is the food in these cans fully or partially cooked? Can you eat it directly from the can, or does it need to be cooked? Is it safer to cook it prior to eating?

If it is to be cooked, how should one go about it (e.g. microwave, fry, oven)? What is the point of these cans if they will need to be cooked anyway (I thought they didn’t have to be cooked)? Have I just got the wrong brand for ready-to-eat tinned chicken?

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5 Answers 5


From Grab Grocery:

Precooked beef luncheon meat with the addition of chicken essence in 340g preserved cans. Robert beef luncheon meat is a wholesome meal cooked and slaughtered as per halal dietary laws and is suitable perfectly for people who are tolerant of meat products.

So the meat is safe to eat without needing to be cooked by the customer.

The link even above displays:

enter image description here

You might be able to get even more information there.

  • 3
    So it aguably is "the wrong brand for ready-to-eat tinned chicken" if it's beef with chicken essence
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 3:07
  • @Ecnerwal I suppose. Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 5:05
  • 16
    @AnastasiaZendaya The page has photos of the tin from different angles, one of them shows the ingredients. It says "Chicken meat 90%" with no mention of beef. Must be an error in the description on the website; chicken-flavored beef makes no economical sense anyway.
    – IMil
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 6:37
  • 8
    Invariably, something tinned that needs to be cooked will have cooking instructions clearly stated on the label somewhere.
    – user90326
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 8:40
  • Now that's some first class marketing!
    – gnicko
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 22:47

All tinned foods which are not dry (like flour or coffee grounds) have been sufficiently cooked and are safe to eat directly after opening. Once opened, leftover contents should be treated like any perishable food. Of course, some canned foods should be heated before serving, but that's a culinary consideration rather than a safety concern.

  • 8
    I've removed the digression into personal dislike of the food in question, and the ensuing discussion in comments. That's not welcome here; if you don't like what someone's cooking/eating, you can write an answer without mentioning it, or just avoid the question entirely.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 23:05

As people have mentioned, canned meats are cooked as part of the canning process, so it’s safe to eat as is... but it’s not always ideal to do so.

In many ways, it’s like a chicken hot dog right out of the package. It might be safe to eat, but it’s much better if you cook it.

I would recommend slicing it up, and then browning the slices. This helps to develop new flavors and adds some texture. (You can dice it up, but I just find it to be more work to get it evenly cooked). You can then use it as an ingredient in other dishes. (Casseroles, stir fries, sandwiches, etc.)


In my experience (in the UK) anything described as "luncheon" has been precooked and design to just slice and eat, perhaps in a sandwich


Others have explained that it is safe to eat as-is from food safety standpoint. From a taste standpoint cooking may be a way to add flavor. Although recipes requests are off-topic, you might look online at recipes for a product called SPAM. They even have their own website.


  • I have never eaten Spam or tried any of the recipes.
  • Spam is definitely not suitable for a Halal diet. It is pork based, not chicken.

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