Instructables

Canned Salmon Tutorial

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Picture of Canned Salmon Tutorial
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This tutorial will show how to can salmon using a pressure canner.  I am using sockeye salmon we catch in a net at the Fraser River.
 
 
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Step 1: Prepare your jars and scale the fish

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Prepare your jars. They don't have to be sterilized, just clean, because they will end up in the pressure canner and be sterilized there. I used six salmon and finished up with 22 half pints and 15 pints. Averaging 5 pints per fish.

Scale the fish. You take a knife and scrape backwards scraping all the scales off. There's a special tool to do this but I've never tried it and after scaling as many fish as I have I'm tempted to buy one. I've viewed it in use online and it looks like it would be quicker and easier on the fingers. Don't worry if you don't get every single scale off, you just need the majority gone.

Step 2: Removing fins

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The next thing is to cut off all the fins. You can do this first if you like and sometimes I do :) There are two fins on the sides, one fin on the bottom and two fins on the top, five in total. I cut the tails off when I clean the fish so that's already gone. Make sure the fish is clean. I save all those fins and little bits to can for catfood so don't throw them out if you have a cat!

Step 3: Top fin

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Use a good sharp knife.

Step 4: Cutting your salmon

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I use a meat cleaver and it works great for slicing and cutting right through the backbone.  I cut my salmon steaks to fit. I also place them into the jar "skin side in," most books say "skin side out," but I don't like the look or how they stick in the jar after processing. Bones, skin, and all, go into the jar, those bones will soften later by adding vinegar and the processing.

Step 5: Packing your jars

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Pack tightly into jars, leaving about a 1 inch head space, I estimate this and it doesn't have to be perfect, just close.  Here's a bit skinnier pieces in a half pint jar, tightly packed.
RonK411 days ago

thank you for this, I expect to do a fair amount of salmon as soon as my pressure cooker gets here from amazon, have you tried putting up cold smoked salmon since it does last as long as hot smoked does?

RonK4 RonK411 days ago

that is does not last as long as hot smoked

kansasa (author)  RonK49 days ago

I don't can smoked salmon at all, rather I vacuum pack it and then freeze it. Sometimes I bake salmon, save the oil from the baking of it, strip off all the skin and bones, and add the meat to jars. Put in coarse salt, liquid smoke, and the saved oil. Process for 100 minutes in pressure cooker. It's very delicious but time consuming to remove all the skin and bones.

After you put vinegar and salt do you add water, maybe I missed this step?

kansasa (author)  RosieChalk839 days ago

No you don't add water. The water is added to the pressure cooker but not to the inside of the jars.

how much vinegar do u put in each jar when ur using 250 ml. jars

kansasa (author)  cathy.hayward.5015 days ago

1 TEASPOON for PINTS (500 ml jars)

1/2 TEASPOON for HALF PINTS (250 ml jars)

how much vinegar do u put in each jar when ur using 250 ml. jars

I have been looking for a recipe for pressure canning fish, now I found the right one, most of them don't call for vinegar but I'am a firm believer that the vinegar softens the bones thank you..

Lynnegg29 days ago

Thank you for the detailed instructions. Great photos also.

I plan to can 3 sockeye tomorrow morning.

friesberry1 month ago

Wonderful instructions. Thank you. It made my first time canning salmon experience so much easier. Can't wait to try it out!

puggirl41511 months ago
Thanks again for this tutorial. I'm super late to this party but I just have to comment on how much I like your work here. Canning Tuna is my holy grail. After 3 years of pressure canning I feel like I'm ready to work with this expensive ingredient. Salmon sounds like a great fish to do as well. My question - (hope you look at this occasionally:) Can fish be pressure canned in olive oil? I just like tuna in olive oil in a can so I wondered? I'm willing to give up on this in practice, but I keep trying to get a definitive answer anyway. The internet is strong on results for canning from folks who know a bit about canning fruits and vegetables, but it is harder to find people who have gone so far as to can fish and meat successfully and safely. I'll probably do the fish in water my first time because I like that too. Thanks in advance if you do reply.
kansasa (author)  puggirl41511 months ago
I don't see why not Puggirl415. I've never heard of it being a problem. I can the way my tutorial says but I also can fish another way quite often... I bbq it on a cookie sheet with sides and then strip off all the meat discarding bones and skins. I save the oil from the cookie sheet that came from the fish, this is important! I then put all the meat into pint jars, add a touch of liquid smoke, coarse salt, and then the oil I saved when I bbq'ed the fish, it's a small amount, maybe 1/4 cup per jar, but it makes a difference. This I will eat right from the jar! It is soooo good. :)
jatoha3 years ago
Wonderful instructions! You are so fortunate to have so much salmon.

I am curious, how does your home canned salmon compare to the canned salmon in stores?
kansasa (author)  jatoha3 years ago
Personally I've never bought canned salmon from the store but I understand most of it is "pinks" and I only can sockeye. My husband has tried store bought and he says it's terrible.
Eh, It tastes like tuna, only salmony...If you can understand that O.o' But anyway, nice toutorial!!! I really like it.
sunshiine3 years ago
Thanks for sharing.
kansasa (author)  sunshiine3 years ago
You're welcome. :)
westfw3 years ago
Why do you remove the rings? I've never canned anything, but occasional home-canned gifts I've received have all had the rings left on...
kansasa (author)  westfw3 years ago
For two reasons: if they are the slightest bit damp when you put them away they will rust and because I throw out old rings I never seem to have enough. You can leave them on if you prefer but make sure they are dry.
ZoDo kansasa3 years ago
Nice fish you have there, but I don't really understand what rings you are talking about. Can you be more specific please.
kansasa (author)  ZoDo3 years ago
In Canada we have two parts to the lids on most canning jars, the lid and the ring. The lid fits on top and the ring screws on to hold it down. Some places they have a one piece lid with the ring built in, it's not common here tho'.
ZoDo kansasa3 years ago
Ok. I understand now. I never seen this kind of lids tho' . We use the other kind, the one that you screw in place.

But what hold the lids that you used in place? What happens if you turn the jar upside down?
kansasa (author)  ZoDo3 years ago
The ring holds the lid on. Here's a picture of the the lid and ring on a grape jelly jar. You have to have the ring screwed on if you turn the jar upside down or everything just falls out.
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