How to Can Salmon Without A Pressure Canner? – 17 Steps

How to Can Salmon Without A Pressure Canner

Salmon is one of the tastiest types of fish, so it is included in a lot of recipes. So, you may want to have salmon at home every time. One way to do that is to can a large number of salmon and store them in jars.

So, you can always take a jar of salmon whenever you need some. Unfortunately, not everyone has a pressure canner at home.

The good news is you can actually can your salmon even without a pressure canner at home. The steps have been described below. Although we used the salmon in the explanation, you can follow the same steps to can any other type of fish.

Salmon is one of the most nutritious fish around, so nutritionists recommend that you add it to your diet. However, it is also one of the most expensive types of fish. Not everyone can afford processed salmon. So, it might be a good idea to buy fresh salmon in large quantity, prepare and can it.

In this article, we will briefly discuss how to can salmon and we will also answer a few questions about canning salmon.

How to Can Salmon Without A Pressure Canner? 17 Easy Steps

Step 1 – You’ll need to soak your salmon in brine, so you should prepare the brine solution. Add a cup of brown sugar, a cup of white sugar, and a cup of salt into 8 cups of water. Stir the solution until it mixes evenly.

Step 2 – Scale the fish and remove their organs.

Step 3 – Remove their heads, tails, and fins.

Step 4 – Cut the fish into slices.

Step 5 – Wash the slices of fish before soaking them in the brine solution.

Step 6 – Leave the fish in the solution and refrigerate it for at least an hour. It is better to refrigerate the salmon for several hours. In fact, we prefer you to leave the slices of salmon in the refrigerator overnight. The brine will preserve it.

Step 7 – Get the pieces of salmon smoked.

Step 8 – Remove the skins of the smoked slices of fish and pack them into your jars.

Step 9 –  Seal the jars and place them inside a water bath.

Step 10 – Fill the water bath with some water but don’t let it cover the jars.

Step 11 – Cover the water bath and turn on the stove to high heat.

Step 12 – Wait until the water in the water bath starts to boil.

Step 13 – Lower the heat and start timing it. Leave the jars on the water bath on the stove for another 100 minutes.

Step 14 – When the time elapses, turn off the stove and wait for another 15 minutes for the water bath to cool gradually.

Step 15 – After 15 minutes, you can remove the jars and place them somewhere to cool. This usually takes up to 12 hours.

Step 16 – Check out their seals. If you find any jar with a broken seal, separate it for immediate consumption.

Step 17 – Label the rest and store them in your pantry.

And that’s about all.

Do you have to use a pressure canner to can salmon?

It is a good idea to can salmon with a pressure canner so that you’ll never run out of the fish. Besides, canning helps to cut down the cost of buying it regularly. However, if you don’t have a pressure canner, you can still can salmon with a water bath canner.

Once you can your salmon and seal it properly, it can stay on the shelf for more than years. Convenience is another reason to can salmon. With canned salmon, your meal will be ready in less than 20 minutes, and that’s great. Everyone is now getting busier with little time for cooking. Canning saves the day.

Another benefit of canning salmon that most people don’t know is that the bones of salmon disintegrate during canning. So, you won’t have to pick bones while eating it.

How long does it take to can salmon?

How long it takes to can salmon depends on the pressure level and the temperature. The higher the pressure, the faster it will get done. Generally, most salmon canning recipes recommend the use of 10 pounds pressure. Hence, to can either half-pint of salmon or a full pint, it will take 100 minutes (1 hour and 40 minutes).

Remember, don’t start the timing immediately after you turn on the heat. Rather, the timing should start when the pressure gauge begins to jiggle. When the jiggles get to four in a minute, you’re done. After that, you can turn off the heat and wait for your pressure canner to depressurize before you open it.

That should take about 5 – 10 minutes. Remove the jars of salmon and allow them to cool for 24 hours before you store them. Every jar must make a pop sound. If you notice any jar that does not pop, isolate the jar. It means the jar wasn’t properly sealed.

You can refrigerate the jar and eat the salmon in it within 24 – 48 hours or eat the salmon immediately. And you could run it through the whole canning process again, but you must use another seal.

What can I use if I don’t have a pressure canner?

If you don’t have a pressure canner, you can use a water bath to can your salmon. Some people believe that this method is not appropriate for canning salmon. We have tried it several times and it worked. As long as you follow the canning instructions strictly, your salmon will be fine.

After sterilizing the jars, seals, and bands, pack the jars with prepared salmon. Make sure you leave some headspace in the jars to allow air to escape. You can also sprinkle a pinch of salt on each jar of salmon. This is optional, though.

Place the jars in the water bath and heat them for 100 minutes after the steam has escaped.

Can you can salmon in quart jars?

Yes, it’s okay to can your salmon in quart jars. Whether you use quart jars or pint jars, your salmon will appear the same way. The type of jars used in the canning process does not make any difference. What matters is proper sealing and canning at the right pressure level. Also, don’t forget to leave 1-inch headspace in the jars.

Can you can store-bought salmon?

You can store the fresh salmon you bought from the store, but it cannot be stored longer than 2 days. Processing the fish and sending it to central stores could take about 20 – 30 days. And it could take additional 5 days before it gets to your local store.

In addition, it could also take some days before it is bought in the local store. So, fresh salmon cannot last longer than 1 – 2 days in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, canned or smoked salmon is quite expensive in stores. So, your best bet is to buy fresh salmon in a large quantity and can and store them on your shelf. Canned salmon can stay for several years on the shelf and still remain fresh.

Can you use a water bath to can salmon?

Yes, you can use a water bath canner to can your salmon. As explained above, we have tried it several times, and it worked all the time. What can jeopardize canning are improper sealing, inaccurate timing, and inappropriate pressure level. If you can get everything right, your canned salmon will come out boneless, tastier, and more delicious.

Final Word

It is important that you cure the fish with a brine solution to preserve its taste. And it is also important that you smoke the fish properly before canning it. That way, your salmon can last for more than a year.

Finally, this process applies to salmon and other kinds of fish. We’ll love to remind you that the best way to can any food is with the use of a pressure canner. This method is only a less effective alternative.

June Brandt
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