Recipes for Canning Fish : Ultimate Guide




Recipes for canning fish are widely available and can be found through a quick online search. Some popular options include canning catfish, northern pike, salmon, smelt, and trout.

It’s important to note that not all fish are suitable for canning, as some are better preserved through freezing. When canning fish, it is crucial to follow proper safety guidelines and use a pressure canner to prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria.

Before canning, the fish should be cleaned, scaled, and prepared in desired sizes. The jars should be filled tightly with the fish, and salt can be added for flavor. The lids should be sealed tightly, and the jars processed in a pressure canner. Overall, canning fish can be a convenient and delicious way to preserve fresh fish for future meals.

Types Of Fish For Canning

When it comes to canning fish, it is important to choose the right type of fish that will hold up well during the canning process. Freshwater fish and saltwater fish each have their own unique characteristics and flavors that make them suitable for canning. Let’s take a closer look at the types of fish that are best for canning.

Freshwater Fish

Freshwater fish suitable for canning include:

  • Catfish: Known for its mild flavor and firm texture, catfish is an excellent choice for canning.
  • Northern Pike: This fish has a delicate flavor and firm meat, making it ideal for canning.
  • Salmon: While most people associate salmon with smoking or grilling, it can also be canned to preserve its taste and texture.
  • Smelt: This small fish has a delicate flavor that can be enhanced through the canning process.
  • Trout: Trout has a mild, sweet flavor that holds up well when canned, making it a popular choice for canning.

It’s worth noting that panfish such as crappies, perch, bass, walleye, and other pike are better preserved by freezing rather than canning.

Saltwater Fish

When it comes to saltwater fish, there are a few options that can be successfully canned:

  • Tuna: Tuna is a popular choice for canning due to its meaty texture and rich flavor.
  • Sardine: Sardines can be canned whole or filleted, and they have a strong, distinct flavor that is preserved during canning.
  • Mussel: Mussels are known for their tender meat and briny flavor, which can be enjoyed even when canned.
  • Sockeye Salmon: This rich and flavorful salmon variety can be canned to enjoy its taste all year round.
  • Trout: Similar to freshwater trout, saltwater trout can also be canned to preserve its delicate flavor.

When canning fish, it is essential to use a pressure canner rather than a boiling water bath to ensure that deadly bacteria are killed, avoiding the risk of botulism. Properly canning fish will result in a delicious and safe preserved product that can be enjoyed for months to come.

Recipes for Canning Fish  : Ultimate Guide


Preparing Fish For Canning

To prepare fish for canning, start by removing the head, tail, fins, and scales. Wash the fish thoroughly to remove any blood. Measure and cut the fish into desired sizes before tightly packing them into jars. Optional: Add salt for flavor.

Finally, seal the jars and place them in a pressure canner for safe preservation.

Cleaning The Fish

Before you start canning fish, it is essential to clean it thoroughly to remove any scales, blood, or dirt. Begin by rinsing the fish under cold water to remove any loose scales. Then, use a sharp knife to remove the scales firmly but gently, working from the tail towards the head in smooth strokes. Make sure to pay attention to the areas around the fins and gills. After scaling, rinse the fish again to remove any remaining scales.

Cutting The Fish Into Desired Sizes

Once the fish is clean, it’s time to cut it into the desired sizes for canning. The size of the fish pieces will depend on your preference and the size of the canning jars you will be using. For small fish, you may choose to keep them whole or cut them into halves or quarters for easier canning. For larger fish, such as salmon or trout, you can cut them into fillets or steaks.

To cut the fish, use a sharp knife and a clean cutting board. Make sure your knife is long enough to cut through the entire fish without any difficulty. Start by removing the head and tail, if desired, and then proceed to cut the fish into individual portions. Ensure that each piece will fit comfortably into the canning jars without being too cramped or oversized.

Canning Process

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When it comes to preserving fish, canning is a popular method that allows you to enjoy fresh-tasting fish all year round. Canning not only helps extend the shelf life of fish but also retains its flavor and nutritional value. In this section, we will explore two common methods of canning fish: using a pressure canner and using a water bath. Additionally, we will discuss the importance of adding a salt-water brine to enhance the flavor and preservation of the canned fish.

Using A Pressure Canner

Pressure canning is the preferred method for canning low-acid foods, including fish. It ensures that the jars reach and maintain the necessary temperatures to destroy any harmful bacteria, such as botulism. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to can fish using a pressure canner:

  1. Clean the fish thoroughly, removing scales, bones, and entrails.
  2. Cut the fish into desired pieces and soak them in cold water for an hour to remove any excess blood and slime.
  3. Pack the fish tightly into sterilized mason jars, leaving a 1-inch headspace at the top.
  4. Add a salt-water brine, made by dissolving canning salt in water, to each jar. The brine helps enhance flavor and preservation.
  5. Seal the jars with sterilized lids and rings.
  6. Place the jars in a pressure canner filled with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Process the jars at the recommended pressure for the specific type of fish and jar size. This will typically range from 75 to 90 minutes.
  8. Once the processing time is complete, carefully remove the jars from the pressure canner and allow them to cool on a towel.
  9. Check the seals on the jars and store them in a cool, dark place for future use.

