SPAM Oven Barbecue, 1956 – A Vintage Hunt’s Recipe Test

Posted on Oct 23 2013 - 5:14am by RetroRuth

This month of Halloween treats continues with spooky and creepy recipes that aren’t really meant to be spooky and creepy! This week we have a fun taste sensation from a June 1956 ad in Better Homes and Gardens for Hunt’s Tomato Sauce. I love how this one ended up looking like something that was just butchered.


It’s Oven Barbecue.

And yes, it does have Spam in it!

Oven Barbecue June 1956 BHG001

Oven Barbecue
  • 1 can luncheon meat
  • 1 can Hunt's Tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 T finely grated onion
  • ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  1. Cut meat lenghtwise, not quite through, into 8 slices. Place in greased shallow baking dish.
  2. Mix Hunt's tomato sauce and rest of ingredients. Pour over meat.
  3. Bake in hot oven (425 degrees) for about 30 minutes, basting occasionally.
  4. Makes 3-4 servings. Double for large families. Canned new potatoes are delicious heated along with the meat.



I forgot to buy canned potatoes at the store, so I had to make do without them. Which I am not crying about because I hate canned potatoes, but what that basically meant was that I was slinging a can of tomato sauce over sliced Spam and calling it a night. Needless to say, this one came together pretty quickly.

“So, opening cans and mixing them together for dinner, huh?”

“I guess so. Do you think adding sugar to tomato sauce makes it barbecue sauce?”

“I…I don’t even know what to say to that.”


You know, you have to really hand it to Spam. It’s not much in the looks department, but when you bake it up it really…


Wait. I…umm…I don’t remember where I was going with that.

I got it! It will really make your husband smile!


Wait…that’s not it, either.

Well, it’s really red. Let’s just say it’s really red and move on.

Tom TastesIMG_3800

“Actually this does taste a bit like barbecue sauce.”

“Really? That’s amazing.”

“Yeah, it tastes like that bottled Open Pit stuff. I use to love that when I was in college Tasted like ketchup.”

The Verdict: Not Bad

From The Tasting Notes:

Not bad. Sweet and soft. Not a lot of chewing needed for this one. Basically just tastes like Spam with ketchup or sweet bottled BBQ sauce on it.  It also smells like cocktail weenies – the ones with the sweet and sour sauce on them.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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9 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. amy October 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    oh God, I can’t believe he actualy liked it. cool shirt btw

  2. Susie October 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Oh Man! SPAMMMM! My dad loves SPAM! We made it for our Hawaiian Luau Christmas last year and he was so excited! It was BLEH! The before and after taste pics may be your best yet. I might make this for him. For his BIRTHDAY!

  3. Dan October 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    You should do a Mid-Century Menu Haunted House Attraction! Just imagine the terror! Actually, though this does look like sliced bloody innards in a baking dish, it doesn’t really sound that bad. Since I like Spam with ketchup on it, this would probably be a step up for me.

  4. Joe R. October 24, 2013 at 12:30 am - Reply

    The first image of Tom is like “what the heck am I getting into?”.

  5. Lassie October 24, 2013 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Oddly, one year ago on this day we bought a new little charcoal grill and broiled some sliced Spam. With just a little brushing of some generic BBQ sauce. It was pretty tasty, but the leftovers hardened up in the refrigerator to a crunchy yet chewy texture, almost like Spam jerky.

  6. Jenny October 24, 2013 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Coo – I haven’t had spam for ages. I am tempted…

  7. Kate H October 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I say, why limit yourself to Halloween? If you cut the spam with cookie-cutter hearts, it would make a great Valentine’s dish! Or, you could take it to the Christmas potluck with raw green peppers cut into strips — very Christmassey.

  8. Sara In AZ October 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Ha! Your pics *almost* make it look like it’s a section of spinal column or something….albeit a large one…..but still! 🙂

  9. fifilaru November 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    I live in Hawaii, we like the SPAM, yes we do. Although, I avoid it. Basically, you could put anything on SPAM and cook it. It is odd that way.

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