If you’ve got a spouse, partner or neighbor who keeps bringing you fresh fish and your freezers are full…….why not can that fish?
It’s seems a daunting procedure to many and yet I assure you, besides the fact that it requires a block of time, it’s quite easy.
Of course you’ll need a pressure canner, one with a weight and preferrably a gauge, pint jars with lids and rings and a bit of sea salt. That’s it.
First you cut your cleaned fish into chucks or strips that’ll fit your jars, you can also roll up the fish like a jelly roll and then stuff if into your jar(s). It’s fine to leave the small bones, they’ll just cook soft and you can have your calcium fix. If you want to leave some of the skin on the fish that’s fine too, just make sure the skin is facing towards the glass when you pack the jars.
Once your jars are all stuffed with fish (and I mean you can really stuff them, push down on the meat and fill the jars to within one inch), you may add some seasonings to each jar. Make them all the same or do a variety of flavors. The following list has good items to add, you can pick one item from the list or several, maybe you’ll have your own favorite herbs and spices to add to fish.
- 1/2 – 1 t sea salt
- a slice of lemon
- a sprig of rosemary
- lemon pepper
That’s it. Nothing else is needed to can fish. No water, no brine…the fish will make it’s own juice while cooking.
Wipe those rims, put on the lids and fasten the rings.
Have 2-3 inches of water in your canner, add your jars and put on your canner lid. Bring the canner to a boil, you’ll know when it’s boiling because you’ll see a steady stream of steam coming out of the vent hole. Let it vent for 10 minutes, then you add your weight, 10 pounds of pressure is average, but you’ll have to adjust this to 15 pounds if you live at an elevation above 1,000 feet.
When your canner has reached the desired amount of pressure then you start timing. Pints of fish need to be canned for 100 minutes. For the duration of this time, the pressure inside the canner should not go below the required pressure, so stay in the kitchen and babysit your canner. You may have to adjust your heat occasionally to regulate the pressure.
100 minutes later, turn the heat off and let the pressure fall down to zero naturally, don’t speed this up by running cold water over the pan. Let sit 10 minutes, open up the canner and remove the jars with a lifter. Be careful with the lid, open it up away from your face because the contents will be very hot. Put your jars on several layers of towels and let them cool down. Label and store in your pantry.
This fish was canned in my friend’s kitchen, we were so engrossed in our conversation, not to mention the fact that we were making salsa as well, that I forgot to take pictures during the procedure. Hope this helps regardless.
Here’s a picture of our canning session….well, the results I mean. The jars to the left contain mango salsa, on the right is the fish.
Note: To prevent a white film from developing on your jars when canning, add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the boiling water. This little trick really works, but I forget to add it sometimes.