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How do I? ...Can Meats

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Meat

Fish

Blue, Mackerel, Salmon, Steelhead, Trout, and other Fatty Fish Except Tuna

Caution: Eviscerate fish within 2 hours after they are caught. Keep cleaned fish on ice until ready to can.

Note: Glass-like crystals of magnesium ammonium phosphate sometimes form in canned salmon. There is no way for the home canner to prevent these crystals from forming, but they usually dissolve when heated and are safe to eat.

Please read Using Pressure Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Remove head, tail, fins, and scales. Wash and remove all blood. Split fish lengthwise, if desired. Cut cleaned fish into 3-1/2 inch lengths. Fill pint jars, skin side next to glass, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per pint, if desired. Do not add liquids.

Adjust lids and process following the recommendations in Table 1 or Table 2 according to the canning method used.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Fish in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 2,000 ft 2,001 - 4,000 ft 4,001 - 6,000 ft 6,001 - 8,000 ft
Raw Pints 100 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb

Table 2. Recommended process time for Fish in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Raw Pints 100 min 10 lb 15 lb


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.

Reviewed November 2009.

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