Tinning kit

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( Tinning kit.png
Name tinning kit
Appearance tinning kit
Base price 30 zm
Weight 100
Material iron
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A tinning kit is a non-magical tool that appears in NetHack, and can be used to tin the corpse of a dead monster. It is made of iron.


The starting equipment of the Archaeologist includes an uncursed tinning kit.[1]

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 corpse in your inventory or on your square will create a "tin of <monster> meat" in your inventory; this uses up a charge and removes the corpse. If you are fumbling or there is no space in the inventory, the tin will appear on the floor. You can only tin a corpse that is on the floor while riding if you have advanced to at least Basic skill.

The corpse must give at least one point of nutrition to be tinnable (i.e. wraiths cannot be tinned), and partially eaten corpses cannot be tinned. Trying to tin a cockatrice or chickatrice without gloves will instantly turn you to stone, and any attempt to tin the Riders (Death, Famine or Pestilence) will cause them to immediately revive. Tinning any corpse owned by a shopkeeper will incur a charge for it.


Main article: Tin#Eating

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. 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 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. As such, they can be a vital method to avoid becoming satiated too quickly when chewing through a pile of large desirable corpses, such as those of dragons or giants. Tinning kits are also 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, with the taint removed by the tinning process; poisonous corpses such as killer bees are similarly rendered safe to eat. Acidic corpses like acid blobs also do not cause damage if eaten from a tin—the reason for this is that "stomach acid" is solely handled by the eatcorpse function, which is not called when eating a tin.cprefx in eat.ceatcorpse in eat.c

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 notable effects on at least a couple of strategies involving tins, discussed further below.

While tinning kits can be recharged indefinitely, charging may prove unnecessary outside of heavy use or low initial charges.

Tin attributes

Main article: Tin#Nutrition

Tins made from a tinning kit always have the same beatitude as the tinning kit[2] - they will be either homemade or rotten, which is determined when the tin is eaten. Blessed tins are always homemade, while uncursed tins are 67 homemade, with the remaining tins rotten; cursed tins are always rotten. Homemade tins of foo only have 50 nutrition, while rotten tins render you nauseous, which lowers nutrition by 50 unless cured (though you can still gain intrinsics).

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 and grant poison resistance if you still lack it at that point, 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 shattering, 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.
    • Note that while a cursed lizard corpse or a cursed potion of acid will still work, a tin of acidic meat can take a long time to open, and even a blessed tin is not guaranteed to open in one turn due to interruption. However, a blessed tin opener can be applied to immediately open a tin.
  • Tinning a troll will permanently stop it from reviving. 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.

Role-specific scenarios

As an Archaeologist, extra food is sometimes scarce, and it may be worth using the starting tinning kit on small monsters - e.g., 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 coming from the tins producing rotten food (which can be 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. Barbarians can also use tinning kits during their quest to safely dispose of the many trolls they face along the way.


The tinning kit is introduced in NetHack 3.0.0.


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.
  • Water.
  • 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.



In SLASH'EM, one of the Chambers of Deception within the Lawful Quest, the Chamber of Dragon Meat, contains a cursed tinning kit with no charges. A means of charging and curse removal, or else your own tinning kit, is likely necessary to get the most out of the various dragon corpses lying around.


In SlashTHEM, the Undertaker role starts with a tinning kit, and player vampires, ghouls and uncantifiers can use tinning kits to produce potions of blood. SlashTHEM also retains the layout of the Lawful Quest (and thus the cursed tinning kit found within).


In dNetHack, player vampires and incantifiers are also capable of making potions of blood via tinning kits.

Anachrononauts can only eat prepared food, making tinning kits absolutely necessary for the consumption of corpses - Vampiric and elven Anachrononauts start the game with one, and the Anachrononaut quest has a tinning kit in each of the non-filler levels.


In EvilHack, all player hobbits start with an identified tinning kit, unless they are Convicts or Archeologists. Tinned corpses also give the same amount of partial intrinsic/resistance as the raw corpse.