|Base price||30 zm|
|Monster use||Will not be used by monsters.|
An uncursed tinning kit is included in the starting equipment of the Archaeologist. All tinning kits are generated uncursed with containing 30 to 99 charges, with the exception of bones levels and the potentially cursed items generated on some early traps.
Applying a tinning kit to an intact non-insubstantial corpse, either in your inventory or on the floor, will use up a charge, remove the corpse and create a "tin of <monster> meat" in your inventory; if there is no space in the inventory, the tin will appear on the floor. The corpse must be on your square and within your reach; you can only tin a corpse that is on the floor while riding if you have advanced to at least Basic skill.
Corpses rot away quickly and may be unsafe or too large for one person to eat; tinning circumvents these problems by preserving the meat for later consumption. However, you cannot sacrifice tinned corpses, and partially eaten corpses cannot be tinned.
Tins of corpses will provide the same intrinsic as the corpse itself, but with a set amount of nutrition as opposed to what the corpse would have provided; the tins will be either homemade or rotten, making them quite useful to avoid becoming satiated too quickly when chewing through a pile of large corpses. Tinning kits are also as a common form of "backup" for intrinsics that you may want later; see the "Tinning for emergencies" section below.
Many unsafe corpses also do not cause their usual damage as tins. Zombies and mummies leave behind aged or tainted corpses, but they become edible when tinned, as the taint in the zombie and mummy corpses is removed by the tinning process; poisonous corpses such as killer bees are rendered safe to eat by removing the poison. Acidic corpses like acid blobs also do not cause damage if eaten from a tin; the code that handles curing stoning is called by cprefx (the code for eating tins) and eatcorpse (the code for eating corpses) in eat.c, stomach acid is handled solely by eatcorpse, rendering tins of acidic monster flesh safe.
However, corpses that turn you to stone, turn you to slime, stun you, or cause you to hallucinate will still have the same effect when tinned. The rules for cannibalism also apply to tins, as does the rule for eating domestic cat or dog meat; this has a notable effect on a couple of strategies involving tins, discussed further below.
While tinning kits can be recharged indefinitely, charging may not be entirely necessary outside of heavy use or low initial charges. It is not uncommon for players to tin named monsters and keep them as trophies - a tin of Medusa or Wizard of Yendor meat is a fun item to potentially ascend with.
Tins made from a tinning kit always have the same BUC status as the tinning kit, and are either homemade or rotten; its status as homemade or rotten is determined when the tin is eaten. Blessed tins are always homemade; uncursed tins are mostly homemade and occasionally rotten; and cursed tins always are. Homemade tins of foo only have 50 nutrition, while rotten tins render you nauseous, which lowers nutrition by 50 unless cured (although any intrinsics are still given).
Tinning for emergencies
You may wish to stockpile a set of tins with valuable intrinsics in case you lose them to something like a gremlin attacking at night. The following specific monsters are worth tinning in or for emergencies or other later consumption:
- Eating the corpse of a nurse will restore you to full health, making them a popular choice for tinning: a blessed tin of nurse meat will fully heal you in the two turns it takes to open and consume it. However, this constitutes cannibalism for humans, which you will have to weigh against the convenience of fully restored HP; this is not a problem for Cavemen. A potion of full healing can do the same just as fast (if not sometimes faster), and can also increase your maximum HP; it is vulnerable to breaking, however.
- A blessed tin of acid blob or any acidic monster always opens in one turn and can save you from stoning. The acid damage is removed by the tinning process, but the unstoning properties of the acid are not.
- Tinning a troll is a good way to keep it from reviving, as it immediately removes the corpse. Be sure that you prioritize and do not let yourself be surrounded by other dangerous monsters, however.
- Floating eye tins are a useful means of re-gaining telepathy later if it is lost (e.g. through an accidental murder).
- Dragon corpses are among the most reliable sources of particular intrinsics, and can be tinned both to obtain them without satiating yourself, and to replace them in case of intrinsic loss or theft.
- Tins of tengu are especially handy to eat once you have a ring of teleport control to avoid getting uncontrolled teleportitis.
- Stalker tins are a common means of attaining permanent invisibility, along with the see invisible intrinsic.
As an Archaeologist, starting food is sometimes scarce; it may be worth using the starting tinning kit on small monsters - such as rats, rock moles, newts and other early-game :, non-yellow molds, ants and other insects - to raise their nutrition yield and gain early intrinsics. This can also preserve your starting supply of permafood until more is secured, with the only risk being the tins producing rotten food (which is alleviated by blessing the kit).
For non-Knight classes that can advance skills in riding, the ability to tin corpses while mounted can prove incredibly convenient, especially if the corpse is too heavy to carry and/or your steed is difficult to keep tame (e.g. a ki-rin).
Valkyries and Cavemen will appreciate having a tinning kit when stuffing themselves with giant meat from their respective quest branches, while Priests and Archaeologists can use them to tin and safely eat the corpses of undead giants and ettin. Barbarians can also use tinning kits during their quest to safely dispose of the many trolls they face and provide a handy source of food along the way.
While tinning is naturally a real-world practice, the tinning kit does not necessarily have a direct real-world analogue, as the real-life canning of meats and other foods is a fairly laborious process. Based on canning guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture, one can infer that a NetHack tinning kit includes the following:
- A large number of tin cans.
- Soldering supplies.
- A knife (or knives) for preparing the meat.
- A pressure canner.
- A good heat source, such as a propane burner, and fuel.
- Tongs, silicone gloves, or some other implements for handling the hot containers.
- It may optionally contain salt, a frying pan, and/or some other implement for pre-cooking the meat.
Assuming the above is true, tinning a corpse would require a lot of actions to be taken in the length of a single turn, which is already a fairly abstract unit (and flexible in terms of measure); attempts to work this out will yield different results based on the actions (movement, combat, etc.) used as a benchmark.
Of course, this is purely intellectual exercise, and it never hurts to remember that NetHack is not real life.