Thursday, September 3, 2015


Canning Tuna in Kat's Kitchen

You may can Tuna raw or precook it.  If you precook it will remove some of the strong flavored oils that you have in fish.  The dark flesh of tuna is strong and you may prefer to can only the white meat. 

You can always can the dark meat separate and use it for pet food.  

For those of you that are new to canning tuna:  When you can it at home you may notice glass like crystals forming in your jars.  This is Magnesium Ammonium Phosphate.  It can't be prevented in home canned tuna but it usually dissolves when heated and does not affect the safety of the meat.

Items needed:

Water or Oil for packing (If using oil, 1 to 3 tbsp per 1/2 pint or 2 to 6 tbsp per pint.  Can be cottenseed, soy or other vegetable oil)
Canning Salt
Jars, lids, rings and other necessary canning supplies
Pressure Canner

You may buy your tuna already cleaned or you may can your own.  This tells you how to do it from the fishing hole to the jar!

Keep tuna on ice until ready to can.
Remove viscera and was well in cold water
Allow blood to drain from stomach cavity
Place fish belly down on a rack or tray in a large baking dish
Cut fish half crosswise as needed
Precook by baking at 205° for 2-1/2  to 4 hours or at 350° for 1 hour
Alternative method is to steam the fish for 2 to 4 hours.  If you have a thermometer, cook it from 165° to 175°, internal temperature
Keep in refrigerator overnight to get the meat firm
Peel off the skin and remove blood vessels along with any discolored flesh
Cut all meat away from the bones
Discard all bones, fin bases, and dark flesh unless you plan on canning it for pet food
Cut the fish into quarters, then cut crosswise into pieces to fit whatever size jar you are using
Fill your jars, pressing down gently to pack it solid
Add 1/2 tsp salt per half-pints or 1 tsp per pint is using salt
Cover tuna with water or oil, whichever you prefer leaving 1 inch head-space
Wipe rims of jars with a paper towel dipped in white vinegar to ensure a good seal
Place lids and bands on jars and tighten finger tight
Process according to charts

Table 1. Recommended process time for Tuna in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Jar SizeProcess Time0 - 2,000 ft2,001 - 4,000 ft4,001 - 6,000 ft6,001 - 8,000 ft
Pints and Half-pints100 min11 lb12 lb13 lb14 lb

Table 2. Recommended process time for Tuna in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.                              
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Jar SizeProcess Time0 - 1,000 ftAbove 1,000 ft
Pints and Half-pints100 min10 lb15 lb
References:  NCHFP

Oregon State University

A few tips for you:  
If canning raw tuna it's easier to fillet the fish if it is partially frozen.

If using the raw pack method no added liquid is needed.