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.


Archaeologists start the game with an uncursed tinning kit.[1]

All tinning kits are generated uncursed with the exception of bones levels and the potentially cursed items generated on some early traps, and contain 30 to 99 charges.


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, or "tin of <monster>" if the corpse was vegetarian; this uses up a charge and removes the corpse. You can only tin a corpse that is on the floor while you are riding if you have at least Basic skill in riding.

The corpse cannot be partially-eaten, and must give at least one point of nutrition to be tinnable (i.e. wraiths cannot be tinned).[2][3] Trying to tin a cockatrice or chickatrice without gloves will instantly turn you to stone unless you have stoning resistance or are a golem.[4] Any attempt to tin the Riders (Death, Famine or Pestilence) will cause them to immediately revive.[5] Tinning any corpse owned by a shopkeeper will incur a charge for it.[6]

Tins made from a tinning kit always have the same beatitude as the tinning kit.[7] Blessed tins are always homemade, while cursed tins are always rotten; uncursed tins are 67 homemade, with the remaining tins being rotten, and the preparation style is determined when opening the tin. Homemade tins of foo only have 50 nutrition, while rotten tins give none and render you nauseous, eventually causing you to lose 50 nutrition by vomiting unless cured (though you still gain intrinsics). If you are fumbling or there is no space in open inventory, the tin will appear on the floor.

Aged or tainted corpses become edible when tinned, with the rot removed by the tinning process. Poisonous corpses, such as those of killer bees, are similarly rendered safe to eat. Acidic corpses 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.[8][9][10]


Main article: Tin#Eating a tin

Corpses will rot away after some time and may be unsafe or too large for you to eat quickly; tinning circumvents these problems by preserving the meat for later consumption. 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. Tinning can therefore 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 intrinsic properties that you may want later - see the "Tinning for emergencies" section below.

Many unsafe corpses also do not cause their usual damage as tins, making monsters from the various zombies to killer bees to acid blobs safe for consumption. 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, also discussed further below.

While tinning kits can be recharged indefinitely, charging is usually unnecessary 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.

Tinning for emergencies

You may wish to stockpile a set of (usually) blessed tins with valuable intrinsics in case you lose them to a gremlin attacking at night or other source of intrinsic theft. 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 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, but is vulnerable to shattering.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 go with teleportitis.
  • Stalker tins are a 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.


You seem to be out of tins.
You applied a tinning kit with no charges.
Yes... but War does not preserve its enemies...
You attempted to tin a Rider corpse, which will always fail and cause them to immediately revive.



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 usually necessary to get the most out of the various dragon corpses within before they rot away.


In dNetHack, all players are capable of making potions of blood via tinning kits, provided the corpse in question is from a monster that has blood. Player vampires and incantifiers in particular get the most out of generating potions of blood this way - incantifiers in particular are only capable of eating meat from newts and aoa, and vampires can drink acidic blood in lieu of eating lizard corpses to cure stoning; both races can also gain intrinsics from monster blood. Other races can simply dilute the potions for water.

Anachrononauts can only eat prepared food, making tinning kits absolutely necessary for the consumption of corpses and blood - 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 Archeologists (who start with one regardless) or Convicts. Tinned corpses also give the same amount of partial intrinsic resistance as the raw corpse.


In SlashTHEM, the Undertaker role starts with a tinning kit. Player vampires, ghouls and incantifiers 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).