Things You'll Need
Canning salmon is a good way to preserve an abundant catch. Canned salmon will keep for about a year. As with all meats, canning salmon requires a pressure cooker. The job can be done in several steps.
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Prepare and inspect the salmon. Canning fresh salmon is best, but previously frozen fish can also be canned. The fish should have no head or internal organs. It is not necessary to skin the fish, but doing so will lead to easier preparation once you open the can. Cut the salmon into uniform pieces. Keep the salmon refrigerated until after the jars are prepared.
Wash all jars, rings and lids with warm soapy water. Inspect the jars for cracks or chips and examine the rings for dents or rust. Do not use any that are damaged. Use new lids, as old ones might not seal properly. It is not necessary to sterilize anything.
Fill the jars with pieces of salmon. Distribute the pieces evenly around the jar, leaving one-half inch to an inch of head space between the top of the fish and the top of the jar. If you have left the skin on, pack the jars so the skin faces outward to make them more attractive.
Add oil and salt. Pour one tablespoon of olive oil and a half a teaspoon of salt to each jar. For oil- or salt-free salmon you can eliminate either one of these steps. You can also add seasonings to your taste.
Close the jars. Wipe the top of the jar well before seating the lid, removing any debris or oil. Anything left on the top of the jar might interrupt the seal and lead to a failure to seal or eventual spoilage. Screw the ring onto the jar, tightening it slightly. Do not overtighten. Read the manufacturer's instructions on how to tighten it, if in doubt.
Add about three inches of water to the pressure cooker. Place the jars, spaced evenly, into the pressure cooker. Close and lock the lid. Turn on the heat to a high setting. If you have a pressure cooker with a dial gauge, process the salmon at 11 psi. If you have a weighted gauge canner, process at 10 psi. Process the salmon for 160 minutes after the steam begins to escape the canner. Adjust the heat so the pressure remains at the appropriate levels for your canner type.
Remove the canner from the heat. Let it cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled enough so you can open it, carefully open the canner and let the jars cool. Once cooled, the lids should be sucked downward toward the jar and you should not be able to pop them up and down with your finger.
Can salmon only in approved jars that have been manufactured for canning. Others might break easily. If your jars do not seal, try to re-can them by following the instructions above. Or you can place unsealed jars in the refrigerator and consume the fish within a week, or freeze it for consumption within a couple months.
Do not eat canned salmon if it has a foul smell or foam or bubbles around the top of the fish.