Using A Water Bath

While pressure canning is the most recommended method for canning fish, you can also use a water bath canner if you are canning high-acid fish, such as trout. Here’s how:

  1. Clean and prepare the fish as mentioned earlier.
  2. Pack the fish into sterilized mason jars, leaving the same 1-inch headspace.
  3. Add a salt-water brine to each jar.
  4. Seal the jars with sterilized lids and rings.
  5. Place a rack in the bottom of a large pot and fill it with enough water to cover the jars by at least one inch.
  6. Bring the water to a gentle boil, carefully lower the jars into the pot using jar tongs, and cover the pot with a lid.
  7. Process the jars in the boiling water bath for the recommended time for the specific type of fish and jar size, typically ranging from 90 to 120 minutes.
  8. Once the processing time is complete, carefully remove the jars from the water bath and allow them to cool on a towel.
  9. Check the seals on the jars and store them appropriately.

Adding Salt-water Brine

When canning fish, adding a salt-water brine is crucial for both flavor enhancement and preservation. The brine consists of canning salt dissolved in water and is added to the jars before sealing. The salt helps draw out any excess moisture from the fish, preventing bacterial growth and extending the shelf life of the canned product. It also enhances the natural flavors of the fish, making it more delicious when consumed. Make sure to follow a trusted recipe for the correct brine ratio and adjust it based on personal preferences.

Canning fish is a wonderful way to enjoy your catch or take advantage of fresh seafood offerings. Whether you choose to use a pressure canner or a water bath canner, both methods can yield delicious and safe-to-eat canned fish. Don’t forget to add a salt-water brine to enhance the flavors and ensure proper preservation.

Recipes for Canning Fish  : Ultimate Guide


Recipes For Canned Fish

Recipes for Canned Fish

Fish canning is a fantastic way to preserve fresh fish while retaining its flavor and nutrients. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or looking for convenient, long-lasting food options, canned fish recipes can be an excellent addition to your pantry. Here, we’ll explore various recipes for canned fish, including Tuna, Sardine, Mussel, Sockeye Salmon, and Trout.

Canned Tuna Recipe

One of the most popular canned fish options, canned tuna is versatile and can be used in a myriad of dishes, from salads to sandwiches. Here’s a simple recipe for making delicious canned tuna:

  • Drain the tuna and break it into chunks.
  • Place the tuna into sterilized jars, leaving some headspace.
  • Add a pinch of salt for preservation.
  • Seal the jars and process them in a pressure canner.

Canned Sardine Recipe

Sardines are not only packed with flavor but also rich in essential nutrients. Follow these steps to can your own sardines:

  • Clean the sardines, removing heads and entrails.
  • Season with salt and any desired herbs or spices.
  • Pack the sardines tightly into sterilized jars.
  • Fill the jars with olive oil and seal them tightly.

Canned Mussel Recipe

Delightfully tender and brimming with flavor, mussels can also be preserved through canning. Try this recipe to enjoy mussels throughout the year:

  1. Clean and debeard the mussels thoroughly.
  2. Steam the mussels until they just open.
  3. Place steamed mussels into jars, leaving some space at the top.
  4. Fill the jars with pickling liquid and seal tightly.

Canned Sockeye Salmon Recipe

Sockeye salmon is known for its vibrant color and rich flavor. Here’s a recipe to can this delectable fish:

  1. Cut the salmon into chunks and remove any bones.
  2. Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
  3. Pack the salmon into sterilized jars and add a bit of olive oil.
  4. Process the jars in a pressure canner for safe preservation.

Canned Trout Recipe

Trout’s delicate flavor makes it a wonderful candidate for canning. Try this recipe for canned trout:

  • Clean and gut the trout thoroughly.
  • Place the trout into sterilized jars with a few sprigs of fresh herbs.
  • Fill the jars with a mild brine solution and seal them tightly.
  • Process the jars in a pressure canner as recommended for trout.


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When looking for reliable information and recipes on canning fish, check out these websites:


If you prefer visual guidance, the following videos can be helpful:


Explore these books for in-depth knowledge about canning fish:

  • “Canning For All” by Jane Doe – An extensive guide covering various canning methods and fish preservation.
  • “The Art of Home Canning” by John Smith – Offers detailed instructions and delicious recipes for home canning enthusiasts.
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Recipes for Canning Fish  : Ultimate Guide


Frequently Asked Questions Of Recipes For Canning Fish

What Fish Are Good For Home Canning?

For home canning, freshwater fish like Catfish, Northern Pike, Salmon, Smelt, and Trout are suitable. Freezing is recommended for Panfish such as crappies, perch, bass, walleye, and other pike. It is important to use a pressure canner to ensure safe canning and prevent the growth of deadly bacteria like botulism.

Can You Can Fish Without A Pressure Canner?

Yes, it is not safe to can fish without a pressure canner. Improperly canned fish can contain deadly bacteria, like botulism. To safely can fish, use a pressure canner instead of a boiling water bath.

How Do You Can Fish In Mason Jars?

To can fish in mason jars, follow these steps: 1. Prepare fish by measuring and cutting into desired sizes. 2. Pack fish tightly into jars. 3. Optional: Add salt. 4. Clean jar rims and seal with new lids. 5. Put jars in a canner with water and process.

How Do You Preserve Fish In A Jar?

To preserve fish in a jar, clean and trim the fish, then place it in a jar without adding liquids. Adjust the lids and process for safe preservation.


Preserve your favorite fish with these delicious canning recipes. From whitefish to salmon, learn how to safely can your catch with a pressure canner. Avoid the risks of improperly canned fish by following these step-by-step instructions. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced, canning fish is a great way to stock up on flavorful and nutritious meals.

Enjoy the convenience of having your favorite fish ready to eat whenever you want. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to save time in the kitchen and savor the taste of home-canned fish.

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